Spark, a Dutch design and innovation company, has created what it calls a "revolutionary" horse saddle. Why revolutionary? The saddle, called Unite, can actually be fitted by the rider to the contours of the horse's back! So if the saddle fits....
... the rider's weight is more evenly distributed and the horse will have fewer back injuries -- injuries that often result from a disproportionate amount of saddle and rider weight in places where the saddle does have contact with the horse.
Non-riders may be surprised to learn that most saddles are not made to fit individual horses. Such a fit would require a custom saddle or a re-design of an existing saddle by an anatomical design expert. Unite will come with individual pads that the rider can place between the saddle and the horse to accommodate his back as well as his movements. The pads can also be re-positioned for different activities, such as jumping or dressage.
Ergonomics is not the only factor in play with the Unite. The saddle is extremely light weight, less than eight pounds, a mere quarter of the 35 pound saddle many horses carry. Advances in material technology make the lightweight design feasible, particularly carbon and spacer materials.
Spark created the Unite saddle with Aafke Kauffman, an industrial designer, and the Technical University of Delft . The group has a patent pending on the Unite. Spark says it will do additional work on the Unite saddle before it is released for manufacture.
That's the buzz for today!
via design nl