Above: DESF's Brita Rizzi (center) with
Most of us have experienced saddle fitting issues during our life with horses. A healthy and pain-free back is the foundation for the horse’s performance and success – no matter if you are just a pleasure rider or if you have an upper level competition horse. Even the most expensive saddle off the rack might not fit correctly without the adjustments of a very experienced saddle fitter. A correctly fitted saddle is essential to the performance and comfort of any horse - a badly fitted saddle can cause lameness, painful saddle sores and behavioral problems.
Our new, mobile, computerized saddle fitting system has been developed to review the fit of your saddle and give horse owners and riders an accurate record of how a saddle fits their horse or pony. This new computer technology provides color imaging of the saddle area, highlighting contact and pressure points. It is wireless and works up to about 300 meters.
Although it’s not impossible to get a good fit without a computer analysis, this system can pinpoint potential problems quickly and easily.
Besides helping with saddle fit issues pressure scanning can also be helpful to analyze the rider's seat.
- how the horse feels the rider’s weight; what happens in half passes,
shoulder ins and 10 m circles.
- What does the horse feel if the rider is sitting crooked or is in a chair seat?
The unique combination of the wireless saddle pressure scan with the simultaneous video recording of the rider will provide a valuable idea of the pressure distribution of the saddle. It will also show what the rider is doing during certain movements and the resulting horse’s reaction.The pressure saddle pad
The pressure pad consists of 256 thin sensors which are sewn into a textile like material. The scan is done with the all the saddles pads the rider usually puts under the saddle (half pads, cotton pads etc) since it is important to see how the saddle scans with all pads in place. The pressure sensor pad is contoured and therefore conforms to the horse’s back with generous wither clearance. Any false readings can therefore be eliminated. The sensor pad is the most expensive and most sensitive element of this scanning system.
The black box
The black box is about 3 inches long and fits into a secured pocket on the pressure pad.
The black box contains all the electronic components and it works as follows:
- The electronic components scan the sensors in the saddle pad
- The data of the pressure sensors are then analyzed and digitalized
- The readings are transferred to the computer.
The software receives the signals of the black box and visualizes the data for the rider. The pressure scan is displayed in a variety of colors which will make it easier to interpret for the user and makes it easier to understand for the customer.
The video window will display the rider on the horse. This feature is of the utmost importance for the rider who can see how certain aids and weight distribution influence the horse.
After a ride is recorded (riding right and left rein) the software will take the readings of all sensors during the ride, calculate the average values and create a graphic image. This image which will show pressure points, bridging or a good even pressure distribution under the panels.
The Fitting: Click here to learn about our saddle fitting procedures.