English & Western Saddle Fitting Fundamentals

A correctly fitted saddle allows both human and horse to move freely and in balance. And while a horse might withstand an ill-fitting saddle short term, over time, pain, behavioural issues and poor performance may result. Ultimately, riders should seek help from a professional to find the best for their needs, but that doesn’t mean they can’t do some of the preliminary legwork themselves by following a few fundamental fitting principles. Since 1986, Schleese Saddlery Service of Holland Landing, Ontario, has become an international leader in the English saddlery, particularly in creating products for female equestrians. Founder and director of global education and sales, Jochen Schleese, has developed a nine-point assessment system (below). “The nine-point checklist is very much a do-it-yourself thing,” said Sabine Schleese, director of corporate affairs. “It’s a self-diagnosis and then you work with a saddle fitter to address any issues.” And while the lingo may be…

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