8 Best Saddle Pad for Barrel Racing- Take Riding to the Next Level

Barrel racing is far different from other types of riding, and that means that you are going to need to have the right gear to ride properly. This includes the right saddle pads, of course. After all, the sport of barrel racing can be very demanding. However, with all of the options out there on the market, it’s sometimes difficult to find the best saddle pad for barrel racing that will work well for you and your horse. In the article below, we will be looking at the best options available so you can find the best barrel racing saddle pads.

Do I Need a Different Pad for Barrel Racing?

One of the common questions that people ask when barrel racing is whether they actually need to have a different saddle pad for racing. While it might seem like the saddle pads are the same, you have to make sure that it’s right for racing. You have to consider not only the size but also the type of material, which will be discussed below.

Fleece vs. Wool Saddle Pad

One of the debates that barrel riders will often have is whether they should be choosing a fleece saddle pad or a wool saddle pad. The most popular for barrel racing tend to be compressed wool pads, at least with many of the top barrel racers. This is a good option, as it can help to pull moisture from the horse’s back, which can help them to stay more comfortable.

In most cases, wool is going to win out over fleece. This is because fleece pads tend to roll up and bunch up, which is not good when riding. However, some horses might be sensitive to wool and will feel better using fleece. A great option in those cases is to consider a fleece-lined wool pad.

Our Favorite Barrel Racing Saddle Pads - Reviewed for 2021

Bareel Racing Saddle Pad

Top 5 Saddle Pads for Barrel Racing in 2021

Below, we have collected the best barrel saddle pads on the market today and have provided a brief review and overview of each of them, along with some pros and cons to help guide you in your decision.

#1) Weaver Leather Synergy Contoured Barrel Performance Saddle Pad

The Weaver Leather Synergy saddle pad seen here has a great design that will contour to your horse’s back and be comfortable for them while you are riding.

One of the reasons that the saddle pad is so popular with barrel riders is the fact that its shape helps to reduce saddle roll while providing a natural fit. It measures 32” x 43” x 1”. The EVA sport foam that is used in the saddle helps with ventilation and breathability.

It is also impact-absorbing, making the ride and race more comfortable. The natural wool helps to wick the moisture away from your horse, which helps to keep it cool. Having a comfortable horse will keep the horse happy, which means that you will be a happy rider.

The saddle is lightweight as well, which makes it a good choice for barrel riders. It is comfortable for the horse as well as the rider. The material is high quality and it will not degrade over time. In addition to being a great choice for barrel racers, the saddle pad works very well with short-skirted saddles. Those who use the pad with their horses are pleased with the overall quality, as well as the fact that it is not going to roll while riding.


  • Contoured leather spine for better airflow
  • Choose from a wide range of color options
  • Merino wool is a great choice for horses that have sensitive skin


  • Only available in one size

#2) Diamond Wool Contoured Tough Barrel Saddle Pad

The Diamond Wool contoured tough barrel saddle pad is a great solution for riders who are looking for a reliable pad that is comfortable for both horse and rider.

Those who are on the lookout for a new saddle pad for barrel riding will want to consider this option from Diamond Wool. It has a nice appearance that can work well with many different setups. The saddle pad measures 30” x 30” x 1”.

It is a nice and dense saddle pad that features a contoured spin with a wither notch relief. It has been reinforced using distressed leather.

The pads are made using the company’s “Ranch Tough” wool felt, which is 1” thick, offering a nice and comfortable ride. Since it is wool, it also means that it can help to wick away sweat from the horse, which will help to keep the animal nice and cool even when barrel racing. The pad has been cut to fit Western round skirt saddles.

The pad is durable and comfortable and can be a great choice for you if you are barrel riding, or if you just want to have a quality pad for riding the trails. The thick pad will keep their horse nice and happy no matter where they are riding.


  • Highly durable saddle pad
  • Provides a nice aesthetic
  • Comfortable for the horse


  • Only available in a single color

#3) 5 Star Equine Products Flex Fit Saddle Pad 

The Flex-Fit Saddle Pad from 5 Star Equine provides a natural color and an excellent fit. It’s a quality option for anyone who is barrel racing.

The saddle pad measures 32” x 32” and is thick enough to provide comfort for the horse and the rider. Since it is made from 100% pure virgin wool, it will wick away the moisture from the horse to help keep it cooler and more comfortable while riding.

It is easy to clean, and the design helps to keep the saddle stable with limited cinching.

The pad helps to eliminate sore backs, and you will also find that the pad is very durable. It can provide you with 2000 or more hours before needing to be replaced. It is a soft pad that provides a perfect fit with no break-in time. The back of the pad is slightly rounded as well, which makes more room for the hip. The full-skirted pad can work well for many different types of riding in addition to barrel racing. It works well for those who are out riding trails, for ropers, cutters, reiners, and more.

