Endurance Champion David Kaden
uses New Technology
for Better Saddle Fit
Article and Photos by Elaine Macdonald
trail with your horse is one of the
satisfying experiences in the world of horses. While riding the great
your horse is expected to climb ragged, rocky hills, cross
creeks, and be versatile on most any terrain.
average riding horse weighs
about 1,000 pounds.
The basic rule is that the hard working horse can easily carry 20% of
weight, or 200 pounds of rider and saddle.
depending on the make-up of the horse’s
bone structure and condition, the horse may be able to carry up to 300
on shorter pleasure rides. But what the owners need to know is how does
weight, over a period of time; affect the horse’s back?
little investigative homework is always advisable before
purchasing a saddle for your horse. Buying the wrong saddle can be an
lesson, and may be unpleasant for the rider and/or painful for the
today’s modern technology
there is help to
determine a better saddle fit.
Sensor Array, or (FSA)
pressure pad is a
diagnostic tool used to give people a visual effect of exactly how
fits the horse and how it applies pressure to the horse’s back.
developed by Vista Medical of Ontario, Canada to study the cause of
human patients and to help devise a solution to the problem. Vista
modified the pressure pad and designed a mat specifically for the
rider David Kaden purchased a
and its computer program as a means to help people understand
degree their saddle actually fits the horse.
pressure pad is a problem-solving
Kaden said. “I purchased the pressure pad program to help people
saddles impact on a horse’s health, movement and how to keep from
accurate reading, the pressure pad is
between the horse and saddle blanket with the rider astride the
Kaden. “The pad is attached by an electronic cable and interfaced with
computer program. The computer program indicates the hot pressure
points on the
horse’s back, and how many pounds per square inch and where the weight
visual effects are displayed in colors. A
reading indicates distribution of pressure throughout the saddle
resulting in a
uniform color of blue on the computer screen. A poor reading would show
red or orange pressure points.
accomplished in the sport of
home bas is located in Canutillo, Texas where he
endurance-training center. “I logged over 3,000 miles in endurance
competition,” said Kaden. “I enjoy riding all types of terrain in all
the country and on a variety of good endurance horses. Indians
used to measure a man’s wealth by the
number and quality of his horses. In
this regard, I am a very wealthy man.”
achievements include winning two, 50-mile
National Championship Endurances Races—the American Endurance Ride
and International Arabian Horse Association.
He won each race riding different horses; both horses were selected for
the best-conditioned horse award. Kaden also attributes the superior
performance of his horses to the pressure pad test and a good fitting
a better fitting saddle for myself
of my sport,” said Kaden. “In 1998 I
started making adjustable saddle prototypes and in 2000 I started my
Specialized Saddles.” His Specialized
Saddle Factory is near Las
Cruces, New Mexico.
three dimensions of saddle
arch and angle that he calls the 3-D Fit System. “I developed the only
adjustable saddle fit system that lets you independently adjust all
dimensions of fit for all shapes and sizes of horses,” Kaden said. The
adjusts over a 4-inch range of width and infinite adjustment of arch
angle. “I give about 15 clinics a year
to folks who have saddle fitting problems on their horses,” said Kaden.
clinics focus on the pressure pad test with the riders own saddle. I
people the opportunity to test ride one of my Specialized Saddles. The
pad really puts me on the hot seat to prove my claim that my company’s
will give a good fit to the back of any size horse.”
believe that saddle fitting is a science,
infancy,” Kaden added. “My clinics help educate people to the
remedies of saddle fitting difficulties. Ultimately I am helping to
discomfort for horses, which is a real payoff for me. It’s very
alleviate sore backs in all types of horses working in all sorts of
disciplines. Helping people is fun and very rewarding. In the long run,
horse will thank you.”
more about adjustable saddles, go
interested in purchasing the (FSA) pressure pad system, and/or taking a
three-day course to learn the technique of the pressure pad saddle
contact Kaden at 575-882-3342 or 915-726-0550 or go online at www.flightleader.com
or email Dave Kaden at email@example.com.