Review: Ogilvy Equestrian jumper half pad

Alright, I’ll admit it. I’m on the bandwagon.

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I had a Thinline Trifecta for 4 years before buying the Ogilvy and really liked it. But after that much use the Thinline was starting to die, and since it was time for a new pad I decided to take another look into all my options. I narrowed it down to the Ecogold, the Equifit, and the Ogilvy. I have to admit that at first I really resisted all the Ogilvy hype. The pretty colors are great, but my brain needs to see some kind of “science” to understand how things work, and despite lots of searching and a few inquiries I just couldn’t find any. But a couple of friends (whose opinions almost never steer me wrong) really liked theirs so I figured I’d buy one and if I didn’t like it I’d just sell it and buy another Thinline. So I hemmed and hawed for a few days about color options before deciding on navy pad, navy binding, a row of white and a row of light blue piping, then finally placed an order from The Tack Shop of Austin (act surprised – they get all my money).

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I will admit that when I first took it out of the package I thought “OMG this is huge”. I also may or may not have cuddled with it for a little while and used it at as a butt cushion for sitting on the bleachers. When I tacked up I thought “OMG this is REALLY HUGE”. My CWD fits my horse pretty darn well… if anything it’s a teeny smidge tight in the shoulder. So at first I was pretty alarmed, thinking this thing would make the fit a disaster.

I got on and thought “Whoa, it’s like sitting on a giant pillow…” but then I walked around the ring a couple times, letting the memory foam squish and mold, then tightened my girth and by then it felt pretty darn good. Still a little bit “farther away” from the horse’s back than the Thinline I was used to, but I didn’t feel perched above the horse like I do in, say, a Beval pad. After trotting and cantering around for a while I also definitely felt like there was more shock absorption than my Thinline, which is saying a lot because I found the Thinline pretty darn shock absorbing. I have mild scoliosis and am prone to back pain, but my back has been pretty darn happy. I also thought that it quieted down some of the motion from the horse and made the trot a bit easier to sit. Of course, that could conversely mean that the horse doesn’t feel my seat quite as clearly, but for my particular very sensitive horse that’s probably a good thing. Dressage folks or people with less sensitive creatures might find that less desirable than I do.

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I personally have not found that it effects my saddle fit negatively. The sweat marks are actually a bit better now and the horse has stayed happy… I think the Ogilvy condenses in the tight spots to be thinner than the Thinline was with it’s thick cotton quilt backing. The pressure seems more evenly distributed all over his back. He was not ever back sore in the Thinline nor has he ever been back sore in the Ogilvy, so I have no basis of comparison there except to say he’s seemed equally happy in both. I have noticed that his walk has gotten a bit more free and loose, but the use of the Ogilvy also coincided with the beginning of our flatwork boot camp, so I can’t definitively say which thing caused the improvement. I also had a slight slippage issue with the Thinline but haven’t had any with the Ogilvy – it stays very solidly in place.

I will say that I see some people on Instagram saying quite often that this pad will make any saddle fit any horse. I definitely don’t buy that – I don’t think any pad will fix a truly poor fitting saddle, this one included. I can absolutely see it improving the fit of a less than ideal saddle, but I just don’t think anything will actually fix a really bad one. So if people are buying this pad, or any pad, thinking that it’s going to make a square peg fit a round hole they are probably going to be sorely disappointed (no pun intended).

classic

There is no doubt that the Ogilvy is very well made – impeccable, really – and washes up very well and easily. I do think that if I were ordering again I wouldn’t opt for such light colored piping… it gets dirty too quickly and my OCD can’t take it. The foam inserts are high quality and look just as good as the day I bought it, they have not broken down at all. Of course, we’re only 2 months in to our relationship so we’ll see how it holds up over time. I wish the covers weren’t so expensive, otherwise I’d order a couple of spares and just rotate them.

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All in all I’ve been happy with my Ogilvy purchase and so has my horse. It works well for our needs. I would encourage anyone who is half pad shopping to give Ogilvy a look and see if they might work for them too. I was a skeptic but now I’m a convert.

Pros:

-very well made
-easy to wash
-absorbs shock well
-sits under the saddle well, doesn’t slip
-the color options are endless

Cons:

-it’s hard to justify $125 for an extra cover when the whole pad is $200
-no scientific information available to prove how or why it works

30 thoughts on “Review: Ogilvy Equestrian jumper half pad

  1. So glad you reviewed the Ogilvy half pad. I was a skeptic, too, at first, and being in the market for a new half pad, struggled with trying to decide among another Beval therapeutic half pad (which I have been married to since 1998 and was on my third one and still love them for high-withered horses), a Thinline sheepskin comfort pad (sheepskin is basically nature’s memory foam), and the Ogilvy. I jumped on the Ogilvy bandwagon, ordered a stock pad from Smartpak and left the tags on for the first ride. Ripped the tags off after the first ride. Eli hasn’t had any back soreness and generally moves forward very easily, but I did notice I could feel him stepping under himself with a little more energy at the canter with the Ogilvy, and the first time we jumped in it, he only did one very half-hearted head toss, so I can only assume he finds it as, if not more comfortable, than the Beval pad. I can 100% recommend this pad to anyone for its shock-absorbing properties, as well as how stable my saddle feels on the horse with this pad. (I agree that it is NOT a fix for an ill-fitting saddle.) Y’all want one!!

