What a week end! I just came back from a 3 days week end with Caroline Lindsay and Jochen Schleese, and I can’t believe the amount of information and light bulbe moments I had.
Let me go back for a minute. For those of you who have no idea who those people are, Caroline Lindsay is a UK based physiotherapist as well as rehabilitative saddle fitter. Jochen Schleese is based in America and is a saddle designer, fitter, and owner of Saddlefit 4 life, a compagny that trains saddle ergonomists all around the world and is engaged in “Protecting the horse and rider from long-term damage”. Caroline organised a 3 day event for saddle fitters and therapists to all meet together, learn and discuss saddles. She invited Jochen to take on 2 of those 3 days, so that he could share with us his vision, love and passion for his work. And with his 30 years experience, it was truly fascinating.
So yes, this week end was absolutely brilliant, it was 3 full days of talking about saddle trees, horse conformation, loading, consequences of ill fitting saddles and more.
Here are a few things that might be of interest for you guys. For more about saddle fitting you can have a look at the posts I did Saddle fitting part 1: Signs that your saddle doesn’t fit as well as Saddle fitting part 2: Getting ready for the fitting.
- Your saddle should sit right behind the shoulder blade of your horse, shouldn’t go past T18, and should allow a 4 inches gap around the spine of your horse.
- If you struggle to move your stirrup leather that might mean that the stirrup bar is too close to the back. Ask your fitter about it, as it is really important.
- Always observe your horse’s reaction when you bring your saddle out. Ears slightly back? Nostrils moving? Fidgiting? Tail swishing? All of these are signs of discomfort so get your saddle fitter out!
- Most saddles are made in the old fashion way, which is for a man’s pelvis. Unfortunately, women have a pelvis that has a different shape to allow space for bitrh, which means some saddles will be more confortable for you to sit on than others. You might find you develop pain in your knees, hips, lower back…
- Some horses have a back that is too weak to have a saddle fitted. You should make sure your horse is fit enought to have a saddle fitted. You can have a chat with your horse’s back person about it and your fitter should be able to advise you on it as well.
If you are interested in learning more about Jochen Schleese (which I highly recommend) click here
If you want to check out Caroline Lindsay click here
As always, I wish you and your horses the very best!