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

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“A picture is worth a thousand words”.

Since that is true, moving pictures must be worth a million words! Schleese has simplified the art of “DIY” diagnoses of the most common issues we have encountered over the years with our educational instructional videos that you can watch and follow along with your own horse. Each of our videos is only a few minutes long and won’t take much of your time to watch (unless of course you become so entranced with what you see that you decide to do a “Schleese marathon” and watch them all!). Easy and clear instructions on how to identify the problems a poorly fitting saddle can cause. AND – here’s the best part! If you decide to book a personal evaluation and every single one of the “9 Points of Saddle Fit” is absolutely correct for your horse – we will refund your entire evaluation fee!

So join the growing ‘herd’ (no pun intended) of riders who have pushed our total YouTube guests close to 1,000,000 and learn for yourself the difference a well-fitting saddle can make for you – and your horse!  We welcome your thoughts and your feedback!

9 Points of Saddle Fit Summary

Tip 1

Balance - English Saddles

The center of the saddle (seat area) should be parallel to the ground while on the horse's back.

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Tip 2

Wither Clearance

Clearance at the withers should be 2-3 fingers for normal withers, whereas, mutton withers will have more clearance and high withers will have less clearance.

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Tip 3

Gullet Channel Width

The gullet should be wide enough not to interfere with the spinal processes or musculature of the horse's back (3-5 fingers).

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Tip 4

Full Panel Contact

The panel should touch the horse's back evenly all the way from front to back; some panels may be designed off the back end to allow the back to come up during engagement.

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Tip 5

Billet Alignment

The billets should hang perpendicular to the ground so that the girth is positioned properly and not angled either forwards or backwards.

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Tip 6

Saddle Length

The shoulder and loin areas should not carry any weight of the saddle and rider. Rider weight should be on the saddle support area only.

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Tip 7

Saddle Straightness

The saddle should not fall off to one side when viewed from back or front. The tree points should be behind both scapulae (shoulder blades).

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Tip 8

Saddle Tree Angle

The panel tree points should be parallel to the shoulder angle to position saddle properly.

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Tip 9

Saddle Tree Width

The tree width should be wide enough for saddle to fit during the dynamic movement of the horse.

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Testimonials

Ten years ago I purchased a lovely three yr. old Friesian cross to train for dressage, not realizing the size he would attain for my small frame.  He quickly outgrew my extra wide saddle and my other hoop tree saddle was so very painful for my hips that I actually was diagnosed with torn labral cartilage and subsequent further OA degeneration of both hip joints.  I then began to ride in my other trail saddle with panels that "sort of" fit the broad back/mutton withers but completely destroyed attempts at a effective dressage position and continued to be very painful for me. Having spent a summer with a driving instructor and realizing that was not for me, my only choice seemed to be selling my now beautifully trained and well loved horse and finding a "skinny little one" I could perhaps ride after the recommended bilateral hip replacement surgeries. By now you can probably see where this note is going; yes, I signed up for a Schleese evaluation last summer, rode in a loaner until my custom was made and now, after several weeks in my new Schleese, even the severe and chronic tendinitis has mostly healed and finally at age 74, I'm working with a Centered Riding instructor, attending clinics and riding better than I ever have on Mr. Propane Tank. So, thank you for the extensive time and effort you have taken to develop saddles that enable us little older women to continue to enjoy what we have devoted so many years to attaining even with our imperfect joints, and in my case, to avoid drastic surgeries.

— Linda Greenman - Fort Collins, CO

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