Humans and horses have been joined for thousands of years, and for much of that time, one thing has served as the primary point of contact between them: the saddle.
However, for many horses and many riders, the saddle has been no less than a refined means of torture. Horses have long suffered from tree points impeding the movement of their shoulder blades; too narrow gullet channels damaging the muscles and nerves along the vertebrae; and too long panels putting harmful pressure on the reflex point in the loin area. Male riders saddle up despite riding-related pain and the potential for serious side effects, such as impotence; female riders endure backache, slipped discs, and bladder infections, to
name just a few common issues.
We must ask ourselves: How much better could we ride and how much better could our horses perform if our saddles fit optimally? If they accommodated the horse’s unique conformation and natural asymmetry? If they were built for the differing anatomy of men and women? The answers to all these questions are right here, right now, in this book.
Master saddler and saddle ergonomist Jochen Schleese is committed to finding new ways to ensure the health, comfort, and performance of horses and their riders.