Improve your horse’s performance with Fairfax Saddles

Discover how Fairfax Saddles use science to design products that relieve pressure.

Why is relieving pressure important? Scientific research and testing by Fairfax Saddles has shown that pressure under the saddle, bridle and girth can affect the horse’s way of going. The company has used pressure mapping and gait analysis to show how much more freedom of movement the horse has once pressure is reduced. 

What is pressure mapping?

A high-tech sensor mat is placed on the horse under the item to be tested. Using Bluetooth, this sends readings to a computer, indicating any potentially harmful pressure points. Importantly, the Pliance system used by Fairfax can gather data through all paces, including jumping.

What is gait analysis?

Markers are placed on the horse at the centre of key joints. The horse is then photographed in movement at a very high speed – approximately 25 times faster than the human eye. A computer programme provides detailed information on joint and limb angles, allowing the difference in extension, flexion and freedom of movement to be accurately measured. It removes all doubt about the extent of any changes a rider might think they can feel. 

A winning combination

The combination of pressure testing and gait analysis makes it possible to scientifically gauge exactly what effect any pressure reduction has on the horse’s way of going, instead of just relying on the rider’s subjective feedback. This unique approach gives a precise and undisputable measure of improvement in performance. 
Fairfax Saddles now has a complete Performance System consisting of girths, saddles, bridles and a breastplate, all of which have been independently tested under scientific conditions to prove that they enhance the horse’s way of going. The biggest benefit is achieved by the whole system working together.
Elite riders including Andrew Hoy, Kitty King, Harry Meade and Tom Jackson all choose the Fairfax Performance System.
The brand stands out as a pioneer in the field of equine performance equipment and this achievement has been recognised with a Queen’s Award for Innovation. 
So far, four scientific papers have been published in academic journals about the proven benefits of Fairfax’s innovations, with a further paper being reviewed right now. 

What is a scientific paper?

Articles published in academic journals are acknowledged as the most important measure of scientific achievement. Articles must meet standards of quality and scientific validity, so every paper in a scientific journal is peer-reviewed. The editor sends the article to other scientists who scrutinise the testing methodology and advise the editor whether the study is of high enough quality to be published. The fact that experts in the same field of research have approved the paper gives it credibility and authority.
A paper has to supply enough details so that an independent researcher could repeat the tests and verify the results. This means the testing has to be controlled and consistent to counteract any claims of bias.
To find out more about the Fairfax Performance System, visit