"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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Jochen Schleese is truly a master in his field, with comprehensive knowledge stemming from not only his training in saddlery but also his achievements as a rider – and he uses these attributes to reach a level of excellence in this multi-faceted industry. Jochen offers an alternative to the industry. The saddle is the connection between horse and rider and plays a massive role in this partnership. Only a balanced rider not forced into position can adhere to the goals of ‘classical riding.’ The saddle trees should accommodate specific and individual requirements for female and male riders. Only a rider with a properly made and fitted saddle can give his horse the proper aids so the horse can move free.  Although there has been much improvement in the last 20 years there are still a lot of badly fitting saddles. The industry simply requires better education, such as Saddlefit 4 Life® is giving.


      Balancing_Act_Heuschmann_BookScannedImageGerd Profile Pic 150px S4L site   Horse Roll Kur - Video Icon              S4L in Germany with JS and Gerd Heuschmann       A prerequisite for harmony between horse and rider is the pairing of a healthy, mature horse with a practiced, empathetic, sensitive, and well-trained rider.  The saddle is the connection between these two totally disparate living beings: it will either bring them together or distance them - biomechanically speaking.  This makes a well-fitting saddle key to ensure commonality in motion, as well as playing a critical role in ensuring successful training for horse and rider.  It can help a rider with a good seat find harmony with the horse, but can also restrict and prevent this if it is not fit properly to both. A well-fitting saddle will quickly allow a good rider on a young horse to attain suppleness.  Still, even the best rider will find it impossible to reach harmonious movement on the horse’s back if the saddle doesn’t fit. There is only one thing that even the best fitting saddle doesn’t guarantee, however: it will never counteract the effect of an unbalanced, tense, rough, and overall poor rider. As has recently been discussed in numerous print publications, riding has become rather far removed from its former idealistic representations, especially dressage, which has been brought into a negative light by the actions of a few controversial trainers in the industry. The negative consequences for horse and rider have been and continue to be illuminated, discussed, and evaluated.  A few saddle manufacturers have reacted to the described issues and made some major design changes in their products. In my opinion, the main issue is that a rider will have difficulty in finding an independent, pliable and balanced seat if the horse is held in a position of constant tension with the rider pushing forward in the seat to go forwards while pulling on the bit.  The saddle now needs to afford the rider additional support to augment this increased and constant tension on the reins. As a result, many modern dressage saddles now have extremely deep seats with high cantles, and huge knee rolls. They allow the rider to wedge himself securely and tensely in a deep, non-pliable seat behind giant knee rolls and hang in the reins with tight hands. Many saddle manufacturers are aware of this phenomenon and yet are powerless to change it for economic and market demand reasons. As an experienced rider and certified master saddler, Jochen Schleese has taken an alternate direction with his saddle production, which orients itself towards an unencumbered rider sitting on a relaxed horse. Only such a rider – completely balanced and not forced into position with either his seat or his legs – can adhere to the goals of ‘classical riding’.  But Jochen’s philosophy of saddle fit doesn’t stop here: the trees are made to accommodate the specific and individual requirements of both male and female riders.   Only a rider with a properly made and fitted saddle can give his horse the proper aids without clamping the thighs, relying on the hands, and sitting unbalanced on its back. We all want a horse that moves freely and without restriction.  The saddle should not cause it pain or hinder its movement. This means that the back muscles need to move freely, which is furthered by a well-fitting saddle (that may also have to take any asymmetry or unevenness into consideration).  These are also parts of the equation considered by Jochen in his work.

— Gerd Heuschmann, DVM Author of Tug of War and The Balancing Act

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