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

Saddle Stitch News - 01/08/2020

January 8th, 2020

Saddle Stitch: Your Monthly Internal Schleese News & Updates

Happy New Year 2020!

Happy New Year and New Decade to you all! We hope you’ve all had a wonderful holiday season surrounded by family and friends.

We’d like to take a moment to reflect on 2019 was such a phenomenal year for us: an EQUUS film festival and arts Winnie award for our book “Suffering in Silence”, an Innovator of the Year award from Equitana Auckland for our Bi-Nate Line®, not to mention servicing 5 continents! We are so grateful to our wonderful team and amazing clients for making it all possible! We hope 2020 will shine even brighter!
Check out the closing stitches for photos from our Office Christmas party.

Featured Schleese Ambassador
Our featured Schleese Ambassador is Mary Bahniuk Lauritsen. Mary is a USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold medalist trainer and rider. Riding since before she could walk, Mary has developed a thorough understanding of the training of horses and riders of all ages and levels. Mary has trained with some of the most reputable trainers and clinicians around the globe and has produced multiple FEI and Grand Prix horses herself.
“I have confidence knowing each time I ride my horses in a Schleese that the saddle is fit to their particular needs and that it can be adjusted to fit their ever-changing bodies as they develop. While my top priority is knowing my horses are comfortable it is the icing on the cake that the saddles are so comfortable for riders too! I feel at home whenever I ride in my Obrigado. I am so grateful for the support of Schleese and could not be happier riding and representing them every day.” – Mary Lauritsen
SFT Spotlight
SFT Spotlight is on Julia Dixon-Curtis. Julia has been working as a part of the Schleese team since 2003 and graduated from D’Arcy Lane in 2007, earning her Registered Equine Massage Therapist (REMT) designation. Her intensive schooling provided her with a deep understanding of equine anatomy, physiology, behaviour, and confirmation. Her combined knowledge from her schooling, her life with horses, and her training as a Certified Saddle Fit Technician, allow her to provide you and your horse with the best possible outcome for your saddle fitting needs. Read more about Julia and our other saddle fitters on our website.
Rider Testimonial: 
I want to thank the staff for their professionalism at my saddle fitting.  I had such a great learning experience. The information was presented in a clear manner and all of my questions answered. I also am amazed at the quick follow up to make sure I was happy with my saddle. The technology used to build and design these saddles is mind blowing. My saddle fits my horse so well and I have never been this comfortable riding in my life. I know my horse is so grateful every time I put the saddle on and off. Horsemanship has been my life passion and I can not stress enough how this saddle has changed my life. I would encourage anyone to have a fitting to access a saddle you own or to purchase a Schleese saddle for the comfort of yourself and especially for your horse. Thank you so much!
Where is Jochen?
December was a relatively quiet month (thank goodness!) after Jochen’s trip with Sonja to South Africa, and Odia and Chris M. to New Zealand and Australia for most of November. Jochen arrived back on Dec. 2 for a couple of days respite and then flew with Sabine to Lexington KY for the EQUUS Film Festival. His book won a Winnie award as best educational book of the year (along with winning in 2017 for his DVD!)

They returned home on Dec 9 and the rest of December passed in a blur (as it usually does, given all the activities of the season). Jochen and Sabine had another dance competition Dec 19/20, right after the company Christmas party on the 19th. Fundraising efforts were for the Horse Humane Society and Colleen’s neighbour, whose house exploded in October. Thank you again to all for your generous contributions – both for the raffle itself and for the purchases of tickets!

January sees the Schleeses driving off to Florida, where they have a week to get settled in before Jochen flies off to Sweden to teach a veterinary intensive course for a couple of days. When he returns he will have one day before leaving on a short Florida clinic trip just before his S4L equine ergonomist course begins Feb 1.
January Birthdays 
This month we are wishing Larry (21st), Chris M. (21st), Jeremie (31st) and Angelika (31st) a very happy birthday!
Quote of the Month

Closing Stitches
Schleese Team Christmas Lunch
Check out these wonderful photos of the Schleese Team at the 2019 company Christmas lunch.

Schleese Family Christmas Video
Got the post-Christmas blues? Re-dampen your Christmas spirit with this wonderful video made by the Schleese Family. Don’t forget to subscribe to Danielle Schleese’s Youtube channel while you’re there!
The Happy Schleese Christmas Tree Family Fun Album
The Happy Schleese Christmas Tree Family Fun Album
Saddle Fitters On the Road!
Check out these great images from Julia and Karen’s trip to Hope Grows Farm in Hyde Park, Vermont. (Photos courtesy of Karen Jackson and Julia Alebrand.
Little Lilly practicing her measuring skills on Thomas the mini! How adorable! Photo sent in by Odia Dibben.

Find an event near you


Wow, wow, wow, wow! I am so grateful and amazed at your generosity. It’s taken me a long time to write because I didn’t think I could possibly find the words to express my thanks adequately. I still don’t have the words but am finally writing anyway! My new saddle is amazing!! When you decided we needed a special new saddle, I thought it was really for my horse. After all, I hadn’t had any problems with saddle fit for myself when the saddle fit the horse and my last saddle was comfortable for me. I knew the new saddle would fit Juilliard beautifully, but I have been shocked at how big a difference it has made for me too! My seat and legs are always exactly where they need to be, without me even trying. And this isn’t just when the horse is still. It’s at all gaits, lateral work, etc.! I feel like I’m sitting IN my horse, not on top of him. My legs are long without me having to stretch them down. I have always envied how male dressage riders have such effortless position, and now I sit just as effectively as they do! This saddle puts my weight over precisely the right spot on my horse’s back. In every saddle prior to this, I’ve always felt behind the motion with Juilliard’s medium and extended trots. Now for the first time I am in balance with the motion for these big trots. It is wonderful to no longer be fighting my saddle, and to instead have one that makes my job more easy and comfortable! The biggest change I have noticed with Juilliard is the adjustability of the canter. With previous saddles, in even just a lengthened canter, it always felt like the rear of the saddle was blocking the movement of his back, and he had to brace against it hitting him. Often I had to go into a half seat or he would buck instead of making his stride longer. Now his back has room to move with the new saddle, and he easily and willingly elongates and makes big round jumpy strides (like he hasn’t done since he was young and saddle length wasn’t an issue). This is such an amazing saddle for both of us, and I can’t thank you enough for making it happen! Many, many thanks!!

— Jennifer Chong - Damascus, OR

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