Schleese Riders / Ambassadors
We are proud to introduce an entire gallery on our website dedicated to the talented and passionate English riders and trainers across Canada and the USA who are proud to call themselves Schleese Ambassadors. Click on the image for a short biography, contact information and testimonial from the rider.
Anne Gribbons5* FEI Judge, Past USEF Coach, Olymmpic Caliber Trainer
Knoll Hill Dressage, 2121 Dressage Cv., Chuluota, FL 32766-8006
Anne Gribbons was the U.S. Equestrian Federation Technical Advisor for Dressage from 2010 through 2012. She developed the USEF educational dressage pipeline and guided the US riders through the World Equestrian Games, the Pan American Games, and the London Olympics.
Anne has trained and shown sixteen horses to Grand Prix, competed in ten USET Championships, and was a member of the US silver-medal-winning team at the 1995 Pan American Games in Argentina. She is an FEI 5* dressage judge and has officiated at numerous CDIs worldwide and selection trials in the US, as well as prestigious European shows like Stuttgart, Rotterdam, and Aachen, and two FEI World Cup Finals. In 2009 she judged at the European Championships in Windsor, England. From 2010 through 2013 Anne was a member of the FEI Dressage Committee, and in 2013 she was inducted into the USDF Hall of Fame.
Anne and her husband David own and operate Knoll Dressage, a dressage training facility located close to Orlando, Florida, where she trains and instructs riders of all ages.
Tina was born in Hagen, Germany as the daughter of Ute Busse, a Canadian Grand Prix rider. Tina moved to Canada after her first birthday. Tina became a Canadian citizen when she was 16 to ride for Canada on the Young Riders’ team. Competing many horses in your youth up to Grand Prix, Tina and her mount ‘Amicellie’ were listed for the Canadian Team for many years and their accomplishments include winning the CDI at Blainville Grand Prix and Freestyle in 2008, and riding in the World Dressage Masters in Wellington, Florida in 2009.
After the birth of her first child in 2011, Amicelli was sold and Tina acquired a young horse named Laurencio (a 2007 Oldenburg gelding by Laurentio x Donnerhall) and a year later a mare named ‘Fancy That’ (a 2006 Oldenburg mare by Freiherr x Donnerschwee). Also in 2011 Tina represented Canada at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico and helped the Canadian team win Silver and Tina placed fifth individually.
Tina and ‘Fancy That’ have won many small tour classes Nationally and Internationally and declared for the 2015 Pan American Games, as well as being part of the Canadian Bronze Medal Nations Cup Team the same year. She has made the jump to the Intermediare 2 level with over 72% and shows an outstanding talent for the Grand Prix. Laurencio and Tina had a stellar year in 2016 winning 9 consecutive classes at the small tour level Internationally and 3 more classes nationally, including all three classes at Dressage at Devon. They continued on in Wellington, Florida in 2017 where they hold the current World Record score for the Intermediare Freestyle of 78.7%! The Irwin’s were both key members of the Canadian Nations Cup Gold Medal winning Team. This is the ﬁrst time in history that Canada has won a Gold Medal as a Team at the Nations Cup and also the ﬁrst time that a husband/wife duo on the team together! Tina and Laurencio also went on to win the Individual Gold Medal at the Nations Cup. In the Spring of 2017, Equestrian Canada named Laurencio the Horse of the Year for 2016.
Future goals include the World Equestrian Games, Olympics, and World Cup. With these two talented horses on the verge of Grand Prix, the future is very bright.
Jaimey was born in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada and grew up on his families resort ‘The Irwin Inn’. He began riding at the young age of 6 and competed in many disciplines before focusing on dressage at the age of 16.
Jaimey competed very successfully at the Young Rider level on a mare named Picarda. In 1999 at the NAJYRC Jaimey and Picarda placed fourth individually just missing out on the Bronze Medal. Shortly after his Young Rider years, Jaimey went on to train in Germany with Holger Muenstermann, with whom he continued to train for 15 years. While in Germany, Jaimey found a flashy chestnut gelding by the name of Waldano that he brought back to Canada with him. Waldano and Jaimey were short and longlisted for the Canadian Team for many years winning many titles at the small tour level, including the Silver Medal at the Can-Am Challenge at Dressage at Devon. Jaimey then sold Waldano to an American girl and he returned to Europe, but this time to take a job as the head trainer of a stable in Luzern, Switzerland.
He continued on his training career in Europe by returning back to Germany and becoming Holger Muenstermann’s head rider. After his return from Germany, Jaimey competed the Dutch Stallion, Jacardo at the small tour level and Grand Prix, where he was again listed for the Canadian Team. Over the years Jaimey competed many horses up the levels winning many Championships. When Tina became pregnant, Jaimey took over the ride of Tina’s mount, Winston and qualified with him to be a contender for the Pan American Games in 2011. However once Tina had recovered, she took over the ride on Winston to qualify for the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico as well, and it was decided that Tina would have the ride. Jaimey played a huge role in coaching Tina and her fellow teammate Roberta Morris to the Pan Am Team Silver Medal.
In 2013, Lindor’s Finest was given to Jaimey to ride by his mother in law, Ute Busse and Sally Carlton. Lindor and Jaimey qualified for the FEI Reem Acra World Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden and made their debut overseas representing North America. Lindor and Jaimey had many excellent results at the Grand Prix level throughout North America, including Wellington, Florida.
Jaimey’s most recent star in the stable is Donegal V who was purchased by a syndicate for Jaimey to ride as a three-year-old from Holland. In 2016 Donegal made his International small tour debut and received many top placings with over 70%. In 2017, he won International classes in Wellington, Florida and was a member of Canada’s Gold Medal winning Nations Cup Team.The pair also won the Individual Silver Medal right behind his wife, Tina, and Laurencio. This was the first time in history that Canada had won the Nations Cup in dressage. Donegal will soon be making his Grand Prix debut! Future goals include World Equestrian Games, Olympics, and World Cup. Jaimey teaches many clinics throughout the year throughout North American and Barbados.
Tina and Jaimey are currently in Wellington Florida having a very successful season!
“Today we feature our longtime supporters and friends, Schleese Saddlery. Schleese has the best saddles on the market and only the best will do for our horses! Jochen and his team are always working together with many top riders, trainers and vets to produce saddles that are pain-free for horse and rider and offer many different styles and models. We love our saddles and our horses do too!
Thank you so much to Jochen, Sabine and the entire Schleese Team for being such a huge part of our team!”
Anna Weniger is a young rider competing internationally for the United States, and a member of the Discover Dressage USEF/USDF Emerging Athlete Program. She is a USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medalist. She has been competing Don Derrick, an NRPS gelding owned and trained by her mother Dawn Weniger, since 2016, starting in FEI Juniors and moving up through Grand Prix. Anna and Derrick had a very successful 2018, beginning with many placings in the CDI Young Rider classes at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida. Their success in Florida qualified them for the US Equestrian Young Rider European Tour over the summer. In Europe, they placed in the top 10 at the CDIO Compiegne in France and the CDI Aachen Dressage Days in Germany, with the highlight of the tour being a sixth-place finish in the CDIO-Y Freestyle at the Future Champions show in Hagen a.T.W., Germany. Anna and Derrick then returned home for the North American Youth Championships in North Salem, New York, where they won Team Bronze, placed fifth in the individual test, and won Freestyle Gold with a 74.225%. After a short break from competition, they made their Grand Prix debut at the end of September and are preparing to compete in U25 classes next year. Anna is based out of her family’s dressage training facility, Firstview Farm, LLC, in Apex, North Carolina. Away from the barn, she is an honors student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she is earning a B.S. in Geology.
“I’ve ridden in Schleese saddles for over a decade. Whether I am eventing at the upper levels or competing at Grand Prix, my Schleese saddles have been instrumental in my success. I achieved my USDF Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals while riding in a Schleese.”
