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.

Saddles and the Luxury Market

December 12th, 2017

Well, another year has almost passed and as we approach 2018, our thoughts turn to how we will grow and improve upon our business model in the New Year. Times are changing rapidly. Consumers are becoming more particular and Millennials are raising the bar in the Luxury Market. What has worked in the past does not guarantee a similar outcome anymore. And since we, here...

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Saddle Fit: An Inconvenient Truth?

November 13th, 2017

Photo by Tamara courtesy of Christiane Noelting Dressage Centre, CA. As horse owners we choose to bring these amazing creatures into our lives with the intention of fulfilling a dream. That dream we all seem to want to fulfill is one of legends that is ages old. We have written poems, songs, and depicted their beauty and majesty in art for hundreds, if not thousands o...

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Saddle Fit and Classical Training

November 7th, 2017

Tina Irwin & ‘Fancy That’ – Photo by Dieter Busse. Horses that are ridden properly (not on the forehand) will greatly reduce the potential for long-term damage – with a soft hand, a soft seat, a soft mouth, and a soft back – yet absolutely uphill, straight, and through the poll without any pulling or kicking. Although of course it shouldn’t...

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Standardization of Saddle Fitting Criteria

October 3rd, 2017

I want to refer to a recent paper appearing in the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, which was written by a group of non-scientists who were involved in a study to look at the repeatability of SMS (Society of Master Saddlers) qualified saddle fitters’ observations during static saddle fit.[1] What this means basically, is how much agreement was there between alleg...

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Bridle Choices - Pros and Cons

September 5th, 2017

In this last blog in my series on bridles, I wanted to list a number of the most popular bridles available with some of their features and benefits. For all of the different designs, remember that nosebands which are too restrictive can cause the horse to focus on the tension and pressure in and on his head, limiting the ability to focus and respond with proper muscle...

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

— Kelly Buziak - Edmonton, Alberta

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