A History of Excellence - How One Saddle Make is Improving the Industry through Education and Innovation

A History of Excellence - How One Saddle Make is Improving the Industry through Education and Innovation

Most equestrians are familiar with the Schleese name; for years it’s been synonymous with comfortable, quality saddles. But how did Jochen Schleese, the youngest German master saddler ever to be certified in Europe, end up launching his international vision from North America? It all started when he was invited to Toronto in 1986 to be the Official Saddler for the World Dressage Championships. A former international three-day event rider, Schleese understood the saddle from a rider’s point of view as well as how it should be made. Following on that success, Jochen worked with the Canadian government to develop an authorized apprenticeship for saddlers and saddle fitters. In 1996 he received an international patent for the innovative AdapTree® saddle tree, one of few fully adjustable trees on the market (adaptable both in gullet angle and in gullet width) to provide a custom fit, while accommodating the horse through all stages of development.

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Saddle Fit for the Rider

Saddle Fit for the Rider

Question: My hips and lower back ache after every ride and I think it might be my saddle. I had the saddle fitted to my horse but how can I tell if it fits me, too? Answer: You are correct to wonder if your pain might be coming from your saddle. Aches such as yours are very common in women equestrians because they are often riding in saddles that have been built for men. Because a woman’s pelvis is different from a man’s, women riding in a “male” saddle may face back, knee, hip, and pelvic pain and experience difficulty maintaining proper position and posture in the saddle...

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Girl Talk – 5 Keys to Comfort for Female Riders

Girl Talk – 5 Keys to Comfort for Female Riders

Did you know women have different requirements than men when it comes to saddle fit? Here are five keys to comfort for female riders: There are several important elements to consider in determining the proper saddle fit especially for women – which is 85% of Schleese’s market – and makes us the only female saddle specialist in the world! Our saddle fitters all have a comprehensive understanding of equine biomechanics ...

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A Tale of Two Saddles

A Tale of Two Saddles

I recently went out to recheck the fit of one of our saddles that a client bought for her horse as part of her usual annual maintenance cycle, and what I experienced there truly troubled me to the point that I had to write about it. Bad saddle fit and ignorance can really do damage to a horse - physically and mentally. AT FIRST GLANCE. The owner and the trainer were both not present (this is an important point - during a saddle fit evaluation it is actually crucial that these key players should be there - first of all to determine any 'unusual' circumstances and secondly to be part of the analytic exercise to establish proper fit)...

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Symptomatic Lameness - Part I

Symptomatic Lameness - Part I

If you have an equine patient whose lameness isn’t responding well to treatment, consider how the fit of his saddle might be contributing to the problem. With complex physiological issues, veterinarians may recommend treatments to alleviate symptoms. The horse benefits greatly when the health care team works together, combining knowledge to understand underlying factors. This series discusses concepts to assist professionals in the diagnostic process. When issues of symptomatic lameness are addressed (often in the right hind leg), and logical treatments no longer work, then injections, anti-inflammatory creams, or chiropractic adjustments at the SI joint are often selected. Observations of horse and rider in various gaits reveal many other causes of lameness – including saddle fit.

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The Battle of the Sexes - in Saddle Fit!

The Battle of the Sexes - in Saddle Fit!

Q-flexion, hip joint articulation, saddle seat twist versus seat width, biomechanics, and the all-important "ps": (pubic symphysis). If you're in the market for a new saddle, there is some updated thinking on how that saddle will complement your body and affect your riding ability...

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Facing the Right Way? Saddle tree points - direction, angle and width - critically impact equine scapular health!

Facing the Right Way? Saddle tree points - direction, angle and width - critically impact equine scapular health!

With complex physiological issues, veterinarians may recommend treatments to alleviate symptoms. The horse benefits greatly when the health care team works together, combining knowledge to understand underlying factors. This series discusses concepts to assist professionals in the diagnostic process. Tree points are either forward facing, straight (perpendicular to the ground) or rear facing. Forward facing tree points cause proven detrimental effects to shoulder health. MRIs and fiber optic cameras have shown the cartilage chipping that can occur as scapulae rotate upwards-backwards. Every time the foreleg is extended (during trot, gallop, simultaneously when jumping), tree points will hit the scapulae, potentially causing damage at the skeletal level...

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Founder of Schleese and Saddlefit 4 Life® now offers equine ergonomics courses in addition to his diagnostic saddle fit evaluations in his mission to protect horse and rider.

Founder of Schleese and Saddlefit 4 Life® now offers equine ergonomics courses in addition to his diagnostic saddle fit evaluations in his mission to protect horse and rider.

In the never ending endeavor of being the "female saddle specialists," Schleese Saddlery founder Jochen Schleese and his team at Schleese Saddlery have become experts in many related subjects. Much of what they do is aimed at helping riders and horses find answers to questions and issues they are experiencing - using Saddlefit 4 Life® principles and systems to protect horse and rider from long term damage....

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We received such amazing feedback from the faculty and students which provides even more impetus for us to plan a larger 'community partner' event where we invite the local folks.... I hope we can still consider something in line with your anniversary celebration next year. I am really sorry I wasn't there to greet you all and that I missed your presentation Jochen; I have heard so many wonderful thing about how engaging your lecture was and how impressed the students were. This is so important to their learning and I'm certain it will help shape their professional practice. Kindest regards, Tina

— Tina DiSimone - Seneca College, Toronto, ON

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