|Plus you can totes ride with no half pad.|
My friends in the medical industry point out that coma patients are not swaddled in sheepskin. If it really had magical properties, they'd be all up in that shit, but they're not. Rather, humans in need of pressure relief and long term comfort are all about the high tech foam. Say what you will about modern medicine, I'd rather be a coma patient in 2014 than 1014. Sorry sheep. (Not sorry? They get to keep their skin in my world.)
|There is a lot of new stuff in this picture|
I bought this pad several years ago. Thinline was WAAAAY trendy then. I think it's sort of fading now, but maybe that's just because it's old hat to me and I don't feel that interested.
Regardless. I bought this pad because I wanted something shimmable and magical to make my extremely picky mare happy. (Duly noted: if you are a one-horse ammy who lessons infrequently, the odds are that your hormonal mare needs her ass kicked more than a magikal half pad. Hindsight being what it is.)
|Izzy canters in the thinline|
This pad did the job. I know a lot of people argue that thinline holds heat and can lead towards soft tissue injury and blah blah blah. To them I say this: IT'S UNDER A SADDLE THAT'S UNDER YOUR ASS. Heat is going to happen. I think the heat argument is a very legitimate reason to not use certain boots, but I don't get worked up about saddle pads for that reason.
I sold this pad a short while after I sold my mare, because it really did add a lot of bulk under the saddle. It worked fine--between that and a well-fitted saddle, I really never had any soreness issues with my mare.
It's not a bad option, but if you're buying half pads to stay on trend, it's a bit dated.
|There is a lot of new stuff in this picture|
My next crazy splurge in the half pad world was the totally on-trend ecogold that comes in a lovely shade of brown. I love brown. It also comes in more boring colors, but wutevs. Not interested.
I bought this some time after the infamous m&ms test. It's a nice pad. It's a little rigid, which isn't quite the right word. The very soft foam holds it's shape very well, and that shape is pretty set. It works on the horse just fine and it's easy to store because it folds up nice and flat. It doesn't just collapse onto the horse, I guess is what I'm trying to say.
|Canter pictures seemed like a good idea|
The saddle wasn't a bad fit, but it definitely wasn't great and I never had any ill effects from it. I will give the ecogold triple protection pad at least some of the credit for that.
I even still own this pad. It's thin enough that it can go under pretty much anything, but it seems to do a nice job on the horses and I have no burning urge to sell it.
|Only the half pad is new in this picture.|
If you've ever used social media, you know that Ogilvy is red hot right now. I'm going to risk sounding like a hipster right now and say that I was aware of them long before their recent rise in popularity, but I grant you the custom covers and all are way more sexy than the weird old colors they used to have in the Dover catalogs.
Anyways. I think a major drawback to these pads is the ridiculous wait time attached to your custom order. Talk about an impulse buy buzz kill. I held out for a good long time because I already had the ecogold and I have the patience of a caffeinated quail, but then one popped up on eBay in the colors I wanted and I just happened to have money in my checking account. Whoops.
|More cantering. Ogilvy in action.|
Dunno 'bout the rest of y'all, but my shit gets dirty and I like the idea of being able to clean it.
|Maybe an ogilvy will make your horse jump like this|
I have heard people criticize the Ogilvy pads for being too thick and changing the fit of a saddle. My pad in the regular 1" thickness and it squishes down well enough that I really haven't noticed a difference. When I tried a slightly-too-wide saddle on Courage, I did have to use the front shims to make it fit. Yeah, it looks like a lot when you're tacking up, but they squish right down and you have to tighten the girth a lot after you get on.
|This is how we jump in an ecogold|
We live in a really cool time for technology, both equine and otherwise. I've certainly enjoyed playing with trendy half pads, but at the end of the day, a well-fitting saddle and solid training is more important that brand names and cute colors.
If your saddle fits, by all means, buy the cutest half pad you can afford. They don't hurt the horse, might possibly help, and everyone loves looking at pretty things.
|Because sometimes we just play dress up|