What about saddle fitting?
Saddle fitting can be a real minefield. While people have been riding horses since before the invention of the wheel, the debate about how to 'fit' saddles has only intensified with recent advances in technology.
Almost every horse owner has a story about a hard to fit horse, or a horse that acts as though it is in discomfort, but whose saddle technically did 'fit'. This is partly because the focus within the saddle industry has been almost entirely on fit - whether a saddle fits a horse, when it was last checked, last flocked, and whether it fits the rider.
There is no doubt that saddle fit is of immense importance and, without a good fit, the saddle will almost certainly cause damage and discomfort to the horse. However, many saddles that are assessed as being a good fit still seem to cause problems with performance. Shortened, choppy strides, head tossing, bucking, and problems with sensitivity in the back area can all occur with a saddle that has been assessed as a good fit.
After researching saddle structure and function for over five years, we’ve discovered is that it’s not just about fit. It’s about function.
- A 27% reduction in average pressure using our patented load distribution system
- A 17% reduction in peak pressure
- Reduced pressure supports optimum performance
- Research accepted for presentation at the British Society for Animal Science Conference 2015
We began studying saddle structure and function in 2008. In 2009 we developed our first saddle concept. In 2010 our CEO was awarded Young Innovator of the Year for her work on the saddle concept at the John Logie Baird awards.
We worked with mechanical engineers from Glasgow University in 2011 in order to better understand saddle mechanics. We were then awarded funding from Scottish Enterprise to conduct a feasibility study.
In 2012 we were fortunate enough to test the saddle concept prototype with the late Dr Martin Weaver from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.
This scientific testing demonstrated that our saddle design offers an astounding 27% average reduction in pressure under the saddle.
In 2013 we took the time to speak with other sports technology companies, and we were privileged to gain an insight into what goes in to developing a truly world-beating sports technology.
Awarded funding from the London Design Council and Innovate UK for a 15 month research project culminating in April 2017, we are working with world-class scientists and engineers to push the boundaries of saddle performance.
With back problems being a leading cause of lost training days, and 80% of race horses having underlying back injuries, we believe that improving the technology in saddles will not only improve performance, but it will also improve the well-being of horses world wide.