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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2000
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    Clarksdale, MS--the golden buckle on the cotton belt
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    18,653

    Default Techie Saddle fitting

    Interesting thread on H&H on a saddle fitter who uses a pressure sensitive saddle pad that sends information to a computer.

    I seem to recall from years ago that there was someone in the US doing this. Haven't ever heard anyone actually using them.

    Might also be a useful training technique.

    What think you all of the concept?
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
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    Default

    Plenty of saddle fitters use them, including in the US. A rare few have purchased their own infrared cameras; a lot more own the Pliance System or Port Lewis Impression Pad systems; and many will just refer you to EquineIR, which specializes in equine thermographic imaging and will scan your horse's back + saddle for about $200.

    Personally, I think thermographic cameras are a better idea than the pads because they allow you to see the pressure/heat situation without any added variables (like a big plasticky pad that isn't normally part of the saddle fit). I also think it's overkill for a lot of people's saddle fit situations, but it would come in very handy for difficult situations or situations that called for an extremely precise saddle fit--like maybe a Grand Prix dressage horse or certain horses with certain varieties of kissing spine/broken withers/etc.

    Kitt Hazelton wrote a good blog post covering the three major options:
    http://saddlefitter.blogspot.com/200...d-symptom.html



  3. #3
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    Aug. 14, 2000
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    Default

    Sounds like he must be using something like the Pliance system which shows pressure while the horse is actually being ridden. It sounds to me as though that might be useful, not only for saddle fitting, but also as a training tool during a lesson to instantly evaluate how balanced the rider is at every moment. How the pad transmits to the laptop would be crucial, but I would think that it's nothing much more complicated than a wireless mouse. Of course, you'd probably need two people during the lesson--the eyes on trainer and the computer reader.

    Seeing just readings would mean very little without expert eyes to interpret.

    Or maybe a rider could do the same thing if a web of sensors were installed just underneath the panel leather. Wonder how much THAT would cost. Test saddles could be built with them, and no pad would be necessary.

    You could video a ride and have a tape of the sensor results underneath every few frames or even every frame if you could synchronize the pad and the video.

    Quote Originally Posted by jn4jenny View Post
    Plenty of saddle fitters use them, including in the US. A rare few have purchased their own infrared cameras; a lot more own the Pliance System or Port Lewis Impression Pad systems; and many will just refer you to EquineIR, which specializes in equine thermographic imaging and will scan your horse's back + saddle for about $200.

    Personally, I think thermographic cameras are a better idea than the pads because they allow you to see the pressure/heat situation without any added variables (like a big plasticky pad that isn't normally part of the saddle fit). I also think it's overkill for a lot of people's saddle fit situations, but it would come in very handy for difficult situations or situations that called for an extremely precise saddle fit--like maybe a Grand Prix dressage horse or certain horses with certain varieties of kissing spine/broken withers/etc.

    Kitt Hazelton wrote a good blog post covering the three major options:
    http://saddlefitter.blogspot.com/200...d-symptom.html
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2004
    Location
    Sandgate, VT
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    942

    Default

    The Pliance system measures pressure under the saddle while the horse is being ridden. There's also another pad like that on the market, made by a German mfr., and I had the pleasure of seeing Brita Rizzi (http://www.dynamicsaddlefitting.com/) use it on several horses. It's a fascinating diagnostic tool, but requires good eyes on the ground to interpret the info. We tried it with one horse, same saddle, under two different riders, and the readout was quite different ... so while it will show *where* there's pressure, it won't pinpoint *why* there's pressure. Is it the saddle, the flocking, the horse ... or the rider?



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