Dr. Hilary Clayton’s Seminal Study Shows Increased Rider Stability With Flapless Saddle

The study measured a number of aspects of the flapless saddle system; this is only the first paper to draw on this research. Published by Dr. Clayton earlier this month, her manuscript concludes that the flapless saddle results in a marked improvement in rider stability.

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“Significant” reductions in rider motion in all four directions

June 28, 2018 — Dressage hotbed Wellington, Florida was chosen as the site to study the revolutionary flapless saddle by EQ Saddle Science. The depth of talent available at the Winter Equestrian Festival made it the ideal location to assemble an international research team,  led by the world-renowned Dr. Hilary Clayton.

EQ Saddle Science founder Carmi Weininger, a competitive dressage rider and instructor, created the first flapless saddle as a weight-saving idea. She soon noticed that the saddle had a profoundly positive effect on the horse, the rider, and their connection. She said, “I believe that if an effect is happening consistently, it can be measured. When we noticed that riders in our flapless saddles were sitting more correctly and horses were moving with more freedom and expression, we didn’t know why, exactly, but we knew that it would be possible to find out.”

Based on the same dynamic flexing panels as sister brand ReactorPanel Saddle Co., the EQ flapless system delivers an instant increase in rider stability, while riders praise many things: improved connection, ease of sitting trot, freedom for the shoulders, and even higher marks at shows. Weininger said, “Although riders in our test sessions instantly fell for our saddle design, we were clear that to have an effect on the dressage world, we needed to have proof of the effect, and also support from top professionals. To start, we decided to collect as much data as possible, and engage the best expert we could find to help us determine which results might be statistically significant.”

Enter Dr. Clayton. In a chance encounter between Weininger and Clayton at a meeting of the International Society for Equitation Science in Vancouver, Weininger confided that a saddle she was developing seemed to be making a significant difference for nearly every horse and rider who tried it. Clayton was intrigued, and was willing to help design and conduct a study. Alexandra Hampson, a presenter at the same conference, was added to the team, bringing her groundbreaking Novell-Pliance computerized pressure measuring system; the only such system to be validated for research. Over the next few months, the location in Florida was selected, and Dr. Meg Sleeper, cardiologist, was engaged to round out the research group

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