Do you have any hints to avoid 'saddle fitting hell' of buying a saddle?

Do you have any hints to avoid 'saddle fitting hell' of buying a saddle?

rt and a science to fitting a saddle to both horse and rider. Human and Equine anatomy are a key determinant in choosing the correct saddle. In a nutshell it has to work for both of you. A badly fitting saddle not only causes discomfort to the horse and rider, but can actually stop a horse from moving properly. The tree and panels of a saddle should be chosen for the horse; the seat and flap length for the rider – at minimum. The proper way to measure the seat size of an English saddle is ...

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Top 10 Signs of Poor Saddle Fit

Top 10 Signs of Poor Saddle Fit

It is apparently a psychological truth that people have an affinity to lists consisting of 10 points; maybe because we have 10 fingers, 10 toes, there are 10 commandments, etc. 10 is just a nice round number to work with and easy to count off. David Letterman adopted an interesting institution with his “top 10” lists on his late show. I don’t know why I actually came up with 9 signs of poor saddle fit that you can self-diagnose, but those are what they are and I couldn’t artificially inflate that number. You will see 7 or 8 points in the literature as well, but I think these lists combine some of the points of reference...

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Saddle Fit & Technology: Saddle Fit and Western Saddles

Saddle Fit & Technology: Saddle Fit and Western Saddles

Over the years I have been asked many times to address the subject of fitting western saddles and have subsequently done some presentations on this at both the Certified Horsemanship Association Conference and Western States Horse Expo in California. At each of these events i am constantly surprised at the number of people who attend my lectures and are extremely interested in the information I have to offer. Our specialty at Schleese over the past 30+ years is English saddles - and mainly dressage - but with the launch of our Devin Western Saddle with its many benefits and features it's perhaps time to put some of these thoughts down on paper...

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Top 9 Saddle Fitting Problems (with Schleese Saddlery)

Top 9 Saddle Fitting Problems (with Schleese Saddlery)

A trio of Canadian experts divulge their most common saddle fit issues and how to fix them BY NICOLE KITCHENER. Saddle fitters encounter a multitude of issues in their mission to help horses and equestrians achieve riding comfort, balance, freedom of movement, and optimal performance. But some problems emerge more frequently than others. Three of Canada’s top saddle fitters share the three fitting concerns they confront most frequently. SCHLEESE SADDLERY 1. Saddle Too Far Forward Located between the base of the withers and the last rib, the saddle support area is the only part of the horse’s back that can handle the weight of saddle and rider. But saddles are often too long for the saddle support area and, “during motion, the back movement tends to move the saddle forward onto the shoulder,”....

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Saddle Fit and Western Saddles

Saddle Fit and Western Saddles

My principle on saddle fitting - any model - is to fit the saddle to both the horse and rider and ensure he/she is sitting correctly, balanced, and comfortably. Regardless which saddle – dressage, jumping, racing, endurance, specialty saddle, or western saddle – it has to fit along the lines of these commonly accepted principles. The saddle is not to impact or deform the horse’s back and fit into the saddle support area, sit over the shoulder and damage the cartilage, impinge the spinal processes or ligaments, nor pinch and numb the nerves permanently. This is the philosophy of Saddlefit4life® - to protect horse and rider from longterm damage – regardless of the saddle. For the rider, the basics are that the back shouldn’t ache, the hips shouldn’t hurt and feel pulled apart, the knees shouldn’t bruise, and the rider should sit in proper balance to achieve riding in harmony...

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What Should I look for When Purchasing a Used Saddle?

What Should I look for When Purchasing a Used Saddle?

Generally used saddles are on the market for a number of reasons, some of which could be: • they no longer or never fit either horse or rider and are non-adjustable (which unfortunately is the case with many English saddles that have been built on a traditional English spring tree with a traditional English gullet plate); • Or they have been put aside for the next latest greatest fad or model; • Or the rider no longer rides or has changed disciplines. In any case, with a used saddle, it is usually a case of caveat emptor, especially if buying privately. If you purchase a used saddle from a reputable dealer, generally it will have been tested for soundness

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Saddle Fit for Children - Why Do So Few Boys Ride Horses?

Saddle Fit for Children - Why Do So Few Boys Ride Horses?

When we think about children and riding, we usually picture little girls and their ponies. Popular equestrian magazines with the target market of younger riders are usually focused on girls — it’s really rare to see photos in these magazines featuring boys. Later in this article I’ll discuss some of the possible reasons why boys do not usually get involved with horses from a young age, but first I want to address the importance of getting the right saddle from the get-go. Most young riders are girls, and unless they have the wonderful luxury of well-off parents who can buy them their own pony, they start riding at a riding school — hopefully an accredited one. Unfortunately, most of these riding schools are extremely limited in their funding and will use donated horses and ponies with probably donated saddles and tack...

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Saddle Fit and Saddle Trees

Saddle Fit and Saddle Trees

I often get asked about my opinion on the latest and newest saddle designs appearing on the market. I have to, of course, be very careful about what I say, lest my comments are taken ‘on the record’ and possibly get back to the manufacturer to be misconstrued as slander or defamation. This is not ever my intent, but with my 35+ years of experience and continuing relentlessness in pursuing constant professional development, I think that my opinions do hold significant merit. So without specifically mentioning any particular brand, model, or saddle design, I think one of the best ways to discuss the pros and cons of the various saddles on the market is to dig deep into the saddle – to the tree, (or lack thereof) which is the basis is for all saddles. Saddle making history shows us that...

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Profile On: Julia Dixon-Curtis, Saddle Fit Technician

Profile On: Julia Dixon-Curtis, Saddle Fit Technician

Q: How much of your day/week is related to horses? A: The awesome thing about this question is there is rarely a day that goes by let alone a week that isn’t related to horses in one way or another. I can be on the road working as a Certified Saddle fit Technician for Schleese Saddlery from early mornings till late at night. Still somehow I end up at the barn where I board my horse even if it is just for a quick brush or ride. I am also a Registered Equine Massage Therapist. When I am not fitting saddles or with my own horse, I might just be found at another barn treating a horse. Q: What is it exactly that you do? A: Being a Certified Saddle Fit Technician, my role is creating the optimal saddle fit for horse and also rider. So there are certain territories that I travel along with a client success manager...

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Profile on : Alexa Frye, Regional Client Services Manager - Schleese Saddlery

Profile on : Alexa Frye, Regional Client Services Manager - Schleese Saddlery

How much of your day/week is related to horses? I am happy to be able to say that the vast majority of my week, both professional and personal, is related to horses. When I’m not traveling to barns for my job as a Regional Client Services Manager for Schleese Saddlery, I am working from home and spending most of my free time riding my own horse. What is it exactly that you do? I am a Regional Client Services Manager for Schleese Saddlery. I travel to different territories on regularly scheduled Saddle Fit Clinics. We provide saddle fitting services to new clients seeking an optimally fitting saddle for horse and rider and to our existing clients in need of routine saddle fitting adjustments...

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Testimonials

His articles are the most complete about the subject I’ve ever seen. Very valuable for me to learn about saddle fitting as a rider and veterinarian. We treat a lot of back problems, most of them due to the saddle. Jochen is not only a great master of saddle fitting, but someone who really cares about horses. It was a privilege to work with him.

— Solange Mikail, DVM, MS: Owner of Equine Rehabilitation Center, Brazil

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