Horse Tack Review

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English Tack Press Release

PI Associates/PolyPads saddle pads have been awarded top marks for effectiveness, quality and price in a recent pressure testing trial conducted for Holland’s prestigious Bit magazine by leading saddle manufacturers Stubben in Krefeld, Germany.

This pressure testing trial is the first independent study of its kind to have been carried out on why saddle pads work and their effectiveness against pressure when under the saddle.

The PI Associates/Polypads Classic Single Polypad was one of 10 scientifically tested saddle pads, ranging from a lambskin pad to a selection of well-known gel pads. The trial was overseen by Jan Hermkens of FSA pressure measurements, a recognised expert in the field of pressure measurements in saddle fittings and Henk Winkelman a biomechanics engineer and lecturer in professional equestrian training. The PolyPad achieved an impressive second place in the average pressure exertion test, went on to score top marks in the crucial contact surface area pressure test and was ultimately voted ‘best buy’.

The average pressure indicates the extent to which the pad spreads the weight exerted by saddle and rider - the lower the average pressure, the better. The PolyPad scored 37 grams/cm2, just four marks and one place behind the top scoring lambskin pad. The majority of the other pads scored between 59 and 106 grams/cm2. With an average saddle blanket scoring 66 grams/cm2, six of the 10 pads tested did not even reach this standard of pressure dispersal.

The total surface over which pressure is spread is also a vital factor in selecting an effective saddle pad, with the maximum possible contact surface area ensuring that the weight of saddle and rider are distributed in the most efficient way. The PolyPad achieved the top mark of 1.617cm2 in this test category.

Penny Makinson Proprietor of PI Associates/PolyPads says: “We were not aware of this independent pressure test trial, or that a PolyPad was included, until we were sent a copy of the report by one of our distributors in Holland. Needless to say we are thrilled with the results. Many top eventers use PolyPads® out of choice and this report confirms why they have made their decision – because PolyPads® are kinder to horses backs.”