Which Is Best Bareback Pad On The Market?

Bareback riding is the ultimate in being as close as possible to a natural state while riding, and still remaining comfortable and safe. If you don’t get on with the restrictive English saddles, or even the more free and relaxed Western styles, why not have a look into bareback riding?

Bareback will improve your posture and your core strength no end, and will also help you learn the most natural ways to grip your horse with your legs, due to there being no stirrups. All this sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?

Best Bareback Pad Reviews

So your next question is, where can I buy the best bareback pad? Well, we have selected four of the finest for you to choose from – or maybe even buy all four and see which one works best:

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Bareback Pads

Price

Reinsman Tacky Too Bareback Pad Brown TOP PICK: Reinsman Tacky Too Bareback Pad

This is the best choice on the market today in my opinion.

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Best Friend Western Style Bareback Saddle Pad, Navy Best Friend Western Style

A great, non slip bareback pad, super easy to keep clean.

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Intrepid International Comfort Plus Western Bareback Pad, Black Intrepid International Comfort Plus

Extremely comfortable for a rider with a larger horse.

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Weaver Leather Herculon Bareback Pad with Tacky-Tack Bottom Weaver Leather Herculon

A gorgeous bareback pad, with a really funky design.

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1. Reinsman Tacky Too Bareback Pad Review

Reinsman Tacky Too Bareback Pad Brown

This pad is available in a good variety of attractive colors. It comes with a nice, fleece covered girth, but you can use any standard, western girth with buckles.

Pros

  • Patented non-slip Tacky Too on the inside – The material is similar to neoprene bubbles that allow non-slip but still permit breathability.
  • Comfortable even on very hot days – The outer surface of the pad is comfortable, absorbent micro fiber suede that provides a secure seat and keeps the rider cool even on very hot days.
  • Very practical features – The grip strap on the front is handy if you are carrying a small passenger in front of you.
  • Soft fabric – The fabric is soft and comfortable, even if you are riding in shorts.

Cons

  • Conservative colors – I heard a complaint that some people missed a bit more creativity and color variety.

Recommendation

This high-quality, affordable pad is contoured to fit a horse or a mule comfortably and securely. The interior is a grippy, honeycomb foam that allows good air circulation and doesn’t slide around on the horse’s back.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON


2. Best Friend Western Style Bareback Saddle Pad Review

Best Friend Western Style Bareback Saddle Pad, Navy

This bareback pad is super easy to keep clean, and offers great grip for the rider’s seat.

Pros

  • High density filled foam offers comfort – When riding bareback there is far less between you and the horse, meaning that your seat bones and the horse’s spine are more at risk of damage. This pad is nicely full, meaning that you can ride long trails without discomfort.
  • Contoured for a great fit – This pad is shaped to the basic shape of a horse’s back, meaning that it will be as comfortable for him as it can possibly be.
  • Non slip bottom and girth – As bareback pads are more prone to slipping than saddles, it is important to make sure that the areas touching the horse are as grippy as they can be.
  • Very easy to keep clean – The entire pad can be simply hosed down, making it extremely low maintenance. Plus, the bottom and the girth are breathable, so there should be less horse muck to wash off after a long ride!

Cons

  • There is not a lot of length – Some bareback pads have more mid-thigh and lower leg protection, while this one is pretty much just the pad.

Recommendation

If you’re looking for a great, non slip bareback pad that will keep you and your horse comfortable with plenty of back coverage then this one is for you. Oh, and it has a few handy pockets to carry things around in too!

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON


3. Intrepid International Comfort Plus Western Bareback Pad Review

Intrepid International Comfort Plus Western Bareback Pad, Black

This is ideal for those who have fallen in love with Western style riding, as it has a slightly raised cantle to mimic the effect of a Western saddle.

Pros

  • Really good non slip surface – This pad is just about as grippy as it can be, as it is made of a synthetic suede with a non slip bottom and girth.
  • Extremely comfortable for the rider – The luxurious padding offers you great protection for the parts of you that are in contact with the horse, and the overlay of tuck and roll fleece is soft and comfortable to sit on.
  • D rings for attaching things – These handy rings can be used for strapping on saddle bags for the long trail, or even a grab strap if kids want to get on board and need a little extra security.
  • Micro suede under the leg for a little extra grip – If you’re new to bareback riding, what to do with your legs can be the hardest thing to figure out. This pad has a bit of extra padding in the leg area so you can be sure your leg is in the right place.