This is a high-quality saddle pad that looks great and could be a perfect choice to consider for your next pad.


  • No need to break the pad in
  • Made from pure virgin wool
  • Hand-made in the USA


  • Depending on the size of your horse, it could be a little large

#4) Tahoe Double Back Fleece & Wool Felt Padding Barrel Saddle Pad

Barrel racers who are looking for a high-quality saddle pad that will give them the best of both worlds will want to consider this pad from Tahoe Tack.

There are many things to enjoy about this saddle pad. It is durable and made from a quilted cotton blend pad that’s over double back fleece with wool felt padding.

You can handwash this pad and then hang it to dry, and it will continue looking great and holding up for many years to come.

The wool felt underlining is non-slip, so you can be sure it will stay in place, so you can be sure your tack will stay in place. This is certainly important during your barrel turns. The soft felt lining also feels comfortable for the horse.

Another benefit of this saddle pad is that multiple colors are available. you can choose from black, green, purple, royal blue, and turquoise. The pad is contoured to the horse’s back and has plenty of room near the withers. The pad was designed for round skirt barrel saddles, but it can work well with any type of barrel saddle or western saddle. This saddle pad measures 27” x 31”, and it has a 15.5” drop length.


  • Fitted specifically for barrel saddles
  • Comfortable and easy to use
  • Highly durable for longevity


  • Has more of a modern look rather than traditional

#5) Weaver Leather Contoured Saddle Pad

The Weaver Leather 35-9307-H37 is one of the best barrel racing saddle pad options on the market today. It features a quality design and a great look.

This saddle pad has a felt insert as well as a 7/8” Merino wool fleece bottom. The saddle pad measures 28” x 34”. The maize fleece bottom helps to provide the horse with some additional comfort.

The close contact fit makes it an ideal option for barrel racing.

The pad is finely crafted and is covered with a Herculon top that is resistant to mold and mildew. The saddle pad is easy to clean and it dries quickly. You will find that this is a very durable barrel racing saddle pad that can work well for all of your riding needs, even if you are just out on the trails.


  • Provides a quality fit for barrel racing
  • Available in a range of colors and styles
  • Cleaning the saddle pad is fast and easy


#6) Challenger Wool Felt Barrel Racing Saddle Pad

This saddle pad is one of the softest on the market. Made from soft wool felt, it conforms to the horse’s back, preventing the saddle from causing the horse discomfort. This pad has a 30-inch spine and a 15-inch drop.

With this saddle pad, heat will not build up, and sweat is wicked away, keeping horses much more comfortable during races or on long rides. In addition to the heavy-duty wool felt, there are full-grain leather applications on the spine and sides that make this saddle pad much more durable than other types.

This saddle pad provides a nice, even fit and stays secure even on the toughest of rides. It does not slip around and bunch up under the saddle. Once in place, it stays in place for the full duration of the ride.

Because of its high comfort level, horses do not mind having this saddle pad placed on their back. Challenger has thought of every detail, and it shows in the stitching and craftsmanship.

Your horse will thank you for the significant amount of comfort they experience with this pad. No longer will you have to worry about saddle sores because your horse will be fully protected at all times. This saddle pad also helps to ensure the saddle fits precisely.


  • Heavy-duty material with full-grain leather for added durability
  • Wool felt stays soft and supple, even after many rides
  • Conforms to the curves of the horse’s back for extreme comfort
  • Stays in place on long rides and races


  • Only comes in one size

#7) Professional’s Choice Elite Barrel Racing Saddle Pad

This pad is made with barrel racers in mind and is meant to provide the highest level of comfort for horses. The extra padding and soft material conform to and cradle the horse’s back, so they do not experience any discomfort from the saddle.

The pad is made from layered felt and offers shock protection to the horse’s spine. Shock protection is not always found in saddle pads, but it is of extreme importance, especially when barrel racing. With the shock protection in place, horses will not experience painful jolts that can occur without a saddle pad.

The size of this saddle pad is 29" by 30". This size is a perfect standard size for most horses and should fit soundly. With leather reinforcements along the spine, you can rest assured this saddle pad will remain durable and will not break down.

With the sweat-wicking material, horses are less likely to experience overheating and saddle sores, which can put them out of the race quickly. This saddle pad stays in place and offers a snug fit while cradling the horse’s spine in comfort.


  • Offers a snug and precise fit
  • Soft felt design and padding protect the horse’s vulnerable spine
  • Leather accents add to the pad’s durability and style
  • Moisture-wicking material keeps the horse cool


  • Available in only one size

#8) Weaver Leather Woven Barrel Racing Saddle Pad

Weaver is a name many horse racers have come to rely on for all their padding needs. Having the right saddle pad will help to reduce friction against the horse’s skin, which can lead to saddle sores and irritation.

