Our extraordinary flapless saddle system enables both horse and rider to access a correct mechanic, or function, while moving together. Creating this saddle required a deep understanding of human and equine physiology. Getting it right, in Dr. Hilary Clayton's words, means predicting "the dynamics of how the saddle is going to interact with the living horse's body". And, of course, underneath the rider, as well.
Dressage riders at every level from Training to Grand Prix are thrilled with the feel and results they get from this saddle. They report:
Extreme comfort in the saddle and release from historical pain (back, hip, knee and ankle)
Horses that go freely forward with long strides and swing through the back
Evenness in the contact, and more evenness in both reins
Simpler task to keep horses straight
Improved ability and range of motion in lateral work
Bigger response to lighter aids
Easier to use due to light weight and attached saddle pads
Less work, because there is so much less to keep clean
You may also experience higher scores, a horse who is happier and has a softer eye, and an almost indefinable sense of closeness and "rightness" in this saddle.
This video shows the tool we developed to compare the EQ Flapless Dressage Saddle to conventional saddles, side by side. The data comes from the Novell/Pliance pressure testing pad that has been validated as a research tool.
The test of the rider's conventional saddle is on the left, and the EQ test is on the right. The sensor pad is oriented accurately, so that "front", "back", "left", and "right" are where you expect them to be. The channel down the middle is the gullet; if the channel fills in, it is because the sensor pad has pulled down on the spine, and -- in this case -- does not mean that the panels are touching each other.
We are looking at two things.
1. The sensors in the Pliance pad measure the pressures on the horse's back and change color with increases in pressure. Blue indicates lower pressure; yellows are higher pressure. A broader colored area means a wider pressure distribution.
2. The moving line in the center of the graph traces the rider's center of pressure. Large loops indicate a rider who is out of balance. A small, dense pattern means the rider is stable and balanced. When the video stops, the loops in the line pattern on the left shows that the test rider was unstable in her own saddle. The tight and tidy pattern on the right shows that the same rider was much more stable on the same horse when she rode in the EQ Flapless Saddle.
In March, 2016, an international team led by renowned research expert Dr. Hilary Clayton gathered at the Animal Rehab Institute in Loxahatchee, FL to study the EQ flapless dressage saddle system. This initial study was designed to measure the EQ system’s effect on horses, riders and the horse/rider interface. Using the scientifically-validated Novell/Pliance computerized pressure sensor system along with other measuring and assessment tools, upper level dressage horses completed a riding pattern created by Dr. Clayton wearing their own saddle and the EQ flapless dressage saddle. Tests were performed in randomized order, and the results - published here- in June 2018 showed that the EQ system gives the rider more stability in all gaits, but most dramatically in the extended trot, while the riders reported substantially increased performance on a variety of indexes, from elasticity and freedom, to better responsiveness to the aids.