How to Buy a Personalised Numnah

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How to Buy a Personalised Numnah
A numnah is a piece of padded fabric is that has traditionally been used to keep the saddle clean by preventing direct contact with the horse’s back. Numnahs can be decorated as to the rider’s taste, with the name of the horse and rider, or the logo of the riding school.

A personalised numnah can be a welcome addition to a rider’s collection of tack. Finding and purchasing the right numnah on eBay may seem difficult at first, but with understanding of the range available, an informed purchasing decision can be made easily with the help of this guide.

The Difference between a Numnah and a Saddle Cloth/Pad

Numnahs are often confused with other saddle cloths that go under the saddle. The difference between such items isn’t easy to understand due to the general term of ‘saddlecloth’. The first difference between a numnah and a saddle cloth is the shape and design.

Personalised numnahs are often put under the same category as a saddlecloth, which is a rectangle or square in shape, where as a numnah is shaped like a saddle so only a margin of the fabric is seen around under the edge of the saddle.

  • A numnah is used for the following:
  • To fit under an English saddle
  • To help with the fit of the saddle
  • Absorb sweat and dirt and protect the saddle from too much wear
  • Give support to the horse’s withers and back.

Saddlecloths are used for the following:

  • To fit under a western style saddle
  • Are popular for equestrian shows such as dressage and show jumping
  • To display a insignia or logo

Types of Numnah on eBay and Their Uses

Type of Numnah


General Purpose Numnah

These come in a wide range of materials from sheepskin to velvet. General use numnahs are padded and for everyday riding, such as lessons or short hacks.

Dressage Numnah

These typically come in plain colours and are specifically designed for the dressage saddle. Sometimes padded with sheepskin to help absorb shock.

Jumping Numnah

Similar to a dressage numnah, jumping numnahs are for use with jumping saddles and help with comfort and absorb shock.

Western Numnah

A padded numnah in the style of a western saddle cloth, it comes in a wide range of colours and designs and is suitable for general use as well as for use with a western saddle.

Half Numnah/Pad

These are often made from sheepskin and are designed to help the make a saddle fit more comfortable for the horse if the saddle is too low or high in one part.

The above styles of numnah are not always important for personalising a numnah, the style of numnah that is used for sewing on is often the half numnah/ pad as it is extends a bit past the back of the saddle, allowing a small area for the design to be placed on.

Personalised Numnahs come in a wide range of materials:

  • Padded
  • Fabric
  • Rope
  • Velvet

Personalised numnahs come in the above ranges of fabric, as materials like sheepskin or gel would be difficult to sew on. Fabric padded ones are a popular type of numnah as they are easy to wash and personalise for riding schools and shows and are cheap to replace. Numnahs are rarely made in a material that isn’t soft with padding qualities. Personalised numnahs whilst embroidered will still have some of the shock absorbing qualities needed for the horse and rider.

Finding a Personalised Numnah on eBay

To browse the variety of numnahs on eBay, a general search can be done in by typing in ‘Personalised Numnah’ in ‘All Categories’ on the eBay homepage. A more specific search can be done by using the sub-categories, by searching for ‘Personalised Numnah’ >’Sporting Goods’> ‘Equestrian’.

When selecting the seller for a personalised numnah, it is important to consider the following questions:

  • What material is wanted?
  • What style of font?
  • What colour?

If showing a horse, it is important that the numnah is the right style for the saddle and also co-ordinates with the saddle colour. Coordinating colour will not affect the comfort, but for competitions uniformity is important. Many sellers on eBay specialise in personalised numnahs and their prices will vary depending on the fabric and the amount of stitching on the finished item.

Dressage and western style numnahs are popular for showing horses and for schools as they can be embroidered with the horse’s name or the name of the school. There are many sellers on eBay who have the options of font and colour when it comes to customising a numnah. Younger riders also love the idea of having their own personalised numnah.

Numnahs come in a wide range of colours which appeals greatly to a wide age range. View the range of listings and see which seller is appealing based on the style of numnah they sell and the feedback of the seller as well.

Ordering the Personalised Numnah

To select the font and colour, the seller will have instructions posted with the listing, when will be forwarded when the numnah has been paid for. On the item’s page there will be options to select the colour of the numnah, and when the item is paid for it is advisable to leave the seller a message as to the details of the writing.

Tip: ensure that all spelling is correct as the sewing will be permanent.

For a more luxurious finish to a numnah, rhinestone decoration can be added. This is favoured with velvet and both together create a fantastic looking product. To look for numnahs that can be customised with rhinestones, search ‘Personalised velvet numnah /saddle cloth.’ The seller will offer a range of colours for the numnah and different designs for the crystal decoration. These numnahs make ideal personalised presents for horse riders who show at events.

Some sellers may not accept returns so be very sure that the used item is suitable. It can also be difficult to sell a numnah that already has an existing name or decoration on it, but this may not matter to the buyer. When having received a personalised numnah make sure to wash it before putting it on the horse even if it is new, as it the fabric may need softening and settling before putting on the horse.

Personalised Numnahs come in regular sizes although smaller ones can be purchased for smaller horses/ponies. To make a selection based on size go the sub-type and select one of the following sizes on eBay:

  • Small (pony)
  • Medium (cob)
  • Large (Horse)

Personalised numnahs come in a range of sizes, and to find on that will fit the horse, it is best to search for ‘Large personalised numnah’ to bring up a range of listings in that size.

Fitting the Numnah

If the numnah has extra padding or is for dressage or show jumping it is important to ensure it fits the horse and saddle well, as sore points can occur and give the horse a lot of discomfort.

When fitting the numnah and saddle, tether the horse in a place that the horse is familiar with. Place the numnah on the back of the horse, adjusting so it sits comfortably. Next take the saddle and place on the horses back over the numnah. There should be space free at the withers of the horse, enough to put a hand in comfortably under the numnah. This allows the horse’s withers to move freely without causing friction to the horse’s back. Most importantly check that the writing on the numnah can be seen under the saddle so that the name or design is showing.

Storing a Personalised Numnah and Care Instructions

Washing a numnah will prolong the life of the numnah and keep it in peak condition for events.  General purpose padded numnahs can be machine washed with some gentle non bio washing powder (to avoid irritating the horse’s skin when the horse sweats). After washing the fabric numnahs can be tumble dried but sheepskin and cotton numnahs are best to be dried naturally, as they may shrink in excess heat.

If the numnah has a lot of hair or mud on it, it is best to brush these off with a rough brush before putting in the washing machine. If using a domestic washing machine when cleaning horse related articles, run the washing machine empty on a quick cycle to remove all hair from the washing machine. Inspect the stitching on the personalised numnah after each use to ensure no threads are coming loose. If so, take a sewing needle and poke the threads back into the design.

A personalised numnah can be stored in a warm, dry place with the rest of the horse’s tack.


There is great advantage to buying a personalised numnah from eBay; there is no need for travel to a specialist horse tack shop and the overheads of the seller will be much lower so the price online for a personalised numnah is cheaper. The buyer’s personal budget and preferences can be found easily and many personalised numnahs can be bought more cheaply than in a store. There is little fuss in selecting a font size and colour and very often the item will be turned around very quickly by the seller.

Customisable numnahs make horse riding a more personal, pleasurable sport. A personalised numnah is the perfect present for a keen horse rider, as even someone who is inexperienced with horse tack could purchase a personalised numnah on eBay with ease. The range of numnahs available on eBay is always changing, and a variety of payment options makes it easier to decide on the perfect personalised numnah.

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