Jochen Schleese – Biography
Former member of the German young rider’s 3-Day Event team, Jochen Schleese qualified for the European Championships in 1984. Unfortunately, he had to retire his horse due to lameness, which abruptly ended his riding career. Years later, through research Jochen discovered his horse’s lameness was caused by damage to the scapular cartilage from an ill-fitting saddle. This was the catalyst for Jochen’s life-long mission to prevent saddle related damage for all horses.
Certified Master Saddler
Jochen graduated from Passier in 1985 as the youngest Certified Master Saddler in Germany at the time. He came to Canada as the Official Saddler for the 1986 World Dressage Championships. Jochen registered the trade of saddlery in North America in 1990, and operated the only authorized training facility for this trade in Ontario. He discovered that many female riders struggle with pain and health issues from riding in saddles designed for male riders (due to pelvic and anatomical differences). Schleese Saddlery Service (1986) is the world leader in gender correct saddles, which can be fit and adjusted according to the biomechanics of movement and the development of the horse, through personal on-site saddle fit evaluations.
Jochen Schleese established Saddlefit 4 Life® (2006) as an independent organization to teach saddle fit evaluation and analyses, and certify professionals in equine and saddle ergonomics. Jochen lectures at the German Professional Trainers Association in Warendorf Germany, at veterinary conferences in Brazil and is a frequent clinician at trade shows and equine forums worldwide. Saddlefit 4 Life® courses are accredited by the United States Dressage Federation, the Certified Horsemanship Association and Ontario Equestrian Federation. Jochen Schleese is on the advisory board of the Equine Sciences Academy and an education partner with the American Riding Instructor Association and Ontario Equestrian Federation.
Jochen is author of “The Silent Killer” – the Painful Truth of Saddle Fitting and Why it Doesn’t Work” (Wu Wei Germany 2012) and “Suffering in Silence – the Saddle Fit Link to Physical and Psychological Trauma in Horses” (Trafalgar 2013). Selected as the Official Saddler to the World Cup Finals in Las Vegas (2005, 2007, and 2009), Jochen Schleese has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal and Discovery Channel (“How it’s Made”) and has written articles for over 28 equine publications.
In 2010 Jochen was part of the educational roster at WEG (World Equestrian Games), and is the recipient of numerous business and trade achievement awards. In 2014 he was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year (Chamber of Commerce) for ongoing innovation, research and development, growth, products and services, creative business initiatives, and community service.
Read why Jochen does what he does.