Our objective is to develop horses and riders to their peak performance levels, to be internationally competitive, while still promoting classical dressage, and to preserve the health and spirit of the equine athlete in order to create a harmonious partnership.
We have students that range in age from 10 to 72 years old. We love to create a harmonious relationship between horses and riders, regardless of their experience. Some of our greatest success stories come from amateurs who “never wanted to show,” but ended up earning USDF medals! Once a horse and rider gain confidence together, showing is less daunting and more fun. With an extensive show schedule, we are available to coach students at the shows. Todd also coaches several event riders on their flatwork, who frequently do well at CCI starred events.
We pride ourselves on being a “complete” dressage training center. We are really meticulous about the welfare of our horses. We believe the horses’ mental states are a huge component of their overall athletic success. A happy and willing horse is far less likely to injure itself. Together we have first-time backed and trained over 50 different youngsters. Winning numerous US competitions and events including Dressage at Devon-mares-under-saddle class, a DG Bar Cup on a 4-year-old, qualifying stallions for stallion testing, Hanoverian mare testing’s site champions, multiple wins in FEI 4, 5, 6-year-old test, and FEI Developing horse PSG. Todd has also been internationally ranked at the Grand Prix level on a horse he trained himself. We are proud to have broken and trained the majority of our FEI horses.
With many connections to breeders and trainers throughout the East Coast of the US, we also take horses in training to promote and sell for clients, and occasionally offer our own horses for sale that we have broken and trained.
Why we love Schleese: “The Schleese team is just as meticulous about the health and well-being of the horses as we are. They will take their time with you and your horse until they get everything just right. We have so many different types and shapes of horses coming through our barn. Schleese works with each horse individually. We have at least 5-6 different models of Schleese saddles in our barn at any given time. Prior to our knowledge of Schleese’s expert customization, we would tell riders to try the model of saddle they like (usually on a saddle stand) and then have it fit for their horse. We now see that the horse chooses the model and fit. The rider immediately feels better because the horse goes happily forward with much more ease of motion. It’s such a satisfying feeling when we have horses re-checked for fit and see that they have gained much more muscle over their top lines!”
Chad Basile is an award-winning rider, esteemed dressage trainer, and owner of Croft Hollow farm in Webster, New York where he breeds and raises world class horses.
A life-long horse lover, Chad’s current focus is directed toward mindful breeding practices that result in extraordinary horses with an aptitude for dressage, exceptional trainability, impeccable conformation, and optimal health. He is meticulous in his selection of stallions for his mares to ensure a compliment and balance of traits, and diligent when matching the sale of one of his horses with a prospective buyer.
Chad has been sharing his life with horses for 30 years riding hunters, jumpers, and dressage horses. His current focus is classical dressage: implementing the German Training system for a correctly developed sport-horse. In his holistic approach to nurturing horses as athletes, Chad supports a respectful, dynamic, engaging, and harmonious environment – providing whatever is needed for horses to tap into their talent and fully realize their potential.
Chad studies with national and international classical trainers: working on his seat and position, as well as deepening his understanding of the classical training progression. He earned his USDF bronze medal and is a featured rider in USDF symposiums. He extends his knowledge of dressage by teaching other riders how to partner with their horses. He guides his students along their journey to make for a long partnership of health and well-being for both horse and rider.
Chad is constantly learning and improving his own riding and sees dressage as a lifelong practice. He continues to dedicate his life to creating the highest quality of horses all the while being an advocate for them and coaching people how to strengthen their partnership with them.
“I have been a customer of Schleese saddlery for 10 years. Prior to, I spent arduous amounts of time and money trying to find saddles that fit me and my horses, and that didn’t injure or restrict the movement of my horses. Since working with Schleese my horses perform at their best and continuously improve in their training with minimal interruptions.
When you invest in a Schleese saddle, it is a lifelong partnership. Their saddle fitters travel to me and my clients and take the time to problem solve and get to know our horses in order to customize the best fitting saddle possible. They continue to provide me with on-going education on saddle fitting and answer all my questions with explanations that are easily understood. The results are a comfortable saddle that fits both horse and rider with superior performance. It is refreshing to work with such skilled and dedicated professionals who match their level of customer service with the excellence of their product.”
Northern CA - Nevada
The Christiane Noelting Dressage Center is one of California’s finest equestrian facilities. Conveniently located between Sacramento and San Francisco, CNDC provides only the best services for you and your horse.
We offer boarding and training, with lessons up to Grand Prix, as well as numerous clinics and events throughout the year. With 40 acres of irrigated pastures and top quality stabling and turn out facilities, CNDC is well equipped to serve all your equestrian needs.
Christiane, who immigrated to the US in 1982 as one of Germany’s most decorated vaulting coaches, lead the Central Valley Vaulters to many national and international successes while opening her own horse business. Since then, Christiane has trained countless horses and riders to FEI level.
In recent years, CNDC has grown significantly. Breeding and horse sales are now an important part of our agenda. And we are also opening our beautiful facility to national equestrian organizations, which use CNDC to host foal inspections and clinics.
Podcast S1E1 – Christy Scotch – August 1, 2019
Today, we are excited to speak with Grand Prix rider Christy Scotch who is now riding her mare ‘Darya’ in her Schleese Let’s Dance dressage saddle (which incidentally was designed by Anne Gribbons who is a 5* FEI Judge, Past USEF Coach and an Olympic Caliber Trainer). Christy has kindly offered to share some of the immense challenges she faced before riding in a Schleese saddle and how she has overcome these hurdles with the Let’s Dance Schleese saddle. Christy will also share some of the roadblocks she faced when working with riders and their horses that unfortunately were in a situation whereby either the rider, the horse or both were using saddles ill-suited. She now readily shares her knowledge of the importance of correct saddle fit to both horse and rider with her students so they too may be off to a better start in their riding careers however long or short they may be.
I have been a faithful customer of another saddle brand for over 10 years, and I would have sworn money that my saddle fit my horse perfectly. After all, I had ordered it specifically for her and had it re-flocked every 6 months for her. So why did she always seem sore in her back? And, more importantly, why was I having so much trouble getting her to move freely OVER her back? I thought it was me…or her lack of talent.
It wasn’t until a close friend of mine, who is also a bodywork specialist, did some bodywork on my horse before I even became open to the fact that my current saddle didn’t fit my horse. My friend was hesitant to say anything because she didn’t want to be seen as talking badly about other saddles, saddle fitters, etc. I asked her to show me the facts…which she did. She showed me where the last rib was on my mare and where the saddle should sit based on her anatomy. Then, we put my saddle on her back. It was very clearly at least 4 inches longer than her last rib. And where I was sitting on her back was way farther back than where she could support me without pain.
NEVER had I heard that the LENGTH of the saddle made a difference. But this was critical. I went on a search for a saddle that would fit my horse, and I was quite desperate. I could not ride my mare, in good conscience, with that same saddle any more than I could make my child wear a size tennis shoe 2 sizes too small. But I had to keep my mare in training. I learned about Schleese and started doing research as well as talking directly with Schleese. I had decided that an Obrigado was what my short-backed mare needed, and so I went on a search. I couldn’t afford a new saddle, so I was looking for anything used that would work. I finally found a saddle and took it on trial. It happened that I was scheduled to ride in a clinic with my trainer, Anne Gribbons, while I had the saddle on trial. So I took it with me and rode my mare in it at the clinic.
I have video of each clinic with Anne before, and each time we were working specifically on getting my mare to work over her back and to start to develop a true trot…rather than the “pony trot” that she seemed to come by with the other saddle. There was an immediate difference in the way she moved with the Obrigado. Everyone noticed it from the clinic organizer, auditors, and Anne and myself. I have a video on youtube with video of my horse going in her “old” saddle and then her going in the Obrigado. The difference was undeniable. So I talked to Anne about the saddle, and she recommended I try the saddle she had designed with Jochen Schleese called the “Let’s Dance.”
