The Fairfax Performance Bridle has been granted two patents by the GB Patent Office, i.e. Patent: GB 2517150B & 2540305B
The granting of a patent in any country is recognition that the invention is unique, innovative and has never been seen before.
“To have one patent granted is testament to a company's innovation, but to have two on the same product is an achievement that makes us really proud,” says Vanessa Fairfax the bridle’s designer.
The Fairfax Performance Bridle is proven to improve the horse’s performance by allowing greater forelimb extension and increasing knee & hock flexion. A peer-reviewed scientific paper has been published in the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, which validates the claims.
Fairfax’s patent application has been a five-year process, but it is important for the company because it protects the extensively-researched design from being copied.
The development process entailed a three-year study into how bridle and noseband pressure affects the horse’s movement. The study showed that pressures under a bridle at key points relating to the anatomy of the horse’s head and the stability of the bridle adversely affect the horse’s way of going,
One unexpected zone is under the headpiece below the base of both ears. Muscles that flex the head and neck, and protract the forelimb attach here. As the muscles work and expand, the pressure increases at the same point in each stride. In order to avoid this pressure, the horse may fix his head in a more comfortable position – this could be over-bent or with his nose stuck out.
Another (non-rider influenced) high-pressure zone is around the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This is where the hyoid apparatus connects to the tongue and to two key muscles: the sternohyoideus, which runs to the breastbone (sternum) and the omohyoideus, which attaches to the shoulder blade (scapula) on each side.
The challenge for Vanessa was to design a bridle that would alleviate pressure at these vital locations. The Fairfax headpiece is shaped to be stabilised and to avoid impact against the back of the ear and the neck vertebrae. Careful placement of buckles also helps with this.
The design reduces pressures over the area of attachments of muscles that flex the neck and bring the forelimb forward – freeing up the head and neck and allowing a bigger stride.
Unique pads each side of the headpiece remove the restriction to the TMJ, tongue and hyoid apparatus.
It should be no surprise that the horse can move his head and neck more freely, take a bigger stride, lift his withers and flex his hindlimbs more in a Fairfax Performance Bridle that does not create these pressure point.
To discover more about Fairfax Saddles and Bridles, visit www.fairfaxsaddles.com
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