The Invictus Saddle Pad is the only pad featuring the market-leading, patented D3O® Smart Material Technology. This provides optimal protection for the horse's back in a thin pad that interferes neither with the fit of the saddle, nor the communication between horse and rider.
The reactive molecules, which pull together and disengage depending on pressure, are the reason that this material outperforms any conventional pad material of comparable thickness, and achieves the same or higher protection values than materials that are significantly bulkier (see table below).
D3O® is the leading technology in all markets where thin, flexible and efficient protection is important (eg protective clothing for biking, skiing / snowboarding and motorcycling).
In horses with a well muscled back without problems, we saw in our tests an improvement in gaits, rideability and general demeanor. In horses with tensions in the back, the riders felt that the horses were learning to work without discomfort and willing to use or develop the back muscles. (Of course, tensions need to be resolved by Equine Bodyworkers and / or Osteopaths before relearning can begin.)
Once the horse's back is working properly and the horse is able to move well balanced, it will also be much easier for the rider to keep a quiet seat and riders with back problems have reported that the pad makes riding much more comfortable for them as well.
5 J = Walk
10 J = Rising trot
20 J = Gallop
30 J = Jumping
40 J = Impact on landing after jump
(These are Averages)
Under pressure from 5J to 25J, the leading functional pads exhibited from 123% to 329% more PTF (peak force - the pressure one can feel through the material) than the Invictus pad.
Under pressure from 25J to 40J, up to 123% more PTF was measured compared to the Invictus Pad.
Our tests showed that high quality memory foam pads can provide good protection. However, they are considerably thicker, and that brings problems such as excessive movement and potential change in the optimal saddle position, as well as a less ideal heat and moisture management. In addition to better pressure dispersion, the Invictus pad also provides optimal support for the saddle position. It convinces on all points, from performance to ergonomically correct design.
Normal gel could only be tested to 20J. With greater pressure it bottomed out. The oil-based gel performed better, but had to be pulled from testing at 30J as it bottomed out as well. With gel pads, one must also keep in mind that this material is extremely unstable on the horse's back, because it moves not only horizontally but also laterally. The horse uses the back muscles to balance itself. It already compensates for movements of rider and saddle. Therefore, an interface between saddle and horseback should be as stable as possible.
The Thinline® Pad could be tested to pressure of 40; however, the protection provided by this material is far from the performance standards of the Invictus D3O® XT mesh material.
The above results are based on the experience of a wide selection of riders who worked with equestrians, Equine Body Workers, Saddlers and Saddle Fitter in our tests.
To demonstrate how the Invictus D3O® XT Mesh outperforms other materials at different pressures, we performed tests at the D3O® lab in Croyden, UK to EN1621 Test Standards.
We used machines that measured the impact of print energies from 5 to 40 Joules. The machines were designed so that the pressure experienced by the horse's back in walking, trotting, galloping and landing could be consistently measured under steady conditions. It was determined how much peak-carrying force the respective materials allow.
(Peak transmitted force = PTF).
The pads that reached the bottom were excluded from further testing as they could no longer provide protection.