I contacted Schleese about this, and I quickly found out that these saddles (only just released in February 2019) were VERY hard to come by…and used ones were non-existent. So, I decided to buy the used Obrigado and get it fit for me and my mare. The following week, I took the saddle and my horse to GA to have it adjusted. It felt even better than before…but I still wanted the “Let’s Dance.”
After a lot of discussion with my husband, we finally decided to take the plunge and order the “Let’s Dance.” When it came in just before our Schleese saddle fitting clinic, I was beside myself with excitement. If the Obrigado was that good, how much better could the “Let’s Dance” be? Answer? A LOT!!! Odia and Chris made sure it was adjusted perfectly for my mare and for me, and I rode her in it. The saddle gave me such a close contact feel with my horse that I have never felt before. It was already good in the Obrigado, but the “Let’s Dance” was a whole new level of closeness. And my body just melted into the seat.
I took my mare down to ride with Anne just after getting this saddle fit, and this was the first time Anne was able to say very clearly that my horse had everything it took to be a great Grand Prix horse. I have always believed this about her, but I had never gotten confirmation from someone like Anne. This was my confirmation. Darya was now able to lift her back and do Piaffe, passage, uphill and expressive changes, tempis, etc.
I can’t wait to see what the future holds for my mare and me with our Let’s Dance. I truly feel us dancing together each time I am riding her! What an amazing feeling that is! Is it an expensive saddle? Yes. Is it worth every penny? ABSOLUTELY!!! I would recommend this saddle to anyone who really wants to dance with their horse. Anne specifically worked on this saddle to be for the professional trainer, and that is what it is. But adult amateurs can enjoy the closeness and unparalleled fit as well.
Either way, Schleese is the only saddle fitter I have found that truly cares about the best fit for the horse and rider…and not just what the rider likes. I can’t believe it has taken me this long to ride in one and to realize the importance of considering ALL FACTORS when buying a saddle.
Thank you Schleese! And thank you Anne! And thank you to my wonderful mare! I am so excited about our future. Watch for us, cause we’re going to do great things.
Dan sat on his first horse at 6 years old, but after his first fall, his parents encouraged him to pursue other interests. After a long hiatus, Dan got back in the saddle at Alfred University, where he majored in art and design, but also studied western riding. After college he continued his education, advancing his skills in western equitation and barrel racing with Ryan Chiappone. In 2012 when he and his partners opened Finger Lakes Equestrian Center, Dan met Amy Lyn Jones and began his education in classical dressage. Since finding his love of dressage, Dan has pursued his education fiercely, riding with clinicians like Anne Gribbons, Gabriel Armando, Todd and Becky Bryan, and Stephen Hayes. Dan’s teaching philosophy is based on helping riders achieve their goals and build partnerships with horses. Through his education in dressage, he has learned how its basic principles provide a foundation for good horsemanship and effective riding across all disciplines. He enjoys watching his riders and their equine partners grow, overcome obstacles and have “ah-ha” moments as they learn and excel together.
Victoria - Australia
David first became obsessed with horses and riding at age nine whilst growing up in the islands of Vanuatu. The riding experience was stimulated by the companionship of care-free Pacific Island friends and an idyllic beachfront location close to a river and tropical bushland. It became apparent that David had an innate capacity to relate well with horses and an instinct to get them to respond to him.
Returning to Australia as a teenager, David pursued secondary and tertiary studies, becoming an Electrical Engineer, lecturing and tutoring university students. For ten years, his passion for horses lay dormant until at twenty-four, the chance to ride emerged again. He began to pursue competitive ambitions at an amateur level. Initial success in show jumping and eventing, and the desire to own a top competition horse led into a breeding program, which, at one point, involved owning over 60 horses.
David’s foray into breeding diminished because it was taking too much time away from competitive riding and teaching. However he and his partner Rebecca still breed with a small number of their top mares.
Constantly thoughtful and self-examining, a cathartic moment came for David when pondering a question: Is it reasonable for a person to ride horses given that, although willing to be ridden, horses certainly don’t ask to be ridden; so, other than for our own personal gain, why ride? In answering this question, David became aware of the amazing gift that horses are to humankind. They offer the possibility for so much personal learning and growth; they provide an incentive for community experience; they offer adventure; they help to shape human identity … the list goes on.
The outcome for David is that underpinning his time spent with horses is imperative to do his best to care for these magnificent creatures. This means applying the best of human knowledge and ability.
David’s passion for horses, and his instinct to know and understand them has deepened over the years. He combines this with a growing knowledge of how best to work with horses in a way that reflects his admiration for their unique stature as animals. In addition to being an Accredited Level 2 NCAS Coach, David continues to compete at an international level in eventing and show jumping.
Highfield Equestrian Centre
Highfield Equestrian Centre has been boarding horses for over a decade now. In more recent times it has established itself as a centre for specialised training, modelled on similar centres in Europe and the US. This approach to training includes focused coaching programs and agistment for competitive riders at a range of levels.
Two additional streams at Highfield are the rehabilitation of horses – especially Thoroughbreds – and the training of racehorses in a manner that optimises their health and well-being.
Highfield is managed and run by Rebecca Alsop and David Prior. Their respective contributions to Highfield make them a formidable partnership in the equestrian world.
Below, please enjoy viewing David Prior riding ‘Highfield Luka K1’ in the CCI2 class at the 2019 Australian Eventing Championships at Wandin Park.
Dawn Weniger has earned her USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold medals, and has ridden to the large tour CDI level. Dawn and her current mount, Don Derrick, started together when Dawn found him in Belgium as an unbroken 2-year-old. Now 14, Derrick is finishing his second year at Grand Prix with scores over 70%, and has also carried Dawn’s daughter Anna to success in the Young Riders division, including a Bronze team medal at the North American Junior Young Riders Championship, and a third place at the USEF Festival of Champions Young Riders division. Husband and father Andrew Weniger is a USDF Silver medalist and recently went back into the show ring on our latest import Claudius.
Firstview Farm purchased their first Schleese saddle almost 20 years ago and now have four! The Weniger’s are a Schleese family. The Weniger’s offer training, lesson and sales at their facility in Apex, NC. Visit Firstviewfarm.com and Facebook for details.
Edie started riding at Age 4, competing by 8 and Eventing her horse ‘MayDay’ by the age of 12! A Young Rider Team member 4 times from 1978-1981 again with ‘MayDay’ and ‘Mandrake’ This was just the beginning for Edie who has had a long list of accomplishments since then including,
1978-1981-4time Young Rider Team member (MayDay and Mandrake)
Top Young Rider and Woman Rider.
1982-2010-16 Times Short or Long Listed To Canadian National Event Team.
1984-33rd Olympics -Los Angeles, USA. 2nd place Canadian rider (Mandrake)
1988- 35th European Championships, Holland. Top placed North American Rider(Barbizon)
1990-10th place Rolex Kentucky, 4 Star (Mindy Rose)
1990-World Equestrian Games Team Member, Sweden (Mindy Rose)
1991-1st Canadian Advanced Championships, Checkmate, Canada (Socrates)
1991-Team Gold Medal, Pan American Games, Georgia, USA. 8th Individual (Socrates)
1992-6th Checkmate Canada,3 star Olympic Trial. Top placed Canadian (Socrates)
1992- Olympics Barcelona, Spain – Non-traveling reserve (Socrates)
1993- 7th Fairhill International 3star, Maryland, USA. Top placed Canadian (Socrates)
1994-24th World Equestrian Games, The Hague, Holland. Top placed Canadian (Socrates)
1996- Olympics Atlanta, USA. “Coaching Hat”- Hungarian Eventer Anita Nemtin.
