A saddle that’s designed to fit your pelvis – as well as your horse’s back – could improve your ride *Promotion*

  • Promotional Feature with Albion

    Bicycle seats are developed to enhance rider performance, based on biomechanics. Likewise, rowing and Formula One racing cars. This is true of the most important equipment we use for any sport. So why are we overlooking the most important piece of equipment that connects us with our horse?

    When most of our time dressage schooling is spent in the saddle, why are we not paying more attention to the seat of our saddle – and how could this impact the overall performance of the horse?

    Albion has been studying this question in great detail and has undertaken its biggest research and development project to date. These extensive clinical and research trials show a significant improvement in the horse’s movement when the rider is in the correct seat for their pelvic motion.

    Cath Gordon, Albion’s managing director, explains: “The seat is the most fundamental part of the saddle; we found the seat that best suits the rider’s style of riding is quickly recognisable through the rider’s position. When in the correct seat, the rider is less reliant on the blocks, as more movement is absorbed through the pelvis, enabling the rider to move in time with the horse.”

    Albion saddle trials at Hartpury

    Clinical trials were undertaken at Hartpury College, where a range of riders, of varying skill levels, were analysed. Starting dismounted, the riders’ biomechanics were mapped and monitored while walking, squatting and jumping. Then they were asked to test a range of saddles in walk, trot and canter, while their range of movement continued to be mapped.

    The data shows that the correct seat gives the rider a greater pelvic range. When testing this with the timings of the horse, the correct seat for the rider saw an 86% improvement in the synchronisation of the motion between the horse and rider. If the rider’s pelvis is inhibited in its range, they can block the horse’s natural movement through their seat. Or the rider will lose their balance and will show instability through their legs, or overcompensate with movement in their upper body.

    Albion ridden saddle trials

    On an amateur rider, the results were quickly recognisable to the naked eye. However, for an advanced professional rider, the feel between the horse and rider was magnified. Therefore, when the horse and rider’s timings were aligned, the horse was able to work through correctly (without being blocked by the rider being behind the horse’s motion) and be in unison with the rider.

    Given these findings, Albion has launched a new series of saddles, developed to enhance the rider’s pelvic motion, resulting in greater unity between the horse and rider. The Unity Series is available in X seat and Y seat profiles for the rider, plus TB and WB trees for the ultimate in fine-tuned precision fitting.

    The Unity series is inspired by sleek modern lines where accuracy is paramount. It uses the very best full-grain lux leather with patent detailing as standard. The detail in the stitching is elegant and is another example of the high-quality craftsmanship that is executed in every saddle, which is handmade in the UK.

    When less than 1% in dressage can be the difference between first place and 10th place, it makes sense to approach the fit of your seat with the same precision.

    Albion footer

    You may like...