Jochen Schleese

Jochen Schleese

After qualifying for the 1984 European Championships my Hanoverian was retired for lameness, ending my riding career. If I knew then what I know now - 40+ years working with equine professionals around the world! Lameness first appeared 1982 " which I did not attribute to the saddle, surrounded by experts whose job was to keep us fit for the German team. Remedial applications were used - blocking, blistering, re-shoeing and pharmaceuticals - saddens me.

I know now my saddle was not made for the requirements of the horse " forward facing tree points; a too narrow gullet impacting spinal processes, ligaments, and nerves on the back; pinching gullet plate, shoulders impeded. Advice of experts resulted in a 'textbook case' of torture for my horse. I want to educate riders on optimal saddle solutions for comfort, performance and equine development. The saddle must work with equine biomechanics for back freedom. I am happy when a horse moves freely and happily in a well-fitted saddle! The difference is visible. People realise how harmful it is to ride in an ill-fitting saddle.

I work with equine professionals for knowledge and understanding to make horses more comfortable and protect their backs. 2005 Saddlefit 4 Life® global network was founded with top trainers, physiotherapists, veterinarians, chiropractors, massage therapists, farriers and saddle fitters. We share expertise and knowledge on products, systems, and training methods. The philosophy is taught in lectures, seminars, demonstrations, symposiums and in client sessions all over the world. It is taught at the German National Riding School and the Berufsreiterverband (Assoc. of Prof.Trainers) to diagnose and address suspected saddle fit issues, with accreditation through various educational partner equine associations. No horse should suffer for rider ignorance, nor will a horse have to be put down because of damage so severe that nothing more can be done. My calling is to help the horse.

For education on:

  • Horse Health / Care

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Education Session

The Myths of Saddlefitting

Using chalk drawings on a horse, the key points of consideration for proper saddle fit on the horse for both western and English saddles are demonstrated. The main reflex points are shown that will result in unwanted behavior if the saddle fit does not take these into consideration. Saddle balance and length, wither clearance with tree width and angle, girth position etc. are discussed. How proper saddle fit will influence the biomechanics of the horse (and rider) are considered.

Thursday 15 November 10.15am - 11.00am Grand Hall Arena

Saddlefit for female riders

The changing demographics of the equestrian industry are a good indication that thought must be given to the new majority in the saddle: women. Consideration of gender appropriate saddle design to accommodate the specific anatomical requirements of the female rider. How human anatomy needs to influence and is affected by the design and proper fit of the saddle.

Saturday 17 November 11.00am - 11.45am Grand Hall Arena