Tuesday, September 02, 2014
Endurance.net's Book of the Month: Suffering in Silence-Exploring the Painful Truth: The Saddle-Fit Link to Physical and Psychological Trauma in Horses
by Jochen Schleese (Sep 15, 2014)
Each year riders, trainers, and horse owners spend fortunes (literally) on veterinary attention, farrier work, pharmaceuticals, supplements, and physical therapies, all in an attempt to keep their horses healthy, sound, and performing their best. They invest time and money in finding their own boots, breeches, helmets, and chaps to ensure what they wear in the saddle is safe, comfortable, flattering, and right for the job at hand.
And yet still many balk at thoroughly understanding and examining the most basic and fundamental means of connection with the horse in most equestrian sports: the saddle.
Master saddler and saddle ergonomist Jochen Schleese says it is time to think intelligently about saddle choice and saddle fit for both horse and rider. In his new book, SUFFERING IN SILENCE: THE SADDLE-FIT LINK TO PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL TRAUMA IN HORSES, Schleese calls on all those involved in caring for and working with horses—riders, trainers, veterinarians, farriers, saddle fitters—to not only educate themselves in terms of the detrimental impact of poor saddle fit, but to also find a way to work cooperatively together toward a better and brighter future for the horse.
We must ask ourselves how much better could we ride and how much better could our horses perform if our saddles: • Fit optimally? • Accommodated each horse’s unique conformation and natural asymmetry? • Were built for the differing anatomy of men and women?
The answers to all these questions and more are in Jochen Schleese’s book SUFFERING IN SILENCE.
Jochen Schleese has been working in the equestrian industry as a master saddler and saddle fitter for over 34 years and studied and built “gender-appropriate saddles” for over 20 of those. He completed both his journeyman’s and master’s certification at Passier and Sohn in Germany. In 1986 he was asked to come to Canada as the Official Saddler for the World Dressage Championships, held for the first time outside of Europe, and in 2005, 2007, and 2009 he held the same position for the World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In 1990, Jochen developed a three-year certification program for the trade of saddlery together with the Ontario Ministry of Skills Development. He received a US Patent in 1996 for his innovative adjustable AdapTree® saddle tree, which is specifically made for the female anatomy, and he has been featured twice on Discovery Channel (How It’s Made and Harrowsmith Country Life). Jochen teaches his Saddlefit 4 Life® philosophy all over the world in conjunction with the German National Riding School, United States Dressage Federation, Ontario Equestrian Federation, Professional Trainers Verband in Germany, and at veterinary conferences in Brazil.