The Invictus Saddle Pad is the only pad with the patented D3O® Smart Material Technology. This provides optimal protection for the horse's back in a thin pad, which neither changes the fit of the saddle, nor gives the rider the feeling of sitting "too far" from the horse.
Unlike common foams or gels, the D3O® technology is a polymer in which the molecules are flowing in the normal state, but join together when exposed to pressure to form a surface against which pressure or impact is widely distributed. When the pressure drops, the molecules immediately return to the flowing state.This technology outperforms all conventional pad materials and achieves the same or higher protection values than materials that are significantly more voluminous (see table below).
D3O® is successful in markets where thin, flexible and efficient protection is important (eg protective clothing for biking, skiing / snowboarding and motorcycling).
Our tests were conducted in D3O® Laboratory in Croyden, UK in December 2014 according to EN1621 test standards. The materials have not changed so far and the results are current.
We used machines to measure the effects of pressure energies from 5 to 40 joules. The machines were applied in such a way that the pressure to which the horse's back is subjected during walk, trot, canter and the landing phase after a jump could be measured under consistent conditions. It was determined how much peak transmitting force the respective materials let through.
Pads that bottomed out were excluded from further testing because they could no longer offer protection.
PTF: Peak Transmitted Force = The measured pressure in kN (kiloNewton) that can be felt by a material.
Protection Value = Impact Energy divided by PTF
We tested the actual materials that provide protection. In most cases, the pads have only a very thin cover around the material. The Invictus Pad consists of two layers: the 6mm thick D3O® material (according to the table) and a 9mm thick spacer fabric, which supports the fit of the pad and the breathability. Therefore, the Invictus Pad is listed with 1,5cm in the product description, but with 6mm in the table.
In addition to the protection values shown in the table, following are the measured PTF values (i.e. the pressure that can be felt through the material).
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 materials of the leading functional pads showed from 123% to 329% more PTF.
Under pressure from 25J to 40J, up to 123% more PTF was measured compared to the Invictus Pad.
Our tests show that high quality memory foam pads can offer good protection. However, they are considerably thicker, and that brings problems such as excessive movement and potential changes in the optimal saddle position. In addition to the excellent pressure compensation, the Invictus Pad also offers optimal support for the saddle position and makes the horse's work a little easier, as the back muscles do not have to compensate for the spongy movements that can occur with thick saddle pads.
Normal gel could only be tested up to 20 years, when the pressure was higher it reached the bottom. Oil-based gel did better, but had to drop out of the tests at 30J because it pushed through. With gel pads you also have to keep in mind that this material is extremely unstable on horseback, as it not only moves horizontally but also laterally. The horse uses the back muscles, among other things, to balance itself. It already compensates for movements of the rider and saddle. Therefore, an interface between the saddle and the horse's back should be as stable as possible.
The Thinline® Pad could be tested up to a pressure of 40J. However, the protection this material provides does not reach the protection values of the Invictus D3O® XT material.
The following results are based on the subjective experiences of a selection of riders from all disciplines who worked together with horse osteopaths, equine body workers, saddlers and saddle fitters as part of our tests. These riders used the Invictus Necesse or Equality Pads as needed.
In horses with a well-muscled back without problems, an improvement in gaits, rideability and satisfaction at work could often be determined. In horses with tension in the back, the riders felt that the horses were learning again to be able to work without discomfort and that they were willing to use or develop the back muscles. (Of course, equine bodyworkers and / or osteopaths relieved tension before relearning could begin.)
Once the horse's back is working properly and the horse can move in good balance, it also becomes much easier for the rider to maintain a calm seat. Riders with back problems have reported that riding is much more comfortable with the Invictus Pad.