Saddling the Friesian

Cordia Pearson

Society of Master Saddlers Qualified Saddle Fitter

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Friesians can be of two types, the classic round ‘saddle" Friesian or the more withered "carriage" Friesian. It was my pleasure and privilege to saddle Jelleska (Bold Contender) the only Friesian to be long listed for the US Olympic Dressage Team.


Jelsche (Bold Contender) ridden by Hokan Thorn – photo by Terri Miller

Because of Jelsche very short coupled back and well sprung ribs, we selected the Laser 747 for her and her owner, Ros Randall.

Jelsche does have embryo transfer foals you might want to learn more about her at:




Avalon's Luthario and Suzette Sontag of Smart Start Stable at Sorensen Park, showing Training Level Dressage June, 09 His first show—winning Training Level 1 with 70.87%. Owned & loved by Page Lee.

Luther is very much like Jelsche, an extremely strong and balanced horse. He’s the best of both worlds, half Friesian, half Morgan. His owner says quite simply, he is "Magnificent." At the start of his training and back building, we saddled him with the hoop treed Laser 747. But once he took on his finished shape, the saddle of choice was a Lovatt & Ricketts Berkeley—reflecting the rise of his withers and the progression of his training.


The "carriage" type Friesian normally has a more pronounced wither and longer back. They do well in the Thornhill Zurich or the L & R Berkeley. On the other hand, we have a wonderful example of a more carriage like Friesian in Ivanhoe, owned by Jody and Tom Green (yes, the Tom Green of the Kingston Trio!) Jody is a petite rider on a very large horse and to trail ride, she is secure in her Meleta Brown Trail saddle.

Rick Schmidt of Smart Start Stable in Somerset, WI on Ivanhoe owned by Jody & Tom Green. Photo by Cordia Pearson

For more info:


So if you have a Friesian to saddle and they are giving you not-fits, email me or call 651-462-5654

Cordia Pearson

Society of Master Saddlers Qualified Saddle Fitter