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

Tip 1: Balance - English Saddles

Are you struggling with your position? Is your horse lacking in its performance?
You may be faced with a Saddle Balance issue.

Watch this informative video for some saddle fit tips on Balance that may help you!

Balance: Too High in Front

Do you feel you are struggling to get balanced in the saddle and are feeling tipped back? Are you struggling with getting your horse engaged or is it experiencing back issues?

If your saddle is too high off the horse’s withers or too low in the back, this will cause a lot of excess uneven pressure on the horse’s loins. It will not only put you in the wrong position, but it will be very difficult for your horse to engage as it will be unable to come through with its back and step underneath itself into a correctly engaged frame.

Balance: Too Low in Front

Do you feel tipped forward in the saddle? Is your horse resisting?

If your saddle is too low in front, it will pinch the horse’s shoulder – which is very restrictive for your horse! In this situation, your saddle may be too wide in the front or too high in the back. Not only will this cause discomfort for your horse but you will also be forcing yourself to sit in an unnatural position that may affect your riding or strain the discs in your lower back!

Steps to check Saddle Balance:

  1. Remove your saddle pad and irons. Place your saddle over the withers and slide it right back behind the shoulder blade. On a dressage saddle, the cantle should be a little higher than the pommel.
  2. Take a small round object (like a pencil) that will roll. Place it on the seat of the saddle and observe. If the saddle is balanced the pencil should rest in the center of the seat. If it rolls too far forward – the pommel is too low (cantle too high). If it rolls too far back, the saddle is too low in the cantle (pommel too high). It will be very difficult in either of these situations for both horse and rider to balance properly!

The horse will be much more comfortable in a well balanced saddle, because the weight of the rider will be distributed over a larger area. The saddle will not be driven into the shoulder or back on the loin. With correct balance the rider will be able to use the 4 curves in her back as natural ‘shock absorbers’, and she will sit balanced on their seat bones. This good posture means she will be able to lean forward and backward without the lower or upper leg swinging back and forth.

 

Is this a challenge you are facing? Are you experiencing other saddle fit issues? Tell us about them and let us help!

Contact miriam@schleese.com or solutions@schleese.com, book a Personal Saddle Fit Evaluation, or attend an educational lecture/demo.

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Testimonials

Thank you so much for all you have done for women and for horses. I grew up on a cattle ranch, riding bareback, and western from a young age. When I became interested in dressage some years ago, I tried a saddle that someone I knew had for sale. After riding in it, my crotch was extremely sore and numb... I mentioned this to my friend, (an equine vet) whom I respected. She told me that if I wanted to ride dressage I would have to get used to it, and basically that if you are not raw and unable to walk after riding, you are not riding 'hard enough.' Wow. Thank goodness I did not buy the saddle. I was unable to find anything acceptable to me for my price, so for many years I rode in a 'Sensation' Treeless Dressage saddle. It felt like bareback, and at least I was not injuring my horses and myself. But it was difficult to find and maintain a correct position. About a year ago I first rode in a Schleese when my friend allowed me to ride her horse, and her new saddle she had just purchased. I instantly felt relaxed and supported everywhere. My legs were able to hang so nicely from the hip joints. Comfort, and absolute security! I was shocked that it felt MORE comfortable than my treeless saddle which is extremely close contact and nice to sit in. Also, I must mention that this horse, who I had ridden in the past and found him to be unpleasant, was NOT THE SAME HORSE! He was happy and able to go in a light contact in an engaged way. He no longer rushed, braced, inverted, and chewed the bit. These things were gone. So I of course bought my own Schleese not long afterward. I am very impressed with the saddle's excellent quality and perfect fit to my body. I am lucky it works for me, since I bought it used. I am very delighted with it. I recently had it reflocked by one of your staff and the customer service was perfect. I learned a lot and I am very happy with the results. Can't say enough good things about your company! Thank you for helping so many horses and women who ride in your saddles!

— Dana Nordin, Saskatchewan

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