October 2019 - What’s New?


New Bi-NateLine of saddles continues Schleese’s cutting edge traditions.

by Jochen Schleese, CMS, CSFT, CSE • ©2019 Saddlefit 4 Life™ All Rights Reserved

Schleese continues to be an industry leader in developing and using the latest technology in the saddlery department, and what we are working on right now underlines that.

It’s important to be able to determine the amount of pressure exerted on a horse’s back during riding – something that has long been known and researched using mainly computerized saddle pads, which have been on the market for some time now. They consist of (usually) 256 individual sensors which can measure in split seconds the amount of pressure under any given saddle on the horse’s back. Of course, the action of a horse in motion will make this picture change with almost every step, but overall, it is quite easy to determine where the problem spots are. This whole process usually requires the use of a very expensive pad (which not every saddle fitter has, of course), and more importantly – the ability to diagnose what is being seen and then make the necessary changes to the fit of the saddle.


Once again Schleese leads the world of saddle fit! After having worked with over 150,000 saddle fit evaluations in the last 40 years, we have come to realization that something needs to change. More and more veterinarians are recommending the need for not annual, not bi-annual, but quarterly saddle fit adjustments to truly accommodate the horse’s changing conformation! This is just unrealistic and unsustainable for any saddlery; for any saddle fitter. That means for every saddle sold, another three visits every year to adjust it – not to mention the expense, effort and time for the client.


Pressure sensing saddle pad by Medilogic - used with permission.

The evolution of even our own saddles over the years brings truth to the innovations we have developed. In the past our saddles had narrow gullets, no shoulder relief, were not gender appropriate. Over the years our constant interaction with equine professionals at all levels have led to the necessary changes that we now know are best for horse and rider. The most recent innovation – the PSI panel – gets rave reviews from our clients and super results that even a non-horseperson can recognize in the way the horses move.

This panel reduces the psi from industry accepted standards of >11 kPa (kilopascals) to less than 3 kPa. Research and data collection are presently being done to conclusively demonstrate that this is a scientifically valid result, but since ischemia has already been proven to occur at around 4.67 kPa, any reduction to the horse’s back can be seen as positive.

Working with 5* International Olympic level judge Anne Gribbons and listening to what else our clients want - (softer, closer seat, lighter saddle, less saddle fitting required) we have now added the Bi-NateLine™ to the PSI panel.  In essence, it is the ultimate wedding of Western and English worlds – since horses that have been ridden in the western saddles traditionally have always needed to be comfortable as they were considered to be “working” horses. English saddles were always more about “fad” rather than function. So, we have combined the two to make a beautiful English saddle that not only conforms to the ‘look’ of the “fad” – but will absolutely perform the function of keeping the horse comfortable and moving optimally to perform at its best.

Schleese’s groundbreaking Bi-NateLine™. A revolutionary 3D-Light Adjustable AdapTree® with Shoulder Freedom Tree Points and the new Narrow-Wide Twist (NW-Twist).


With this new Bi-NateLine™ Schleese secures its position as the leading ‘horse-friendly’ manufacturer in the world, by creating a saddle that not only combines form with function but provides the lowest pounds per square inch pressure distribution on the horse’s back with the PSI panel. Avoiding the sensitive reflex points on the horses back, Schleese has created a saddle line with the Bi-NateLine™ that will support a longer-lasting softer, closer, saddle fitting, which is unmatched in today’s market and will become the new standard.

Any saddle we have made can be retrofitted to offer all our clients this same experience.  We still offer our traditional saddle line on the regular infinitely adjustable patented AdapTree®, all of which can be updated as an option with the PSI Panel, however we can foresee that the future of saddles sold by Schleese will be part of the Bi-NateLine™ reality.

Equine girth heart monitor by Seaver – used with permission.

The new saddle “Let’s Dance” by Anne Gribbons features our deepest close contact seat yet and our innovative NW-Twist. This provides the rider with an extremely narrow twist for ultimate contact with the horse all while simultaneously providing the horse with a wide twist to ensure maximum weight distribution and freedom of movement. Our innovative shoulder relief and shoulder freedom tree points, with the cut-back panel provides the best shoulder freedom in the industry and our adjustable Lightweight-3D AdapTree® can be adjusted on an ongoing basis to your horse and to any future horse(s). As part of the Bi-NateLine™, the Let’s Dance by Anne Gribbons comes standard with our revolutionary PSI panel system to maximize the saddle’s weight bearing surface area throughout the length of the panel with the lowest pressure per square inch (kPa) of any English saddle.

We are working to publish a couple of papers with several universities which will observe the strictest research protocols with statistical samples of more than the seemingly universally accepted 10 horses per paper. For now, our anecdotal experiences with 500 x that number every year gives us all the credibility we need to illustrate the FACTS we know.  We use only state-of-the art diagnostic equipment such as the Seaver Horse girth, which scientifically monitors equine heart rate and gait symmetry with its electrodes as well as various jumping stats such as average height and take-off angles, the MediLogic® computerized saddle pad, plus a Polar Heart Rate Monitor and thermographic imaging camera to help determine optimum fit.

Article provided by Schleese Saddlery. For more information, visit www.schleese.com.