We are proud to introduce an entire gallery on our website dedicated to the talented and passionate Western 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. Check back in the coming months for updates.
Jeff Wilson is a nationally known trainer and clinician teaching Cowboy Dressage. With a thirty-five year professional career, Jeff has furthered a love for all breeds of horses through the training and pursuit of Cowboy Dressage with its core focus on promoting fun, safety, and harmony.
Jeff Wilson has worked with riders all over the country to improve the horses they love. Through efforts as a clinician at all the major horse expos, as well as through private clinics, Jeff helps people learn and teach their own horses the tools that have been developed through the centuries in a way they feel comfortable and bringing to them the highest level of horsemanship they desire.
Jeff’s legacy of breeding and showcasing his Morgan horses for over 35 years under the name of Black Willow Morgans was featured at the 2010 World Equestrian Games where Jeff presented his two Morgan stallions. His military tributes and performances to honor the men and women who serve have been featured around the country.
Jeff writes monthly columns on Cowboy Dressage Horsemanship for several publications including the new online magazine: We Ride Sport & Trail.
“I believe everyone should have access to the highest level of horsemanship they desire. Whether it’s to ride safer or become a better partner with your horse, your personal goals can only be attainable through a happy horse. I have found the horsemanship path can be life-changing and transformative, but only when there is saddle fit. I have also come to understand there is really a difference in saddle fitters. No pain is tolerable, and every day I have to trust that each horse I ride is comfortable. I have found a gift in Schleese and the amazing team of professionals available to help me.”
To learn more about Jeff Wilson and Cowboy Dressage, visit his website: www.JeffWilsonCowboyDressage.com
Renowned gaited horseman since 1980, Larry was very successful in the show ring, winning regional, national and Grand National championships. In 2002 he was the trainer of the year. He has held judges cards in several gaited breeds.
Initially, he trained using the traditional gaited horse methods, thinking these were the only way to yield gait. As his training progressed he wanted to train gaited horses to a higher level so they would gait for any level rider and the riders could count on them to be safe and dependable. In his quest to learn correctness and lightness, Larry began studying classical dressage in the early 1990’s from contemporary masters who had studied under Nuno Olivera and at classical schools in Europe.
Classical training teaches the horse to rebalance itself into a relaxed frame of collection, engaging the hind legs. Engagement of the hind legs, whether false or real is what makes a gaited horse gait. Larry learned to bring horses into a more classical frame to gait. When you strengthen the correct muscles, the horse can carry a rider and rebalance into a natural collection.
Larry learned in short order that horses were more consistent in their gait and could perform gaits with a wider range of speeds when classically trained. Correct training builds confidence in a horse.
Natural horsemanship puts a great foundation on horses and prepares the horse mentally and physically to begin training for collection. Classical training then takes communication with the horse to the next level of lightness. Most gaited horses only need a mild degree of collection to gait.
Larry continues his education each year from classical dressage instructors. He travels the U.S. and Canada doing clinics and equine expositions. His goals are to help people understand what makes gaited horses gait so we can spare the horses from some of the training myths attached to the gaited world that are not in the horse’s best interest. By making things better for the horse, the horse will be smoother, safer and more dependable for riders.
Larry teaches you how to teach your horse to relax so you can teach a correct response with the least effort. He teaches you how to teach your horse to respond to subtle cues. His clinics are a shot in the arm for your riding program providing very intense instruction to all levels of riders on their own horses that instills an eagerness you will carry with you so you can further your relationship with your horse at home.
“My Schleese Devin saddle is what I have been waiting on for many years. I work my gaited horses in it. A gaited horse has a different twist in the ribs from a trotting horse and I need one that distributes my weight evenly. Almost all the gaited saddles are built on a quarter horse tree with minor adjustments. So they have a 30-degree twist and are 90 degrees in the shoulders. Widening the tree doesn’t work, you must change the angles. I know of only two saddles made for gaited horses that are truly correct and I have seen them all. Almost all gaited horses of every breed are 12 degrees twist or close to that.
Also my Schleese puts me in a correct riding position, with my ears, hip, and ankles in alignment. This way I don’t interfere with the spine and the hind legs. Most gaited saddles put me in a chair seat which causes many gaited horses to pace because you sit on the spine which slows the footfall of the hind foot, among other things. I ride many gaited horses each weekend and they all gait more freely in my Schleese saddle.”
Linda Hoover is a professional trainer who has worked with a multitude of breeds and disciplines utilizing elements that improve the partnerships of her clients with their horses. She has trained and shown horses who were involved in disciplines of dressage, hunter/jumper, eventing, carriage driving, racing, foxhunting and specialized breed shows (Quarter Horses, Arabian, Morgan, cutting, etc.) in addition to developing horses with well-established trail skills.
Her work speaks to the foundation and refinement of skills that allows any horse, regardless of discipline, to be a more willing and prepared partner.
In 1980, Linda opened her own training business and from that time she has always remained committed to the advancement of her skills. Since 1991, she has worked with a number of the “Masters” of the art of horsemanship. Among these notable horsemen are Buck Brannaman, Tom Curtin, and Ray Hunt. In 2008, Linda attended the first of many symposiums taught by Dr. Gerd Heuschmann, a world-renowned expert on equine biomechanics. She has also received certification through the Western Dressage Association of America (WDAA) Train the Trainers program in 2014.
Linda has recently taken on the role of President of the Western Dressage Association of North Carolina (WDANC). This is the state chapter of the Western Dressage Association of America (WDAA). She is also an Advisory Committee member of North American Western Dressage. Every year she continues to attend educational events to refine her abilities and increase her knowledge. This enables her to offer cutting-edge information and a wide array of skills.
Her experience in the area of physical problems encountered by equine athletes and the role training plays in the rehabilitation also allows her to enhance and maintain their optimal physical and mental performance. She understands and utilizes many of the modalities in the field of integrative medicine (chiropractic manipulation, bodywork, acupuncture, homeopathy, etc.) in addition to conventional veterinary medicine.
Linda is passionate about helping riders and owners discover the joy and benefits of creating harmonious partnerships with their horses. As a teacher and trainer, she loves watching as a spark of understanding is ignited because, at that point, a whole new world opens up.
“Finally a western saddle that provides a custom fit for both the horse and the rider. The western world has lagged behind the English world when it comes to saddle fit until now. For decades, I have struggled with creating an appropriate fit for each horse. I found myself cutting up various foam materials and taping them to the saddle pad in an attempt to make room for the horse’s shoulders, help with bridging and shortening the saddle support area for saddles that were too long for the horse’s back.
With the Schleese Western Saddles, I now have a complete system that easily allows for a custom fit for each horse I ride. Plus, I can customize the seat for myself and anyone else who rides in my saddle including adjusting the stirrup bar position. No more sitting in the chair seat position most western saddles put riders in. I feel like I am sitting in a dressage saddle as I am no longer having to fight an ill-fitting saddle to have correct alignment of my posture.
The ingenuity of the design and quality of workmanship are what I have come to expect from the Jochen and the Schleese Team too. “