Fit is Everything - Infinitely Adjustable for Optimal Comfort & Performance!

Blogging about Saddle Fit

December 22nd, 2018

Dear Readers and Riders:

This will be my last blog for Horse-Canada. I have had the privilege and pleasure of writing for you on the topic of saddle fit and related subjects over the last three years, and have managed to have over 100 of my articles published on this website. I trust that one or the other person will have found something of value and interest in what I have written about, and will have improved the lives of their horses because of it. That is the true gratification of everything that I do, that we at Schleese do – making a difference in the comfort and well-being of horse (and rider!).

My travels and my work especially with Saddlefit 4 Life® have taken me pretty much all over the world; interest in the topic of saddle fitting is growing, and I am spending most of my time now lecturing, teaching, and giving clinics. When I am home (not very often, unfortunately!) my time in the production shop is spent developing new products, innovating new designs, and working with my talented staff of excellent craftsmen to continue to bring you the latest and best saddles for you and your horses.

I am excited on the educational front for two huge steps in the coming year: my Saddlefit 4 Life® curriculum is under consideration to be included as an elective at the University of Guelph for its degree program “Bachelor of Bio-Resource Management” in the Animals Sciences program at OAC. And secondly: my wife Sabine has decided to go back to Guelph to pursue her PhD in Equine Sciences, with a thesis that broadly involves the discussion on how saddle fit affects equine performance! I look forward to working with her on the research that accompanies this thesis over the next few years, with the involvement of many of our clients.

As such, I will still continue to publish articles in various equestrian magazines and on our own website – and will be working closely with Muriel Chestnut, who will be writing for me. Muriel was actually my very first female apprentice and has been in and out of the Schleese family pretty much for 30+ years. I am excited to be able to collaborate with her, as she is an accomplished equestrienne in her own right as well. Sabine will also be sharing her results over the next few years, especially as they have relevance to what we are doing.

I take this opportunity to wish you all the very best of the season; Merry Christmas, and all the best for the New Year. As 2017 ends, we send prayers (and financial support) to our friends in California, who have had more than their share of devastating fires this year and have lost so much. It is in trying times such as these that the horse community shows its familial spirit and rises to the occasion. It is a small and closely-knit group of people, and we are honoured to play such an important role in helping to keep the lines of communication, education, and passion open.

Happy Trails!

Jochen Schleese

©2017 Saddlefit 4 Life® All Rights Reserved


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“I am extremely excited to be working with the high-tech saddle company Schleese.  Their innovative and ergonomic saddle design and saddle fit analyses not only fosters optimal performance, it helps protect against pain and long-term damage to both horse and rider.” “Biomechanics and injury prevention are fundamental building blocks of my methods; as a result I have done extensive research into saddle companies, their design technologies and core concepts.  The mere fact that Schleese saddles are offered in male or female pelvis versions caught my attention. I was immediately drawn to the scientific and innovative design of Schleese saddles.” “Under Schleese saddles, my horses feel comfortable and readily offer to use their whole bodies right from the beginning of each training session. The Schleese design does not touch any triggers and the wide channel gives clearance to the ligaments running along the horse’s back all while ensuring a steady and biomechanically superior bearing surface. This all helps my horses raise their toplines and really use their neck, withers and with their engaged and stable core, offer me their raised and swinging back. Without this, it is impossible to engage the hind-legs or obtain shoulder freedom.” “Schleese saddles allow me to sit forward over the horse’s center of gravity without sacrificing the option of a deep seat.  It supports correct position without locking me into one position.  I am able to fine-tune my position to influence my horses with greater freedom and more precise results.  In the Schleese saddle I can both affect and follow my horses to a high degree.” “Within the first week I witnessed dramatic results in topline improvement and my horses’ general way of going.   Students are experiencing a positive boost in their improvement which is creating great momentum for the winter months. I look forward to what is in store for our future with Schleese.”  

— David Thind - Walpole, MA

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