Friday, May 10, 2013

Thermography Aids in Saddle Fit Evaluations - Full Article

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre
May 08, 2013

Over the past several years, researchers worldwide have stressed the importance of having a properly fitting saddle. But how to recognize a poor saddle fit is still a subject of concern. Recently, Brazilian researchers explored how the use of thermography (examining a horse through a pictorial representation of skin temperature) can help reveal saddle fit problems—particularly with jumping saddles.

“A correctly fitting saddle would allow the horse and the rider to perform at their best,” said Karin Erica Brass, DVM, PhD, of the department of large animal clinics at the Federal University of Santa Maria. “Thermography, when used correctly, can reveal high-pressure areas between the horse and the saddle which might be causing the horse pain and reducing its performance.”

Brass’ master’s student, Tiago Arruda, DVM, MSc, and associate researchers carried out thermographic readings of 129 jumping horses and the 62 saddles that were used on those horses. Many of the saddles were shared between horses, she said...

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