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      1. The Greige is pretty fantastic, and they have green now, and I get the impression mint piping and binding are going to be available at some point … can you tell I design color schemes in my mind all day long for this half pad?

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  2. What thickness did you get? I’ve been eyeballing them but my horse gets exceptionally fussy if the saddle is too tight and his saddles are so well fitted to him as it is now. I know they offer a gel version, but I’m unsure as to whether or not that is the route I would want to take. Just hesitant, I guess, to spend so much money on something that looks so thick.

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    1. Mine is 1 1/4″. They do make a gummy that is thinner, although it’s also denser and the cover isn’t removeable (which is why I didn’t go with that option).

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  3. What size did you get and what size is your saddle? A lot of the pictures I have seen look like there is tons of excess pad in front/behind/around the saddle, but yours looks appropriate.

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    1. Pretty sure it’s a regular. My saddle is a 17.5 CWD with a 3C flap. The CWD’s have a pretty wide panel as well, so I think they look more normal sized under a CWD than some other saddle brands. A friend of mine is an Ogilvy dealer so when I ordered I just let her handle the specifics… figured she knew best!

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  4. Another review of something I have! I love this because it’s not giving me itchy tack-buying fingers. I love my Ogilvy half pad. I agree, though, the cover expense is annoying. But if I’m ever seriously showing again (IT WILL HAPPEN), then I’ll worry about whether I need an all-white cover.

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  5. Ogilvys are just designed for comfort – they aren’t meant to have any scientific research behind them like Thinline or Ecogold. They just happen to be great under a saddle! I do believe Thinlines are better for shock absorption if that is what someone is looking for.

    You can get Shedrow covers for about $40 from Greenhawk…they are identical and come in lots of colours too!

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    1. I did purchase a Shedrow cover, which is great as a second option but obviously not Ogilvy quality and has limited color options.

      Even being designed for comfort, it is possible to do pressure tests, thermo imaging, etc. Something to give an idea of the benefits, especially since they claim it distributes pressure. There are ways to show that, and ways to prove shock absorption. Obviously they’ve done very well without it, but it’s something people like me would appreciate seeing. Especially because the main concern I hear all the time about Ogilvy pads is thickness related.

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      1. Did the Shedrow cover fit your Oglivy pad? I LOVE my pad and you did a great review! But found I’m in the same boat about trying to preserve the cleanliness of my cover so saw the Shedrow covers and curious to know how well they fit the Oglivys!

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        1. They’re exactly the same size. Definitely a down-grade in materials, but the sizing and general design is exactly the same. It’s a good “junker” option to use when you don’t want to get your Ogilvy gross or if you need a spare while you take your Ogilvy home to wash it. I would definitely not expect the same longevity out of it though.

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  6. I’ve had an ecogold triple protection pad for… 2 years? Not sure. A while. Anyways. It actually did help my semi-fitting saddle work for my narrow OTTB.

    Then I got an Ogilvy (I blame my obsessed friend, but whatevs). It does the same job with a lot more panache. I’m actually quite impressed with the sweat marks under it. It squishes down nicely, too, so I didn’t notice that I felt more disconnected than before.

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    1. I can see how you’d have more luck with the Ogilvy. I tried the ecogold and thought it was really thick… it doesn’t compress nearly as much as the Ogilvy. It made my saddle fit tighter. :/

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  7. I picked up a used one last month but haven’t gotten around to trying it out. I actually plan to next week and I too am worried about mucking up my awesome saddle fit. I’ve seen conflicting reviews for riders who’s saddles already fit. So thanks for your input – esp with the piping. I’m OCD with my tack too and what you got is pretty much what I would order – so good to know.

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  8. I am scared about it being too big for my saddle… and making a decision on colors lol!

    Thanks for fueling the fire of desire for another thing… 🙂

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  9. Your objective review is making me rethink my position that they are just pretty and that memory foam has no business being under a saddle. How’s the heat dispersion under it?

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    1. I honestly have never noticed any one thing being less hot than anything else. I’ve had sheepskin, wool, thinline, and now this… they’ve all left the same kind of sweat mark. So basically… I don’t know. 😉 It’s certainly no LESS breathable than the thinline was. I do like that this stays pulled up so well into the pommel and allows for a bit of airflow from the front. Of course, the Thinline did too. I’ve just never seen any kind of heat related problems from any of my pads on any of my horses so I’ve never worried about it.

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