Therapeutic Benefits

The multiple and complex structures of the horse's back do not always stand up to the rigors of being ridden

RP saddles provide a custom fit that can be easily adjusted during rehab as your horse improves body condition and movement.

RP Saddles Address Common Problems

RP has a proven track record of helping horses recover from a variety of issues which can be improved or resolved through a rehabilitation program. Our Rehab Rental program is designed to provide you with a flexible and adjustable saddle system that can match your horse’s body changes during the healing process. Each situation is individual, so we invite you to contact us about your horse’s diagnosis and the specifics of your situation.

Here are situations where the RP system has been particularly effective as a component of treatment:

Tissue damage

The weight-bearing surface of the ReactorPanel system is dictated by the location of the shock-absorbing discs. By moving these attachment points in response to a therapeutic map (for instance, an ultrasound image showing pathology), the RP system can be adjusted to avoid placing damaging pressures on healing tissue.

Asymmetrical shoulders are extremely common, and often require an asymmetrical fit in order to provide lateral (side to side) balance for the saddle

Muscle atrophy

Because atrophy is always a hollowing (and never a swelling or a lump), the flat RP panels easily fit over without pressing into atrophied areas. Once the saddle is adjusted properly, atrophied areas can regain muscle mass in as little as 4-6 weeks. Interestingly, the same horse turned out in a field for the same time frame will not experience positive change. The horse requires work to build muscle.

Wither issues: Fistula, broken wither or other painful issues

Our Low Profile panels are designed with a special cut-out inside the panel to avoid pressing on the sides of the wither for high-withered horses. There is also the ability to lower the panels in the front, or to move the front shock absorbers significantly rearward to reduce or eliminate weight-bearing at the sides of the wither during the healing process.

Kissing spines or Spondylosis

Narrowing of the gaps between the vertebral tips (aka the spinous processes) can occur at any point along the thoracic spine under the saddle. Horses with this condition can often be successfully rehabbed but it requires an extremely wide gullet in the area of the damage. Because the RP system allows the gullet to be customized in the front, the rear, or the entire length, we have had great success as part of the treatment program for these horses.

This is the area that is most commonly adversely affected by poor saddle fit.

Asymmetries – short term or traumatic

To bring a horse back into lateral balance requires retraining the body to move evenly, and this starts with a saddle which stays centered, even on a crooked horse. By using shock absorbers of different thicknesses, placing them differently, and adding foam shims to our special “pocket” saddle pads, we have many tools to bring a saddle to center. It is quite important to find a solution that does not lock the asymmetry into the horse’s body, but is instead adjustable so that as the horse improves, the saddle is adjusted at the same time. The ultimate goal is a symmetrical saddle on a symmetrical horse, if this is possible to achieve.

Club feet

While some club feet cannot be clinically addressed, a neglected foot can be improved a great deal but the process must be done slowly and by an expert farrier or trimmer. Every horse with a high/low foot will exhibit shoulder unevenness at the same time. As with asymmetries, we have many tools to offset lateral imbalance in the saddle, and to adjust as the horse improves.

High/low heel Syndrome

One of our luminaries, Dr. Kerry Ridgway (DVM) was the first to identify this syndrome which manifests as heel height unevenness. This LINK takes you to his excellent paper on the subject. Just as in the case with a club foot, the high/low heel horse will have uneven shoulders which may affect the lateral balance of the saddle.

- Uneven shoulders

- Various asymmetries

- Shark-fin withers

- Club feet

- Short backs

- Long backs

- Sway backs

- Low or mutton withers

-Table-top backs and recessed spines

Working with the space between panel and saddle, discs or foam wedges are used to change the panel angles and contours to achieve perfect fit.

After Rehab

When your horse’s rehab is completed, you can return your RP saddle, or you may choose to keep it and a large portion of your lease payments can be credited to your saddle’s purchase price (Fifty percent of the first month's lease and one hundred percent of subsequent months' lease fees).

For more information about RP saddles and programs, visit these links:

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