Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.
ECOGOLD's Flip Half Pads help to give riders the option of buying one pad that can easily go from being fun for schooling, to conservative for the show ring - Photo by Lorraine Peachey
By now, you probably know that I am a pretty big fan of multi-use items. First and foremost, there it is a concept that lends itself to practicality. More often then not, the words apply to my wardrobe. And I love being able to wear things to the barn, to work, out around town, and anywhere else that I can think of.
The versatility of lifestyle pieces is something that I personally love, because they help infuse a bit of equestrian style into my everyday wardrobe. But being able to get more out of your wardrobe isn’t just limited to the use and wear of lifestyle pieces. There’s also a little thing I like to call reversible pieces as well.
I can remember that some of my favorite items growing up were reversible — at that time, I just thought it was a (super) cool concept to be able to turn something inside out, and still wear it. I don’t know, I guess it just felt like I was getting away with something. Reversible clothes and eating pizza for breakfast were about as on the edge as it got for a straight-A horse girl like me.
The Flip Half Pads are available in lovely jewel tones, that have a nice and understated shimmer to them – Photo by Lorraine Peachey
I digress, though. There was one Old Navy puffer vest though that I cherished as one of my favorite pieces when I was a teenager, particularly to wear to ride in during the cold winter months. On one side, the vest was a conservative shade of pale blue. At that point in my life, blue was my favorite color, so that cancelled out the fact that the lighter shade of blue was prone to collect horse slobber
But did I mention this vest was reversible? Oh yeah. And when I flipped it around, the other side was a BRIGHT sunshine yellow. Which was perfect for those days when I was feeling a little (extra) sassy. It was just a super fun color, and I just adored the fact that it was so entirely loud. I was a teenager. What did I know then?
It was really great to have a single vest that was toasty warm and did a great job at repelling hay and horse slobber. But the absolute best part was that it had a split personality, so it could be either conservative looking for a lesson, or totally fun on a day when I just wanted to go schooling or out to hit the trails.
One vest. With two completely different appearances. Not only was the whole reversible concept really nifty, but it also eliminated to need to buy two separate vests. Because that one Old Navy puffer vest ended up giving me both of the looks that I could want in a riding vest in just one piece.
Flash forward a decade (and a half), and I’ve got my reversible mojo going once again. And this time, instead of a vest, I’m rocking this trend while using a Flip Half Pad from ECOGOLD. The Flip Half Pad is a recent addition to ECOGOLD’s line up of saddle pads, and it is a really fun way to get two (totally) different half pads in one!
ECOGOLD’s Flip Half Pads help to give riders the option of buying one pad that can easily go from being fun for schooling, to conservative for the show ring. But the pad is not just all about good looks. Oh no. Because the Flip Half Pad has also been designed to be a technically-advanced half pad that provides riders and their horses with a high level of impact protection, the safety of a non-slip surface, as well as breathability.
Both sides of the Flip Half Pad feature a non-slip surface, that helps to keep your saddle securely in place for your ride. And while the pad is hypoallergenic and 100% breathable, it also features an open air vent along the spine that promotes more air flow to help keep your horse cooler and more comfortable.
When I removed the pad from it’s packaging, the inserts were already inside, and I was really pleased with how much padding and support there was – Photo by Lorraine Peachey
The interior of the Flip Half Pad is crafted of premium high resilience foam, which differs from conventional or memory foam (both of which are low resilience). What does that really mean though? High Resilience means that the foam is able to spring back quickly to its normal shape after impact. So it provides support and protection for your horse’s back, while rebounding rapidly.
The High Resilience Foam is also durable, and it helps to reduce pressure on your horse’s back at the points of greatest weight. The Flip Half Pad also sports removable inserts as well – you can choose to leave them in place, or pull them out through a convenient hidden opening along the side panel. Keep them in. Or remove them. Pick either way to get your best saddle fit.
And there isn’t a need to fussy about maintenance — you can just take a Flip Half Pad and toss it in the washer to give it a bath. No need to even take the inserts out. No worries if you forget to take them out, because it won’t hurt anything. So just throw the pad in the wash, and it will be grand.
There is a challenge involved when looking to bring home a Flip Half Pad though, and it starts out with a little personalization when you pick your color. The pads are available in lovely jewel tones, that have a nice and understated shimmer to them. Colors include: Sapphire Blue, Ruby Red, Emerald Green, Gold or Silver. Two of the newer color options now available are Chocolate and Purple.
The Flip Half Pad also sports removable inserts as well. You can choose to leave them in place, or pull them out through a convenient hidden opening along the side panel – Photo by Lorraine Peachey
It’s probably not too surprising that my match was the Ruby Red, since I do have a penchant for all things red, white and blue. A bit of Ruby Red peeking out from under my saddle is a terrific way to add a bit of extra pop, that’s for sure. And after picking out the color side, there is also a decision to be made for the conservative flip side -because you can choose to go with either white or black.
After the Flip Half Pad arrived, I was excited to check it out. When I removed the pad from it’s packaging, the inserts were already inside, and I was really pleased with how much padding and support there was. The small ECOGOLD logo on either side is also very subtle and tasteful looking.
I was definitely very pleased with the feel of the non-slip surface on either side of the half pad, and I also took special notice to the cut out air vent that is incorporated into the design of the spine. And the appearance of the color surpassed even my expectations because the Ruby Red has a nice sheen to it, so that it would be tasteful (and not overly bright).
Both sides of the Flip Half Pad feature a non-slip surface, that helps to keep your saddle securely in place for your ride – Photo by Lorraine Peachey
The very next thing that I had to check out was the High Resilience Foam, and how quickly it rebounds. So I poked and prodded the Flip Half Pad, and found that the High Resilience Foam bounces back Just. Like. That. It is super fast! I then un-velcroed the oh-so subtle opening in the side panel and pulled out the insert to check it out closer, and when I did, I was able to see the rebound effect even better.
When going to use the Flip Half Pad, I find that it pairs well with either a baby pad, or one of my regular all purpose quilted pads. Again color options come into play because if I want to coordinate or even contrast my full pad with the half pad, I can do so. So a blue quilted pad paired with the Ruby Red Flip Half Pad looks just terrific.
I found that the Flip Half Pad fits really nicely underneath my saddle, while the inserts are inside. The saddle rests nicely on the pad, and it feels like it provides a nice amount of support under the weight of the saddle. Plus, when the Ruby Red side is facing up, the color peeks out from underneath to provide a fun look that isn’t over-the-top.
The non-slip surfaces on both sides of the Flip Half Pad also do a fab job at keeping my saddle exactly in it’s place during my riding. No worries about slipping. Or shifting. Just staying put. Plus, I feel good about using the Jumping style of the pad, so that the High Resilience Foam can help to provide the support and protection that my horse needs.
The saddle rests nicely on the Flip Half Pad, and it feels like it provides a nice amount of support under the weight of the saddle – Photo by Lorraine Peachey
I also find that the breathability of the Flip Half Pad also does help to keep my horse cool, and I really like that the cut out space in the spine can help allow for additional air flow as well. I even like to see how quickly the pad rebounds to it’s original shape every time I take the saddle off of my horse when I’m untacking.
The Flip Half Pad is available in either a Jumping or a Dressage style. And you can pick your color on one side, and then choose either a solid white or black on the flip side. Both styles have a retail price of $249.00, and you can find them here
Go #flippinggenius. Go ECOGOLD. Go Eventing.