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Adaptive Saddle


The Human Centered Design Studio’s primary goal is to enable individuals with varying disabilities to participate in sports and outdoor activities. This project fulfills this goal with the adaptive horse saddle. The design is meshed with an existing saddle that supports a seat back design and secures the rider in order to participate in equine therapy.

The saddle is designed to interface with any western saddle and consists of a seat back and harness attachment. The structural design of the seat back consists of a square steel and aluminum tube frame. Attached to the aluminum cross bars are plastic spacers designed to shift the rider forward in the saddle, closer to the horse’s withers. Fastened to the spacers are a padded headrest and upper & lower seat backs that are slightly curved to provide dorsal and lateral support. For additional safety and support, a harness is attached to the seat back with quick release features to allow for emergency removal of the rider from the saddle. This device is unique due to its compatibility with any western saddle, adjustable features, and the access it gives to disabled riders to participate in the therapeutic experience of horseback riding.

Team Members

  • Madi Flodquist
  • Marion Hohn
  • Alexa Kinch
  • Mason Pierce
  • Flint Sheffield
  • Lindsey Welch

The Client

  • Human Centered Design Studio


Project Advisor: Dr. Chelsea Salinas

Technical Advisor: Dr. Joel Bach and Prof. Susan Anderson

Donations Made by: Human Centered Design Studio