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

"Thanks for writing such an informative book and such a critical subject for all horses!"

I just purchased your book [Suffering in Silence] and am very impressed with both the information you have presented as well as the clarity in which it is written. I teach both instructor and rider clinics in both North America and Europe and saddle fit is a huge issue everywhere I teach. The lack of understanding of equine and human biomechanics among so called saddle fit experts is astounding. Within our Centered Riding Instructor Courses we include a little about the importance of correctly fitted saddles for both horse and rider so that they will be able to recognize when saddles do not fit and the consequences for the horse. With your permission, I would like to use some of your illustrations (especially anatomical) in my clinics. I always tell people where the information comes from. I am adding also you to my recommended reading list that I give out at all my clinics. When people ask me what kind of saddle i think is best my reply is always the one that fits your horse and you the best. Thanks for writing such an informative book and such a critical subject for all horses! Best regards, Sue Sue Leffler www.sue-leffler.com Teaching Clinics Internationally Centered Riding Level IV Clinician Balimo Equestrian Seat Clinician

Sue Leffler - Sittsville, Ontario

Oct. 13, 2013

"Words cannot express my glee."

Sharon Cooper helped me find a HK and then it to my horse. My horse is known for having difficult changes, he leaps around and is late behind. Not in his new saddle, perfect, crisp, clean changes first time I asked. I have worked with many trainers on these changes, we should have just started with the right saddle. Words cannot express my glee.

Anna Toomey, Ocala, FL

Oct. 3, 2013

"The rhythm of his gaits is much improved."

"My horse General is a 13-year old Andalusian cross with a history of early training in an over-collected frame. Although he achieved some success in training level tests, it was difficult to get him to stretch out or generate impulsion from behind. Since obtaining his Schleese Obrigado saddle he has blossomed. His back swings more freely and his hind legs reach far underneath his body. His shoulders move much more freely in both trot and canter. The rhythm of his gaits is much improved. Within a month, his certified massage therapist noted a marked improvement in his muscles. In two recognized dressage shows in 2013, General and his rider/trainer Debbie Welch qualified for the GAIG Region 1 Finals in the Training Level Open Division"

Ann Corrigan, Springfield, VA

Sept. 23, 2013

"I love the way it's adjustable to so many horses, especially those tricky-to-fit thoroughbreds!!"

I bought my first Schleese saddle in 2005 after I tried my coach's Wave on my horse... and instantly was able to get leg yields that I had been fighting for. Though I didn't buy the Wave (I got a JES Elite) I was pretty much hooked! After that, my saddle got tried on a LOT of horses in our barn, and every owner in the barn ended up buying a Schleese because of how much they liked mine. I now am collecting Schleese saddles, having just bought my 2nd JES Elite. I love the way it's adjustable to so many horses, especially those tricky-to-fit thoroughbreds!!

Caleigh R, Kingston, Ontario

July 9, 2013

"She loves the air panels and is cantering and jumping like the hunter I knew she could be."

A couple of years ago I was desperate for a new dressage saddle. I had done absolutely everything else for my very difficult Holsteiner mare, GG, and a new saddle was the very last thing to try to make a difference. I happened upon Jochen and his amazing saddles completely by accident. I would move Heaven and Earth to get one for my mare. I purchased a Wave for GG, and had it fitted. I knew after a few rides that we were on the right track. After a couple of years and many saddle adjustments, GG was becoming the horse I always dreamed about. I was ready to start jumping her. I knew that only a Schleese saddle would be good enough for GG. After an exhaustive search, we located a close contact Ventura saddle. It needed a bit of work before it would be suitable for GG. I shipped the saddle to Canada from Texas so it could be customized. I waited patiently for my saddle to arrive back. I am so very happy to say that GG likes it! She loves the air panels and is cantering and jumping like the hunter I knew she could be. Her wonderful Wave saddle has now been fitted to my TB gelding and he is moving better than he ever has before. Without Schleese, my horses were ok. With Schleese my horses are rock stars. Thanks to everyone at Schleese for helping I realize my dreams with two very challenging horses.    

Jennifer Fulton - Aledo, TX

June 7, 2014

"Thank you Schleese Saddlery for opening my eyes to what a saddle should look and feel like."