2009-10th Fairhill International, Maryland, USA. 2nd place Canadian (Arwen)
2009- Horse of the Year Award (Arwen)
In addition to the above results, Edie has ridden many horses Preliminary-Advanced level with multiple Top 10 Placings in Canada and the USA. (MayDay, Mandrake, Moontime, Monsoon, Mistral, Barbizon, Mindy Rose, Wait and See, White Spats, Scamp, Socrates, Arwen)
She continues her love of reconditioning “Off Track Thoroughbreds” and other young horses.
“I have been riding in Schleese Saddles since 2007. My life changed from that day!
Schleese Saddles have transformed my training and coaching. The comfort, balance, and support these saddles give me, on the flat and over fences are wonderful!
I am very confident in the product and stand behind them 100%. My students and their horses also reap the benefits of these fabulous saddles.
My horses are pain-free and able to train and learn with no restrictions from ill-fitting tack. They are able to reach their maximum potential.
At the end of the day, knowing I will be pain-free speaks volumes. As an “Event Rider” I spend a lot of hours in the saddle.
THANKYOU to EVERYONE in the SCHLEESE TEAM for keeping me and my students so well outfitted.
Most recently Edie has been test-riding Schleese’s new “LightFlight” saddle stating “this saddle affords me the ultimate close contact feel and lets my horse move with wonderful freedom! “
Emily Keene brings 33 years of experience to training horses; 23 of those dedicated to Dressage. A USDF Bronze and Silver Medalist with multiple State and Regional championships, Emily specializes in lightness, confidence, and self-carriage for horse and rider. She believes that self-carriage is physical, mental, and emotional for both parties. She does not use artificial equipment or force of any kind in her training, her goal is to have horses that willingly choose to participate. Emily puts the happiness and wellbeing of the horse as the priority.
Emily teaches with a sensitive and highly tuned eye towards biomechanics, very clear communication, compassion, and mindfulness. Students learn the physical, theoretical and interpersonal skills required in a dressage rider.
She advocates natural and sensitive management, including social and turnout time, holistic nutrition, precise saddle fit, bodywork, and natural hoof care for our equine partners.
Emily started training horses at age 12 when her mentor introduced her to Natural Horsemanship and Tellington Jones methods. She taught and trained English, Western, Jumping, Dressage, and Competitive Trail Riding/Endurance Riding before deciding to focus on Dressage, and her appreciation for all disciplines and breeds continues today.
“When I saw a demo of a Schleese saddle in 1994 at the Colorado Horse Park, I was immediately struck by the thoughtfulness and complexity of these saddles. Lucky me, I got my first Schleese in 95, and I have been with the company ever since! They are a huge part of my program and I couldn’t do it without them. Their saddles are the best in the business, and over the years I’ve witnessed many companies emulate and try to play catch up with them, but there is no substitute for a skillful Schleese evaluation and a frequently updated Schleese saddle.
If you value your horse, if you care about his comfort, if you want a saddle that will enable you to ride in alignment without pain, make the investment. I tell people; if you have to spend more on your saddle than you did on your horse, DO SO. It’s THAT important! Thank you, Schleese for your constant innovation, care, and amazing saddles, my horses and my rider’s thank you too!”
Emily Hadden-Morris began riding at age five and rode Hunter/Jumpers competing in Medal Maclay and USET classes. She was a working student for the renowned jumper, Michael Elmore, in Middleburg, Virginia. Once she discovered the discipline of Dressage, she had discovered her true passion. Emily has successfully competed at 4th level and in the National and FEI Young Horse divisions. She has competed at Dressage at Devon for the past five years. Her Hanoverian, Don Ahlerich was the Champion 3-year-old US Bred Colt/Gelding in 2018. She will be competing him as a 4-year-old in National Young Horse classes this coming season with a goal of qualifying for the Markel Young Horse at the Festival of Champions. She will also be competing 6-year-old Thoroughbred Alastair RLF at 3rd and 4th level and 9-year-old Hanoverian Poseidon HF will be debuting in PSG.
Emily is currently Head Trainer and Young Horse Coach at BMAR Performance Horses in Steubenville, Ohio and Owner/Trainer of Russell’s Landing Dressage based out of Janet Hadden’s Russell’s Landing Farm in Avella, Pennsylvania.
Emily holds a B.S. in Nursing and when not working with her beloved equines she works as an Emergency Room nurse. She was previously a Trauma Nurse at a Level 1 trauma centre and has served as a Flight Nurse.
“We have been riding in Schleese’s since 2001. The Obrigado has been a game changer for my horses, it is the best! We discovered that Poseidon HF had a short saddle spot and this saddle changes him completely! I am thrilled to be part of this team representing the best saddles out there!”
Dr. Heather Boo is a full time practicing physician. She is also a USDF bronze, silver, and gold medalist and owner of Three Bays Farm in south Florida. She got her start in the Grand Prix on her Dutch warmblood Liberty Light (trained by Bent Jensen). She currently competes her Westphalian gelding, Divertimento, as an adult amateur in the open international Grand Prix CDI. Dr. Boo has used Schleese saddles on her horses for many years. The Obrigado saddle has been expertly fitted to both her and Divertimento to achieve maximum comfort and range of motion. “I believe in extremely well fitting equipment that does not cause any pain to the horse,” says Boo “and a saddle, such as this one, that allows me to sit exactly where I need to on his back and doesn’t prevent his shoulders from comfortably coming up. At this level every millimeter is important.”
My name is Jason Surnoski and I am an internationally classified grade II para-equestrian. I was diagnosed as an infant with Cerebral Palsy, Cerebral Palsy influences my movement and coordination as well as having an effect on my posture and balance.
In 2010 I started riding recreationally; already having had a competitive background as a goalie in special hockey and a pitcher in the silver medal game at the 2009 Special Olympics for baseball, my determination kicked in and I found myself competing and placing at local hunter/jumper shows. My attention was eventually redirected to the sport of para-dressage, I found the precision and execution of dressage to be an incredible thing to experience and observe. After researching para-dressage online, I knew this was something I wanted to strive towards.
I am currently ranked on Equestrian Canada, Para-Dressage National Team Program Development Squad, together with my partner Phoenix we will be trying our best to gain scores in 2019/2020 so that we can represent our country on the world stage at the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.
I would like to take a moment and thank Schleese Saddlery for their continued support, their saddle has put me into a more secure safer position and I fell like I am one with my horse, as Phoenix’s body has changed Schleese has been there to make the changes need to keep my partners back and body happy, I am so thankful for their sponsorship and continued support.
If you would like to follow my journey please feel free to follow my facebook page at Jason Surnoski Para-Equestrian or check my web site at www.parasurnoski.weebly.com
San Jose, CA
I started riding in 1968 at age 7, focused on Three-day Eventing and Pony Club competition. As a teenager, I worked summer riding camps and taught lessons, in exchange for riding privileges and lessons. I was hooked but took time off for college, service in the military, family and work in Silicon Valley. I re-entered the horse world in 2000, as my young daughter became interested in riding and I had the time to available for horses again. Shortly after that, I began a successful training program in Three-Day Eventing and Dressage; and over the years have seemed my daughter succeed as well as four of my students get to compete at Junior Young Riders. However, struggling with poor saddle fit and balance resulting in horses that seemed “difficult” to keep round and relaxed I yearned for an answer. What struck me was that I had been out of riding and competing for nearly 20 years and when I returned, essentially all riding equipment for humans had changed but very little had changed for the horses. Bottom line was that the technology for my running, cycling and skiing had changed drastically, making these sports so much safer, more comfortable, and faster, yet sadly my poor horses were in nearly the same equipment I rode in in 1975.
