"An amazing learning experience"

Dear Sabine, Angelika, Jochen and Katja, I really enjoyed our time together with a wonderful bunch of Ladies. We worked and learned so much from Katja and also each other by bouncing questions or problems of each other. It helped a lot if things where perhaps not clear at the beginning. Each contributed with their strengths and supported the other with made it an amazing learning experience. It was very intense learning and long nights but I enjoyed every minute. Katja has an amazing way to teach us, she really makes us think and brings out the best in us. Not sure how to better describe it … Thanks so much Katja for putting so much time and effort into your teaching. It is very much appreciated and I know that the others feels the same. I am very grateful that we got the opportunity to become a part of Saddlefit4life at “the end of the world” here in South Africa. I am very excited about this journey I am on and I am looking forward helping many more Horses and Riders. It is so very needed here.

Steffi Pardemann - Cape Town, South Africa

"Someone that was on the same wavelength as myself..."

“Dear Jochen:  Several years ago I read a review of your book, ordered it immediately, read it several times over & realized that here was someone that was on the same wavelength as myself. This was reemphasized over the last several days. It was a real pleasure to meet you in person, learn from you & feel inspired to continue to keep trying to improve the lot of the horse.” Dr Sue Dyson Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Specialist in Equine Orthopaedics Associate European College of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging Head of Clinical Orthopaedics Centre for Equine Studies Animal Health Trust Photo: Jochen with Dr. Sue Dyson at his recent clinic as guest of Caroline Lindsay of “Learn Saddle Fitting Resource: CPD MSFConnection (Perfect Movement Solutions)” in the U.K.

Dr. Sue Dyson - MA, VetMB, PhD, DEO, FRCVS

"Amazing Feedback from the Faculty and Students!"

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

"We were so impressed with their presentation last night!"

I just wanted to touch base with you after Alexa and Julia’s lecture yesterday afternoon. We are so excited to have made this connection with Schleese saddles because we were so impressed with their presentation last night! It was such a great learning opportunity for the students. Alexa and Julia did an amazing job engaging the students and creating a really fun learning environment. It is obvious that they work really well as a team. They both suggested I contact you to see if we could have them out again next time they are in the area. They said they would probably be back in the spring. We would like to make it mandatory for all of our riding students to attend the next lecture because of the valuable information presented. Thank you again!! Taylor

Taylor James - Del Val University, Doylestown, PA

"When I ride in a ‘female’ saddle, I am immediately sitting deep in the saddle"

DSC_0050 Having spent years doing exercises to supposedly loosen my hips in an attempt to sit deeper in the saddle and prevent my toes from turning out while riding, I discovered when I ride in a ‘female’ saddle, I am immediately sitting deep in the saddle with my toes pointing forward – without even warming up. I wonder what unnecessary damage I’ve done to myself from years of putting torque on my joints from these exercises from a classical riding book. I wonder how many other women have unnecessarily hurt their body believing they struggle with ‘tight hips’.

Laura Whitteron, Saddle Ergonomist, England

"Saddlefit 4 Life’s amazing developments, have absolutely benefitted the riders"

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

"You won’t get very far with a horse that isn’t comfortable"

Christilot BoylenIf your equipment doesn't fit, you will have huge problems from the get go. You won’t get very far with a horse that isn’t comfortable, a saddle that doesn't fit, and as a result, a rider that is out of balance because the saddle pushes him too far forward or back.  

Christilot Boylen, Canadian Dressage Team Member, multi-Olympian

"A well fitted saddle needs to be checked 3-4 times a year for fit by a Certified Professional"

"A well fitted saddle needs to be checked 3-4 times a year for fit by a Certified Professional – a Master Saddler or a Saddle Fitter, with input from the trainer and the rider."

Udo Lange, 7 times German Professional Dressage Champion

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andrea Jochen Schleese’s experiences and ‘aha’ moments while working as a saddler are truly unique. It is truly a great honour that he shares this knowledge with us in Suffering in Silence. The use of his plaster cast method to take ‘butt imprints’ of many men and women exemplifies the sometimes circuitous route he used to achieve this level of knowledge. This methodology clearly demonstrated the differences between male and female pelvises and was integrated into saddle designs for the benefit of both. Riding is a very demanding sport, and the only one in which the athlete is dependent on the interaction of another being in order to move. As a physiotherapist and a rider myself, I can only state how important it is that finally the differences between male and female anatomy have been taken into consideration to positively impact biomechanics. The topic of saddle fit is a key consideration when I teach my course in biomechanics of the rider at the German National Riding School in Warendorf.  The rider forms the horse and the saddle forms the rider – these two statements are not mutually exclusive. I often compare the saddle to a shoe, which should be comfortable to wear – except that this ‘shoe’ needs to fit two beings (horse and rider) equally well at the same time. This leaves the saddlemaker with a huge responsibility – one which requires a good basic knowledge in human and equine anatomy. Although many of my students are not consciously aware of the anatomical differences in male and female pelvises, they are nevertheless adamant that a saddle should work well for either gender (which infers that these differences need to be taken into consideration during design). I can only expect good things to result in the sport of riding when riders, trainers, veterinarians, saddlers and physiotherapists combine their expertise and experiences for the common good of horse and rider. Only then can the saddler fulfill his role as interface between horse and rider and open the door for discourse. This in a nutshell is the philosophy of Jochen Schleese. Knee rolls are of specific interest to me personally. Through personal observation, which is substantiated by research, the opportunities for human activity and movement continue to dwindle nowadays. Children spend much of their time in inactivity, watching TV, playing games on their computers and cell phones. The result is necessary prosthetic compensation to make up for this loss in muscle development; for riders it is the addition of huge knee rolls on the saddle, which help to keep the rider in a static position while hindering movement.  A pliable seat for the rider and taking up the rhythm in motion are no longer achievable. Although at first glance it may seem that the rider is sitting properly balanced and straight, it soon becomes apparent that the rider is actually sitting stiffly but thinking that this is the way it should feel. The complementary muscle interactions are not in harmonious states of contraction and relaxation, which means that the rider cannot give the aids properly. How can she properly relay the message to the horse to achieve rhythm, suppleness, and connection – which are only the requirements from the first training scale? The rider feels cramped, experiences pain and possibly long term damage (up to and including slipped discs and torn muscles).  This is the possible result regardless which discipline you ride in – which is why the saddle should not only be correct for the rider’s gender and anatomy, but also appropriate for the riding discipline.

— Andrea Koslik, Rider and Physiotherapist

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