Product Review: ECOGOLD CoolFit Saddle Pad
by Samantha Krieger
Recently, I was in the market for a new dressage saddle pad. Due to the flocking in my saddle needing to be adjusted, my saddle slid forward slightly during a couple of my rides. This issue has been resolved but I wanted to invest in a saddle pad that would prevent slippage and put my mind at ease that the saddle would not be moving. This provided me with the perfect opportunity to expand my continuously growing Ecogold collection (I am not afraid to admit it, I am an Ecogold Junkie!). The pad I ultimately decided to purchase was the Ecogold CoolFit Dressage saddle pad.
Ecogold provides customers with a variety of pads to choose from (both in terms of varying disciplines as well as pad qualities.). The Ecogold website (www.ecogold.ca) is extremely easy to navigate. It provides extensive details about each pad and plenty of pictures so the viewer can obtain a good idea about what the pad is like. However, despite all of the information provided by the website, I was still unsure about which pad would be the best to suit my needs. I decided to call Ecogold and talk to a representative in order to solve my dilemma. The customer service that I received over the phone was amazing!
First of all, I was able to talk to John, who is the founder and product designer. John’s knowledge of his products enabled him to easily help me choose the pad that would be best for me. In addition, he made me feel extremely important. He listened intently to my problem, my questions and my thoughts. He took all of this information into consideration when advising me on pad choice I was extremely impressed with the care that this company provides its customers! On their website, Ecogold expresses their belief in old-fashioned customer service “When you contact us, we take care of you.” After this encounter, I believe that this company lives up to its claims! While on the phone, John also enlightened me about Ecogold’s warranty on their saddle pads. You can order a pad, try it, and see if it works. If not, you can send it back (in the same condition it was received in of course) within 30 days for a full refund, or a trade. This is a huge selling feature to me as these pads are expensive ($195 plus tax), and I wanted to make sure I made the right choice.
I have fallen in love with my CoolFit pad for many reasons. Firstly, I love the no slipping and no friction system that has been incorporated into this pads design. This system has been incorporated onto the bottom ¾ of the pad’s underside as well as on a portion of the top of the pad. I can honestly say that my saddle does not move with this pad! I feel very secure in my saddle and I am sure my mare (Abbi) appreciates a more stable saddle.
Secondly, I adore the versatility this pad can provide. When you purchase a CoolFit pad, whether it is the dressage or jumper version, you receive two removable shims. The memory foam and open cell shims (both which provide shock absorption) can be used together or separately thus aiding in achieving the ultimate saddle fit. I think these inserts would be particularly useful when a horse gains muscle over their back thus changing saddle fit. The shims could be adjusted or changed to allow the saddle to still be used until you can arrange an appointment with your saddle fitter. This pad can also aid in fitting the same saddle to different beasts! I am currently using both shims because I wanted the ultimate impact protection for the “Abbsters”. Thus far Abbi seems to appreciate the padding. She has been travelling more freely through her back and appears more relaxed in her flat work since I have started to use this pad.
Lastly, this pad sports an air vent in the back as well as COOLMAX® material on the underside. (Here is a link to a video showing the qualities of COOLMAX® material) I was drawn to this feature because Abbi can get quite hot and sweaty in the summer. I thought this feature could aid in keeping her body temperature, under her saddle, more regular. The weather here in Canada is still quite cool thus I am not able to comment on the effectiveness of this feature yet. I can say though that compared to the other saddle pad I was using, her back is usually less sweaty with the Ecogold Pad.
The only criticism I have of this pad is the way the Velcro was used for the removable inserts. As the Velcro is across the entire width of the pad, there is some friction created on the front panel of the saddle. Running Velcro along the back 2/3 of the pad is something to consider for future designs.
In conclusion, I feel that this pad was worth every penny! I feel that it has improved Abbi’s comfort during her flat rides and it has definitely eased my mind regarding saddle security. I would recommend that anyone looking for a new saddle pad check out the CoolFit pad as well as all the other Ecogold products! Find them at www.ecogold.ca.