Research from the University of Zurich, Switzerland, looked at the correlation between subjectively assessed saddle fit, saddle pressure measurements and back pain.
“Ill-fitting saddles can impair the wellbeing and performance of horses,” noted the researchers in this open access article from the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. “Saddle fit is generally assessed subjectively by a trained professional or with an electronic saddle pressure mat, but little is known about the agreement between both methods. The study aims were 1) to assess the prevalence of saddle fit issues in a riding sound Swiss horse population, 2) to investigate how well the subjective assessment correlates with objectively measured pressure magnitude and distribution under the saddle during riding, and 3) how well both correlate with back pain of the horse.”
The article is titled, ” ‘Feel the force’ – Prevalence of subjectively assessed saddle fit problems in Swiss riding horses and their association with saddle pressure measurements and back pain.” It was authored by Marie T. Dittmann, Samuel Arpagaus, Valerie Hungerbühler, Michael A. Weishaupt, and Selma N.Latif.