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How to Use



  How to Use



A saddle MUST only sit on the rib cage of the horse.  The panel of the saddle will sit slightly on the scapula and should end on or before the last (18th) rib.  This area is indicated by the two vertical white lines.  To this end we have to find out where the last rib is.  


Method 1 – Vertical Dash Line (harder)

Find the last rib in the area where the dash line meets the edge of the picture.  Palpate upwards following the rib when you find it disappears under the muscles that run along the back keep tracing that angle until you reach the spine.



Method 2 – Two curved arrows (Easier rule of thumb)

The arrows indicate the direction coat growth.  At the point indicated the coat grows backwards from the trunk and forward from the stifle.  Where the two growth directions come together it is possible to trace a line straight up.  Where it meets the backbone will be the last rib.


What you need…

1.       Two sheets of Equiform

2.       A tough bag

3.       A four piece wooden frame

4.       A thermos of boiling water

5.       a thick mark pen

6.       portable mounting block or something secure to stand on

7.       A camera  


Assemble the frame.  Note which side piece you can pick up without the whole thing falling apart.  It is convenient if the short ends can be picked up rather than the long ones.  This will be self explanatory when you make the frame up.
Insert the wooden frame into the polythene bag provided and place level on the ground.  For your Safety Don't put the tray on anything like a table as the frame is not designed to be stable on anything but the ground and spillage of hot water may occur. 

Ensure the tray is not where the horse can tread in it and away from children and other animals

Make sure the steps are in place the horse is securely tied up and someone is available to hold your horse.

Place Both sheets of Equiform™ in the tray and pour a full thermos or kettle of boiling water over all of the mesh. 


You can wash the water back and forth by lifting one end of the tray.  

We advise two people do this next operation for ease and safety. The water will cool quite quickly in the tray but still take care.  When the mesh becomes soft and flexible (20 - 30 seconds) carefully lift the mesh from the water, each person taking two corners.

Allow any excess water to drop off the mesh before lifting the mesh onto the horse’s back. 


Place the mesh in the indicated position and pat down with your hands.  The mesh will not stick to your horse's coat or to you.  However, it will stick to itself so be careful not to fold the mesh back on itself. 

To help you place the mesh more accurately we advise you draw a line down the centre of the mesh with a felt pen.  


You should try and stand your horse up square when moulding its back; most horses find the heat from the mesh pleasant and relax when the mesh is applied.  However, there are always exceptions to any rule so use good horse sense when doing this for the first time.

Work the mesh down on the horse’s back ensuring it follows the profile.  Note that the Equiform is well over the shoulders.  This is important for any one fitting a saddle.  


Before removing the Equiform mark the ends of the scapulas on both sides.  The last rib can also be useful especially with a very short coupled horse.  

Allow the mesh time to cool before lifting off your horse.  Lastly, if it does all go wrong and the moulding does not resemble your horse's back you can just start again with some freshly boiled water.

If using Equiform™ in very cold weather ensure you are indoors or at least sheltered from any wind as the mesh will cool much faster when exposed to these conditions.  It will probably cool before you have time to position and pat it down sufficiently!


You should have a perfect form of your horses back  
By marking the scapulas you can examine the horse’s asymmetry more easily than standing on a box.  
If you intend to send the Equiform to a saddler so they can make or find a saddle for you, it is very useful to have photograph of the horse standing square from BOTH sides and over the croup. 

Even better is when a saddler has a photograph of the horse with the Equiform on.  Then they know exactly where the Equiform sat.


To Purchase 

You can purchase Equiform by Mail Order by ringing (44) 01227 831614 by Fax (44) 01227 831161 or Email equiform@firstthought.co.uk.  Payment before dispatch of goods, credit cards accepted, next day delivery inclusive in price within the UK.


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