Saddle fit evaluation: What is it and why is it necessary?

Health issues and damage caused by poor saddle fit are often simply the result of not knowing or not ever having had a professional saddle fit evaluation. A properly fitted saddle contributes to comfort, performance, well-being, safety and enjoyment of riding for horse and rider. The placement and balancing the rider’s seat bones are keys to proper position and balance for the rider, and comfort for the horse. Even a horse with a perfectly fitted saddle will never be fully protected from long term damage if the saddle is not suited to the anatomical build and gender of the rider. If you have concerns about the fit of your saddle, download our Rider Saddle Fit Checklist.

To determine the optimal saddle fit, Saddlefit 4 Life® developed the 80 Points Saddle Fit Diagnostic Evaluation – the most comprehensive analysis in the industry worldwide. The evaluation consists of 55 evaluation points to horse and 25 points to rider.


Evaluation outline

Your evaluation includes:

  • Static measurements and assessments of horse, rider and saddle
  • Dynamic analyses: saddle support area, dust pattern and riding
  • Experiencing optimal fit in a gender correct, sizing saddle adjusted to your horse
  • Detailed report addressing your goals and concerns with recommendations for achieving optimal saddle fit
  • Readjustment on site (for additional charge as appropriate)


Standards of Certification

To maintain the highest technical standards, Jochen Schleese oversees the training and certification of all Equine Ergonomists, Saddle Ergonomists, Independent Saddle Fitters and Saddle Fit Technicians. Saddlefit 4 Life® has a comprehensive saddle fitting philosophy; S4L certification programs are valued by equine professionals from many disciplines. S4L education is endorsed by the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA), the American Riding Instructors Association (ARIA), the German National Riding School, The Association of Professional Trainers – Germany (Berufsreiterverband), Equine Canada and the Ontario Equestrian Federation (OEF).

Certified Saddlefit 4 Life® professionals receive the most advanced training for saddle fit assessment offered in the industry. It is the only certification program in this field which requires renewal of certification every 2 years to maintain state-of-the-art expertise. S4L ensures the highest standards of Saddlefit 4 Life® graduates, who hold a valid certification card.

Saddlefit 4 Life® diagnostics, analysis and saddle fitting services are available throughout many parts of the world. Meet our Certified Affiliates.

Contact info@schleese.com for more information or Register for a Saddle Fit Diagnostic Evaluation

Correct Diagnosis is Vital to Solving Problems!

Watch
Videos

How to Tell if Your Saddle is Hurting your Horse – Jochen Discusses Signs of Poor Saddle Fit to Horse & Rider.

Saddlefit 4 Life® Evaluation in Germany with Dr. Gerd Heuschmann and Jochen Schleese

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Equine Professional
Testimonials

Margaret Boyce

For me as a coach and judge, we absolutely do not want to see all our years of hard work and dedication go down the drain because of ill-fitting saddles on our horses. Saddlefit 4 Life®’s amazing developments, have absolutely benefitted the riders but more importantly - for the horse's long term health with immediate and visible results. Seeing is believing! I saw a close friend of mine whose horse has been misdiagnosed for years as to why he was not happy in his work. This horse had his hocks injected; he had an MRI and several other medical procedures trying to find the answer as to why this TB gelding was so resistant even in the most basic work. This horse saw saddlers, chiropractor, massage therapist - the owner felt she did everything she could for this horse and nothing seemed to help. Even the veterinary clinic found and treated the symptoms but never found the cause for this horse's pain. In the diagnostic saddle fit evaluation, Jochen discovered several major fitting issues on this horse and immediately set to work like a surgeon, fitting the horse instantly with a new saddle and the results were beyond amazing. In all the years I have known this horse - I have never seen him produce a regular three beat canter under saddle until that very day. Once all the pressure points were relieved on this extremely sensitive horse, he moved with so much freedom and regularity and offered no resistance - as a judge and coach I just started applauding and crying at the same time!

— Margaret Boyce, Equine Canada Certified Dressage Coach and Judge

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