Then about 15 years ago, I met Jochen Schleese and was immediately impressed by his determination to change saddle fit to address the horse as an athlete first, with saddles that fit properly enabling them to perform at their best. I have not looked back and proudly share my belief in Schleese with everyone I can.
Jennifer Parker has been riding since she was 3 years old and particpated in many disciplines before specializing in dressage. She has competed through Grand Prix, is a USDF Learner Judge Program graduate, and graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Special Education and Rehabilitation. In her 26 years as a professional, she has won numerous Regional and National Championships, has earned her USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold Medals, and has coached several students to the FEI Levels in dressage. Jennifer took students to the North American Young Rider Championships in 2006, 2007, and 2014.
She coaches riders of all ages and abilities as long as they have a desire to learn. She enjoys working with horses of all breeds and has trained and competed Arabians, PREs, and Warmbloods to FEI. Jennifer is a firm believer in a rider partnering with the horse in order for the pair to reach its fullest potential. Schleese Saddlery Service helps daily with that mission. Each student and horse in her training program at Agape Dressage have their own Schleese Saddle, designed and adjusted specifically for them and their performance needs.
Jennifer purchased her first Schleese saddle in 1996, when Jochen came to the CARA Champagne show in AZ. Since that day, she has only owned a Schleese. Her favorite saddle is the mono flap Obrigado, which allows her to sit comfortably and securely regardless of how big the horse’s gaits are
Ballston Spa, NY
Jeff Lindberg owns and operates Bishop’s Gate Farm LLC, a dressage training facility established in December of 2000. A USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold medalist, Jeff started riding as a boy in his native New Mexico. In 1983, he took the first of many clinics from Charles de Kunffy, whose influence continues to impact Jeff’s riding today. Jeff earned Bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania in 1992, and a Master’s degree in Architecture from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY in 1995. While practicing as an architect, he continued to pursue his dressage riding and training, and in 2000 opened his own facility to work as a professional trainer and instructor. The analytical, reflective and visual nature of Jeff’s schooling as a mathematician and architect influences the way he works with horses and riders. Over the years, Jeff has been fortunate to receive instruction from many notable equestrians. In addition to Charles de Kunffy, he has also been taught by Karl Mikolka, Kay Meredith, Lois Heyerdahl, Tina Konyot, Jennifer Baumert, Paul Belasik, Francois Lemaire de Ruffieu, Sarah Geike, Renate Lansburgh, Sherry Ackerman, Bettina Drummond, Kathy Rowse, Ilse Schwarz and many others. Jeff has also worked with a wide variety of breeds and recognizes the unique gifts and challenges of each horse. (The USDF website discloses that he has been in 352 competitions on 31 different horses, and his business records show that over 120 horses have been in training to date.) Because of the range of his experience, Jeff’s training and teaching are often able to help riders and horses find solutions to problems that may have seemed previously complex, frustrating or intractable.
“The horse in the photo is Jello Van de Meer, a 2004 Friesian gelding shown competing at Intermediare-I last year. He has a Schleese Obrigado, which has been the only saddle that truly fits the unique conformation of his back, characteristic of the breed. Thank you Schleese for helping him accomplish all that he has!”
Joni Lynn PetersCertified NCCP Level III Dressage and Level III Eventing Coach. Grand Prix Dressage rider. Clinician and Trainer
Joni Lynn Peters Equestrian - Armstrong, B.C. (Okanagan Region in South Central BC)
Joni Lynn Peters grew up riding, learning with, and truly admiring horses, both parents were avid horsemen themselves
Pony Club provided her first ‘formal’ education, leading to her achieving ‘A’ Level with honours; a career in Eventing to the International levels of competition on multiple horses developed by herself, with several of them being identified on the Canadian Team Long and Short List, and becoming Leading Lady Rider of Ontario six times; and Level III national coaching certification, specializing in Eventing.
Joni turned her focus to Dressage after moving back ‘home’ to BC in 1994. The Dressage phase of Eventing was always a strength for Joni and she wished to take it to a deeper level of training and competing. Two of her top Event horses made the switch in disciplines, to compete to the FEI levels of Dressage and attain Canadian Team Short List status, before Joni purchased a horse to solely train in the Dressage discipline. Joni again developed several horses to the Canadian team Talent Identified, Long and Short Lists, for Dressage this time.
Joni has trained in France, Germany, USA, and Canada with world-renowned trainers who recognized and accepted her as a dedicated horseman in her own right. Joni has been world rider ranked in Dressage, has had top 10 finishes in the 2012 London Olympic selection trials, (earning the FEI Certificate of Capability to compete), the 2014 Toronto Pan Am trials, and the 2016 Rio Olympic trials. Joni’s accomplishments earned her an invitation to train with the Canadian team in Germany, and the right to compete in the Five Star CDI while in Florida.
Joni gained national Level III (High-Performance Coach ) Dressage Certification to add to her previously attained national Level III Event Coach certification. Joni’s passion for horses and her pursuit of excellence comes across in her teaching. Joni’s classical training, eye for detail, encouraging and sympathetic approach, and diverse background enables her to empathize with different horses and riders at all levels from basic to advanced, and the individual goals students have. Joni loves to coach and train riders and horses of all stages and levels, and truly believes she herself learns from each pupil, equine or human.
“My entire Schleese saddle fitting experience was terrific!
From the initial, exciting, invitation to try a Schleese saddle; to the tryout of countless models and styles with the ever patient fitting and adjustments by the wonderful Mariette Klemm; to the hands-on custom fitting to Travolta and myself of our chosen model by the one and only Jochen Schleese himself, (whom I have known since he moved to Canada); it was a positive, supportive, engaging time. And with the tremendous care and attention to detail, it was love at first ride, which added to our comfort, confidence, and ability at the peak of our International Grand Prix competitive career in Dressage through two Olympic selection trials and one Pan American games trial! The continued care of fit to an ever-changing horse was caring, detailed and professional in the utmost.
The commitment to quality and integrity demonstrated by the entire Schleese team at all times is highly valued by me and all who have experienced it.
Thank you to the entire Schleese team for helping to make our dream come true.”
Photo: Joni Lynn Peters and ‘Travolta’
Rock-A-Bye Ranch is a Hunter/Jumper Training and Sales facility located in Gardnerville Nevada. Madchen Giesler-Lewallen has over 20 years of experience riding and showing on the California “A” show circuit.
“I was instantly impressed with the knowledge and experience offered from Jochen and the entire Schleese team and after seeing the difference in our horse’s body measurements and an increase of even muscling in a 6th month time, I knew I had made a great choice.
I am eternally grateful to Schleese for their endless work on creating saddles that help our horses be the best athletes and performers they can be.”
Margaret BoyceEquestrian Canada - Certified Dressage Coach/Official "Medium" Dressage Judge / United States Equestrian Federation - Official "R" Dressage / Western Dressage "R" Judge.
92 Colonial Rd., Emerson, NJ 07630
As a teenager, Margaret began training with Dressage Canada – Hall of Fame Inductee, Dressage Master Dietrich Von Hopffgartenn in Vancouver, BC. While training with Dietrich, Margaret earned an Associate Arts Degree in Graphics Communication & Arts but left that career once Dietrich offered her a working student position. Shortly after, Margaret obtained teaching privileges at Southland Riding Club. In 1986 Margaret travelled to Cedar Valley, Ontario to volunteer at the 1986 World Dressage Championships and there she met Certified Master Saddler – Jochen Schleese of Schleese Saddlery Service. Margaret immediately saw the passion and dedication Jochen had for the long-term health of his client’s and became Schleese’s first Agent Organizer which she continues today. Also in 1986, Margaret was recruited as Barn Manager for historic dressage stable Country Quest Stables.
