Jane Savoie and Jochen Schleese (JS and JS) – what makes their partnership so successful? One of the key ingredients of any successful pairing is a mutual respect, complementary philosophies, and genuine passion for the product. Both Jane and Jochen embody each of these prerequisites in all aspects of their being, specifically as it relates to the ultimate well-being of the horse. Savoie and Schleese have worked together for over two decades now in a mutually beneficial relationship.
Of all of the many saddle companies available on the market today; of all of the endorsement opportunities available to a well-known and internationally ranked rider such as Jane Savoie; why then did she choose Schleese to design her name brand saddle with? Jane explains, “I chose Schleese after sitting in one of their saddles when riding a student’s horse. I’m very much “the princess and the pea” when it comes to saddles. If I’m not TOTALLY comfortable, I get distracted and end up focusing on the saddle instead of the horse. (How I’m fighting it to stay in the right position, how hard or slippery it is etc.) When I sat in that saddle, I was dumbstruck at how absolutely fabulous it felt. It was, without exception, the most comfortable saddle I had ever ridden in and I wanted one!!” The result – one of Schleese’s most popular saddles “the Jane Savoie” which became a bestseller a few years ago. Some lucky clients can still find them available ‘previously loved’ on used saddle sites. Jane is now working with the “Obrigado” model on her Friesians.
Both Jane and Jochen are primarily into education and the comfort of the horse and rider with the ultimate goal of producing happy horses that can easily do their job. Jane helps people from the instructor/trainer point of view – indeed is the marketer extraordinaire of her talents, bar none!; Jochen helps riders by giving them enough information to make educated choices when it comes to deciding what alternatives to follow with their saddles.
Jane believes in “physical therapy” types of exercises that unlock, unblock, loosen and strengthen the horse so he can become more of an athlete. Jochen uses these exercises to demonstrate the impact a poorly fitting or an incorrect saddle have on the horse’s inherent ability to perform. Obviously, both Jane and Jochen can personally reach just so many people on a one-on-one basis, so they also try to educate using alternative methods to impart their message to a larger audience. Jane is a prolific author, having written many books. She also has videos that will allow people to benefit from her methods long distance. (Jochen also has a best-selling book “Suffering in Silence: The Saddle Fit Link to Physical and Psychological Trauma in Horses” and a DVD out). Jochen educates people through clinics, seminars, lectures, and articles about what goes into proper saddle fit and design so that neither horse nor rider suffer any discomfort. Both Jane and Jochen realize the importance of maintaining their cutting edge level of knowledge and influence, and make every effort to consult with industry professionals in various fields on an ongoing basis.
There’s also an openness and transparency to what they both do. Jane has recently transferred some of her passion into her newest hobby – ballroom dancing – and is enjoying quite a bit of success on the ‘pro-am’ circuit with her instructor Clifton Sepulveda of Fred Astaire studios in West Palm Beach. Another thing she and Jochen have in common – as Jochen used to compete with his instructor back in the day!