So I FINALLY get to share my big news. Tomorrow I am getting my saddle fit by…Jochen Schleese!!! For those of you who do not ride dressage allow me to explain. My saddle is a Schleese brand saddle. Jochen Schleese is coming to fit it. I am getting, not only a master saddle fitter, but also the person who founded the brand of my saddle to come and fit it to Phoenix! For those of you with really good memories you will recall that back in November I had my saddle fitted by the local tack store owner. She is new to the saddle fitting business and so she gave us a conservative fit. She was also not able to fix the problems that I was having with my saddle which was a total bummer. She spent a long time working on it, but in the end she was just not able to get it to sit right. Her recommendation was to send my saddle away to get cut up and put back together in a way that better suits Phoenix (this was Gennyral’s saddle mind you and they have very different body types). I was reluctant to go without it for several weeks during the show season so I was waiting until the weather looked like crap on the 10 day forecast (I was told it would only take 2 weeks). While waiting an amazing opportunity came up.
I live VERY close to one of the current US Dressage Team members. They wanted a certified Schleese fitter to come down instead of going with the local tack shop owner. Since our normal rep from our area just had a baby (the one who did Phoenix’s saddle the first time back in January of 2009) she was not coming down. I am not sure how one thing lead to another but the next thing I know Jochen Schleese, the man himself, is coming to the area! I also knew that there was not a chance in hell that my no name self and my Fat Spotted Pony would ever have a chance of getting in on the fitting with Jochen Schleese so I did not even try to put in for it.
Last week I got a call from one of the people over at the Crik (the show grounds Phoenix and I competed at this year). They had found out through Phoenix’s Owner (PO) that I wanted my saddle done. They were getting a second fitting in my area, was I still interested. I said yes, but I also said that Phoenix would need a ride. My truck is basking in the Arizona sunshine so I had no way to get Phoenix to a fitting. The woman told me she would drive Phoenix so that was not a problem. Was I still interested. I answered yes again, but I said that I have to work so the fitting would have to be later if I was to be involved. The woman told me that would not be a problem because we would be the second barn of the day and that I could go last.
It was only after I hung up the phone that I got really excited. And then really nervous. First the excited part. Jochen Schleese, a big deal saddle fitter, was going to look at my saddle and my pony to see if they can work together. If anyone can fix the problems that I am having it is Jochen Schleese! I started to get nervous though thinking about the fact that Jochen Schleese is going to be coming right from working with some of the top horses in the country. Most of whom are Bay. And very dressagey. Jochen Schleese would be going from the classic dressage horse right to my Phoenix, who is not the first thing people think of when they think of a dressage horse :P. I admit it I am nervous about what Jochen Schleese will think of my Fat Spotted Pony. I wish there was a day gap in there so he would have time to forget the wonderfulness of the other horses so he would have a better shot at seeing the wonderfulness of Phoenix.
Not helping the nerves either is the fact that I am worried what Jochen Schleese will think of me. When I was filling out the visit form on the website it asks a bunch of questions like what type of saddle it is and what kind of horse you have, etc. There was a question that put my nerves on overdrive. It was “Rider weight”. Anyone who has reading my blog for a while knows that sort of thing doesn’t bother me, so why the nerves? I was happily scrolling down to put my weight in when the answers options suddenly stopped. Schleese doesn’t give a weight option past 180 pounds. Clearly, anyone seeing a picture of me knows I am well past that. I had to put a plus (+) symbol down because there are no weight options as large as I am. Nothing like getting the first impression that being fat is not okay to Jochen Schleese. Clearly fat people don’t ride in Schleese saddles…except me. Nothing like being REALLY different right?
So I am trying not to get nervous about the whole thing. It is just a saddle fitting after all. Even if it is kind of a big deal. I am still in shock that Jochen Schleese will be adjusting my saddle! It all happened so fast. I hope I can keep my nerves at bay tomorrow. Clearly I am nervous. I wonder how many times I used Jochen Schleese’s name in this post. That is so a dead giveaway as to how big a deal this is to me!