At a tack sale last weekend I bought an "Ogilvy" (oh-gill-vee)saddle pad. I'd been wanting to try one out for awhile because they sounded really interesting. I'm a skeptic when it comes to speciality saddle pads because when it comes down to it, if your saddle doesn't fit, you shouldn't be trying to "make" it fit. Kinda like if your shoe is too small or too narrow for your foot, it makes no sense to put another thicker sock on to try and make it more comfortable.
And there seems to be so many different, weird pads out there. Filled with air, gel pads, foam, sheepskin etc etc. Ok I've had a sheepskin pad and loved it, however with my english saddle (astride) it made my saddle bridge terribly, so I sold it.
Now this new pad is made of memory foam. And I got to thinking, "hmm... we have a memory foam pad on our bed and it is SO comfortable, I bet my horse would like one too!". I was a little worried that adding more padding in would make the saddle fit weird, so I was assured that if I didn't like it. I could bring it back.
So I decided to try one. What the heck.
I tried it out the other night and carefully inspected it to make sure it wasn't making the saddle fit too tightly. I was really impressed by it! Even with my saddle girthed up and me on it, I could still fit my hand underneath the saddle (front, sides, back etc) comfortably. Brigit seemed to really enjoy it too, she was moving out really nicely. Her canter felt like riding on a cloud. It's normally a bit of work to sit but with that pad it's nice!
I also discovered that the tack shop has a master saddler that works for them and he knows how to work on sidesaddles!!! So now I've got two people nearby that can work on saddles for me! What a great find!
Back to the saddle pad, I tried it under my sidesaddle the other night as well. I figured it might be nice, especially when we're jumping since memory foam absorbs shock so well. Well that was a big mistake. It seemed to even out the saddle and made me feel VERY tipped to the left. I guess it was worth a try though! So we'll stick to our normal pad under the sidesaddle.