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Humans and horses have been joined for thousands of years, and for much of that time, one thing has served as the primary point of physical contact between them: the saddle.
However, for many horses and many riders, the saddle has been no less than a refined means of torture. Horses have long suffered from tree points impeding the movement of their shoulder blades; too narrow gullet channels damaging the muscles and nerves along the vertebrae; and too long panels putting harmful pressure on the reflex point in the loin area. Male riders saddle up despite riding-related pain and the potential for serious side effects, such as impotence, while female riders endure backache, slipped discs, and bladder infections, to name just a few common issues.
We must ask ourselves: How much better could we ride and how much better could our horses perform if our saddles fit optimally? If they accommodated the horse’s unique conformation and natural asymmetry? If they were built for the differing anatomy of men and women?
The answers to all these questions are right here, right now, in this book.
Jochen Schleese was certified as the youngest Master Saddler ever in Europe in 1984, and in 1986 was asked to be the official saddler for the World Dressage Championship. He received a patent for a revolutionary saddle design in 1996 and is recognized as an authority on horse saddles.