This is one of the larger sizes of saddle pads and measures 32" by 34". Weaver made this saddle pad with a unique wool material that provides extreme comfort and moisture-wicking ability.

It also features a shock-absorbing EVA sport foam, which helps to prevent painful jolts to the spine, keeping horses comfortable and protected throughout barrel races.

With the contoured design, it fully conforms to the horse’s back and stays in place, even on long rides or during barrel racing. A slipping saddle pad can cause extreme discomfort and serious injuries.

This saddle pad is genuinely rugged and is made with exacting detail, including leather accents along the spine that help to make the pad more durable.

This saddle pad also offers an attractive Southwestern design, which many horse racers enjoy. There is also an option for merino wool for those horses who have sensitive skin. With the pad in place, a higher level of comfort can be achieved for both horse and rider. This saddle pad is ideal for horses who need added support.


  • Genuine wool ensures proper moisture-wicking for extreme comfort
  • Leather accents make this saddle pad more durable
  • Merino wool is available for horses with sensitive skin
  • Contours to the horse’s back


  • May not fit smaller horses
Best Bareel Racing Saddle Pad

Things to Consider Before You Buy a Saddle Pad for Barrel Racing

When you are looking for the best saddle pad to use for barrel racing, there are a number of things that you are going to want to consider when you make your choice. Above are some of the best on the market, but you will still want to have a better understanding of just what you should be looking for when deciding. Below are a few of the areas that you will want to consider closely when buying.

  • The Length

The pad's length is going to be important for barrel racers, but the exact size that will be right for you will depend on the size of your horse. The size of the saddle pad will typically have a length of between 28” and 32”, but this can vary. You want to make sure that you have a pad that is not too short or too long.

Essentially, you want to look for a pad that is neither too short nor too long based on your horse’s back. A longer pad works well for horses with a longer back, but if the pad is too long, it can interfere with the horse’s stride.

  • The Material

Choosing the right material is important, as well. Earlier, we talked about the benefits that wool can offer. Typically, this is what you are going to be looking for in a best saddle pad for barrel racing or for any type of riding.

You can choose other options, but wool is generally going to be the best choice for you and your horse. Some horses will prefer fleece, however. As long as it does not roll too much during a race, it’s okay to use fleece.

  • Thickness

The barrel racing pad needs to be thick enough that it will be able to ensure comfort during the ride and race, but you do not want it to be so thick that it slows the horse down. Typically, anything up to an inch of thickness should not be a problem.

  • Check Reviews

In addition to learning about the saddle pads here, make sure that you are checking barrel racing saddle pad reviews before you buy the pad. Take the time to find the saddle pad that will be right for you and your horse.

FAQs about Barrel Racing Saddle Pads

  • Can I use the saddle pad for multiple horses?

If you have multiple horses that are around the same size, then it is possible to use the same saddle pad among the horses. However, it tends to be a better idea to choose saddle pads for each of the horses. This will ensure that you are getting the right size and style that works with each horse. The horses can get accustomed to the pads, and you can make sure that each horse has the pad that is right for them.

  • How long does a saddle pad typically last?

Most of the time, a saddle pad will last a rider between two and three years. Of course, this timeframe can and will change based on a number of different factors. For example, the amount of time that you spend using the saddle pad will cause wear and tear over time. If you are using the pad often, it may not last as long as those who use them less often. In addition, the amount of care that you provide the pad will make a difference. You need to make sure that you are keeping it clean and in good shape if you want it to last.

  • How do I clean the saddle pad?

Another one of the frequently asked questions is how to clean the saddle pad. For the most part, you will find that cleaning a wool saddle pad is the same between brands. You will want to start by scrubbing the pad with a rubber curry comb. Use the same type of circular motion that you would use when currying your horse. Make sure that you remove all of the loose dirt and other debris that might be in the saddle pad. Then wash the pad. Air dry it by hanging it. That’s all there is to keep the saddle pad clean. By keeping the saddle pad in great shape, you can help to increase its longevity.

Final Words

The right gear makes all the difference in the world. This is true even of something that is as simple as a saddle pad. If you ever have a low-quality pad, you and your horse will know. You want to make sure that you are getting high-quality saddle pads for the comfort of the horse and for performance while you are barrel racing.

Now that you have a better understanding of what you should be looking for and the best options on the market, find your best saddle pad for barrel racing. Take your riding and racing to the next level with the right pad.

Check out our guide for a great horse fly spray if you need it for your beloved horse.

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