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Cavallo Therapeutic Saddle Pads
Cavallo Therapeutic Saddle Pads

The Cavallo therapeutic saddle pad's high technology shock absorbent material, Nitrex foam, saves the backs of both horse and rider, as well as promoting blood circulation through a gentle massaging action on horse's muscle structure.

A key feature of the pad is the way it improves saddle fit by contracting at pressure points and filling in gaps. In addition, the pad's gullet design redistributes weight off the spine onto the muscles. These features, combined with the Nitrex foam's ability to quickly recover its original shape, allow your saddle to fit more than one horse very effectively. The pads also accommodate variations in the shape of a horse's back with age and conditioning levels - as well as lumps, bumps and asymmetry in the saddle and horse.

The pad's thin profile provides the shock absorption of a much thicker pad and achieves much closer contact between horse and rider. The thin profile also allows more room for articulation of the scapula (shoulder blade), encouraging freer movement.

The pad is reversible, allowing it to be used with the soft New Zealand wool against the horse's back or, if it is to be used on several horses, with the ventilated Nitrex foam side down (with a thin towel in between).

Cavallo therapeutic saddle pads are lightweight, durable and made using high quality materials, allowing the company to offer a twelve-month guarantee.

TSP Features Diagram~431~72~6.jpg (58307 bytes)

Available in five different styles
to suit all riding requirements...

Western All-purpose

The unique Dual Shock Absorbing (DSA) System arrests concussion within the pad. The high integrity foam remains thin to provide more room for your horse to articulate. Provides cushion and support for the muscular system where reflex centres lie. Contracts at pressure points and fills up gaps, easing saddle fit discrepancies. TSP#1001.

Cody Sapergia from the Canadian Reining Team uses the Western All-Purpose TSP to prevent problems and improve saddle fit. He can use one saddle on a number of horses.

Cody Sapergia

Western Built-up

Additional padding over the wither area will adjust the position of a saddle that tips. It is used to balance a saddle that would otherwise incline to the fore. Take care not to tilt the saddle too far back on the loins. TSP#809.

"I regularly use the All-Purpose TSPs on the horses I'm riding," says Les Timmons, champion cutter. "It provides lots of support, yet you can still feel your horse. I also use the Built-Up for my underdeveloped horses. It helps the saddle feel like it's sitting right. They're easy to clean and care for."

Les Timmons


Already shaped to your horse's top line, allowing ample wither space. Memory foam ensures that pressure and weight are not continual but yielding. Excellent for all sports requiring lateral flexion. The maximum defence against back pain, yet still thin to maintain "feel". Fits like a glove. TSP#509.

"I use the Cavallo Therapeutic Saddle Pad because it's good for my horse and it's good for me," says Carole Herder, Vice President of Cavallo USA and President Cavallo Canada. "I developed these pads using the finest materials and manufacturers and I know that they are the best!"

Carole Herder

English Wedge

Absorb concussion, reduce impact and lift the weight off the spine and rib cage. All this with a gradual rise toward the back. Favoured by Jumpers and those who wish to move forward with their horse. If you need more lift than this, saddle fit is a consideration. TSP#609.

"... the superior fit and cushioning effect of the Cavallo therapeutic saddle pads has alleviated most of the painful back symptoms of the horses in my veterinary care and those that I am riding," says Dr. Nicholas Kleider from Kleider Veterinary, Services. "I highly recommend Cavallo therapeutic pads to anyone riding with a saddle."

Nicholas Kleider

English All-Purpose

The medical memory foam on either side of the spine enhances the function of the saddle gullet, allowing your horse a place to put his backbone and use his structure properly. Shock absorbing memory foam will provide a gentle massaging action as it bounds back in anticipation of the next impact. Seat bone cues are easily transmitted for disciplines from dressage to jumping. TSP#209.

"The Cavallo TSP has been effective and beneficial in the training of my Dressage Horses." says Leslie Reid. " It is necessary that the horse's back remain comfortable during all training sessions and the TSP assists in this manner." (Leslie Reid is the winner of the Dressage Freestyle P.N.E., Champion Advanced Division; Pacific National Dressage Champion; Winner of the Freestyle Festival; Winner of the Grand Prix World Cup Qualifier.)

Leslie Reid

What the experts say:

"Saddles are not a natural extension of a horse and even a good fitting saddle can become painful or irritating because of the best-intentioned rider. Gel pads seem to squeeze the pressure ventrally (down) the back and because there is no gullet relief, can do more harm than good.

"My experience is that most horses develop a sore back at some time or other and because it seems to be an occupational hazard for a horse, we must do our utmost in protecting the back from uneven weight distribution and painful stimuli.

"I have found that the superior fit and cushioning effect of the Cavallo Therapeutic Saddle Pads has alleviated most of the painful back symptoms of the horses in my veterinary care and those that I am riding. I highly recommend Cavallo Therapeutic Saddle Pads to anyone riding with a saddle."

Dr. Nicholas Kleider
Kleider Veterinary, Services

"I gave the (Cavallo Therapeutic Saddle) Pad a good work out this morning and I'm so excited at the way my saddle sat and how Roselee Bay Watch worked in the pad.   She felt very free and willing to work and the saddle stayed put without being girthed up too tight.

"The particular saddle I tried was not a perfect fit on her and usually when I unsaddle her I'd find dry patches, on either side of the wither.  When I finished working her and unsaddled her after using the Old Macs pad, I was very impressed that the saddle area showed an even sweat pattern all over the area where the saddle had been sitting.  There were no dry patches!

"I'm also very happy with how the pad looks under my dressage saddle.  It is a neat fit and I am going to be using mine as is under my saddle in the show ring."

Leanne Rose
Champion Hack Rider
Valley Country Show Rider Legend

Further Description of Cavallo TSPs

1. 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 reason.

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 shell).

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 precisely.

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