This study was performed to investigate the forces and pressure distribution under different saddle pads when an excessively wide saddle is used. Eighteen sound horses were ridden on a treadmill at walk and trot. The horses were equipped with a dressage saddle with an excessively wide saddle tree and four different pads (gel, leather, foam and reindeer-fur) used sequentially. For comparison, one measurement was made without a saddle pad. A pressure mat under the pad was used for the collection of kinetic data. Kinematics from the right fore-hoof were required to synchronise the data with the stride cycles. To identify any differences between measurements with and without saddle pads, the maximum overall force (MOF) and pressure distribution in longitudinal and transversal directions were calculated. The saddle pressures and MOF showed significant intra-horse effects. At walk, the foam and gel pads significantly reduced the MOF in 44.4% of cases, whereas at the trot, the gel and reindeer-fur pads significantly reduced MOF in 61.1% of subjects. The leather pad increased MOF in the highest number of horses at walk (27.8%) and trot (33.3%), although these results did not reach significance after inter-horse effects were included. The choice of a saddle pad to improve the fit of an excessively wide saddle should therefore be based on highly individual criteria for each horse.