Product development to help riders - can you please advise?

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Product development to help riders - can you please advise?

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    02-25-2011, 08:16 PM
Product development to help riders - can you please advise?

Hi everyone!

I am new here, and I have to say that although I have always loved riding I never actually had a chance so I have zero experience.
Which is why I need your help!

Me and my team specialise in business plans and product development.
The idea submitted to us was to create a saddle which would be equipped with sensors which can monitor the posture of the rider and notify the rider (via sound system e.g. Through an ear plug or within the saddle itself) that their posture is wrong, or they are leaning too much on either side.
The people who proposed the idea tell my team that it is very important for the rider to 'sit straight' and that if you lean too much in either direction it has an effect on the horse. They suggest this saddle, and its sensors would help by reducing these problems, and be particualrly useful to beginner riders in order to learn the right posture.

Given that I have no experience in this field, could you please help me by just letting me know if this sounds like it would be helpful to riders at all?!
Does it sound like a feasible idea?

Thank you so very much
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    02-25-2011, 08:26 PM
You should make it so that it will electric shock the buttcheek they are leaning on... Really hard.
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    02-25-2011, 08:43 PM
Grey, that was uncalled for, in my opinion.
Jelena, while I understand the premise behind your idea, and applaud you, it isn't very feasible. A good position is integral to good riding, true, but riders learn how to use weight and slight movements to signal a horse. While a rider may appear quite still in the saddle, the very movement of the horse means we are constantly firing muscles and correcting our balance. Slight weight changes and shifting limbs even slightly can signal something to the horse.
Having said the above, perhaps your idea may be useful on a dummy horse, sort of like the robotic "Amerika?" improved sensors, or a sensory system to work on one's position off a real horse?
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    02-25-2011, 08:55 PM
Green Broke
I love the idea! Unfortunately in practice, it simply wouldn't work. How would you differentiate between what is a signal to the horse and what is a loss of balance on the riders behalf?

I see that you don't ride and so this might sound strange to you, let me give you an example to illustrate:

If I am trotting in a 20m circle to the right, and wish for my horse to canter on the right lead, I place some additional weight into my seat bone on the right hand side, open my hip angle and voila: Canter on the right lead!

If I am trotting in a 20m circle and wish to continue trotting however my horse does a neat two step to the left, my weight becomes unbalanced and I would have more weight on my seat bone on the right hand side.

Similar weight distribution however very different meanings. Scenario 1 is acceptable but scenario 2 is not. It would be exceedingly different to be able to distinguish between these two situations with a sensor alone, without being able to tell the sensor what you plan to do three strides ahead.
    02-25-2011, 09:01 PM
I thought it was a good idea
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    02-25-2011, 10:15 PM
Originally Posted by GreyRay    
I thought it was a good idea
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I agree, lol I chuckled at that idea purely because my trainer has joked about that before lol

As far as the original question, I think that sort of thing would be very useful - it sounds like it would be something you see as a trial at an expo or used by a specialist. Making a saddle would limit the market I think, i'm sure they would be quite expensive. Maybe a seat cover that, at the very least, shows your imbalances in walk, trot, and canter. I think it could also be a training aid for lessons - have a wireless device that shows the trainer what your seat is doing, so they can relate the information to the rider. That way you have the second pair of eyes to see weather you are using your seat as an aid, or leaning/riding unbalanced =)
    02-26-2011, 03:52 PM
To be honest I really don't like this idea
I think you need a person from the ground like a teacher to really tell you about your posture I think this technology could actually worsen posture rather than improve it
And I agree that one person that posted was very uncalled for and rude(with the electric shock)
    02-26-2011, 10:02 PM
^I think that GreyRay intended for the electric shock to be a joke... and I got a bit of a chuckle out of it.

I'm with everybody else. Though it is a very cool idea, it wouldn't work due to the constant changes in postion riders make to cue their horses.
    02-27-2011, 01:05 AM
Maybe something on a your shoulders instead of the seat, as to signal a good back posture?
    02-27-2011, 01:13 AM
What if the signals accumulated over the course of a ride? Then any signals would be balanced by simply using the same signal in the other direction (like for the canter or circles). Then at the end you can see (for example) that only 40% of your weight was on your left side.
Sorta like the "dirty saddle pad" concept. After lots of riding you can see the impressions you've made over time, then try to figure out why they exist, then fix them.

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