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

Our regular monthly blog called the “Saddle Stitch” may include anecdotal experiences of working with clients all over North America at all levels and dealing with all sorts of saddle fit and behavioural issues resulting from poor saddle fit. Additional contributions may include: Ambassador Rider Highlights; certified saddle fitter profiles; rider testimonials; and educational courses that have recently been held.

A Sad But True Story

February 23rd, 2015

The horse is standing with its hind legs splayed and out of body alignment, which indicates the amount of pain this animal is in even when standing still. To follow is a sad, but all too common story from my own experiences… I want to tell you about a horse I met recently; a personal encounter that, unfortunately, is not uncommon in the hundreds and thousands that I w...

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Saddle Fit and Saddle Straightness

February 18th, 2015

Here’s a common situation: When I have the saddle on the horse, the tree fits, the panels are leveled, and the rider is sitting in balance on both her seat bones, so statically everything looks ok. Then the horse starts moving. The saddle does what is has to do, it stays in place and at this moment I am satisfied what I see, how the saddle is working for the horse. Bu...

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Saddle Fit and Trainer Certification

February 9th, 2015

I am really gratified to see how the German professional trainer’s association, the FN, and the German National Riding School have started to see the necessity of including a module on saddle fitting for their trainer certification programs. I hope that at some point the North American factions will also agree that the value of this is crucial to their curricula since...

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Saddle Fit and Kissing Spines

February 3rd, 2015

There are still differing opinions as to whether kissing spines is a disease with predilection already present at birth, or whether it is caused by ‘something’ (poor saddle fit, poor riding, etc.) during the course of the horse’s life. Dr. Carol Vischer, DVM in NY has done extensive research and come to the conclusion that kissing spine is a disease that some horses a...

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Two Divergent Theories on Saddle Fitting

January 27th, 2015

There are many opinions and theories on saddle fitting. Occasionally we have even heard riders say “I have been using my saddle for x number of years. It fits me perfectly and fits every horse I use.” I have to really bite my tongue on that one but usually just manage to smile and say. “Lucky you”. Some people are unfortunately just not open to being educated on the f...

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Testimonials

Hi Sabine, OK, I submitted the following review on Amazon for Jochens book. It is being processedby Amazon, so will appear soon, I suspect. I gave it a 5 star rating: I have been an endurance rider since the mid 1980's. Asking a horse to go 50, 75 or 100 miles in a day is asking a lot--of both horse and rider. It takes hundreds and hundreds of miles of preparation to get you both in shape to successfully compete in this sport. A primary factor in this equation is a proper saddle fit for both you and your horse. I have struggled with how to accomplish this for 30 years, and it has never been explained so clearly as in this book. Jochen Schleese has put all the pieces of the puzzle together in this well written and well-illustrated book. You will learn that ALL saddles out there (with the exception of a side-seat saddle and a Schleese saddle) are made to fit a man's pelvis. There is no way a woman can ever be comfortable or truly in balance in a saddle built for a man's pelvis. The shape of a woman's pelvis and her center of gravity is very different from a man's. You will also learn all the features of a saddle that can hurt a horse if the saddle is not built or adjusted correctly, and that many behavioral issues a horse exhibits are often a result of poor saddle fit. There are also many chronic soft-tissue injuries that horses and riders can completely avoid by a saddle that fits both horse and rider properly. In this book, Jochen Schleese explains in an easy to understand manner, all the steps necessary for determining whether or not a saddle fits you and your horse properly--both when the horse is standing still and when the horse is in motion and if it continues to fit over time as the horse changes shape from conditioning (or lack thereof). I highly recommend this book. It will arm you with information that can save both you and your horse from unnecessary pain and make riding a much more enjoyable experience for both of you. Read this book, and you will gain the knowledge that Jochen Schleese has so generously shared. If you apply this knowledge, it will definitely help you and your horse ride pain free for a lifetime. I wanted also to let you and Jochen know that my saddle arrived yesterday. It is absolutely beautiful. I think the stirrup leather solution is brilliant. Hopefully it will all work for both Tahoe and me. It’s still pouring rain outside, and Tahoe is soaking wet and muddy from rolling in the mud. We are forecast for some dry weather tomorrow so I might be able to get him cleaned up enough to try out the saddle and go for a little hack on the unpaved road that I live on (safe footing even with all this rain). Ill keep you posted. Best regards,

— Sharma Gaponoff - Grass Valley, GA

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