Drum roll please!
The product review that you all have been waiting for – okay, maybe the product review that I have been waiting to write – is finally here!
After weeks of seeing equestrians rave about the Ogilvy half pads, I caved and ordered one from their website. I never really thought I need a half pad because my saddle is custom fit to my horse, and it fits my pony perfectly, but here are the reasons I was swayed into splurging.
- The half pad allows your saddle, even if custom fit, to fit ANY horse. According to Ogilvy: “[t]he MemoryFoam acts as a buffer that fills any voids between the saddle and the horse, stabilizes the saddle, and provides shock-absorption for the backs of both horse and rider. This half pad will have your saddle fitting perfectly on every horse, even with custom made saddles.”
- It is good for my back as well as my horse’s back.
- It comes in different styles. If you’re a hunter, you can get one appropriate for the hunter ring. If you’re a jumper, they have that too. Dressage? Yes, they have that too!
- It’s anti-slip. I had to search far and wide for an anti-slip pad to use under my horse’s saddle pads because despite the custom saddle fitting, his back is still developing, and it’s damn slippery up there sometimes.
- Um.. everyone was raving about it. I’m an equestrian, of course I want to be in on the trendy riding equipment.
For my first pad, I ordered conservative white with customization on the withers – it says my name (Jessica). I waited about six weeks (can you say torture?) for it to come in. But I did order it right around Christmas, which is probably when everyone else was ordering it. Custom orders take a longer amount of time, according to Ogilvy’s excellent customer service department, and they didn’t get annoyed at me for my tweets and emails asking how much longer I had to wait :p
When the pad finally arrived, I was super excited. For those of you living under a rock, the Northeast has been transported into the set of Disney’s Frozen. My barn also doesn’t have an indoor, so I couldn’t wait for nice weather so I could use the pad and see if it really lived up to what everyone said it did.
I ride a lot of different horses at my barn. I have two of my own, and sometimes I am asked to school some of the lesson ponies. I also ride a school pony in lessons sometimes as well. I was getting pretty sick of not being able to use my saddle on all the horses I rode because I have a pretty nice, comfortable saddle, if I may say so myself. On two of the ponies (read: chubby-wubbies), my saddle felt like it was about to roll over, no matter how snug the girth was, so I felt more comfortable using the school saddles that fit them (read: my lady parts were NOT happy about the years old lack of padding in the saddle seat).
So, what’s the verdict?
If you don’t want to read the whole post, I’ll get to the point right here: Buy one. Now. You need this in your life, I promise you. Just do it. Go to Ogilvy.com and order one. I’ve even put a handy link in this post three different times so you can just click-through and order this wonderful piece of half pad heaven with minimal effort.
For those of you that want to hear the details…
I can really use this pad on every horse I ride. My pony loves it. My horse loves it. I don’t need to use the half pad and the anti-slip pad on my horse. I just use the Ogilvy now. The first time I used my saddle on my barn manager’s son’s pony, my saddle was going EVERYWHERE. I rode for maybe 15 minutes because I was afraid my saddle was going to just slide off the side at any moment – yes, my girth was tightened. The second time I used my saddle on the pony, I used my half pad. No slipping. No rolling. No saddle tilt. I felt comfortable. The pony felt comfortable. He was trotting around like a little hunter pony with his head nice and low. He was giving and using his back. It was marvelous. I made that pony look damn good, er.. well, Ogilvy helped too. The lesson pony I ride had the same roly-poly back that made me feel completely insecure when I rode in my saddle. I used the Ogilvy on him – I was determined to ride in my saddle. Same results. No slipping, rolling, or tilting. He seemed a lot more comfortable too. I also used it on a horse I had to school a few weeks ago, and she behaved perfectly. She can be a little bit.. mareish at times. No issues. Was it really, truly the Ogilvy? Well, I’m not saying it wasn’t the Ogilvy. And, if you think about it, the half pad was the only thing I changed about any of the equipment I was using.
My back does feel better. So, I have a habit of not using my stomach muscles when I jump, which means I’m quite sore after a hard jumping lesson. I also am getting back into jumping, which means muscle memory hasn’t exactly set in yet. Since using this pad, my back has felt a lot better in terms of soreness, especially after a jumping lesson.
The horses I ride seem much happier. Like I said, the ponies seem more comfortable with my saddle. My pony loved the half pad. My horse loved the half pad (and the Ogilvy contour pad I got for Christmas). The horses I ride were giving through and using their back. I feel confident using my saddle on any horse now, and I intend to do so.
Now to the nitty gritty. The half pad is $199.00 unless you opt to get some extra custom details. Like I said, I only got embroidery done. If it’s customized, it will take a bit longer to ship than a stock one (but it’s well worth the wait!) I have not washed my pad yet, but the cover is easily washable, and for mine being white, it hasn’t gotten too dirty. When I first used it, the saddle seemed a bit high on the horse’s back, but that is only because you need to actually sit in the saddle to allow the pad to conform to the horse’s back and your saddle.
If you’re torn between ordering a conservative pad for showing purposes and a pad that has awesome colors, don’t be! I found out that Ogilvy allows custom cover orders. You can order a cover that has the colors you like, or that is white/black, and switch it out with the pad you currently have so that you can easily go to a show and then go to the schooling ring at home. The custom covers are $125, and one of those will be my next purchase. If you have NO idea what colors to order, check out the Ogilvy Instagram account where they regularly post photos of the half pads and saddle pads their customers have ordered (provided by the happy customer, of course).
Their customer service is super helpful and friendly, and I love interacting with their Twitter account. They also sponsor Lillie Keenan, Reed Kessler, and the Phillipaerts brothers (among other top equestrians).
I also saw today that SmartPak is now carrying select Ogilvy products! Talk about the ultimate equestrian company mash-up. Note: You’ll have to order through the Ogilvy website if you want something other than white or black.
So, what are you waiting for? Have you ordered your Ogilvy yet?