Since I've been riding in the HK dressage saddle the noticeable difference in Amistad's movement has been incredible. It allowed so much more shoulder movement for his medium and extended trot but also the freedom to reach across in the half pass and our eight and ten metre circles were not restricted anymore! Thank you Schleese Saddlery for opening my eyes to what a saddle should look and feel like cause not only is it comfortable for my horse but for me also and that's a big plus for any rider! Cheers, Michele

Michele Mueller - Scugog Island, ON

May 29, 2013

"I noticed that I no longer had to "squiggle around" to get in the right spot."

My horse is short-backed with a laid-back shoulder. As she progresses in her work she gets even shorter! My Schleese saddle fitter suggested either modifications to my Triumph, or the Obrigado, since I couldn't face three weeks without a saddle, I ordered the Obrigado. Even though my Triumph had been recently refitted, I noticed an immediate improvement in my horse’s way of going, and I noticed that I no longer had to "squiggle around" to get in the right spot. I was there from the moment I sat on the saddle.

Jill Hill - Loretto, PA

May 27, 2013

"Every time I have it adjusted I'm amazing at the difference it makes for her and for me."

I had originally bought my Schleese saddle for my veteran mare. Unfortunately due to soundness issues outside my realm of control I decided to retire my mare earlier than expected. Since buying my current girl as a late two year old she has changed shape many times and my saddle has been able to change right along with her. Every time I have it adjusted I'm amazing at the difference it makes for her and for me. My last adjustment was just 2 weeks ago, right after she turned 5, and on 4/28/13 we won our first o/f class (first class and first win) and she got Grand Champion in her Baby Hunter division. She brings me so much joy, the least I can do is make her as comfortable and happy in her work as possible.

Suzanne Foster Shermans - Dale, PA

May 17, 2013

"Thanks to you, our future truly is once again, wide open, and we could not be more appreciative."

