Holm and Nicky Oostveen were a popular pair at a Sonoma Horse Park hunter/jumper show earlier this summer. The proprietors of Dutch Dreamhorses rehab and lay-up facility in Aromas, and Vitafloor horse training equipment, the Oostveens were debuting the new Koole Sedelogic saddle pads and allowing select professionals to give them a try.
Constructed of breathable layers of three dimensionally woven polyester fibers, the new pads produced dramatic results. "One of the trainers we gave a pad to found us the next day and said, 'Hallelujah! The horse jumped so much better with this pad,'" Holm relays. This seemed to be the general opinion, with all horses performing better, and sales for this new-to-the-United States product are off and running.
A sore back is a top source of pain and compromised performance in sport horses, especially in dressage and jumping. They often tend to hollow out their backs to avoid any pain or jarring from above. In many cases a poorly fitting saddle is to blame, and even a saddle that started out fitting perfectly can become a problem later. The musculature in horses' backs changes all the time during training and especially in cases where a horse is returning from a lay-up. The Koole Sedelogic pads can provide an easy solution for this and can also help prevent these issues from happening in the first place. The pads were developed by a veterinarian together with a team of technicians, hospital scientists and a renowned saddle manufacturer using aerospace technology.
Unparalleled shock absorption, even pressure distribution, enabling of increase in freedom of shoulder, light weight and ventilation are among the Sedelogic pads' claims to fame. Holm came upon the pad in its native Netherlands and quickly agreed to represent them in the United States. The laboratory and field testing that went into their design is impressive. Unique jumping tests revealed a 50 percent reduction of pressure on the horse's back during the landing impact of a jump.
The Equalizer variation in the Koole Sedelogic line goes one step further in the form of infinite customizability. This is made possible by a thermoplastic material in the middle layer of the pad. For a custom fit, the Equalizer is first warmed up with a blow dryer, then placed on the horse with the saddle placed on top of it. Next, the rider mounts up and sits in the saddle for about 20 minutes, while the pad conforms to the contours of the horses' back and the weight of the saddle and rider. "You can endlessly re-form the pad by repeating this procedure," Nicky explains. As such, the Equalizer is particularly well suited for horses with asymmetrical backs and uneven shoulders, or horses with changing backs due to growth and training. "If you need to ride several horses with the same pad, then the standard pads are probably a more practical solution."
The pads are available in black, and come in different models for dressage and hunter/jumper, western and racing saddles. All of the pads are machine washable, quick drying and they don't flatten out with use.
Nicky will be the Koole Sedelogic pads' primary representative in the States. Its therapeutic benefits make it a perfect fit with her work rehabbing sporthorses at Dutch Dreamhorses. However, it's not just horses with obvious back or saddle fit issues that will benefit. Many such problems are very subtle and manifest themselves in performances that are less than what the equine athlete is capable of. Motivated to try any product that will make their horses more comfortable, trainers and riders in every discipline are joining the hallelujah choir rising around this innovative, performance enhancing saddle pad.
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