"I was intrigued by his demos on how Saddles are made differently for men and women."

As quoted in the Certified Horsemanship Association February Monthly Newsletter "I recently attended a nine day intensive saddle fitting course conducted by Jochen Schleese. Jochen and his wife, Sabine, have attended two of CHA's International conferences.  I was intrigued by his demos on how saddles are made differently for men and women. This year in Amarillo, he went into more detail about fitting saddles properly to horses to prevent serious injury.  He is passionate about helping horses and by offering this course to professionals in the horse industry, we can do our part in having healthy horses and educated riders. This 3-day course event covered how saddles [may] cause injury and how little has been done in the last 100 years to prevent these injuries.  By educating professionals who deal with horses on a daily basis on how to properly evaluate a saddle fit can go a long way in making horses healthy.  by teaching an 80 Point Evaluation, taking into account, the shoulder angles, wither shape, saddle support area and making sure critical pressure points are not impinged on by the saddle is just a small segment of this course.  The Schleese's passion for helping horses is much the same as CHA's mission statement for riding instructors.  It is for the good of the horse.  Taking these courses reminded me of my certification week to become a CHA instructor.  A huge highlight of my life with horses."  Check our Saddlefit4life.com and the book "Suffering in Silence."

Lori Maciulewicz - Regional Director for Region 6

"The course went above and beyond my expectations"

"I attended the Saddlefit 4 Life® Equine Ergonomist Training Course to obtain more information on saddle fitting.  At the time I was having some issues with my horse, who acted uncomfortable under saddle and would occasionally buck at the canter.  The course went above and beyond my expectations of what I would learn in five days.  I was able to go home, evaluate what was causing my horse discomfort, adjust the type of tack I was using, and it fixed his bucking issue on the spot! The class more than paid for itself in that moment and I have Saddlefit 4 Life® to thank for it!"  

Laura Roll San Diego, CA

"I learned so much and will highly recommend it to our students"

Dear Sabine, Jochen, Connie and Terri Anne, First let me say thank you for allowing me to participate in the clinic - I wasn't expecting that, and I certainly wasn't expecting a certificate. But seriously, the course was excellent!!  I learned so much and will highly recommend it to our students.  Even if they have no desire to become a saddle fitter, the knowledge they will gain will be invaluable in the field in assessing horses they work with.  Also participating gave me great insight into how your program works and what is involved - at least in the Equine Ergonomist aspect of things - much more so than just observing would have. Everything about the program was very classy, professional, intense - but also fun. Thank you again, it was a privilege to attend and work with you all.  Claire was also a delight. Keep me posted on your thoughts about the online education, and let us know if there is anything we can do to help with Saddlefit 4 Life® or H.I.P.P.O.H. Big hugs to you all. Derry McCormick Equine Sciences Academy

Derry McCormick Equine Sciences Academy

"It was an outstanding learning experience"

Hello Connie! I thoroughly enjoyed the Saddlefit4Life® saddle fitting course! It was an outstanding learning experience that provided invaluable information which went far beyond saddle fitting.    I loved the methods that were used to teach, balancing a mixture of lecture and hands-on sessions. I highly recommend this course to anyone who is involved in ANY part of the equine industry. Knowledge gives us more tools to become better advocates for horse and rider comfort. Deb Zarish, D.V.M. Michigan

Deb Zarish, D.V.M. Michigan

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ask_watlter_bookI have known Jochen as a talented rider and master of his trade since 1986. It is easy to recognize how much Jochen Schleese cares about the comfort and well-being of the horse. Many rider errors have their origins in poorly fitted saddles—to either horse or rider. Too many times these issues are simply ignored and that is why I cannot thank Jochen enough for bringing them to our attention in his book, which every rider who loves his horse should own. He uses illustrations and descriptions not only to discuss what a saddle should look like and that it should fit, but also how it should be fit to individual horses. Only then can the animal carry the unaccustomed weight of a rider and the saddle without pain.  The horse is not really made to carry any weight on its back – which is the second most sensitive spot after its mouth.  It really only becomes possible to do so after its back has been properly strengthened and trained to do so using specific training and gymnastic exercises. All of this was taken into consideration by Jochen during his many years of training and studying with his master in Germany, and later as a master saddler himself while establishing his business in his chosen land [Canada]. Especially Jochen’s experience as a successful competitor in 3-day eventing allowed him to observe and feel the necessity for freedom of movement required under saddle in all three gaits.  His own training had taught him that only a correct seat will facilitate the right aids to the horse. What happens when the rider is even only slightly out of balance?  This is where the saddle comes into the picture: one often sees the rider react by holding his head somewhat to the left or the right. This is the first mistake in the seat; from this he may collapse at the same hip and shift his weight to the other side to compensate. This will of course put more pressure on one side of the horse’s back. Then the rider pulls more on the opposite rein, the whole other side comes higher, and so forth. The result of such seemingly inconsequential errors in position that may go unnoticed or uncorrected for years may be a crooked saddle. It will not fit the horse properly any longer and secondly continue to place the rider in an incorrect seat. One shouldn’t underestimate the frequency or speed with which this crookedness and unevenness can happen. Many rider errors have their origin in poorly fitted saddles to either horse or rider.walter Too many times these issues are simply ignored and that is why I cannot thank Jochen enough for bringing them to our attention in his book ‘Suffering in Silence’. Every rider who loves his horse should own this book. Jochen discusses what to look for in a saddle and how to ensure it will not cause your horse any pain. Horses did not ask to be ridden, which is why it is so important to Jochen that he protect our four-legged partners from poor saddle fit. He is ensured a measure of gratitude from all horses for making their lives bearable and comfortable with properly fitting saddles. I thank him on behalf of riders everywhere, and also his wife Sabine who played just as big a role in the writing of ‘Suffering in Silence’. Jochen teaches discuss what a saddle should look like and that it should fit, but also how it should be fit to individual horses. Only then can the animal carry the unaccustomed weight of a rider and the saddle without pain.

— Walter A. Zettl, Olympic Level Dressage Coach, Professional Trainer Extraordinaire, Clinician and Author of Dressage in Harmony and The Circle of Trust

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