I have a 12 year old Pura Raza Espanol (PRE) horse who has proved to be a real challenge to fit saddle-wise. He is classically Baroque in shape with a short back, big shoulders, wide chest, and thick muscled mutton withers that have been the downfall of two saddles. After I noticed the deterioration of his back muscles I tried adjusting his current saddle to no avail. I had seen Jochen Schleeses videos online about saddle fit and how he developed the Obrigado saddle. I understood everything the Lusitano breeder mentioned in the video had been explaining to him. I was fairly certain that was the saddle for me so spoke to a number of women in my barn who ride in the Schleese saddles for feedback. After listening to the fourth woman rave excitedly about her Schleese saddle (my inquiries included an equine message therapist who owns a mare from the same breeder as my guy and rides in the Obrigado) I called for a fitting hoping for miracles. It was pretty close to that. Natalie put a 17.5" Obrigado on my fellow, which was ½ inch smaller than my other saddles. She assured me I wouldn’tt feel the pressure on my pelvis that always caused me to go with the 18"seat. The funniest thing was my horse’s expression. As we tightened the girth he turned and looked at me as if to say, "Hey what is this? It feels different."
I got on and yes, there was a miracle. Or as close to one as one could get having a horse go from stiff on the bit and hollow through the body, to yielding in all places, rounding into contact and actually executing a 10 metre volte softly with no resistance. The counter canter no longer felt like I was seated on a whirling blender, with my horse twisting wildly under me as we came around corners. The canter was up in front and I started exclaiming about my new horse! Perhaps the biggest reveal for me was when I dismounted. For the first time in 2 ½ years I got out of the saddle with no pain in my lower back or left hip. My legs weren’tt even stiff. The saddle literally corrected my posture each time I felt myself slipping. It helped me regain that three point seat they all rave about in the books and there was no constant dragging my legs back to get them into position. I could not believe the fit of a saddle could make such a difference not only for my horse but for me as a 5'3" petite woman. I actually apologized to my horse for putting him through two bad fitting saddles. He is a very charitable fellow so I think he forgave me.
— Kelly Buziak - Edmonton, Alberta