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Type of publication: Doctoral Thesis
Type of document:

Year: 2007

Authors: Hofmann, A

Title: Der Einfluss verschiedener Satteldecken auf die Kräfte und die Druckverteilung unter einem zu weiten Sattel.

Source: Dissertation, Vet. Med. Univ. Wien, pp. 135.


Peham Christian

A saddle with too wide saddletree is often used if a horse¿s body is in the process of changing. Especially in young horses and those recovering from back problems, the back muscles keep changing their volume and conformation. Different types of saddle pads are being used to improve the fitting of such saddles. This study was performed to investigate the influence and pressure distribution under different saddle pads. Eighteen horses of different breeds and ages without clinical signs of back pain or lameness were ridden on the treadmill at walk and trot. In at least 3 training sessions a suitable speed for walk and trot was determined for each individual horse. The horses were wearing a dres-sage saddle with a too wide saddletree and four different saddle pads (gel, leather, foam and reindeer-fur) one after the other. For comparison, one measurement was made without a sad-dle pad. The rider was same for all the measurements. The movements of horse and the rider were documented by a high-speed video system using reflective markers. For collecting the kinetic data a pressure mat under the saddle pad was used. To determine the differences, if any, between the measurements with and without saddle pads, the maximum overall force (MOF) was calculated. The pressure mat was divided into transversal and longitudinal thirds. Without using a saddle pad, the middle third showed the significantly highest value in the transversal direction at walk and trot. In the longitudinal direction, the inner third close to the spine yielded the sig-nificantly highest value at walk and trot. The saddle pressures and MOF showed significant intra-horse variability. In walk, the foam and gel pad (44,4%) were significantly reducing the MOF in most cases; whereas in trot the gel and reindeer-fur pads (61,1%) were found to be significantly reducing the MOF. But when inter-horse variability was determined, these sig-nificant differences were lost. Every saddle pad was able to improve the pressure distribution as well as to deteriorate it. So selection of a saddle pad for improving the fitting of a too wide saddle should have highly individual criteria for every horse depending on, but not limited to, its spinal conformation, exercise level, age, breed, health status of the back muscles and the feel of the saddle as re-flected by the horse.

saddle / saddle pads / pressure distribution / kinetics / kinematics

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