I am thinking of taking my youngster to a local show next weekend. He goes in, and needs, a half pad as he is cold-backed. He is fine in my Ogilvy or Supracor pads. I have a Beval therapeutic but it is so thick, I haven't used it in years so I don't know whether it would work. It might make the saddle too narrow. The saddle is a good fit as is.
Can I put an Oglivy directly on the horse and show with it without looking ridiculous? It is not hunter fleece, it is more a microsuede material. It is a very local show so I doubt it matters much, but still. The Supracor is definitely a no for that kind of use. Or should I take my chances with the Beval? I'm hesitant to change things up, since he is doing so well.
Are there fleece pads I can buy that are big enough for a big PJ and would work with a half pad?
Supracor makes both fleece and sheepskin lined covers that would make it possible to use directly on the horse's back. They are pricey at around $100, but something to possibly consider for the future if he really likes the Supracor Sorry I can't be of more help!
Maybe I'm stating the obvious for you here, but it was a surprise to me when I moved to a dressage barn (after a life of H/J) that they put the half pads directly on the back with the full pad over it. I think it took a year of tacking up before I didn't habitually do the reverse... Anyways, could you do the Ogilvy and then a white all purpose pad over it. I know the all purpose is a no-no for the hunter ring, but if its a local show and a youngster I'd err on keeping my horse happy and not worry about how it looks. Or, like you said, a fleece pad big enough - like for a big men's saddle or something.
You say your current saddle is a good fit so I definitely would not add the thick Beval pad, it will make the saddle too tight. And if you read the Painfree Saddle Fitting Book it advises to never use pads with that keyhole cutout, it actually creates, rather than relieves, pressure.
It may not be an option, but you can buy Ogilvy pads built into a white shaped show pad. I think they run around $200-250 so are a bit pricey for a schooling show but may be a consideration as a long-term investment of sorts.
My horse schools in an Ogilvy but shows at rated shows in just a regular shaped pad. That being said, I've done schooling shows in just the regular Ogilvy- and mine is grey with blue piping so not exactly subtle. Sometimes I put a white baby pad underneath for training shows and other times just the Ogilvy, it really depends on the formality of the show as training shows are so varied.
If the horse is young and it is just a schooling show, I would go in what works for you. Shows are stressful enough for some young ones without changing things around, especially things that can directly impact a horse's performance.
On a final note, you can buy white fleece covers to go over those black cashel pads- I'm assuming you could find something similar for an Ogilvy if need be.
Wilkers makes a nice fitted pad in a variety of sizes, you should be able to find one to fit your PJ and they aren't very expensive. If you want a "proper" hunter look, use a fitted pad with the Supracor on top. If you are just going to school your baby use the Ogilvy alone.
The only thing that really matters is that your horse is comfortable. I probably wouldn't change anything, and would show in the pad(s) he feels most comfortable in schooling at home. There is nothing worse than getting to a show with some new equipment and finding out it isn't working when you are in the schooling area!!
Thanks everyone, you've made me feel better about just using the Oglivy, which is white so unless they peer at it, maybe no one will notice. It is his favorite, and the Supracor is black so without a cover would be more conspicuous even with a fitted pad. You guys are awesome at assuaging a nervous ammie's fears of looking out of place!
It will be baby's first show so I am not worried about ribbons, just having a good experience for him.
Another option (probably not for now, but in the future) if you are at all handy with a sewing machine, is to make you're own cover. Half pad covers are SUPER easy. I made one a bazillion years ago because I didn't want to ruin my show cover...just bought similar material (this one was terrycloth) in blue, bought a zipper and about 30 minutes later...schooling cover for my half pad. I also made a bounce pad (a.k.a lollipop) cover. That one was admittedly quite a bit harder.
"I am witty. Ask around." --Pat, COTH