At Country Quest, Margaret obtained her Equestrian Canada Dressage Coach & Judge Status, won Canadian Dressage Owner & Riders Assoc. Rider & Horse Awards Basic to FEI levels, several BC Provincial Championships & Reserve Championships & a Canadian National Dressage Title. Behind the scenes, Margaret was Senior Representative & Provincial Director of British Columbia BC CADORA; Show Manager – The BC Provincial Dressage Championship & Chair of The 1991 Canadian National Dressage Championships, the first Federation Equestrian Internationale FEI – CDI World Cup Qualifier, west of Toronto.
To further her training, Margaret moved to Europe working for Bert Rutten – Coach of the Dutch Olympic Dressage Team in Hunsel, Netherlands and Johann Hinnemann, Individual Bronze – World Dressage Championships in Voerde, Germany. She also travelled to Saumur, France and rode at The French National Riding School with Colonel Christian Carde, Head Trainer of the Cadre Noir. After marriage, Margaret settled in NJ, raised a family and formed MKB Dressage & organized Carde to coach in the USA. Margaret currently trains with retired FEI 5 Star Judge Lilo Fore, EC Dressage Team Member- Nancy MacLachlan and Olympic Individual Gold Medalist – Christine Stuckelberger.
Clinic/Instruction/Training: servicing Greater & Southern New York area; Northern/Central New Jersey.
Judging Service: throughout the USA and Canada.
New Tripoli, PA
Martha Wunder is the owner and head trainer at Rax Run Eventing in New Tripoli, PA. Martha is a pony club graduate “A”, an ICP level 2 certified instructor, and an intermediate level event rider with aspirations for the top level of the sport. When she isn’t training and competing her own horses, she enjoys working with horses and students of all levels. Martha strives to offer a complete boarding and training program that offers every horse in the barn a shot at reaching their full potential. She does so by partnering with top vets and farriers, providing a thoughtful nutrition program, and attending to all the details that when combined really make a difference. Saddle fit is one of those crucial details and Schleese has been an invaluable resource in this regard.
“I have been a Schleese client for over 10 years. I was first introduced to Schleese by a dressage friend, who convinced me to purchase a saddle for my spindly little TB gelding at the time. After six months in his custom Schleese saddle, he was no longer spindly! He developed muscle and movement that I had not thought possible and his overall comfort and soundness were vastly improved. Needless to say, I was hooked and every event horse I’ve owned since has been fitted with a Schleese saddle! Schleese truly puts the horse’s comfort and performance front and center. When the horse is free to move and use his body without pain or hindrance, the benefits are endless. He won’t be compensating and overloading his joints. Resistance behaviors are diminished. Your horse will enjoy his work and be able to reach his full potential. Schleese is also constantly developing new and better technologies, allowing their clients to take advantage of the most cutting-edge saddles available. If you want a saddle that is truly customized for you and your horse AND will be able to change and adapt as your horse develops, Schleese is your answer!”
MA - NY - FL
Mary Bahniuk Lauritsen is a USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold medalist trainer and rider. Riding since before she could walk, Mary has developed a thorough understanding of the training of horses and riders of all ages and levels. Mary has trained with some of the most reputable trainers and clinicians around the globe and has produced multiple FEI and Grand Prix horses herself. In 2015, Mary established Millennium Dressage, a training program for horses and riders of all levels with a primary focus on producing young horses through the levels and FEI young rider development.
Mary and her students’ success runs up and down the East Coast where they spend part of the year based in the idyllic towns of Harvard, MA and Bedford, NY and the winters in Wellington, FL.
“The very first thing I was drawn to by Schleese was their meticulous saddle fitting program. 10 or so years ago my mother was recommended to try Schleese for a horse whose back was tricky to fit. When the Schleese team showed up to the barn, witnessing the science behind saddle fitting and the lengths the team went to was unlike any saddle fitting I had ever seen. Now almost every horse in my program rides in a Schleese and I feel the same to this day. I have confidence knowing each time I ride my horses in a Schleese that the saddle is fit to their particular needs and that it can be adjusted to fit their ever-changing bodies as they develop. While my top priority is knowing my horses are comfortable it is the icing on the cake that the saddles are so comfortable for riders too! I feel at home whenever I ride in my Obrigado. I am so grateful for the support of Schleese and could not be happier riding and representing them every day. Thank you. “
When I was a kid I always dreamed of being a famous rider. I grew up on Washington Island, Wisconsin, a small island in the middle of Lake Michigan where there weren’t many horses. When I was nine years old my dad bought me a Shetland pony which pretty much started my career in the horse world. My parents then bought a couple of Icelandic ponies that I started showing at the 4H shows down the county. I would ride over with then on the ferry boats and be met on the mainland by a friend who would take us to the shows. After I graduated high school I went to Meredith Manor school of horsemanship in West Virginia to really expand my knowledge of training and help me enter the equestrian world. After I graduated from there I moved to Scottsdale Arizona where I worked with many different types of disciplines from Western pleasure to Arabians and to 3-day Eventing. I move to San Diego in the late 80s I realized I really wanted to be a Dressage rider so I bought a quarter horse that I train him up to Prix St. George. I knew he wasn’t a horse to go all the way so I traded him for a Dutch Warmblood by the name of Carlos who was notorious for taking off and running away with people. I turned him into a top FEI horse that I was able to qualify for the 1994 Olympics Sports festival in St. Louis Missouri where we were on the bronze medal team. Sadly Carlos wasn’t capable of going to Grand Prix and I really hope to represent the United States at some point in my career so I traded Carlos for a Grand Prix horse by the name of Da Vinci. He was very difficult Horse who was notorious for not only bucking people off but for Putting them in hospitals. I roll the dice on him and within two years of owning Divinci, we were competing in the Grand Prix and placing really well in CDI’s. He was the Grand Prix Champion at a CDI in Colorado and it was after that I finally realized my dream of representing the USA when I made the 1997 North American Championship team where we were the highest placing American in the Grand Prix special where I placed 3rd. I went on to do the World Cup finals in Washington International Horse Show in Washington DC where we finished in the top three. I was then invited to compete with Divinci in São Paulo Brazil and we were fourth in the Grand Prix and the freestyle. I trained a stallion named Sandomere from a 3-year-old to Grand Prix. 2009 he was the West Coast FEI 5-year-old Champion and the following year he was the FEI 6-Year-Old Champion.
I now run a small barn in Kerman California where I train no more than 10 horses and we raise at least one foal a year. Last year my Yearling colt was the USDF HOY Yearling colt by Fürstenball and he was also the recipient of the Traveling Trot Perpetual Trophy which Is given to the highest scoring Sporthorse in hand in the nation. I am currently riding a wonderful Fürstenball 4-year-old that I hope to qualify for the 4-year-old championships in Chicago this year. Over 15 years ago I got my first Schleese saddle and I’ve been riding in them ever since. I love that I have saddle fitter I can rely on and That I can get them fitted to my horses with each change as they go through the levels of Dressage. All of my clients also ride in Schleese saddles and they have also been very happy with them. I just got the new Bi-Nate Line saddle and I absolutely love it. It puts me closer to my horse then previous saddles and it really allows me to sit down deep into my horses back, plus I was able to customize it and it is absolutely beautiful. Fan for life here!
Competing exclusively in Schleese saddles, Mimi Stanley has earned Bronze, Silver and Gold Medals and a Freestyle Gold Bar from the United States Dressage Federation (USDF) on Arabians and Half-Arabians. Mimi and her mother, Karla Stanley, breed, train and show nationally competitive sport horses at their dressage training center in North Dakota. Mimi hopes one day to compete on the US Equestrian Team.
- Being one of only four young riders from the US chosen to experience international-level dressage in Europe on the 2010 Olympic Dream Team.
- Being selected to attend the 2014 USDF/USEF Young Rider Graduate Program, which helps promising young riders prepare for international competition.
- Earning 28 National Championships and 15 Reserve National Championships at Arabian Sport Horse National competitions.
