October 2013

The Only Thing That Stays the Same is Everything Changes

  The season changed, the turn out schedule changed and the web site changed. The primary focus is still education and "Helping Horses with Their People." Only the layout has slightly changed. Check it out WWW.FITRIGHTSADDLESOLUTIONS.COM and if you would like to add your own testimonial please do! Send it to tpeiper@aol.com.

Make sure your saddle is not causing any of these issues:
  • Unexplained Lameness
  • Tripping or Stumbling
  • Trouble Going Down Hill
  • Navicular, Kissing Spine, Hunter's Bump
  • Sore Back
  • Bucking or Spooking
  • Lack of Forward Motion or Engagement
  • Trouble Turning or Wrong Leads

  If you think it is or you want to learn more about saddle fit, come to our free  Recognizing Saddle Fit Issues Lecture at Buck N Horse Hollow on Sunday October 13, 2015 at 11am.

Looking for Maryland Facility to hosts saddle fitting clinics

  There are a few riders in Virginia that need to have their saddle fit evaluated and saddles adjusted that I would like to help. If anyone in Maryland would be willing to allow us to meet "half way" we would be extremely grateful.

  Sometimes a rider will ask me if I can recommend another saddle that "will work." Typically, I believe that is what a saddle fitter does. He or she looks at your horse's back, your seat size and recommends a saddle that he or she thinks will work. When I got into saddle fitting, I didn't even want to be called a saddle fitter because no one I knew got any warm and fuzzy feelings when they heard the words saddle fitter. In fact, it was normal to get a very negative response because typically saddle fitting and shopping is very frustrating, but it doesn't need to be.

  If you buy a saddle that fits wonderful today and it is not completely adjustable in a year or less when that saddle is no longer going to fit, who are you going to be unhappy with? The saddle fitter that sold you that saddle. That is a no win situation for horse, rider and saddle fitter.

  I know that there is a really good chance that a saddle that fits today will not fit in a few months or year from now. Horses change due to training, age, nutrition, health issues and seasons. To prevent all that frustration and negativity, I recommend purchasing a saddle that will be adaptable to your horse as he changes. And I don't mean just changing the angle of the gullet plate, there is a lot more to saddle fit then the angle of the gullet plate. I mean change the angle and the width of the tree, change the overall balance, change billet alignment and horizontal panel contact. All Schleese and Specialized (our trail endurance and western saddles are made by Specialized) adjustments are done on site, in your barn or mine, the same day! No sending the saddle out or taking it back to the shop.

  Honestly, I don't know of any other dressage or hunt seat saddle I want to recommend besides Schleese. I am sure there are other good saddles, but I have not been "sold" on them. No other saddle manufacturer took his time at his own expense to educate not only me but thousands of other riders the importance of good saddle fit and how it effects the behavior, performance and ultimately the health of the horse and the rider. The organization he founded, Saddlefit 4 Life is a network of equine professionals dedicated to preventing long term damage to horses and their riders. No other saddle manufacturer ever showed me books, research and reports from veternarians, doctors and equestrian universities of horse anatomy, proper saddle fit and damage that can be caused by a poor fitting saddle. No other saddle made my horse rideable again. I wouldn't even consider any other kind of saddle for my horse so why would I recommend one for your horse?

  If money is an issue, then I recommend investing in a Schleese. If money is not an issue then no big deal, when the horse changes just buy another saddle. If the horse has behavior or lameness issues, not big deal just buy another horse. If the saddle is uncomfortable buy special saddle pads, seat savers, special underwear, bute and Aleve. When I first learned about Schleese saddles, I admit I was not willing to pay $4,000 for a saddle. Now that I look back, I realize I would have actually saved money if I would have bought the Schleese. First I bought a saddle that I rode in for a little while but it wasn't right so I sold it and lost money. Then I spent money on lessons, but when the saddle is restricting the horse no matter how good your training, you are limited, so that was a little bit of a waste of money. Then he was still having issues with his hocks and front feet so we have tons of money in supplements, vet bills and yes I admit hock injections, bute & Adequan. Then he wouldn't stay sound enough to continue riding 3-4 days a week and show without drugs, so I bought another horse. I let Easy be retired. Then the horse I bought ended up with an injury that left her unrideable, lots of money lost there. Then I bought another horse. By then I was learning about the importance of saddle fit, so she got a Schleese. Then I learned a lot more about saddle fit and guess what. I have been riding my retired due to lameness issues horse, Easy ever since he got his Schleese! That was 3 years ago in April. Actually lost money there too because the cost of the saddle went up in those 5 years. If I would have bought the first Schleese I looked at, I would be a lot further ahead financially. So, if money is an issue think ahead, one way or another riding is going to be expensive.

  I could write a book about horses that I have evaluated with lameness issues and/or behavior issues that have seemingly miracle recoveries simply by riding in a Schleese. I can't promise that this will happen in every case but I am positive it has happen in many cases. So, no I will not recommend another saddle.

  The finiest compliment paid me is that of a referral. Thank you so much for all the referrals and helping me with my mission in life, "Helping Horses with Their People."

TTYS & God Bless
    Terry Peiper

  Terry Peiper has been "Helping Horses With Their People" in south central PA for over 30 years as an accredited Richard Shrake Resistance Free ® Trainer/Instructor and certified American Riding Instructors Association (ARIA) Instructor. She has more than 45 years horse showing experience in several different disciplines ranging from 4-H, Hunters, Appaloosa breed shows, barrel racing, dressage and side-saddle, as well as several years of fox hunting, hunter paces and open show judging experience. You could say she has been there and done that.

  Studying saddle ergonomics started out as just another way for Terry to help her students however, it quickly took over her life when she discovered that her own horse, Easy had a condition called kissing spine which was likely caused by many years of riding in poor fitting saddles. “I can’t go back and undo what I have done but I can spread the word about proper saddle fit to prevent other horses from needless suffering” says Terry.

  Recognizing the huge need for proper saddle fit, Terry joined the Saddlefit 4 Life professionals and started the FIT RIGHT SADDLE SOLUTIONS. She passionately pursues her mission to educate as many riders as possible of the importance of proper saddle fit, how it affects the horse’s performance, behavior and ultimately horse and rider health through lectures and saddle fit evaluation/consultations in the south central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland area.