Flock vs Cair
There is something about riding a horse, aka equestrianism, because it requires many skills in vaulting with the horse as well as good quality equipment for efficient riding. By stating the efficient, the maximum riding pleasure along with comfort for both the animal and rider, are meant. Proper equipment should be used for a better care of the horse. Saddle is one of the most important aspects in equestrianism as it could affect negatively on both horse and rider, if there are shortcomings, especially in padding. Saddle is basically the seat on which the rider sits while riding, and that is more often made out of leather with some stuffing inside. Earlier, the saddles were stuffed up with wool and later the padding was done by placing air compartments inside saddles. Both these saddle types, Flock and Cair, are available for horse riders and this article talks about the differences and similarities between them.
Flock saddle is produced using wool flocking for the seat to help the riders back against the back of the horse. Wool of the flock absorb the shocks followed by the leaps while riding, protecting the muscles along the sides of the vertebral column of the horse as well as the backbone of the rider. Fine and soft wool is used in stuffing and the seat is soft to the exterior, which could be pressed by applying a gentle pressure of a thumb. Flock saddle therefore, makes a very comfortable seat. This is the traditional style of saddles, and the problems might arise if no proper care is given in maintaining the quality of the padding. With the time and usage, the wool padding in different places flattens out making pressure spots. Thus, the re-flocking will be required for flock saddles, generally once a year. If the re-flocking is not performed then, it results in muscle atrophy for horse, i.e. breakdown of muscular chains along the sides of the vertebral column of horse. However, re-flocking a saddle will require skills, knowledge, and wool which could be expensive. Wool is either white or grey or brown in colour. It is recommended to use the natural white wool as it permits the sweat to bed into horse’s back. The long fibres of the white wool are capable of resisting pressure than the other wool types.
CAIR stands for Circulating Air, which means the conforming the horse’s back and rider’s weight while riding is managed by circulating air inside the saddle. Panels contain foam blocks filled with air to absorb shocks. As the horse moves, the air inside the panels circulate to provide more cushion and impact resistance for both the animal and the rider. These foam blocks are hard in structure and pressure spots will not occur with time. CAIR saddle lets the muscles along the vertebral column to move freely. However, if the saddle is overinflated, it will be more bouncy and even the rider could be bounced off. Filling air could be done by an air pump and the pressure could be changed according to the horse and the rider. Despite the initial cost, the maintenance may not be costly for the CAIR saddles.
What are the differences between Flock and CAIR saddles?
- Flock persists since its invention, which was at least many hundred years old but, CAIR is new and only few years old.
- From both of the saddles protection of the horse as well as the rider is accomplished but, in different ways; by wool padding in flock saddles and air circulation in CAIR saddles.
- Flocks have soft seats, those should be repaired annually to evade pressure spots whereas, CAIR saddle seats are hard, but not needed to be repaired annually.
- Also, in the case of flock saddle, re-flocking requires skills, knowledge, and money whereas, only an air pump is needed to fill CAIR saddles.
- However, the traditional flock is believed to be more comfortable for the horse.