- Earning 17 USDF All Breeds Championships or Reserve Championships, including the USDF Young Rider Grand Prix.
Mimi’s Grand Prix dressage horse, EA Cygnus, was the only Arabian to be awarded the Adequan/USDF Jr/Young Rider Grand Prix Horse of the Year. Cygnus was also the first Arabian and second horse of any breed to earn a prestigious USDF Horse Performance Certificate at EVERY level of dressage – Training through Grand Prix – a feat requiring more than 90 qualifying scores.
“Schleese has been an important part of my success. I so appreciate what they have done for me & my horses.”
Mentor, OH / Apopka, FL
Nancy has a classical background in Dressage and has been very successful in training multiple horses to the Grand Prix Level. She has been a member of the United States Dressage Bronze Medal Team at the North American Championships as well as the Alternate for the Pan American Games. Several horses ridden and trained by Nancy have been longlisted for the Olympics and World championships with Nancy in the irons. Her success over the last two decades on multiple horses reflects her talent for riding a wide variety of horses at the Grand Prix Level.
She has had the opportunity to work both domestically and abroad with some of the greatest dressage masters of our time. Riding each horse to its best potential is a talent that Nancy has honed over two decades and her sensitivity for understanding the way each horse thinks and reacts gives her the ability to make any horse a better partner.
As a teacher, her goal is to help the rider gain a better understanding of the skills necessary to train each horse and to understand how the horse reacts and accepts the training. Helping the horses and rider communicate on the same level enables each combination to meet their goals. All riders that have a genuine desire to learn are welcome, regardless of level or goal.
“I have found that the horses like this saddle, especially in the canter work. I have also enjoyed having the option of using it on other horses that I have in training by just changing the panels. Especially as my horses progress in their training and their musculature changes, it has been very helpful to have the saddle as an option if and when they grow out of their original saddle. It gets me through and allows me to continue training until the saddle fitter can adjust their saddles”.
Just got Damon fitted with his Prolite saddle. WOW!!! LOVE ❤️ LOVE IT!! He’s moving so big I hope I can keep up with him. And it has made his walk the best ever!! Thanks again for everything.
Upper Cape, NB
Natalie has been successfully competing in hunters, jumpers and equitation for over 20 years, and turned professional in 2006 after a successful junior career. Some career highlights include qualifying for Maclay Finals and USEF Finals, Reserve Champion in the CET Medal at the Royal as well as finishing 4th and 6th in other years, 3rd in the JC Medal at the Royal, winning CET regional finals, and qualifying horses for the Royal in nearly every hunter division. In the jumper ring, Natalie has had top placings up to 1.50.
Natalie is a passionate coach and rider who values horsemanship and hard work in all aspects of the sport. She has had opportunities to train with and work for some of the top names, including Olympian Amy Millar, North Run/Missy Clark, and Francis Berger.
Natalie inherited her passion for riding and love of horses from her mother Carrie Bova (Sr. EC Hunter Judge & hunter trainer) and from her aunt Dr. Helen Douglas, DVM. Natalie’s sister Tory Bova is a top hunter rider and assistant trainer at Parkside Stables in Washington.
“Incredibly honoured & excited to be sponsored by Schleese Saddlery Service!! In just one ride my horse is already more supple, relaxed & moving more freely out of the shoulder! Can’t say enough good things about these saddles! “
Rebecca was born into a family of riders. At the age of four, she got her very first pony. Like many kids in Australia, Rebecca grew up riding through the Pony Club system. She rode competitively for the Club, and privately in the show ring. At the age of thirteen, she started hunting with The Oakland Hunt Club. This continued until she was sixteen when she fell in love with show jumping and eventing. The rest is history.
Over the years, horses in particular, and animals, in general, have been integral to Rebecca’s life. Combined with her involvement in riding, through the past twenty years, she has worked at various levels of professional expertise, from vet nurse right through to veterinary technician and practise manager. She has a recent graduate degree in Equine Science with a major in the rehabilitation of horses. Laser Therapy, Salt Therapy, kinesiology taping, and Ultrasound therapy are just a few of the tools that Rebecca brings to the process of rehabilitating horses from injury.
Now in her early forties, Rebecca combines a youthful passion for horses with the wisdom of experience and academic expertise. She applies all of this to her work at Highfield, constantly exploring new and better ways of maximising the health and welfare of horses. Nothing matters more to Rebecca than the fact that horses look and feel great, both mentally and physically.
Now as a Level One coach, Rebecca brings her depth and breadth of experience to her riding students offering a unique learning opportunity for them.
Highfield Equestrian Centre
Highfield Equestrian Centre has been boarding horses for over a decade now. In more recent times it has established itself as a centre for specialised training, modelled on similar centres in Europe and the US. This approach to training includes focused coaching programs and agistment for competitive riders at a range of levels.
Two additional streams at Highfield are the rehabilitation of horses – especially Thoroughbreds – and the training of racehorses in a manner that optimises their health and well-being.
Highfield is managed and run by Rebecca Alsop and David Prior. Their respective contributions to Highfield make them a formidable partnership in the equestrian world.
Ottawa, ON / Montreal, QC
Roberta Byng-Morris has dedicated her life to horses. She began riding at the age of 8 and learned the hard knocks of riding on many ponies. She showed locally and was a member of the local Pony Club. She started riding as a jumper/eventer and developed a passion for dressage after being inspired attending the dressage event at the 1976 Montreal Olympics at the age of 11. She has always trained her own horses. Her first horse was a weanling (Perfect Beauty) that her parents purchased for her. She started training when she was only 13 yrs of age, accomplishing Reserve Canadian Young Rider Championships in 1986.
She trained Reiki Tyme, 16.1 hh (Royal Diamond) from a 4 yr old to landing a spot on the 2011 Silver Medal Pan Am Dressage Team in Mexico. She is currently training Solo Hit Song, 16.2 hh (Sandro Hit), which she purchased as a 4 yr old. He is showing great potential for Grand Prix and is currently at 4th level. Her up and coming youngster Bodhi, 17.1hh (Callaho’s Benicio) is currently 4yrs old and is also showing a great natural talent for the high levels.
Over the years Roberta has been coaching training techniques to many students with the classical system of dressage. Her students have obtained positions on Canadian National Teams. Roberts’s main philosophy is to educate her students to understand the body awareness in the rider and most importantly the horse. Her enthusiasm and positive attitude is her foundation in coaching, which fosters her students to bring dreams to realization.
Roberta currently coaches in the Montreal and Ottawa area. Her stable is Erin Stone Farm, located south of Montreal in Godmanchester. She also does video assessments with step by step audio coaching voiceovers.
“I have been riding in Schleese Saddles for over 15 years. I realized many years ago that saddle fitting and the right saddle for each horse is of utmost importance. Schleese Saddles also help the rider be comfortable in their stages of learning a deeply connected seat with comfort. It allows your horse to use its body correctly and to develop through the classical dressage training system with ease. I have seen many horses with back issues be resolved by purchasing a Saddle Fit for Life Schleese Saddle. With regular fittings, your horse gets to develop their muscles at their own rate without being uncomfortable. This, in turn, keeps your horse willing and trusting while in training. Happy horses have been my life’s commitment, and Schleese Saddles have allowed me to live my dream.”
Sally Anderson is a third generation Morgan breeder and a USDF Gold medalist. She received her Gold medal on her Morgan stallion, ‘Iron Forge Starman’. She is currently training her junior stallion, ‘Flower of Alliance’ at Prix St George.
Sally runs a successful training and boarding facility in Bigfork Montana. Her students compete from Training level through FEI. Her barn is motivated yet has a fun and energetic vibe.
