Custom Saddlery Riders Ilse Schwarz And Steffen Peters Offer Clinics & Expertise

10 years ago StraightArrow Comments Off on Custom Saddlery Riders Ilse Schwarz And Steffen Peters Offer Clinics & Expertise
Steffen Peters and Ravel. © 2010 Sheryl Ross

WELLINGTON, Florida, Sept. 12–Australian FEI rider Ilse Schwarz has trained with Olympic and World Equestrian Games bronze medalist Steffen Peters for six years. In addition to sharing a common bond of both being sponsored by Custom Saddlery, Ilse brings Steffen to Wellington for clinics at least once a month during the winter circuit that draws riders from around the world from November through May.

“Carol Cohen currently hosts the clinics at Two Swans Farm,” Ilse said. “We try to have very accomplished riders take part in the clinics and some of our clinics in mid-season have almost looked like a team training camp! We always try to include at least one talented young rider and one talented young horse.”

Ilse said the first time she worked with Steffen she knew he was the trainer for her.

“Steffen is determined that I should try for the Australian team for the London Olympics so I am going to give it my best shot,” she said. “I have a lot of work to do to make that happen and I am certainly not afraid of hard work, so if he believes it is possible, so do I!”

While Ilse is pleased that Steffen has a strong belief in her abilities, both riders have a strong belief that a good saddle is essential in riding.

Ilse Schwarz and Cadenza. © 2011 Ken Braddick/

“A saddle is something that needs to enhance your training, not be something that you fight.” she said. “It must sit correctly and comfortably on your horse. The rider must also be comfortable and not always searching for the correct place to sit. The saddle should enhance the rider’s ability to find their balance and enable them to apply the aids as precisely as possible.

“I find the Custom saddles make this possible. I currently ride my Grand Prix horse, Cadenza, in a Wolfgang Constanz and my Prix St. Georges/Intermediaire I horse, Sauvignon, in an Icon Flight. I really love that they place me so close to the horse’s back, and that the saddles sit with so much stability on the horse. I also find the thigh roll positioned for my leg.

“I love that Custom has such a variety of saddles. I was originally riding in a Solo, but as my horse developed and changed shape, it didn’t seem to work so well. It was wonderful to be able to then try so many different options and know exactly when I had the right one. I have also had horses in the Advantage.

Ilse, who teaches clinics in Australia and the U.S. throughout the year, said that Steffen is also a strong supporter of Custom Saddlery.

He has made history with Ravel, whom he calls his “horse of a lifetime.” Ravel, a 13-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Akiko Yamazaki, has helped Steffen win more medals and awards than most riders dream of during their career and they have done it all while riding in an Advantage saddle by Custom.

“I have had a lot of success in my saddle,” he said.

Fans of Steffen who would like to get to know more about the dressage superstar can check out his “Custom Moment With Steffen Peters” video on the Custom Saddlery website. In the video produced for Custom Saddlery, makers of handcrafted custom-fit dressage, jumping and event saddles and an official sponsor of the United States Dressage Federation, Steffen talks about riding in an Advantage Saddle from Custom, as well as  intriguing insights into his life.

For more information on Custom Saddles, or to watch Steffen’s video, visit the Custom Saddlery website at