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Schleese Saddle Fitting Tool

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  • Schleese Saddle Fitting Tool

    I've not seen any other fitters use something like this. Instead of first looking at the saddle that said customer wanted adjusted on the horse's back, the fitter put this tool on the horse's back, made some marks and then put the customer's saddle back on which "clearly did not fit". Is this tool legit? If so, why doesn't every saddle fitter use it, or maybe some do and I just need to get out more....??

  • #2
    There may be a patent on it (or not?). I remember seeing it first used quite a few years ago when the designer was showing it but have only purchased Schleese saddles for the last umpteen years, so can't say for sure why others don't use it.

    I have had the saddles reflocked/adjusted/etc. and the work was done by feel.

    Schleese has tried to market their approach as more scientific than artistic ... I don't think the tool is NOT legit, but there are many fine ways to get to done. No one has all the answers with saddles.
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    • #3
      I know a Stubben fitter who has a version of it (shop actually sells whatever saddles she chooses to carry so no idea if that device is actually linked to Stubben).

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      • #4
        On that note, are there saddle fitting kits you can buy? I tried to do a wither tracing but couldn't find anything to cut the clothes hanger wire with.

        If not, someone should invent one. Graphing paper, pencil and some kind of safe, flexible wire.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Scandias View Post
          I tried to do a wither tracing but couldn't find anything to cut the clothes hanger wire with.
          Check out a local craft/artist supply store for a "flexi-curve" or flexible curve tool (I googled "artist curve tool" and got a lot of examples). I got one to make curved lines for quilting and it worked great for a back trace (wither and every 4" for another 20").
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          • #6
            Are you talking about something that helps make tracings, or the tool that they used many years ago that was metal, articulated in five or six places longitudinally and and "arms" that articulated as well? I used that one years ago when I had to measure a horse for a custom Schleese saddle. I rather liked it because there was no guessing. You put the thing on the horse's back, pressed all of the articulations until all of the metal pieces lay flat on the horse (either along the spine or around the ribs near the spine) and read off the readings and sent them to Schleese. For me, it was easier than trying to press the flexible material and trace on a piece of paper.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Wicky View Post
              Are you talking about something that helps make tracings, or the tool that they used many years ago that was metal, articulated in five or six places longitudinally and and "arms" that articulated as well?
              Me? I was offering an alternative to wire.

              The OP and topic are about the skeletal-looking piece of equipment.
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              • #8
                One caveat about this sort of tool (and this goes for the old-fashioned template, too): it only considers static fit, and that's just your starting point. The real acid test of saddle fit is *active* fit, which can be very different from static fit. A good fitter can look at a horse (or a template and photos) and get a pretty good idea of how the horse will move and how the back will change, and choose saddles (or make flocking/fitting adjustments) based on that. But even then, the horse and rider need to try the saddle in real time to see if the saddle or the fitting adjustments will work.
                Kitt Hazelton
                Saddle Fitter
                www.pantherrunsaddlery.com
                www.saddlefitter.blogspot.com

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kitt View Post
                  One caveat about this sort of tool (and this goes for the old-fashioned template, too): it only considers static fit, and that's just your starting point. The real acid test of saddle fit is *active* fit, which can be very different from static fit. A good fitter can look at a horse (or a template and photos) and get a pretty good idea of how the horse will move and how the back will change, and choose saddles (or make flocking/fitting adjustments) based on that. But even then, the horse and rider need to try the saddle in real time to see if the saddle or the fitting adjustments will work.
                  This was an issue with my saddle. The first saddle fitter had it fit nicely when my horse was standing but then when he moved, it didn't fit at all. So, had Jochem Schlesse fit it himself last year.

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