On my quest for the saddle to fit my exceedingly difficult-to-fit mare, Beautiful Girl… I am also learning about how saddles should fit MY body.
I mean, my motto has always been, “If it fits the horse and is mostly comfortable for me, I’ll just get a gel pad or a sheepskin and I’ll be fine…”.
Do you do the same?
Well, now I’m learning WHY the female body doesn’t fit into saddles that aren’t made specifically for females.
…Schleese Saddlery, that’s who. (No affiliation)
HOW IT ALL STARTED…
On my ‘saddle fit to horse’ quest, I ran across the Schleese Saddle Fitting website and complimentary videos. ( I previously wrote about 4 of the ‘9 Points of Correct Saddle Fit’ here.) Awesome information, really… you should check it out. Easy to read, watch and implement. Click here.
Anyway, while I was on the Schleese 9 Points of Correct Saddle Fit, I saw a little sidebar title that said, “Saddles made for Women“.
Wha? Wow! Really?!
I had to check it out…
AHA! A LIGHTBULB WENT ON! NOW IT ALL MADE SENSE – why I was never quite comfortable in my saddles!
First of all, I have no affiliation with Schleese (wish I did…). I simply found this information really valuable. For me, the presentation was easy to understand – which isn’t always the case with saddle fitting – and it all made total sense.
Of course women are shaped differently from men… but the ways in which we are shaped differently might surprise you. I hadn’t really thought about it this intensely and everything they say makes absolute sense. No wonder my knees are always sore! No wonder my lower back is tipped incorrectly… No Wonder!! I had several “Aha” moments while watching these videos and reading the book (below).
Here is a link to the Saddle Fit for Females page on the Schleese website. You will learn why these areas (twist, stirrup bar placement, flap angulation, seat width, crotch comfort) are very important saddle fitting issues for women.
- Birthing Channel (females make seat contact differently)
- Pelvic Structure (wider)
- Spinal Column (curved at the base – hollow back)
- Balance Point of Pelvis (farther forward than men)
- Pubic Symphysis (flat and low)
- Hip Joints (angled to side, leg hangs forward, shorter tail bone)
- Upper Leg (leg built differently and does not hang straight down, femur bigger)
- Quadriceps and hamstrings (rounder muscle, not much space between thighs)
- Seat Bones (farther apart)
I was so impressed with this information, I went even deeper by looking at Jochen Schleese’s book on saddle fit, “SUFFERING IN SILENCE”.
OMG. I had no idea a book on saddle fit could be so engaging! I mean, how much is there to say?… But there is A LOT. And, this book is filled with information and color photos that demonstrate important points. I am learning so much! Check out the book here. (no affiliation)
But this is what impressed me the most… best part: the book is dedicated to his horse! Jochen Schleese wrote this as his dedication:
This book is dedicated to my horse Pirat. H was my partner in many successful event competitions in Europe. When the signs of increasing lameness appeared and his eyes began to lose their shine, it was already too late to do anything so his career came to an all-too-early end. The diagnosis: irreparable cartilage damage at his scapula. Although at the time I was an apprentice saddler, I had no clue that it was the saddle that had caused him all this pain and lameness. I will never forget nor forgive myself for this; it’s because of him, I want to help as many horses as possible avoid the same fate. That’s why I founded Saddlefit 4 Life. And that’s why I wrote this book.
That alone made me want to purchase this book.
AN ENTIRE CHAPTER – VERY DETAILED – on female saddle fit vs men.
Pages 39 – 59 (20 pages!) totally devoted to graphs, charts, photos and illustrations on how/why womens’ bodies need differences in their saddles to maintain a comfortable and correct seat.
I feel like an expert now! ;)
The book is pretty remarkable, more than you ever even thought about – in saddle fit. And, it is easy and fun to read. Amazing. For me, I will keep it on my shelf for often referral.
GOOD TO KNOW and yet another layer of SADDLE FIT – for your horse and FOR YOU!
ALL PROCEEDS SUPPORT THE BUCKET FUND!
Petite and lovely, grape and lavender Czech glass beads alternate to a Handmade Sterling silver heart at lobster clasp closure. 16″
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APRIL BUCKET FUND! Let’s help up help Justin with his surgery!