I went to a clinic over the weekend with Jochen and it was terrific. Has anyone gone to a clinic or purchased one of his saddles?
He is a master saddle maker and saddle fitter from Germany. When he spoke about saddle fit, he spoke in depth about shoulder movement and the exact placement of a saddle so it does not go over the kidney area. He showed us exactly where the panels should end and how to find that spot. He drew all over the horse's back with chalk to demonstrate movement, saddle fit, placement, etc.
I would love to purchase one of his saddles with his saddle fit expertise for my horse. Has anyone worked with him, purchased one of his saddles? Any experiences would be great...
I just purchased a ConneXion and couldn't be happier. Over the past 20 years I've owned many dressage saddles and many horses, this is by far the best one I've ever owned. I finally found a saddle that fits and balances me perfectly and there was an immediate difference in my horse's gaits!
I bought one for jumpers and it fit terribly. My horse hated it and I did too. Maybe they're good for dressage, but not worth the $3k for jumping. I had to sell it on eBay for a loss after less than a year trying to get it adjusted right.
They talk a good talk though. Clinic was informative.
Do a search on COTH because there has been a fair bit of discussion about Schleese and Jochen. I popped in where I board one day to check out a saddle fitting clinic with Jochen, learned so much about horse anatomy and saddle fit, ended up trying out a JES Elite much to the dramatic delight of my mare, and ordered one that day. It was expensive yet I have absolutely no regrets about the purchase. Every single time I ride I appreciate my saddle and that I made this purchase/investment. The quality is excellent and my mare loves the adjustments when they're needed (she keeps developing her topline more). I learn something more every time I watch saddle fitting at my barn, whether it's with Jochen or Denise.
It's important to note that the different saddles Schleese offers fit the horses differently and fit the rider differently. There are a number of Schleese models owned at my barn so one day we tried each others' out only to find there were some we really liked and others not so much for our personal fit. When I swing up into my saddle I just readily shift into correct position without any effort. My mare moves so well and is happier with our saddle. Jochen is amazing at fitting the horse and rider. Denise typically comes to our barn these days and has also done an excellent job fitting horse and rider.
I had my saddle fitted by Jochen and he did a marvelous job of taking my e-bay impulse by and making it something that could work for us. It probably needs another adjustment now and I'm hesitating to spend the $$ to go down again, but I probably should.
Ambrey- there is a Schleese clinic in SoCal from 18-24Aug. http://www.schleese.com/Schedule I have a call into Margo Lovett to find out when and where- last year they came to Tar Farm and Sycamore in San Juan Cap. I need to get my saddle refitted and I'm hoping they come to Tar again so I don't need to trailer my mare over to Sycamore!
I haven't heard back from Margot yet but when I do I will post here and let you know- maybe you can arrange to have your horse at one of teh locations.