Hi Amazing Schleese Folks! I started my big, bold Morgan gelding, Sherman, under saddle lightly when he was four years old after two summers of lunging and long-lining. By the time I actually sat myself on his back, he was well-versed in both voice and rein commands, and it appeared that our future was, in the words of Tom Petty wide open.Late in that first under-saddle summer, Sherm experienced a growth spurt, and my beloved favorite saddle was no longer wide enough for his broadening back. I replaced it with a wider version of the same saddle and continued our light ring work through the end of that season. Over the next eight months, however, Sherm continued to grow...and grow...and as he grew, my attempts to keep up with his width led us down a dark path. The wider-enough saddle, I failed to notice, had far exceeded the appropriate length for this short-backed breed. It took far too long to figure out that with every stride, the saddle was bumping him in the loins, and his own free movement was driving it up over his shoulder blades, where the tree points were digging into his sensitive tissues. Being a game, eager-to-please horse, Sherm tried for a long time work in this saddle, but finally at the end of his 5 year old summer, he just stopped, literally. This always-wants-to-be-first, leader-of-the-pack, eager, ready, forward horse literally refused to work under saddle at anything but a walk. Sometimes I could lunge him with the saddle on and get some trot work, but no canter, and often these sessions, which had been so good when he was younger (and wearing a saddle that fit his younger, smaller body), deteriorated into running, bucking, balking sessions that frustrated us both. Clearly, something was not right. Concerned and afraid of causing damage I could not undo, I actually gave up riding for six months. I took time off and seriously looked at changing equestrian careers-- Sherm would be great at driving; maybe I could convince myself that I'd enjoy CDE if that's what it took to keep him happy. It was a disappointing and depressing autumn as I felt I'd lost my partner just when he'd finally gotten mature enough to enjoy. Fortunately, my veterinarian had purchased her first Schleese earlier in the year, and had been so impressed that she posted her personal testimonial on her Facebook page and was talking about the saddle to anyone who was interested in listening. I gave her a call to ask if she was still happy with it after a season's use, and to ask her if she thought perhaps Sherm was a Schleese candidate. With the help of the awesome doc, I tried several Schleeses out of her tack room, saw first-hand the incredible difference that the Schleese size and shape made to Sherman, and was able to find a used one on eBay just before Christmas-- a JES Elite with an upgraded shoulder-relief #2 panel. I rode in it a dozen times before Sherm's official Schleese saddle fitting in February, and even those few rides demonstrated to me that I'd made the right choice. Gone were the fussiness and ear-pinning during tack-up. Gone was the resigned, low-energy response to mounting. Gone was the balking, the inversion, the head tossing, and the running out from under me in the trot (when I could get it). Sherm was again moving forward, being his normal goofy-gelding jolly self, and working for me, despite the intermittent nature of our work (without an indoor arena in upstate NY in winter) and despite both of us being out of shape after six months off. It was starting to feel like I had my boy back again; that alone was wonderful. In February we had our fitting with the ladies from Schleese, who visited us on one of this past winter's many brutally-cold days, and the saddle was evaluated for its appropriateness for both horse and rider. The evaluation was great for Sherm-- just about the only saddle that would fit such a short back-- and acceptable for me (my butt could use a size larger, but we'll have to manage for now). Adjustments were made to fit Sherm exactly, and we were released to get both our butts in gear, firmed up, and slimmed down. More winter misery interrupted a serious return to training for about six weeks, but over the past month, Sherm and I have been back at it, and I cannot rave enthusiastically enough about what an amazing difference this saddle has made. Sherm is happy to work, eager to do what I ask, delighted with himself and his own progress (he is a Morgan, after all). We've returned to some casual ring work, but have spent a great deal of our getting fittime out on cross country and hill-climbing hacks. Over hill and dale, up and down steep grades, across country at all three gaits, through big what was that?! Swooping Morgan spooks, this saddle does not budge-- it doesn't shift side to side; it doesn't ride up his shoulders, not even going down steep hills! It sits right where it's supposed to, all the while giving him the shoulder freedom he needs to stride out comfortably. The level of happiness, cooperation, trust, and pleasure Sherm clearly demonstrates during every ride out just breaks my heart with joy. He is once again the phenomenal go-pony his heritage and his personality shape him to be. Though we've been enjoying every minute of rollicking out there in the wide open spaces, we'll get back to serious dressage work again in a few weeks, having scheduled ourselves for a boot camp weekend with our favorite trainer. None of the joy we're experiencing, nor the fantastic plans we're making, would have been possible without your amazing saddle. Thank you, Schleese, for giving me my boy back again, and for setting us free to love riding together. We're not going to the Olympics, or to Rolex, or to Dressage at Devon. We're regular ammies, out there as often as we can get out there around running a farm and holding down a day job. But Sherm deserves a saddle that fits, and I am thrilled at the benefits of a happy, comfortable horse. We'll continue to keep up with regular fittings, and may one day graduate to a custom Obrigado (drool-drool)! Thanks to you, our future truly is once again, wide open, and we could not be more appreciative.

Trish Pierce - Elmira, NY

April 10, 2013

"It made me want to ride him more and that I have not wanted to do at all in years. Jochen, I am impressed!"

OH MY GOSH!!! Somebody kick me. I just received my first Obrigado saddle for demo and rode my husband's horse. Several years ago, I trained on this horse myself for almost 2 years and finally gave up for something more comfortable, more fun, easier to ride, etc. I was TOTALLY AMAZED at the improvement in his movement and the lightness that I immediately felt in the OBRIGADO. It made me want to ride him more and that I have not wanted to do at all in years. Jochen, I am impressed! This saddle made a huge gigantic difference in this horse. He truly says Thank You!

Terry Peiper - PA

March 21, 2013
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Hey Jochen, In any language I can think of, thank you for my new saddle. I rode Chablis in it today on the trail for about 2 hours and it was not only incredibly comfortable but my feet didn't fall asleep - something that has been a problem in pretty much every saddle I've ever been in (even sadly my hunt saddles sometimes) Just amazing - what I've been looking for, for well over 10 years! Do you remember my first Schleese I had for the big chestnut? It kept making my entire right leg fall asleep after only 5 minutes. You guys were amazing - I sent it back to your workshop a number of times- you shaved the internal bits, added a gel pad, did other crazy things to it - and finally it worked and was comfortable This was even better than all that crazy amazing custom work - day 1. Just awesome! And just as important, Chablis seems awfully happy in it too - big swinging walk (ok HUGE walk LOL) I'm so glad you got to come to my little neck of the sagebrush - it's always fun to see you and you make my life and my ponies lives just that much better with what you do and how you do it. Come back soon :)

— Georges Schneider - Reno, NV

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