RP saddles reflect the best of the traditional saddle maker’s art partnered with innovative design and testing. Providing ultimate comfort for horse and rider through its unprecedented ability to flex and adjust to the horse’s movement, RP saddles help the rider achieve greater connection, harmony, and ultimately, better performance.
Anatomy of the RP Saddle
Continuous pressure as low as 1.5 PSI can occlude blood flow. And once blood flow stops, tissue damage can begin in less than an hour. If pressure is unrelenting, muscle eventually atrophies. This happens even if the pressure point is fairly low when the pressure on the horse’s back is constant, and directed into a muscle.
Pressures under a RP saddle are lower and pressure spots are generally intermittent because the panels flex and move. This helps prevent muscle spasms and maintains maximum blood flow to the muscles.
We have documented numerous cases in which horses regenerated atrophied tissue after switching to a RP saddle. There have been measurable changes in as little as six weeks, with significant differences after three to six months.
RP results speak for themselves: While a horse with muscle atrophy given six weeks of pasture rest will not improve, but the same horse worked on a basic conditioning schedule under a remedial saddle fit—which is easy to achieve with RP saddles—usually regenerates tissue.
RP saddles are engineered in every detail to provide the greatest possible comfort for the horse. For example, a conventional saddle tree can force a compromise between width and clearance. A saddle narrow enough to clear the wither often pinches the shoulder, while a saddle broad enough to allow free shoulder play often presses down on the wither. This fitting problem and many others provided the reason for RP saddle designers to push innovation to its limits in their quest for a saddle that fits the horse in motion and solves these common problems.
The RP saddle evolved from conventional saddle designs as part of the same evolutionary wave that yielded products of every description that are stronger, lighter, and more flexible—while enabling increased performance.
Computerized Pressure Testing
The RP system was developed using the same computerized pressure testing and analysis that was used to develop medical products that eliminate bedsores. By measuring pressures between the horse and saddles of all types, the RP design team focused on creating an entirely new saddle that would provide the greatest possible comfort and connection for horse and rider.
Years of research, design and testing went into finding the right combination of design features, engineered elements, and materials to create the perfect saddle system. The result is the ReactorPanel® technology developed beginning in 1992 and proudly used today in RP saddles.
Good fit begins in the barn aisle, but it doesn’t end there. Achieving dynamic fit on the moving horse is the ultimate challenge in saddle design. The RP Saddle Company answered that challenge with a saddle that responds to the horse in action.
RP’s flexible panels and shock absorbing discs follow the changing contours of the back in motion. The front and rear edges of the panels flex the most dramatically, because the horse’s shoulder and loin have the greatest articulation and movement. Because both panels are independently attached, they can compress and flex on either side of the horse’s spine in response to the back in motion. RP’s flexible panels contact the saddle under the rider’s seat for connection and stability.