If you’ve been around the horse world long enough, Ogilvy is a name that you would heard on multiple occasions. You’ve most likely heard about people raving about their Ogilvy half-pads, but with the hefty price of $200-$240, you have probably wondered if the pad is as good as it claims to be.
I have been using some different Ogilvy products for about 2 years now, their baby pads, their profile pads, and both their memory foam and gummy half pads. The construction of all of these pads is gorgeous. The stitching it tight and even, and the materials feel like they will last a lifetime. Also, they wash up beautifully. Even the white pads and half pad cover wash up looking brand new.
Ogilvy’s baby pad’s are very reasonably priced at $47, and have the same beautiful construction as their other pads. These pads do not have any billet straps, and their older model didn’t have girth loops (they have added them in their new model). The inside of the pad (the side that goes against the horse) is lined in a very soft, slightly fuzzy material (it is called brushed poly on the website). Ogilvy used to claim that this material would keep the pad from sliding, hence allowing the pad to not have any straps. However, with both their old and new models, I had a horrible issue with the pad sliding and bunching up behind my leg, creating a rather unattractive appearance. I do know that other people were having this problem as well, and I suppose enough people sent in complaints to Ogilvy, which caused them to “fix” the issue by adding girth loops that are sectioned into 4 parts, allowing you to put your billets into the exact slot you need to keep the pad still. Despite this addition though, I still had issues with the pad bunching behind my leg.
Overall, I was not really impressed with this pad. It is super thin and lightweight, and I prefer a pad with more of a sturdier construction. Even though the pad is very thin, it doesn’t seem overly breathable however. I can take this pad off of Hope after a ride and have the entire thing, as well as her back, absolutely soaked. Where as on a similar day weather-wise, I can take off a normal saddle pad after a ride and she isn’t sweating nearly as much under it.
In general, this pad left me with a “meh” feeling. Which is unfortunate, because these pads really do look beautiful when hanging up in the tack store.
Since I loved the look of Ogilvy’s baby pad, but not so much the issue with it sliding back, I decided to try their profile pad. At $57.50, this pad is a little more expensive, but is still reasonably priced and not outrageously expensive. The construction and materials of this pad are the same as the new model of their baby pad, with the exception of the added billet straps. I was a little disappointed to see that this pad is really not any thicker or sturdier than the baby pad, like I was hoping, and even with the billet straps, the pad did slip back and bunch up behind my leg, although not nearly to the same extent as the baby pad.
Again, this pad left me feeling “meh” and disappointed. I’ve since decided to avoid any of their saddle pads in the future, as I seem to always have problems with them (even though I do know of some people who are perfectly happy with their products). Despite the pad’s gorgeous appearance (and high appealing factor of being completely customizable in colour options), it is unfortunately, in my experience, just a well contrived facade.
Memory foam & Gummy half pad~
I have tried both of Ogilvy’s half pads, the thicker memory foam one, and the thinner gummy one. These pads have been the trendy and “in fashion” half pads since they became available, although it does seem as if the fascination with them is starting to diminish.
Their half pads are gorgeous, the craftsmanship is beautiful, and they feel and look so luxurious. The top side of the pad is sued-like material, that has a tendency to get dust, shavings, and bits of hay stuck to it. The underside of the pad is their standard brushed poly. The pads have a Velcro closure on the spine, to enable you to remove the memory foam inserts and wash just the cover (which is very convenient).
I found their memory foam half-pad far too thick for my liking; it felt almost as if a pillow had been placed under my saddle. My feeling of my horse’s movement was significantly muffled (I bet my horse could hardly feel me, either). With this pad, I have to say that I didn’t notice any remarkable (or even apparent) difference in Hope. She didn’t act any differently, and didn’t seem to care whether I used this half pad or not. Since I was only borrowing this pad from a friend, the fact that I disliked the thickness and general feeling of the pad resulted in no loss to me (I would have been very sad indeed if I had bought this pad).
The gummy (despite it’s name, this pad is also made out of memory foam) is quite a bit thinner than the above mentioned memory foam half pad (1/2″ as opposed to 1″), it still felt fairly thick under my saddle, but it was certainly less than the memory foam. After I had ridden in it for a couple of minutes the gummy “settled down” and started to feel thinner (because of this, you have to tighten your girth after you have mounted and ridden for a bit). However, I also didn’t notice any real difference with this half pad, but since I had bought this one, I decided to continue to use it anyway. It couldn’t do any harm, and it might even do some good.
However, I later found out that Ogilvy’s claim of “the memory foam 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” was certainly far from correct. With my old dressage saddle, a Regal, it’s flocking suddenly compressed and didn’t fit Hope perfectly anymore. Since my custom fitted Voltaire saddle was scheduled to arrive in a couple of weeks, I decided to not spend the couple hundred dollars to get the Regal re-flocked. I was using the memory foam half pad, and assumed that it would provide the extra cushion until the new saddle arrived. However, even with the half pad, Hope got back sore and fervently refused to be ridden in the Regal.
I was a bit disappointed in the half pad, and in the company’s claims, but since Hope does have a bit of the “princess and the pea” syndrome, I was not overly frustrated. When my new saddle arrived, I decided to use the Ogilvy gummy with it (since I had it, I figured that I might as well use it). However, Hope still acted back sore when I rode her, even though we had gotten a chiropractor and massage therapist to work on her back. I decided to try my new saddle without the Ogilvy, and used my old Ultra ThinLine instead. Hope was instantly better.
Hope had sometimes had short episodes of having a sore back while I was using the Ogilvy, but I just attributed that to her long back. However, since having started using the ThinLine, Hope hasn’t had a sore back.
Clearly, the Ogilvy half pad just didn’t work for Hope. She is much happier with her ThinLine, and my $240 Ogilvy half pad now sits unused in my cupboard (I need to get around to selling it one of these days). Hope told me what she likes, and for me, that is the clearest and most important review that I need.