Riding on Air and other Uplifting Innovations in Saddle Design

Riding on Air and other Uplifting Innovations in Saddle Design

There is a lot to be said for tradition, especially in the horse industry, which relies, to an extent, on tried and true methods to get the job done. Enlightened horse owners are, however, starting to look for ways to make the riding experience more comfortable for their mounts. A greater awareness of the consequences of “tradition” is also forcing the rules to change and attitudes to evolve. One instance where this is particularly true is in saddle fit and design. In a very literal sense, the saddle is the only thing that comes between you, your horse and the best possible ride. Unfortunately, when it comes to saddle design, the theory of ‘we’ve always done it this way’ is not only standing in the way of optimum performance, it is physically damaging our horses.

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As quoted in the Certified Horsemanship Association February Monthly Newsletter "I recently attended a nine day intensive saddle fitting course conducted by Jochen Schleese. Jochen and his wife, Sabine, have attended two of CHA's International conferences.  I was intrigued by his demos on how saddles are made differently for men and women. This year in Amarillo, he went into more detail about fitting saddles properly to horses to prevent serious injury.  He is passionate about helping horses and by offering this course to professionals in the horse industry, we can do our part in having healthy horses and educated riders. This 3-day course event covered how saddles [may] cause injury and how little has been done in the last 100 years to prevent these injuries.  By educating professionals who deal with horses on a daily basis on how to properly evaluate a saddle fit can go a long way in making horses healthy.  by teaching an 80 Point Evaluation, taking into account, the shoulder angles, wither shape, saddle support area and making sure critical pressure points are not impinged on by the saddle is just a small segment of this course.  The Schleese's passion for helping horses is much the same as CHA's mission statement for riding instructors.  It is for the good of the horse.  Taking these courses reminded me of my certification week to become a CHA instructor.  A huge highlight of my life with horses."  Check our Saddlefit4life.com and the book "Suffering in Silence."

— Lori Maciulewicz - Regional Director for Region 6

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