“I have found great success with the Schleese Saddles not only for personal horses but also for students. I find that the horses move more freely and my students not only have a correct riding position but can follow their horses easily. “
Honeoye Falls, NY
Sandy HiderU.S.D.F. Bronze, Silver and Gold Medals
Sandy Hider is a 1976 graduate of Meredith Manor School of Horsemanship and has been teaching and training ever since. She started out mainly with hunters, jumpers, western, driving, games, trails, etc. but has focused on dressage for the last 35 years. Sandy has taught jumping, pony clubs, 4-H and therapeutic riding along the way. She still teaches beginners and hopes these are the future dressage riders! Sandy likes to help all riders who want dressage to improve their connection to their horse, including jumping, trail riding, driving, endurance, eventing, and even groundwork. She has earned her Bronze, Silver and Gold medals from U.S.D.F. and is also an “L” judging graduate. Currently Sandy is schooling Grand Prix on her warmblood mare, Heidi, the second horse that she has broke and trained herself to G.P. Her mentor and guiding light for the last 33 years, has been Michael Barisone, and also Vera Kessels (Barisone). Most recently Heidi and Sandy participated in The Dressage Foundation’s Two-Tempi Challenge in 2016, they completed 25 consecutive two- tempi’s and finished tied for 12th in the U.S. for number of flying changes and 4th place nationally for fundraising! Not bad for never doing more than 10 beforehand!
“ My saddle is the Wave. It is the first “custom” saddle I have ever owned. I have had it for about 6 years or so. I knew my saddle didn’t really fit my horse properly but thought a Schleese saddle was way out of my price range. Then Jochen explained the trainer incentive program to me and the organizer benefit. Some of my clients already had Schleese saddles and more were looking to buy. Well before the 2 years, I had earned enough credit to purchase my saddle for 1/2 price! It is a wonderful saddle. Fits my oddly shaped horse and is also designed to be kind to my seat bones. I have chronic Bursitis and intermittent pain, I can usually ride pain-free.”
Trish Tweddell is the owner and trainer at Eckwood Equine and is a co-founder, co-owner and learning facilitator at the Accord Equestrian Academy. Trish holds a bachelors degree in Animal Science from the University of Saskatchewan and is an Equine Canada certified competition coach.
Trish is a student of the Philippe Karl Ecole de Légèreté instructor’s course 2017-2020 in Alberta. She is honoured to be accepted into this comprehensive and progressive training method that places the intelligence and dignity of the horse at its center.
She enjoys coaching students of all ages and skill levels. Trish is dedicated to facilitating a harmonious relationship between horse and rider that is sympathetic and feeling.
Trish is continually learning and inspired by each horse that she works with. She takes an open-minded approach to solving problems and is astute to modify communication techniques to help riders achieve goals.
“My Schleese saddles have been the best investments that I have made for my training horses and competition horses.
I love how the saddles can be adjusted as my horses mature and become more developed as training progresses, maintaining maximum comfort for all. I have always appreciated the extensive professional support that I receive from Schleese before and after the purchase. My saddle fitter (Natalie Sauner), beyond having an experienced eye for optimal balance and equitation, takes the time to get to know my horses and listens to my feedback.
I recently bought the Remonte all purpose saddle and it is a super addition to my equipment. The Remonte offers the support for me to be able to adjust my position easily between dressage seat, light seat and the forward seat.
It takes a team to build a calm and confident equine partner, and I am proud to have Schleese on my team.”
Werner Geven is based at Poplar Place Farm in Hamilton, Georgia. Werner is an internationally recognized competitor in eventing, jumping and dressage. Werner and his family relocated to Georgia in 2000, moving here from their home in Holland. Although specializing in eventing, Werner also trains and instructs jumpers and dressage horses. Werner’s services include individual lessons, monthly training and coaching at shows.
Werner is sponsored by Schleese Saddlery and rides in the LightFlight XC saddle.
Spring City, UT
Summer Peterson DVM is an equine veterinarian and competitive 3-day event rider in central Utah. She grew up in the United States Pony Club, then continued riding and training horses through college and vet school. After graduating in 2007, Summer worked at an equine referral practice for three years and subsequently started working as a mobile equine veterinarian as well as a contract veterinarian for the BLM Wild Horse and Burro program. In 2009, Summer started competing again in 3-day eventing and has brought several horses up through the levels in the last 10 years.
Summer took her horse Tim through FEI CCI-L 2* level, and after his retirement from upper-level eventing, earned her USDF bronze medal on Tim as well. Summer’s other upper-level mount, Jake the Fish, was brought up through the levels and last fall completed the Galway Downs CCI-L 3*. She also has a mare ready to move up to the preliminary level and two up and coming youngsters. Summer does the primary care, training, veterinary and farrier work on her horses and works hard to have a consistent and quality training and management practice that allows for the horses to be as sound and healthy as possible. She lives on a 70-acre farm in central Utah with her husband Jason, five horses, three dogs, two burros and two goats.
“After struggling for years with saddle fit issues on my horses, I was so grateful to discover Schleese Saddlery. Their commitment to making horse comfort and well-being the top priority has given me so much peace of mind every time I put a saddle on one of my horses. The value of a well fitting saddle cannot be understated in horse sports in this day and age. We know too much now about sports medicine to deny that this single piece of equipment vastly affects how our horse moves, carries its rider, and how it influences long term soundness.
As a veterinarian, I know the horse is getting the best possible fit to allow for the normal biomechanics required for functional, pain-free movement. As a rider, I can feel the difference it makes in their quality of movement and our communication.”
Los Osos - CA
Barbi Breen-Gurley is one of Schleese’s longest time clients, an “S” judge, and an extremely accomplished Grand Prix rider/trainer with multiple horses. She and her husband Geof own Sea Horse Ranch, a boarding facility on the central California coast. Barbi has won many State, Regional and National titles on many of her dressage horses over the years aboard Schleese saddles. She loves the adjustability and comfort of the fit as well as the excellent customer service.
This is Vindicator, Barbi’s KWPN Grand Prix gelding. This year they won the USDF KWPN vintage Grand Prix national champion.
Sturgeon Country, AB
Sharon Merkel-Beattie owns and operates Windhaven Enterprises with the help of Husband Colin Beattie and daughter Rachel. Windhaven Enterprises is a 20 stall Dressage barn located in Sturgeon County, Alberta.
Sharon has ridden to Grand Prix on two mounts trained with the help of trainers such as Neil Ishoy and Gina Smith. She has enjoyed success at this level and was able to compete in Canada as well as in the USA vying for a spot on the Canadian Team.
Unfortunately, Essence of Glory, her most recent mount, was retired and she lost her next up and coming mount named Loyal.
After taking a break Sharon now has a talented new horse named “Donatus”. He is such a character and has caused her to explore different avenues as they continue to build a partnership.
“Schleese saddles have played a large part in my success with all my horses. I enjoy working with this company and have purchased several saddles from them. Natalie Sauner, a Schleese Rep and excellent saddle fitter, has played a large part in my decision to remain a loyal customer. She has been integral in keeping my horses fitted correctly and comfortably. I love these saddles and look forward to continuing my relationship with Schleese.”
Shelley Van den Neste is a Grand Prix Competitor and has been training horses professionally for over 25 years. She has earned the United States Dressage Federation’s Gold Medal and the Gold Freestyle Bar, an honor bestowed upon riders for proficiency in the highest level of the sport of dressage. She has earned several IALHA National Championships as well as top honors at USDF Regional Championships and the US Dressage Finals. Shelley lives and trains at her facility in Gainesville Florida, along with her husband and partner who is also a lifelong horseman and Master Farrier.
I have two Schleese saddles, an Obrigado and a Heike Kemmer and I love both of them. Since I import and compete several FEI horses, those two saddles seem to cover all the bases.
My clients mostly ride in the Obrigado saddles and when I school their horses I never feel out of place, even though they all fit a little differently
“The horse in the photo is a recently imported stallion in my HK (my most favorite saddle of all time).”