Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Not Buying It

I've been thinking about the idea of this post for a while now, and some of Sprinkler Bandits recent "Teach me Tuesday" posts really pushed me into writing it.

I'm not sure if this happens in other sports, since I admittedly have only "played" equestrian for the majority of my life, but what is it about equestrians and fads?  I mean I understand that when everyone else has something new and shiny you want it too, but I always wonder if those things actually help?  Ever?  I have a few examples and would love to hear your thoughts :)


First up is something I feel like every blogger must have heard of by this point.... the Ogilvy.  This seems to have taken the equestrian world by storm, and there have been tons of posts related to this half pad with supposed mythical properties, but I cannot imagine ever using one.  I've always worked closely with a saddle fitter who is so anti extra pads of any sort that I've always opted to have a properly fitting saddle than to shove unnecessary pads on my horse.  Now I understand that not everyone has that "perfectly fitting saddle" but for those who do use the Ogilvy, do you actually think it's better than a proper fit?


Next is yet another item that most of the Bloggy World is probably familiar with... the oh so coveted Tailored Sportsmans.  Now I've been riding for over 16 years and am familiar with the TS craze, but for my whole life I have never found a pair that fits.  Ever!  They're tight in the wrong places, baggy in other places, and no matter what size/fit/rise I try they just never work.  With so many brands of breeches out there, why are these supposedly the end all be all?


And just incase all you hunter jumpers thought I was picking on just you, don't fear! I'm mystified by my own kind just as much ;)  For all the dressage queens out there, I have never gotten into the humongous knee block/deep seat fad.  This has been around for a few years so to be completely honest, I'm not even sure if it's as relevant now, but it just seems crazy to me.  In a discipline where I want to be able to manipulate every movement my horse makes, why on earth would I stuff a bunch of saddle between me and my horse?  Granted, I've had my dressage saddle for about 7 or 8 years now and it does have a slight knee roll, and a deeper seat than say, a huntseat saddle, but if I had my choice I'd be swapping that out for something way more minimalistic.

Hopefully I haven't totally offended anyone with this post, as it wasn't the point at all.  I'm just genuinely curious as to whether or not people feel they've benefited or gained anything from "buying in" to these fads, or if they feel like it wasn't worth it?



20 comments:

  1. I've tried an Ogilvy several times recently, and even though it felt a bit cushier to sit on... I didn't notice a difference in my horse.

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    1. I've always wondered if they reallllly make a difference or if it's just the rider wanting it to make a difference.... lord knows I've been guilty of wanting something to work and pretending it does :)

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  2. I am with you 100% on the Tailored Sportsmans. When I rode on the hunt seat team in college, my coach made me get a pair. Worst pair of breeches I've ever owned- exactly as you said, baggy in the wrong places, tight in the wrong places, just a total mess. And let's not talk about the time they split right down the crotch seam during an over fences round...

    I can't comment on the Ogilvy thing, but as for deep seated dressage saddles with big knee blocks- the dressage saddle I most often ride in is put together that way, and I really like it. It helps me sit on my butt instead of my crotch, puts my leg underneath me, and generally makes me ride like I am not out on a cross country course.

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    1. I just can't stand getting into a saddle and losing all function of my knee and thigh. Yes I can still use it but I feel like I have so much less control of little nuances. To each their own though.

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  3. An ogilvy is not meant to correct drastic saddle fit issues. If your saddle is making your horse unable to preform their job the ogilvy probably isn't the cure. Even a well fitting saddle can have fluctuations in fit because our horses (much like us) have fluctuations in fitness. For a delicate flower horse I really do think that the ogilvy makes a difference and as a rider with a bad back I can 110% attest to the fact that the ogilvy makes a world of difference to me.

    As for TS if they don't fit you then they don't fit you but for me I prefer to spend $ upfront on quality that will last me that fits me exceptionally well. As a smaller waisted gal with some junk in the trunk TS really fit me well. The material stays clean and nice looking after a day at the barn, and the color options are an added perk. I have other breeches but the material and fit of the TS have me choosing them first almost every ride now.

    On dressgae saddles... I preferred a block but my dressgae saddle experience was fairly limited. I will get another sometime but I am going to explore more options this go around :)

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    1. Yeah breeches are really hit or miss on me.... they either fit or they don't so I agree with what you said. If you ever want to chat about dressage saddles feel free to email me!! I have a few favorites :)

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  4. I'm with you on the TS breeches. I am also usually not into padding your saddle to fit, but I have two saddles to accommodate several horses. Between the two saddles, I can usually come close to fitting most horses, but the Ogilvy does help when the fit is just not quite right. I hate how it looks and don't like the how it feels like my horse is as responsive to my seat. I definitely think that having your saddle fit to your horse is a much better option. I'm guilty on the bigger knee rolls and ride in a semi-deep seat (can't stand the saddles with the EXTREMELY deep seats). It is also a little bigger size than I would ride in a flatter/smaller knee roll saddle so I have room to move. It drives me insane when I see people held in by a saddle that is way too small with a super deep seat and huge knee rolls.

