Science & Equine

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Written by Els Smet
Posted in Saddlery

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Different saddle pads and pressure on the horse's back.

Saddle pads are often used in the equestrian sector, originally this was to keep the saddle clean, but now it is more commonly used to reduce the pressure under the saddle. However, little is known about the effect of different types of saddle pads and the effects they have on the pressure. This article evaluates the forces on a horse's back and the different pressure distribution when using different saddle pads under a well fitting saddle.

The results showed only a significantly decreased maximum overall force and therefore improved saddle fit with the reindeer pad. The other pads had statistically similar results as the control where the saddle was without pad. Similar results are found when analysing the longitudinal and transversal pressure, where only the reindeer pad had a significant improvement in the distribution of pressure. The results show that a good saddle pad has the ability to reduce the load on a horse's back further in combination with a well fitting saddle.

> From: Kotschwar et al., Equine Vet J 42 (2010) 114-118. All rights reserved to Wiley Online Library. Click here for the online summary.

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