Cons

  • The cushioned support gets narrow towards the back of the pad – You want a bit of padding behind, and this one may not offer quite enough for some.

Recommendation

This pad is perfect for those who are experienced in bareback riding and want to go further down the stripped down route. Don’t be put off by the size of it if you have a larger horse – it will fit even the biggest horse comfortably.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON


4. Weaver Leather Herculon Bareback Pad Review

Weaver Leather Herculon Bareback Pad with Tacky-Tack Bottom

This is a gorgeous bareback pad, with a really funky design as well as being made perfectly for long, comfortable rides.

Pros

  • Cutback design over withers for horse comfort – This is especially good if you have a high withered horse or one who does not like too much contact around his withers.
  • Soft merino wool fleece girth – A good girth is essential, especially for a bareback pad that may need to be pulled tighter than a saddle. This one comes with a beautifully soft, high quality girth to keep your horse comfortable.
  • Tacky-tack bottom is non slip – This patented design is made from PVC polyester that is breathable, easy to clean and less likely to slip than some other fabrics.
  • Mimics a saddle shape – This one would be great for those just starting out in bareback riding, or those who do long rides and need the extra comfort, as it is long enough in the leg to offer good grip and comfort.

Cons

  • No means of attaching anything to the pad – You may want to be able to carry things about with you or attach saddle bags or straps to he pad, and unless you do a bit of home surgery, this one won’t carry anything but you.

Recommendation

This beautiful bareback pad has a real Western feel to it, and comes in many funky designs so you can be sure that you will look the part as well as feel it! Weaver are a well known company, so you can’t go far wrong with this one.

CLICK TO CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why do you need a bareback pad?

Some horses have never been ridden bareback and will simply not accept being ridden with no tack at all. A good bareback pad provides good padding between you and your horse. This can be very helpful if you and/or your horse happen to be a bit bony. A bareback pad also protects your clothing from sweat and horse hair and makes riding without a saddle on hot days more comfortable for you and your horse. The best pads facilitate good air circulation to help keep your horse’s back cool.

2. Do bareback pads have to be expensive?

No a good bareback pad with grippy interior and micro fiber suede exterior and a nice fleece padded girth strap doesn’t have to cost you more than a hundred dollars. Remember that bareback pads are simply intended to make bareback riding more comfortable for you and your horse. There’s no need for extras such as stirrups, leg rolls etc. The main thing is to have a nice, comfortable pad that helps distribute your weight a little bit better and protects you from being covered with horse hair and sweat.

3. Which is better, a straight or contoured back?

You’ll see many very expensive bareback pads advertised that have an absolutely straight back or topline. If you know anything about horses, you know that their backs are not tabletop flat. A contoured bareback pad will fit your horse more comfortably and securely.

4. Should a bareback pad have stirrups?

If you want to ride with stirrups, you should ride with a saddle. A bareback pad is just intended to make bareback riding more comfortable. The ones that have stirrups may provide you with little foot rest while riding, but you can’t use those stirrups to mount up. Furthermore because a bareback pad has no tree, the pressure you put into the stirrups will go directly to your horse’s spine and may be quite uncomfortable.

A bareback pad with stirrups might also be quite dangerous if you fall or are thrown and have your foot caught in the stirrup. Bareback pad stirrups are typically attached with nylon straps which will not break or release in the event of a fall. You could easily be dragged.

5. What kind of material is best for the top side of a bareback pad?

Micro fiber suede provides a nice comfortable, easy to clean surface that helps give you a little bit better seat. This material is available in a wide variety of colors and can be brushed off after every ride and rinsed occasionally for a good cleaning.


Conclusion

Bareback riding offers a free, relaxed and novel feeling to your riding. Many people love how much closer they feel to the horse with this style of riding – but also need a bit of protection for the seat. The best bareback pad will help you feel safe and secure without compromising your feelings of connection to your horse.

Sam Ellis
Sam is a founder and editor of Horses & Foals. In personal life he is a proud father of a boy and twin girls. He believes it is more important than ever before to encourage children to experience the joy of horse riding. Horses make as much sense as the sunshine in our world.


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