SunMate cushion materials have long been an asset in the health care field, and are often used as a preventive measure, protection for injury, or just a means of affording comfort in situations where other forms of relief are inadequate. The same medical advances that are applied to the treatment of human ailments can easily be transferred to veterinary applications.
|Roy Scudamore of Equine Prosthetics, Inc. poses with Thor who wears a prosthetic replacement for his right hind hoof.
Bracing and Splinting Applications for Animals Large and Small
When a large animal suffers a leg injury that requires bracing or splinting, healing can be a long, slow process. Using a layer of cushion material beneath the orthotic can speed the healing process by cushioning against sources of complication. Equine Prosthetics, Inc. uses SunMate padding in splints, braces, and prostheses for horses and dogs.
Cushioning is so important in caring for injured animals that the Columbia Animal Hospital lists adhesive padding as the second item to pack in a travel first-aid kit for pets. Padding in splints helps insure good blood circulation in spite of tight or damaged bandaging, or subsequent unexpected tissue inflammation.
Pudgee works well in first-aid cushions because its shearing properties help reduce friction. It wicks moisture away from the skin surface and is extremely pliable, so it conforms easily to the bony contours of an animal's leg. SunMate also works well because its open-cell structure allows air to flow through and thereby reduce heat buildup. SunMate is available in varying grades of firmness and a wide range of thicknesses.
Saddle Fitting for Horses
Correct saddle fitting is important for a horse. A horse wearing an ill-fitting saddle may demonstrate an awkward gait because it is trying to alleviate or compensate for pinching and gouging, cutoff blood circulation, or tissue abrasion.
Master Saddler David Young can tell when a saddle fits poorly. The horse may shy away when approached with a saddle, or toss his head, fidget, or even try to buck a rider off once tacked up. A horse's gait tells much about his saddle fit. Tight, stiff movements are usually replaced with smooth, flowing shoulder motion once a correct fit is achieved.
The latest addition to David's toolkit is the SunMate shim. David uses and recommends these pads for balancing saddles because they're versatile, resizable, and easy to install or reposition, and they do not introduce extra pressure points. For more information on saddle fitting, visit the MSA web site www.mastersaddlers.com.
A good saddle pad will cushion the horse's back against the weight and motion of the rider. It will also wick away moisture from the horse's skin, keep the horse cool, protect the saddle from dirt and sweat, and absorb shock.
Because SunMate cushion material provides all these benefits, it is the padding of choice in some of the best saddle pads on the market. A simple sheet of SunMate can make a nice pad by itself, or SunMate material may be used to build up deficiencies in another pad. SunMate Foam-In-Place Seating has been used to custom-mold saddle pads and pad add-ons for horses with asymmetrical backs, high withers, or injury.