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Rider Testimonials

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Amanda Peer - Used Wave Testimonial

"My gelding is a senior and feel it is important to make sure his equipment fits well."

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I am an avid Dressage rider and equine enthusiast! Well over eight years now I was looking to upgrade my Dressage saddle and had very optimistic feedback about Schleese’s products. At the time I booked a fitting with Julia and went on to purchase a used Wave saddle. We boarded outside a city center and Julia was very accommodating coming for a fitting as well as only coming for one horse. I also purchased the dressage girth to go with my saddle which I still use today. The leather is durable and conditions well after each ride.

More recently I have been in contact with Leanne on scheduling a current fitting. My gelding is a senior and feel it is important to make sure his equipment fits well. My goal is to eventually upgrade to a new Schleese with permanent knee rolls for a more balanced seat.

Below are a couple of pictures of my gelding Caliente and myself a couple of weeks back showing First Level at the Caledon Equestrian Park.


Thank you for the opportunity,

Amanda Peer

Amanda Peer - Ontario

Rosalie Ouellet - Infinity II Testimonial

"I was ecstatic!"

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“Hello! My name’s Rosalie Ouellet, I’m from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and I have owned a Schleese Infinity II dressage saddle since September 2020. I am a relatively new amateur dressage rider, my mare and I have been jumping for the most part of our journey together.

I was looking for a saddle that was fully adjustable for my mare, who is a draft warmblood with good shoulders and a short back. She is really hard to fit. I was ready to invest good money since I had realized, through the years, that investing in the right saddle was the only way to go. I wanted her to feel comfortable, confident and free to move. I wanted to free her back and her shoulders from any unwanted weight. I secretly wished that with the proper saddle, she would finally appreciate dressage – I was realistically aware she wouldn’t love dressage though, she is a free spirit 😅

So I bought this amazing saddle from an amateur rider who was selling it and I asked Schleese reps to assess it, to assess my horse and to assess myself. The measurements they did were a bliss to me. I was impressed as well as a bit disappointed because we discovered my saddle was too long for my mare’s very short back…I asked my rep if it was possible to change the panels for shorter ones and it was! I was ecstatic. I had the PSI panels installed on my saddle and had the « new » saddle fitted to my mare. It was terrific! I love the fact that it’s fully adjustable and that it fits her almost perfectly (nothing is perfect huh!). Schleese offers the best system I have come across over the last 11 years. My saddle is not only comfortable for her, it is for me as well. I feel balanced and at the right place, it’s easier to work on having a better posture and on the right way to display aids. So we are now able to continue our training in dressage and are aiming for higher levels of comfort and fun!

Thank you Schleese 🙏 Oh and I have recommended Schleese to a lot of people around me, including a western barrel rider who had her horse measured with the Schleese 80 points, and another one who is a dressage rider who ended up buying a custom 2023 Lets dance saddle!”

Rosalie Ouellet - Montreal, QC

Megan Morris - video testimonial

"Megan Morris – Video Testimonial – Click Read More"

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Megan Morris - Video Testimonial

Megan Morris - Ontario

Kathi Menner - Wave & Eagle Testimonial

"We could not be happier with Schleese!"

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“My name is Kathi Menner and I live and ride in Elmira, New York. I own two Schleese saddles [Wave and Eagle with PSI panels]. One old Weave dressage saddle and one really old Eagle eventing saddle. I have both saddles refitted with the psi panels.

I have owned the saddles for years and they have been fitted to 3 of my horses. Most recently, both saddles are fitted to my young horse Fritz. He is a 17-hand Dutch harness horse/ Standardbred. He has huge expressive gaits and can jump the moon.

What I LOVE most about the Schleese saddles, is that they grow with him. He looked very much like a Doctor Seuss character even a year ago. Long and awkward! The saddle he needed back then is not the saddle that he needs now. He has shown first-level dressage this year and is moving to second-level this coming spring. I absolutely love that the saddle was able to grow with him and adjust to his newly found muscles. Here are pictures of Fritz showing in Morven Park Virginia and schooling jumping at home. We could not be happier with Schleese!”

Kathi and Fritz

Kathi Menner - Elmira, NY

Julie Heyrman Compernolle - Cadence Testimonial

"Customized to me and my horse with endless abilities for modifications."

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“I am new to western dressage and purchased my Schleese western dressage saddle Cadence in the Fall of 2021. I brought both my paint horses to be fit. Fortunately, the half-sisters were very close in their fit and I did not have to change the panels before riding the other horses. However, it is great that if they were different in their measurements I could purchase separate panels for the other horse and just modify between the two girls instead of having to buy an individual saddle for each horse. Due to one horse having a career-ending injury in 2022, I resumed showing this year with Talon. She had her re-fitting done in May and that made a difference in the balance of the saddle for me and the horse. We have done a few shows in Wisconsin and are qualified for the WDAA World Show 2023. The Schleese Cadence Western Saddle is well balanced, customized to me and my horse with endless abilities for modifications.”

