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Schleese Learning Resources

Saddle Fit & Rider Pain

How ill-fitting saddles may cause rider pain and discomfort

All too often we have heard riders state that they didn’t care if the saddle fit them or not. The main thing was that it fit the horse.

Unfortunately, if the saddle doesn’t fit the rider as well, then it doesn’t really matter how well it fits the horse. The rider’s pain and discomfort will be translated down to the horse (remember that he can feel the tiniest fly landing on his skin) Therefore, we would like to propose that rider comfort is just as important. Riding should not hurt – that`s the first thing. As a rider, if you are experiencing any of the following issues (i.e., “pains”) it could be that your saddle simply doesn’t fit you properly, and on top of that, could be inappropriate for your gender – male or female.

  • Feeling ‘pulled apart’ at the hip joints
  • Constant back pain in the lower back
  • Feeling ‘jarred’ during sitting trot
  • Knee joints hurt
  • Slipped disc
  • Constant bladder or urinary tract infections
  • Being literally ‘rubbed raw’ in the pubic area

We recognize that sometimes it is impossible to use a saddle that fits you, especially in a riding school where many people have to ride the same saddle. But if you are in a position where you own your own horse, ride regularly and want to improve – perhaps it`s time to examine all of the finer points of saddle fit to the rider. Riders come in all shapes and sizes – this has implications for achieving optimal saddle fit (heavier ridersshort riders, tall riders) Ride pain free. For you. For your horse.

Rider Pain Videos

Video #1

Schleese discusses rider pain.

Video #2

Are you riding in a saddle made for a man? This video will explain female vs male saddles. 

Video #3

Female saddle fitting part #1. The twist, stirrup bar placement and flap angle. 

Video #4

Female saddle fitting part #2. The seat width and crotch comfort.

Video #5

How Saddle fit affects the rider. Callie King interview with Jochen Schleese. 

Video #6

Are you a women riding in a saddle made for a man?

Video #7

Why female riders struggle with “chair seat”.

Video #8

Dressage Today video tip: Saddle fit for female and male riders. 

Want to see all our videos?

Now Is The Best Time To Start

Now you have easy and clear instructions on how to identify a poorly fitting saddle and the problems it can cause. If you are still unsure if your saddle is hurting you or your horse then talk to one of our saddle fit experts and book a personal evaluation today!

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