Saddlefit 4 Life

Join master saddler Jochen Schleese, of Schleese Saddlery and Saddlefit 4 Life®, as he works to solve fit issues and help horses all over North America. Each week, Jochen will share his experiences dealing with horses at all levels, with all sorts of saddle fit and behavioural issues caused by poor saddle fit.

You will also meet several knowledgeable independent fitters, who travel all over the world on a quest to ‘protect as many horses and riders worldwide from long term back damage,’ some key industry professionals, including Jane Savoie, Dr. Gerd Heuschmann, Dr. Joanna Robson and Dr. James Warson, as well as Schleese clients, who all have a tale to tell. The stories will make you laugh, maybe cry, but always think.

Happy Trails from Schleese

Dear Readers and Riders: This will be my last blog for Horse-Canada. I have had the privilege and pleasure of writing for you on the topic of saddle fit and related subjects over the last three years, and have managed…

Saddles and the Luxury Market

Well, another year has almost passed and as we approach 2018, our thoughts turn to how we will grow and improve upon our business model in the New Year. Times are changing rapidly. Consumers are becoming more particular and Millennials…

Photo by Tamara courtesy of Christiane Noelting Dressage Centre, CA

An Inconvenient Truth?

As horse owners we choose to bring these amazing creatures into our lives with the intention of fulfilling a dream. That dream we all seem to want to fulfill is one of legends that is ages old. We have written…

Tina Irwin & 'Fancy That'. Photo by Dieter Busse

Saddle Fit and Classical Training

Horses that are ridden properly (not on the forehand) will greatly reduce the potential for long-term damage – with a soft hand, a soft seat, a soft mouth, and a soft back – yet absolutely uphill, straight, and through the…

Certified Saddle Ergonomist Julia Dixon-Curtis adjusting a saddle (based on the horse's measurements) while the horse ‘supervises’ and gives his approval.

Standardization of Saddle Fitting Criteria

I want to refer to a recent paper appearing in the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, which was written by a group of non-scientists who were involved in a study to look at the repeatability of SMS (Society of Master…

Fitting a Bridle Properly – Part 3

Bridle Choices – Pros and Cons In this last blog in my series on bridles, I wanted to list a number of the most popular bridles available with some of their features and benefits. For all of the different designs,…

Fitting a Bridle Properly – Part 2

It’s All in Your Head…or Your Horse’s Head! Continuing on from last week with the Neck: Scientists have determined that there needs to be at least ½” room between the incisors where the bit is laid (so that a carrot…

Fitting a Bridle Properly – Part I

It’s All in Your Head…or Your Horse’s Head! Even though you may know that, of course, your bridle has to fit your horse properly, you may be surprised to hear of the impact a poorly fitting bridle may have on…

Changes in the Equestrian Industry

My sister Angelika Schleese runs our European operations, which – although fairly young – is expanding rapidly. As part of our regular conversations and communications, we here in North America are of course kept abreast of what is going on…

Cartilage Damage at the Scapula

My own horse was a victim of scapular damage caused by a saddle with forward facing tree points. I didn’t realize that this was the problem until many years later, when I began building saddles myself in Canada and was…

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