Julie Heyrman Compernolle - Richfield, WI

Kelly Kowalchuk - HK Testimonial
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“I am a very loyal Schleese customer and wanted to share my story, along with a testimonial.

I purchased my OTTB, Izzi, in 2017 after my previous horse of 29 years passed away. Izzi had successfully raced for 2 years prior to coming into my life and I was told that she was retired from racing because she not only started to slow down but her demeanour changed from very sweet to aggressive and ornery.

Izzi came into my life unexpectedly. I’d visited a barn to try a different horse (a very well-trained dressage horse) but we just didn’t click. The owner of the barn made an off-handed remark about a thoroughbred she’d purchased as a sale horse and asked if I wanted to try her. She warned me that this horse needed work. Despite the fact that our first ride was very chaotic (she was really green, unbalanced, and had no brakes or steering…when we cantered, everyone else riding in the arena quickly congregated to the centre for fear of being run over!) it was “love at first ride”. I knew she was the right horse for me and that I was the right owner for her. I also suspected, based on her change of personality and the fact that she was extremely girthy, that she was in pain.

My vet confirmed that her back was sore and my coach suggested I try a new saddle. The long and short of it is that Izzi had kissing spine which was discovered after three years of treating back pain with various treatments (shockwave, acupressure, massage, chiro). While it was partially hereditary, an ill-fitting saddle contributed to the problem. Before the diagnosis, I’d worked with two reputable highly recommended (non-Schleese) saddle fitters and had tried over 25 (yes, twenty-five!) saddles to no avail. At one point, I had three dressage saddles in my basement that weren’t working that I had purchased and now needed to sell.

Post-surgery, I started getting anxious about a saddle. None of the options I’d tried fit Izzi properly and none of the fitters could come up with a solution. I was even willing to have a saddle custom-made, but since no one could tell me what fit Izzi needed, I was reluctant to invest in this. I felt desperate.

By chance, a friend suggested I contact a Schleese fitter. I was skeptical of yet another fitter but gave it a shot—I was running out of options. It was such a great experience! She had me put on my current saddle, then showed me why it wasn’t working: the channel was too narrow so it was pressing on Izzi’s spinal processes and it was too long, putting pressure on her lower back. She explained everything in great detail, including creating a chalk outline on Izzi’s fur showing where the saddle should sit, and it all made sense. She then placed a Schleese on Izzi’s back and showed me where it sat in comparison to my old saddle. I couldn’t believe that something so straightforward wasn’t caught by my other two fitters and was angry that Izzi endured so many painful years (and that I spent thousands of dollars on treatment) because of lack of knowledge. The Schleese fitter didn’t try to sell me a new saddle but instead provided me with guidance on what to look for in a used Schleese. She also offered to review any second-hand saddle listings to provide advice on whether or not they would work. I ended up with a secondhand HK and had it shortened by replacing the panels with the upswept model. It fits Izzi amazingly and she has not had any major back pain since. Needless to say, I’m now a huge fan of Schleese. Your company basically enabled me to ride Izzi again. I’ve referred you to several friends and all of them are as happy as I am. I’ve attached a few photos of Izzi and me.


Kelly Kowalchuk

Kelly Kowalchuk

Evie Dinkins - Obrigado & Let's Dance Testimonial

"It’s a perfect fit for both of us."

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“I was introduced to the Schleese line of saddles in May 2018 at a clinic in FL where Jochen was there supporting and demonstrating the brand. Both the clinician, Dr. Gerd Heuschmann, and Jochen told me that the brand-new saddle I had just purchased would never fit my new pony. Jochen offered to measure the pony (and me) and discuss options with his line of dressage saddles. Because my GRP has a very short back with large shoulders, and I am only 5’ tall, he recommended the Obrigado as his first choice. I went with the shortest flap and had him customize the thigh blocks for me.

I have been riding without stirrups for over 7 years now due to malformations in my lumbar spine. The seat on this saddle keeps me very secure and is so comfortable. And it allows him the shoulder freedom he needs. I have a special dispensation to compete without my stirrups. My pony, Dein Jolly Jocker, and I have competed at 4th Level through Intermediate-1, earning my USDF Silver Medal. He is 17 now. We hope to make it through GP and earn my Gold Medal. I absolutely LOVE this saddle and get it fitted twice a year. It’s a perfect fit for both of us. This pony also likes to jump so he has a Merci which nicely accommodates his short back and big shoulders. Check out his jumping photo with a student on him!

