by Mags Roxburgh
We all get aches and pains, as we get older, especially if we have endured riding accidents along the way. The love of riding and the feeling of freedom and being at one with your horse is a magnificent emotion and one I personally always wanted to feel. However, after a serious riding accident fracturing my back, riding became a painful experience. If my horse put an unexpected spook in, or tripped, or I temporarily lost my seat and came down hard onto the saddle, it would cause me weeks of pain and lots of physiotherapy.
I toyed with the idea of inventing a seat pad, I even bought several, but not one worked for my posture or gave me pain relief. Out of the blue a man knocked on my door asking me if I could help him with a horse related problem and it turned out he owned two factories that made pressure relief pads for disabled people. I told him about my problem and he came back the next day with many types of memory foams for me to try. It gave me the incentive to make one for myself.
The first day of testing was very fruitful and gave me ample proof of the benefit of “Shock Absorbency” and which type of memory foam to use for my design. As I trotted around the arena on my horse, I instantly felt pain free for the first time in years! My back from top to bottom felt relaxed and normal, even my riding position seamed to return instantly. After I fractured my back, I tended to hold myself in a brace position for fear of sudden unwelcomed movement. To feel secure again was and is great feeling for me.
Suddenly my horse leapt over an object, which he saw before I did, I lost my seat and came crashing down onto the saddle in a most undignified manner. With my back being in such a fragile state, that sort of impact would have put me out of action for at least a week. I sat there for a moment expecting the normal unbearable shooting pains up my spine and down my legs, but nothing happened. Since that day I have not looked back, I have been able to ride without any impact problems occurring from my seat, plus no after pain, so I can ride more frequently. After trialling this seat pad for well over a year I can honestly say I feel like I have my life back again.
I live in a very hilly part of West Yorkshire and coming down hills would often flex my spine with the slight slipping motion in the saddle. Once my seat bones have found their gravity in the seat pad, there is little to no flexing movement in my coccyx area (which again could be very painful).
Because the seat pad moulds to your own body shape, I think if anything, it lets you feel your horse’s movement more so than sitting on a rigid leather saddle.
This memory foam does not spring up quickly like normal foam, hence no loss of feeling when trotting up and down, it stays in position for several seconds. It also remains flexible in sub zero temperatures, so no need to worry about leaving it in cold barns or tack rooms. Because memory foam distributes weight, it helps take a certain amount pressure of impact off the horses back.
Fabrics and fastenings I have chosen in the design for this pad are top quality and have a luxurious look and feel.
The pad was designed by me, and they are made in Great Britain by Griffin Nuumed.