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    1. *don't like how it feels like my horse isn't as responsive to my seat.

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    2. My horse is just as responsive to my seat post Ogilvy as he was pre Ogilvy. I don't think they are the be all end all and if your saddle fits properly extra pads are just silly. I also think people think more pad for the wrong reasons, but that just goes to show how un-ed-u-macated people are right.

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  5. I actually purchased an Ogilvy before the big craze and used it a little and wasn't sure then put it away for a while. While it helped my back feel better, I wasn't sure of it for my horses at that time.

    Stampede is supposed to go in a Mattes (or similar) on recommendation from a specialist at MSU due to his back issues, so I do think half pads have a place regardless of saddle fit as Hillary said. Sheepskin in particular has been heavily tested and shown to provide a good buffer for your horses back. I'm still not set on the Ogilvy for Stampede, although I have been using it again lately. I do like a Mattes just fine for him and I may go back at any time (and sell my one pad for $$$, hee hee).

    Since Phoenix is older a custom saddle has never been in the cards (hard enough to find a saddle to fit me!) so he does require a half pad of some sort. I was using a Mattes, but his hair was getting rubbed off under the back of the saddle for some reason. This does not happen with the Ogilvy, so he goes in the thinner 1" version of that with some Ogilvy front shims included. Works great for him.

    I HATED breeches until I found TS trophy hunter mid rise. My TS don't go up to my belly button or higher, look great, and last a long time. I've tried other brands and they just don't fit. It's all about your own body type though!

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  6. I don't think any amount of padding is a replacement for proper saddle fit, but for people who have multiple horses to ride and only one saddle, the Ogilvy works very well. My personal experience with the Ogilvy is that it goes a long way for my horse, as it's contoured for withers and my saddle desperately needs to be reflocked, but the Ogilvy fit my budget better for the short term than reflocking does. Prior to the Ogilvy, I used the Beval Therapeutic half pad, and I think sheepskin has excellent shock-absorption properties if the Ogilvy isn't your thing. The Ogilvy cover is machine-washable, though, and the Beval pad has to be spot-cleaned.

    As for the Trophy Hunters, they fit me well, are extremely durable, and don't have polyester in the fabric--all pluses for me. I say wear the breeches that fit you and are comfortable, regardless of brand.

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  7. Tailored Sportsman are traditionally meant to be tailored. Hence the name. If you look in a classic pair (none of the new stuff with tech fabrics) You will see an excess amount of fabric seamed and flattened. This fabric along the back of the breech is to allow you to take your breeches to a tailor and have them let out where they need to be and brought in where they need to be.

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    1. Huh! Learn something new every day :)

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  8. I think horse people just really like spending money.

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  9. I've liked the Ogilvy. Of course, I also liked the Thinline I had before. I do think that the Ogilvy is better than the Thinline as far as MY comfort. I have scoliosis so my back is a constant disaster and the Ogilvy has been fantastic for me. Back pain has become very rare. I don't notice a huge difference in my horse between the Thinline and Ogilvy (I think he's a little free-er in the back in the Ogilvy) but I do believe in jumping horses benefiting from a little extra shock absorption. My saddle fits him pretty well and the Ogilvy does not have a negative impact on the fit for my particular horse/saddle, so in my mind there's nothing to lose.

    As far as breeches, as with all clothes what works for some won't work for others. I definitely don't see them as being the be-all-end-all... the most popular for sure (because they're nice breeches) but certainly not top of the line or the only thing people are wearing. There's been a lot of really nice new breeches hit the market in the past few years.

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  10. I'm with you on the dressage saddle. In fact, I think the giant knee rolls can be a safety issue: one time my horse spooked/bucked and ran off with me, and my legs got stuck in front of the knee rolls but I couldn't move them back into place because since I was off balance (and holding on for dear life). Ultimately I had to bail, and I blame the knee rolls.

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  11. I think in every sport or hobby you do there's always wants and needs. Yes, a lot of the time the wants overcome the needs, but as long as we always go back to why we're on that crazy four-legged thing in the first place, that's all that matters. :)

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  12. I can say that yes - Ogilvy has helped 2 of my 3 horses immensely. As in - major back and saddles issues to non at all. A new saddle and an Ogilvy daily has made the world of difference. That being said - I use my saddle on all three of my horses so obviously I can not have a custom fit for each.

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