Alright, I’ll admit it. I’m on the bandwagon.
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).
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.
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).
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.
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.
-very well made
-easy to wash
-absorbs shock well
-sits under the saddle well, doesn’t slip
-the color options are endless
-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