A modern solution to saddle fitting header
A modern solution to saddle fitting header

Introducing the SMART Sheepskin Half Pad

SMART Sheepskin Half Pad

SMART Saddles are pleased to announce the launch of the new SMART Sheepskin Half Pad - specifically designed to combine the benefits of sheepskin with the SMART saddle system for superior comfort & pressure distribution under the saddle.

Why choose a SMART Sheepskin Half Pad?

Studies* show that skin-on sheepskin is one of the best materials to use underneath saddle panels for pressure dissipation and breathability, so we have carefully combined the benefits of Australian merino sheepskin with our tried and tested SMART features for optimal saddle fit and performance.

SMART Sheepskin Half Pad


The premium sheepskin offers a similar degree of lift to that of a slimline SMART Dorsal Supplement Pad, affording extra clearance for those horses who require just a little more support along the base panels. Lateral Velcro strips are positioned for use with SMART shims, so that you can easily adjust the balance of the saddle or add a dorsal pad for those higher withered or leaner back shapes too, enabling quick and easy ongoing adjustments to your saddle fit.

SMART Sheepskin Half Pad


One of the key features of this design is that it is gullet free, which has multiple advantages. Not only does this help to improve airflow and prevent the wool of the sheepskin impinging on the gullet space, it also enables the flexible base panels of the SMART saddle to engage with the long back muscles either side of the spine independently throughout the stride cycle, ensuring that the performance of your SMART saddle is not compromised.

SMART Sheepskin Half Pad

In addition to this, the SMART Sheepskin Half Pad has a high-wither cut, allowing it to naturally sit up into the gullet of the saddle without pulling down. This helps to keep the clearance around the wither and makes it so much easier to check the fit than when compared with a traditional sheepskin half pad that may have large bulky rolls at the front and around the sides of the saddle. We do not recommend such designs as they can create pressure points and do not offer a universally good fit on saddles.

The SMART Sheepskin Half Pad is a great option for you and your horse if you’re looking to benefit from the natural qualities of sheepskin without compromising on the fit or performance of your saddle. Although this product is designed to accommodate sports horse shapes, it will be suitable for some SMART Native saddle owners too.

We love the SMART Sheepskin Half Pad because:

  • Premium Australian Merino Sheepskin
  • Contoured high wither design that stays up into the gullet
  • Short D-tabs to fix to the saddle
  • Lateral Velcro either side of the spine for use with the SMART Easy-fit system
  • Gullet- free sheepskin for optimal fit and performance
  • No rolls or bulky edges to create pressure points
  • Use on its own or in combination with a SMART Everyday Cotton Saddle Cloth
  • Not just for SMART saddles – suitable for use under traditional saddles too

Available in 2 x sizes:

Medium - size 3+ SMART saddles /Horses 16.1hh and under.

Large* - size 4+ SMART saddles /Horses 16.2hh and over.

*The SMART Sheepskin half pad can be fitted either directly against the horses skin or as a layer between the saddle and saddle cloth. The large size fits most horses and saddles well when used directly on the horses' back, underneath the saddle cloth.

Further reading:

The effects of different saddle pads on the pressure exerted on the equine back by correctly fitting dressage saddles - Marie T. Dittmann, Nina Hess, Samuel Arpagaus, Jasmin Müller-Quirin, Michael A. Weishaupt and Selma N. Latif - Equine Department, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Effect of a Half Pad on Pressure Distribution in Sitting Trot and Canter Beneath a Saddle Fitted to Industry Guidelines - Russell MacKechnie Guire a b, Mark Fisher c, Thilo Pfau b