A recent study carried out by Dundee university has independently verified that Flair – The air flocking system gives 26% less pressure on your horses back than wool flocking!
The research undertook to measure the forces on the horse and the rider. By using one horse and six riders using the same saddle filled with wool and then with the Flair air flocking system.
This is a great independent test of the Flair system. The research found that the forces on the rider increased with Flair. This is not a negative as the problem with this type of testing is that the horse is not constant. When such a large difference in pressure is made to the horse’s back this allows the horse to move bigger under the saddle/rider. The reduction in pressure results in increased stride length along with swing and elevation of the back. This induces move movement in the rider, which amounts to more forces being applied to the rider.
In other words it verifies what First Thought Equine Ltd the manufacturers of Flair have claimed about their product, that if you want a bigger moving horse Flair has the ability to deliver that movement.
Professional riders use Flair for that very reason, Wayne Channon will not ride in anything else now he has felt how his horses backs swing, as does Richard Davison, Lesley Payton-Gilbert, Paul Tapner, Kitty King, Francis Whittington and many, many, more. “The ideas along with the research and development strategy that First Thought Equine has employed to create and prove their products is enlightening and refreshing to see in the saddlery industry,” says Wayne Channon. “This product appeals to me on two fronts; its ability to deliver a better moving horse whilst providing more comfort for that horse and as a scientist, a science based approach to proving and then improving the product by using the best available technology and materials.”
It has therefore been suggested that there be another study carried out where the horse is replaced with a simulator so that a more controlled test without variables in the horse’s gait affecting the data. A simulator will keep the horse induced movement in the rider a constant and therefore accurate assessment of the forces applied to the rider using various saddle flocking materials can be measured accurately.
First Thought Equine Ltd have 10’s of thousands of customers using the Flair system, a lot of them with quite severe back problems. All these riders report that they are much more able to ride with the Flair system in their saddles compared with other flocking materials as this typical email points out.
WOW Saddles customer Georgina Greenslade says, “I have owned and ridden in Flair saddles for over 15 years and after breaking by back just over 8 years ago, my Flair saddle is the only one I can ride in for hours on end, without getting a backache!”