Infrared image showing the back of a horse post ride

Now offering thermographic saddle fitting evaluation for all disciplines of riding, English or Western!

Sometimes the old ways are not the best ways. Saddle fitters have long relied on dirt, sweat patterns, and hair rubs to indicate saddle fit issues, and make educated guesses as to where the problem lies based on that information. To be perfectly honest, it’s a bit like reading tea leaves. 

Thermography is a totally non-invasive, no contact method of objectively collecting important physiological data that you can’t see by any other means.

The process is easy, and fast!

Have your horse reasonably clean and dry before we begin, and make sure that there’s a location out of direct sunlight.

MJ, a certified veterinary thermology technician, will take a series of photos of your horse ‘cold’. Then after a short longe. After than, we’ll tack up, and after a 20 minute ride I’ll take another series of photos with a specialized infrared camera.

These images will show MJ the differences in local surface temperature before and after work under saddle, which very often reflects subtle changes that may be and indication of performance-limiting or career-ending chronic conditions such as soreness from a poorly fitted saddle.

Collecting the ‘before’ photo helps MJ establish a baseline for your horse, and allows her to take stock of their specific, individual needs as their bodies change with age and work. She then will create a report of her findings, and keep all data on file, for comparison from one visit to the next, giving you unique insight into how your horse is improving in real time.

Horse Preparation – The “Do” List:

  1. Horse should be clean, groomed, mud-free and completely dry.
  2. Mane off of neck, by braiding or put in bunches with clips.
  3. Leg protections (bandages, boots, wraps) and blankets should be removed at least 2 hours prior to the scan.
  4. Feet should be picked out, dry and brushed clean–outside and underneath.
  5. Horse should be stabled for an hour before the scan and settled in an enclosed or covered area away from cold drafts or direct sun.

Horse Preparation – The “Don’t” List:

  1. If possible, do not shave or clip areas of your horse in the days prior to your scan, as these areas will retain and emit heat differently than unshaved areas.
  2. Don’t pull the mane or tail within the 24 hours prior to the consultation.
  3. Don’t use any coat conditioners, fly sprays, blisters, liniments, poultices, creams or cold hosing, etc. on the day of the consultation, unless under Veterinary direction.
  4. Do not ice your horse within 4 hours of imaging.
  5. Don’t groom, lean on, or pet your horse within the 20 minutes prior to your horse’s scan time.

Scan Location Preparation Notes:

  1. Imaging is best performed on a clean, dry, level area where your horse can stand squarely in comfort without footing obscuring the hooves.
  2. The area should be out of direct sunlight, breezes and wetness/moisture.

Better living through technology!

Are you ready to book a saddle fit evaluation today?