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Technical Information

Thesaddle technical information

Thesaddle is based on the traditional designs of the English leather riding saddle and the English military saddle, but it reinterprets these traditions and applies the significant advantages offered by the appropriate use of modern materials and construction methods. With thesaddle, saddle making is brought up to date by combining new and old materials, traditional and modern design, to give durability, practicality and maximum comfort for horse and rider.

What makes theSaddle a better saddle?

Thepanel (patent applied for)

  • maximises the contact area to give the lowest possible pressure - the contact area on the horse’s back as is large as is practical and follows the back shape throughout the length of the panel.

  • leaves the shoulders and loins free and unhindered, allowing easy movement at all paces the front of the saddle can never block the shoulder.

  • transfers the rider’s weight from the seat onto the horse’s ribs and not onto the trapezius muscle (at the side of the withers) so this muscle does not sink and in fact will rebuild on horses with hollows behind the shoulder.

  • is flexible and mouldable gently forming around the horse’s back and flexing with the movement encouraging bending and engagement.

  • is laminated from technical plastics and breathable Poron open cell foam which is soft to the touch, allows muscle movement but fully supports all the weight. In addition they never need restuffing.

  • makes use of the excellent no bounce shock absorbency of Poron which takes the strain when things go wrong.

Its extensive adjustability

  • The easiflex panels are adjusted for the wither width and slope

  • The easiflex panels are adjusted to the curve of the horse’s back

  • The seat is adjusted to place the rider in a central balanced riding position

  • The stirrup bars are adjusted to optimise positioning of rider’s feet and legs for comfort and balance.

  • Adjustments combine to encourage the elusive shoulder-hip-heel balanced rider position

Quality materials

  • The polypropylene tree which will not break or twist is guaranteed for the life of the saddle and provides the stable base against which the adjustments are made

  • Top quality dyed through leather is aways used

  • D rings are in solid brass

  • Fixing screws are High Tensile Steel

  • The stirrup bars and all other fixings are in Stainless Steel

How it works - strictly for the techies - well, perhaps!

Slicing up the panel

Think of taking the panel of a saddle (the part which contacts the horse’s back) and slicing it up into 10,000 little slices along the length of the panel (like slicing a loaf of bread). Each slice is now independent of all the other slices but kept in the same order. If 1/20,000 worth of the riders weight (half the rider’s weight for one side) is applied to the middle of a slice it will align to its own very small portion of the horse’s back. Provided the slice is optimally profiled it will apply that 1/20,000 worth of the rider’s weight evenly across its small area of contact. The slices to either side will do the same but as they are independent of each other they can align to their own place on the back so following the shape of the back along the length of the panel. We have now constructed an ideal weight distribution surface, which can follow a fairly complex shape. The trick is to turn it into a practical and affordable application!

Making the idea work

Thepanel does this, being made up of a set of three progressively larger panel shapes, the outer two having a series of cuts around them. These cuts mimic the slices. The rider’s weight, applied through the tree along the length of panel is now distributed evenly to the horse’s back. A "ball joint" attachment at the rear of the panel allows thepanel to automatically adjust to the slope of the ribs. Special packing, 30mm wide, is shaped to suit the back curve of the individual horse and applies the weight along the centre line of the panel, between thepanel fixing points and through a weight transfer bridge fixed to the seat and points of the tree. The "slice mimics" can now rotate about the packing and find their optimal place for weight transfer against the horse’s back, except in the area of the wither and shoulder.

Unloading the withers

The wither and shoulder area is a special place, there is the busy movement of the shoulder blade and the relative stillness of the wither in close proximity. Apply weight into the wither muscles (thoracic part of the trapezius muscle) and the shoulder is blocked as the muscle sinks (often permanently). To take the weight away from the wither muscle the Easiflex panel angle is controlled to match that of the wither by the front fixing point and an adjusting screw attached to the end of the points. Due to the width of the Easiflex panels over the wither, weight is now applied to the ribs coming out from under the wither muscle. However to maximise lateral stability the panels "snug up" against the wither when the adjustment is correct.

Unblocking the shoulder

To minimise blocking of the shoulder blade the front of the outer layer of the Easiflex panel lies about 1" over the back edge of the shoulder blade with the horse standing square. As the shoulder blade goes through its movement at each stride the front of the panels flex to follow but can never dig in behind and block the movement.

Shock absorption

Poron sheet foam is expensive but it is simply the best when it comes to shock absorption and its ability to always return to its original thickness time after time after time, made the case for using it to go between the Easiflex panel and the horse’s back. Being a high density open cell material it acts like a car suspension system with a spring and damper. When we tested it against several other products used in and under saddles it easily out-perfomed them all - so we use it!

The Polypropylene tree

Polypropylene is an ideal material from which to make a tree in that it has high durability and will never fail by breaking. At the same time it accepts fixings such stables and screws with ease and security. More importantly, we needed a symetrical ridgid structure to secure thepanels from which we could clearly define the fitting adjustments with confidnece that the tree will not twist or flex so altering the fit.

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The first saddle to be adjustable on the horse for the horse and rider

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