I have used Ecogold saddle pads for several years. Recently they sent me two pads; the Ecogold Coolfit pads, to try while riding in the heat and humidity in Florida. I train and compete at the Prix St. George level in Dressage and having a saddle pad that can help the horses be cooler was certainly an interesting concept.
They also asked me to observe if there was a difference between the white pad and the black pad. Here are two photos for comparison. The first is of my horse having been ridden with the black pad in a training lesson for 50 minutes with the temperature at 30 C, 86 F and humidity of 85%. Both photos were taken as soon as I removed the saddle.
My horse has had a full body clip before coming to Florida in December. Only a small area under the saddle was not clipped. You can see that he has been sweating in the heat and humidity but there is no excessive sweating or patches of foam at the edges of where the saddle pad sits.
The next photo is of the same area after a similar lesson with the white pad but slightly warmer day 31 C. 87.8 F and humidity of 60%.
You can see in this photo that there is slightly less sweating on the unclipped area under the saddle and less on the area under the saddle flaps. But this difference is slight and I think that both the black pad and the white pad are very similar. It is also worth noting that both pads were not soaked with sweat when I took them off and dried easily when hung up. So the technology in the pads must be efficient at wicking away sweat from the horse and also out from the pad into the air.
The Coolfit pad is described by Ecogold as “The intelligent pad that keeps your horse cooler. Integrating smart textiles, the Coolfit is an intelligent pad that senses the horse’s sweat and reacts by reducing the pad’s temperature , providing a healthier and more comfortable ride. ”
The features of this pad include an air vent along the spine and material on the sides that prevent slipping , friction and sliding. It is also slightly raised at the withers. The pad comes with a mesh insert that adapts to saddle fit and also a foam insert that can be removed. I have ridden with the mesh insert only as my saddle fits well and does not need the foam insert.
My opinion: I think there is definitely a reduction in heat and sweating under the saddle area on the horse . In both of these rides the horse was working hard and the heat and humidity were enough to cause sweating. So for me this pad is a success and a help to the horse. No rider wants a horse that gets over heated and this pad is a good solution to heat under the saddle and therefore a reduction of heat over all.
I have washed the black pad and it came up perfectly and then I hung it outside to dry. It was dry quite quickly. I should also mention that I washed it in my machine at home with no worries. Some saddle pads are so thick and bulky that they will ruin a machine that is not industrial strength.
So if you are riding in the heat either in the winter season in Florida or anywhere during the rest of the year I would recommend these pads. They look smart and will help your horses to dissipate heat under the saddle..*I was not paid or compensated for this review; it is my own valid and honest opinion, with information of my own or as appropriately sourced.*