Evaluation of two models of saddles on the back of Arabian horses through thermography
Dorsopathies are common causes of decreased performance in athletic horses of various modalities, and inadequate or poorly adjusted saddles can lead to the onset of injuries and low back pain. The present study, searching to find the most appropriate saddle, evaluated the pressure determined from the panels of two saddle models most commonly used in endurance Arab horse on the thoracolumbar region. For the study, six Arabian geldings were used, weighing 390 ± 4.2 and 2.1 ± age 8 years, conditioned to endurance races, and two saddle models, English and Western. The horses were submitted to the work riding on a sandy lane by the same experienced rider who weighed 76 kg. Thermography was performed before and after each exercise session. The obtained data were analyzed through Student’s paired t-test at 5% of significance. After exercise, there was a mean temperature difference between the contact areas of the right and left of the sweepers of two saddles compared, with the English saddle showing higher temperatures. Therefore, the Western saddle model, which has wider panels, despite not being a preferred model of endure riders, has proved to be more suitable for Arabian horse work.
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