Meanwhile, I purchased a small young horse (14.3 HH) almost 2 years ago. Da Leo is now 5 and ‘going’ quite well in his very own Obrigado that I purchased second-hand and had fitted to him. He’s a little taller so I went with the #1 flap. We did the USDF 4 YR Old test this spring as his first outing. That was very successful. I look forward to taking him all the way to GP. (In the photos of him I am using stirrups to be safe since he’s 5 & it was his first time away from the farm.)

My friend and I own a Let’s Dance together for the Welsh horse I sold her earlier this year. She started leasing him several years ago. We struggled to find the right saddle for this uphill small guy with a shorter back. After trying several brands and then two Schleese models we figured out that they both loved the Let’s Dance. This tree gave him the most shoulder freedom with a wide gullet to keep the pressure away from his spine. So you can see that I am a huge fan of Schleese. I want to thank our saddle fitter Amanda Silver. She’s the BEST! I am including photos of Jolly and Leo.”

Evie Dinkins

Evie Dinkins - Powder Springs, GA

Mark Swinney - Legacy Testimonial

"“I wish my horse could write and tell you about his experience.”"

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“I bought a Schleese western saddle — a Legacy. I have had plenty of western saddles, including a custom-fit one, but this Schleese is eons beyond any of them. It fits me so well! The benefit that I appreciate most about it is that it automatically puts my body in the right position. This means that I can really focus on learning and showing.

I wish my horse could write and tell you about his experience with our saddle. But his actions and amazing freedom tell the story. Because my Legacy fits us both so well, we are improving together faster than I ever dreamed. This definitely is a western saddle I would recommend to anyone”.

Mark Swinney - Sandia Park, NM

Madel Kirdevoll - Cosmic saddle - Norway 2023

"Madel Kirkevoll – Cosmic VCFS Jump Saddle – Video Testimonial"

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Madel Kirkevoll, Norway

Kate Kudelko - VCFS Evolution Saddle Testimonial

"I absolutely love the [Evolution VCFS] saddle and seeing this change in Cosmo within 1 ride already has been so incredible"

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“First ride in Cosmo’s new @schleese Evolution VCFS saddle! I think Cosmo might love it just as much as I do! 😍 I am so excited to make a review video on this saddle. I think that my biggest realization of the day was that I’ve never ridden in a saddle that actually fit me before 🤣 This was the first time I’ve felt a thigh block actually rest on my thigh also and not just dig into my knee (short people problems). My FAVORITE part is that it is so close contact that you almost feel like you are bareback. It’s like you just sit down and your sitting bones are just connected right with your horse. I absolutely love this saddle, and seeing this change in Cosmo just within 1 ride already has been so incredible. It also came just in time for Cosmo’s first show next weekend!!! ❤️ Team Schleese all the way!”

Kate Kudelko
Brooksville, FL

Kate Kudelko, FL

Ruby Stringel - Boundless VCFS Jump Saddle

"I can’t believe the difference the “Boundless” saddle has made in my horse."

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Sunshine Murray (Murray) is a 2007 Thoroughbred Bay Gelding who is 17hh. Murray is an amazing athlete with an interesting resume. He started his career with two years of racing. He had 16 starts, 2 wins, 2 seconds and 1 third. He then retired from racing and became an eventer. He excelled at eventing and competed successfully at the FEI 2* level. Murray’s love of jumping has now led him into the world of show jumping. He has competed with success at the 1.15M level. Murray has the scope and ability for higher. I have schooled him over 1.39M at home. We hope to compete in 2022 with the goal of entering 1.20 classes when ready.

Over the summer, we had a saddle that did not fit Murray correctly. Over the course of the show season, he became sour while being saddled, often trying to bite while being girthed. His back muscles became weak, painful and spasmodic. He was also very resistant to go ‘on-the-bit’ or use his back correctly.

My Mother has always used Schleese saddles for her dressage horses. She arranged a saddle fit/evaluation for Murray by Heather Doig. Heather was very professional and helped us find a saddle that fits Murray. I can’t believe the difference the “Boundless” saddle has made in my horse. He is happy in his work and his back muscles are getting stronger each week. He is relaxed and is much easier to go on the bit. He is using his back with nice swinging gaits. He is less grumpy when being tacked up. My coach thinks he is moving and looking better than he was when we first acquired him.

I feel more horses, especially in the jumper world need to be comfortable in their jobs. If Murray’s story can help a few of these horses with poorly fitting saddles then I’m happy to help spread the word. The technology that Schleese is using in their saddles is amazing.

Ruby Stringel, Merrickville, ON

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