Taxonomy term

Jochen Schleese, saddle fitting a growing horse, saddle fit colt, saddle fit filly, saddle fit young horse, horse lameness, horse back pain, equine back pain, equine injuries, equine lameness, horse saddle fit

‘Tis the season for buying young horses. Along with bringing the new prospect home come questions of when to start the youngster, and whether it makes sense to invest in a custom saddle. First, I will clarify the term “custom saddle.” I believe that true adjustability in a saddle is more important than whether it is “custom.” An adjustable saddle can be changed to accommodate the horse’s conformation as the horse matures, and that saddle is a worthwhile investment. Otherwise, you will likely have to buy several saddles over the course of your horse’s lifetime to make sure the fit remains optimal.

saddle fitting, short person saddle, short legs saddle, schleese, saddlefit4life

Shorter riders need specific changes in saddle design and fit to accommodate their body types. As obvious as it may seem, just shortening the flap will not create a better saddle fit for someone who is of smaller stature. When the knee roll or the leg support of the saddle hits the knee, it can turn the leg out from the horse, making it difficult to keep the lower and upper inner leg against the horse.

half pad, saddle fitting,  jochen schleese, schleese saddle fitting, equine ergonomist, saddlefit for life, schleese, saddle balance, schleese saddle, pommel to cantle

Question: I frequently see half pads being used under saddles, made of either gel, memory foam, or leather. Do you think these pads are necessary or is a properly fitted saddle sufficient to cushion a horse’s back? Answer: There is an old wisdom that a well-fitting saddle should not need anything underneath it, save perhaps a thin cotton pad to protect the saddle from the horse’s sweat.

riding helmets, horse helmets, equine helmets, horse safety, equestrian safety, horseback safety

It is commonly said that if you ask ten riders a question, you will get ten different answers. But there is one thing we should all agree on - you should never ride a horse without a helmet. Horses are inherently dangerous due to their natural flight instinct. Even the quietest lesson horse is capable of spooking at an unusual object, and even the most experienced riders have falls.

winter riding, riding in winter, horse riding in the winter, winter riding clothes, cooling horse out winter, equine quarter sheet, horse quarter sheet, weatherproof tack, horse riding jackets

There is nothing quite like heading out for a hack on an invigoratingly clear winter’s day with a horse eager to power through the snow. Riding through the winter is not only fun – it benefits your equine partner by keeping him physically and mentally fit year-round.

horse riding safely, safe horse riding, equine safety, horse helmets, safety stirrups

You could be dressed to kill if your riding boots do not sport a wedge heel. A moment of imbalance is all it takes for a foot to slide through the stirrup creating the potential for a nasty accident. Being dragged by the ankle rarely ends well for the rider. Wearing a boot with a low wedge heel and ankle support significantly reduces your chances of dangling upside down from an animal that flees danger first and asks questions later. Types of sole and tread also require consideration.

saddle fitting, short person saddle, short legs saddle, schleese, saddlefit4life

If you’re in the market for a new turnout blanket for your horse, you’ll be pleased to know there’s a great selection to choose from. Blanket technology has come a long way from the days of those heavy New Zealand rugs; today’s blanket shopper can select from a range of features and options to find the blanket that fits both their horse’s winter wardrobe needs and their budget.

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Impact Gel Saddle Pads - Unprecedented Energy-Absorbing Inserts