Fit is Everything - Infinitely Adjustable for Optimal Comfort & Performance!

Blogging about Saddle Fit

December 22nd, 2018

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 to have over 100 of my articles published on this website. I trust that one or the other person will have found something of value and interest in what I have written about, and will have improved the lives of their horses because of it. That is the true gratification of everything that I do, that we at Schleese do – making a difference in the comfort and well-being of horse (and rider!).

My travels and my work especially with Saddlefit 4 Life® have taken me pretty much all over the world; interest in the topic of saddle fitting is growing, and I am spending most of my time now lecturing, teaching, and giving clinics. When I am home (not very often, unfortunately!) my time in the production shop is spent developing new products, innovating new designs, and working with my talented staff of excellent craftsmen to continue to bring you the latest and best saddles for you and your horses.

I am excited on the educational front for two huge steps in the coming year: my Saddlefit 4 Life® curriculum is under consideration to be included as an elective at the University of Guelph for its degree program “Bachelor of Bio-Resource Management” in the Animals Sciences program at OAC. And secondly: my wife Sabine has decided to go back to Guelph to pursue her PhD in Equine Sciences, with a thesis that broadly involves the discussion on how saddle fit affects equine performance! I look forward to working with her on the research that accompanies this thesis over the next few years, with the involvement of many of our clients.

As such, I will still continue to publish articles in various equestrian magazines and on our own website – and will be working closely with Muriel Chestnut, who will be writing for me. Muriel was actually my very first female apprentice and has been in and out of the Schleese family pretty much for 30+ years. I am excited to be able to collaborate with her, as she is an accomplished equestrienne in her own right as well. Sabine will also be sharing her results over the next few years, especially as they have relevance to what we are doing.

I take this opportunity to wish you all the very best of the season; Merry Christmas, and all the best for the New Year. As 2017 ends, we send prayers (and financial support) to our friends in California, who have had more than their share of devastating fires this year and have lost so much. It is in trying times such as these that the horse community shows its familial spirit and rises to the occasion. It is a small and closely-knit group of people, and we are honoured to play such an important role in helping to keep the lines of communication, education, and passion open.

Happy Trails!

Jochen Schleese

©2017 Saddlefit 4 Life® All Rights Reserved

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I wanted to drop you a note and let you know that destiny will have it that all roads in my life seem to lead to Schleese! I am now trimming for Margaret Boyce and her students in NY and I did know how close she was with the Schleese team. When we discover this, I of coarse was jumping out of my skin for the opportunity to see Jochen at a fitting nearby and drop in to say Hi. I have not forgotten all of you and the opportunity that was before us last year, I think that the future will hold something for us I will hope that destiny will continue to bring me right where I belong despite my over thinking it all. As my kids are getting older, I see that there is much potential for growth and you guys are always on my mind! I had the opportunity to ride Margaret's horse in a lesson and I wrote a story about it I thought you might enjoy. I like to write about experiences that seem to be "Big" in my life and I truly savor the emotion and memories by writing. I thought I would share with you my little story about Big, especially since he was in a gorgeous HK that I so enjoyed riding in...and the dynamic of balanced hoof care combined with good training and saddle fitting was thoroughly enjoyed by me on this day! Hope you are well, I can still hear your voice on the other line and replay all of our chats in my mind, and I wanted to thank you for your support and understanding during that time of turmoil for me. You never know what the future holds. I’ll be probably popping up on Jochen here and there and around in NJ PA and NY if ever he just needs a spare set of hands. I so enjoy the learning from him and all working with all the pretty horses! Schleese is a part of the explosions of learning that I speak of in this story! Best regards to you and all of the Schleese team! (Especially Julia who I have met and adore!)  

— Dayna Fiore - Newton, NJ

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