A “winged” saddle pad has been designed to prevent pressure on a horse’s back behind the saddle.
The HRP Equestrian wing saddle pads are designed to sit inside the gullet of the saddle and are cut to stop them touching the horse’s back behind the cantle.
The product was among the innovation award winners at the British Equestrian Trade Association’s (BETA) 2016 fair (24-26 January).
Helen Ross, of HRP Equestrian, commissioned Hartpury researchers to compare pressure behind the saddle between a conventional, square-cut saddle pad and the winged inventions.
“I had a sensitive horse with a problem — the saddle pad was rubbing behind his saddle and it was affecting his gait,” she said. “I needed to find a solution, but it did not exist.”
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The study, A preliminary investigation to compare pressures behind the saddle between a conventional square cut saddle pad and a HRP pressure reducing winged saddle pad, was published in January and found that the pressure on the back was “statistically less” with a wing saddle pad.
During trot and canter, the winged saddle pad had an average reading of zero pressure behind the saddle in all test sessions. Six horses, competing at BE 100 and novice level, were used and three sets of data were collected in each gait.