Further Description of Cavallo TSPs
All TSPs are constructed with New Zealand Merino wool on one side and closed cell shock
absorbing foam on the other, with an open cell memory foam in between. They are
reversible and either side can be worn directly on the horse's back or in any combination
with a Navajo, numnah or show pad, on top or underneath.
2. Three different material densities will arrest concussion, allowing a thinner pad,
which has greater shock absorption than a pad twice its thickness. Concussion cannot
travel through as easily from horse to rider or rider to horse, saving both backs.
3. Saddles are restrictive, especially at the scapula. When the horse lifts his front
leg, the back of the shoulder blade should be free to move back. It is often met by
the static restriction of the saddle. In the past, if we concluded that our horses
were sore in this area at the wither or on either side of the spine (the scapula), we
would put more padding on. This had the effect of putting an insole in a shoe that
was already too small and making the saddle even tighter.
4. Our objective was to create a pad that would afford more room for the horse to
articulate his shoulder blade area, thus encouraging him to move out freely, without
constraints and limitations. By combining three high integrity quality materials
together we are able to keep the pad slender and afford more space to move.
5. The area where the saddle widens is picked up slightly onto the bars (open cell
panels) of the pad. This also affords more space for the horse's skeletal structure.
6. If you do not have a gullet in your padding, pressure may be exerted onto the spinal
structure. When the saddle, weight of the rider and movement of motion are
activated, the bars of the saddle work the pad down onto the horse's spine, dispersing the
weight down. The traditional pad lies flat on the back and begins to exert a taut
ridge of pressure across the spine. This pressure limits the function of the saddle
gullet, which is to compensate for the weight of the saddle and rider by allowing a free
area for the horse to put his backbone and use his structure most efficiently.
Limiting this function limits the horse's movement. We should, rather, enhance the
function of the saddle gullet with our padding. The gullet is there for a good
7. The open cell foam on either side of the spine has a slow release memory that serves
two important functions. Firstly, it releases as the rider shifts her weight, which
means that pressure is not constant but giving, promoting a gentle massaging action on the
muscular structure while helping to encourage blood circulation. Secondly, the
material contracts where the saddle is tight or under a pressure point, while in turn
remaining full where the saddle is not making as much contact, thus providing an even
distribution of weight on the muscle.
8. The TSP allows more comfort for a saddle that may not be a perfect fit. It
allows riders to use one saddle on a number of horses and it compensates for the change
that a horse's back can show through different levels of conditioning, either from
changing seasons or as the horse develops over his lifetime. Even a custom fit saddle
needs this flexibility.
9. Care should be used in using the Western Built Up style #809. It is only
indicated when a saddle tilts too far forward, either because it is too wide or the horse
has low withers. Traditionally, extra padding was used in front when the horse
showed sensitivity there. Again, the pain was likely caused by the saddle being too
tight, so more padding would be contraindicated and would then serve to tilt the saddle
backwards on to the kidneys and loin area.
10. The English Wedge style #609 should be used to re-balance a saddle that tilts back
and down into the horse's mid back, leaving the rider behind the horse's movement.
If it is used on a saddle that is already level, too much pressure could be forced forward
onto the withers.
There are two types of foam used in the Cavallo Therapeutic Saddle Pad
-- 1. foam whose primary job is to mould to the shape of the horse and
saddle and 2. foam that primarily acts as a shock absorber. The shock
absorber foam is the black outer shell of the pad and is about 1cm thick.
The moulding foam is also about 1cm thick and comes to within about 3cms of
the front and back of the pad.
There's also a section running the length
of the pad's gullet where there is no moulding foam. This is a terrific
feature because it minimises any weight being placed on the horse's spine,
putting the weight instead onto the horse's back muscles where it belongs.
In the case of the English All Purpose pad, both types of foam are
consistently 1cm thick. It's just the edges that are only 1cm thick because
the moulding foam doesn't extend all the way to the edge.
In the case of
the English Wedge pad, the moulding foam is 1cm thick at the front and
tapers gradually to 3cm thickness at the back. It has the same gap between
the edge of the moulding foam and the edge of the shock absorbing foam (the
The pads can be used in conjunction with traditional saddle pads
but ideally would be used on their own. Unless the second pad is very
thin, two pads might make the saddle too tight. Also, one of the
features of the Cavallo Pad is that it has ventilation holes throughout
its surface, going all the way through the two layers of foam. Each
hole is about 0.5cm in diameter and they are 2.5cm apart. These holes
allow the horse's perspiration to do it's job of keeping the horse cool.
The holes also help keep the pad itself much drier. There are also
several large ventilation holes running along the gullet of the pad.
These not only help with ventilation, they also help the pad fit more