I had a wall full of ribbons from countless horse shows and I still wasn’t happy. I wasn’t happy because my horses obviously were not. I spent thousands of hours riding with very talented trainers, but no matter how well I could ride, there was still a void. I wanted to be better. I wanted to be more than a rider. I wanted to be a horseman, that is, horsewoman.
So, in my never-ending quest for self improvement, I embarked on a journey that would change not only my life, but the lives of the horses for whom I have such a deep passion.
I began to study everything I could get my hands on about horse behavior. This led me down another path to a degree in equine nutrition. But wait, there’s more! I soaked up information about hoof care and the latest breakthroughs in equine pharmacology, anatomy, physiology, and holistic healing like a sponge. I moved away from any training techniques involving pain, fear, and intimidation. I solicited the advice of trainers well-versed in the Classical Method of Dressage- no easy task in the Cutting Horse Capital of the World! I aligned myself with only those persons with a similar philosophy.
Along the way, I met an amazing number of horses who, for various reasons, were placed in a recliner and destined for a life spent staring at a fish tank in someone’s nursing home of a back pasture, or worse, the kill pen. These horses had failed at their current careers due to physical and /or behavioral issues.
Over and over I was encountering riders whose trainers and vets had given up on the horses. Somehow, it didn’t seem right. If these horses were okay for some life in a pasture or to be passed off to some other unsuspecting rider, why couldn’t they be made whole again? Plenty of humans retire from one career to begin another, so why couldn’t a low level eventer become someone’s next First Level dressage partner? I figured they simply needed someone with the knowledge to help them succeed and that person was going to be me.
But, I am human and flawed, so even I could fail a horse. Enter GG, an exceptionally challenging mare. Try as I might, I just couldn’t figure out how to make her happy. She was terrific to be around- as long as I stayed off her back. So, without further adieux, I delved into the world of saddle fit. I was pretty sure I had it all figured out and was making some pretty good progress with the mare, but I wasn’t quite there. My saddle wasn’t horrible, but it still wasn’t quite right- and it certainly wasn’t doing me any favors.
So, in a last ditch effort to find a way to ride this mare successfully, I began my search for yet another saddle- one that would suit both of us. A chance outing one evening landed me in Saddle Heaven. I had stumbled upon what would become a savior for even more of the horses entrusted to my care: Schleese Saddles.
Not only are these saddles made for women (Hooray!) but they are also fully adjustable for the horse. A certified fitter from the company -in Schleese terms, an Ergonomist- comes to my farm at least every six months to fit the horses both statically and dynamically. The Saddle Fit for Life philosophy aligned perfectly with my own. So, thanks to a chance meeting with Jochen Schleese and his wife, Sabine, the final piece of my puzzle fell into place and now I can be even more successful giving horses the futures they deserve- far from the kill pens and forgotten back pastures.
Utilizing nutrition, holistic healing, environment, proper saddle fit, and the Classical Method of Dressage, I have been able to successfully heal horses with not only physical trauma, but psychological trauma, as well.
My name is Jennifer Fulton and my focus is the Whole Horse.
Jennifer Fulton - Aledo, TX