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View Full Version : Does this saddle fit me?



TheBrightSide06
Jun. 20, 2011, 10:28 PM
Got my answers, thank you!!

KrazyTBMare
Jun. 20, 2011, 10:45 PM
Sorry but your links dont work.

Try right clicking on the photo you want to share, click on Properties, and highlight the URL and copy and paste that to the forum.

KrazyTBMare
Jun. 20, 2011, 11:45 PM
That works.

To me, you either need a saddle with longer flaps or a bigger seat to accomidate your long thigh. Seat size isnt just about the size of your rear. Plunty of thin riders such as yourself need 17.5 or even 18 seats depending on how the saddle is balanced and shaped.

Also, is that a riser pad under the saddle?

TheBrightSide06
Jun. 21, 2011, 12:33 AM
That works.

To me, you either need a saddle with longer flaps or a bigger seat to accomidate your long thigh. Seat size isnt just about the size of your rear. Plunty of thin riders such as yourself need 17.5 or even 18 seats depending on how the saddle is balanced and shaped.

Also, is that a riser pad under the saddle?

It is a bounce pad, or at least that's what my old instructor called it. I put it on him out of a force of habit. Don't think he needs it, really.

GraceLikeRain
Jun. 21, 2011, 09:16 AM
I am sure more qualified people will weigh in but in my eyes it looks small. It appears as though your seat is getting pushed back towards the cantle which will force your upper body forward. Did you have a saddle fitter out to look at your saddle and if so, what did he/she say about the fit for you?

JB
Jun. 21, 2011, 09:27 AM
Agree, it's too small. It's really about the seat here. I don't think anything about the flap is causing this. Even if the flap is forcing you to sit this far back on the cantle, you simply don't have room to scoot forward. There's just enough room in front of you now, and you could even possibly use a smidge more.

If you look at this particular model saddle, I'd say you need a full 1" larger. But a different model may mean 1/2", or more than 1", depending on the shape and depth of the seat.

CatPS
Jun. 21, 2011, 10:40 AM
Looks too small to me, which could be contributing to tipping your upper body forward. If you have trouble with your shoulders already, the last thing you want is to have to fight against a poorly-fitting saddle!

TheBrightSide06
Jun. 21, 2011, 10:54 AM
Thanks guys!

Velvet
Jun. 21, 2011, 10:56 AM
That works.

To me, you either need a saddle with longer flaps or a bigger seat to accomidate your long thigh. Seat size isnt just about the size of your rear. Plunty of thin riders such as yourself need 17.5 or even 18 seats depending on how the saddle is balanced and shaped.

Also, is that a riser pad under the saddle?

Speaking as someone with a very long thigh, I just have to disagree with you that this is a reason to go up in seat size. In DRESSAGE (it's not such an issue in a jumping saddle) going up in the seat size to accommodate a long thigh is a huge mistake a lot of people make. You need to find a saddle that fits you perfectly both in the seat, and in the thigh--if you want to go far and ride upper levels on that horse. You need to have a secure seat and one that's too big does not help a rider have a secure seat. While I like it flatter, I still would NEVER get one that's too big if I were to work a horse with the goal of the mid and upper levels.

Even if it means buying custom, you need to fit the whole rider's body. Seat and leg. With that said, I'm wondering if it's different (where the seat ends up) without stirrups--when the leg hangs. You want some room in the saddle, just not too much, but I do agree that if you have thigh blocks that are pushing at your knee (it sort of looks that way) it will push your seat back, too.

For long legged and long thighed riders, I will always suggest LESS thigh and knee roll since you need more room to put your leg in the correct position and you don't want it forced in an unnatural one--one that is meant for a rider with a shorter leg (especially thigh).

Keep shopping. There a TON of options out there! :D Even custom and semi-custom ones--and often used.

KateWooten
Jun. 21, 2011, 11:12 AM
going up in the seat size to accommodate a long thigh is a huge mistake a lot of people make.

I disagree.

Seat size is determined by by the length of your thigh as well as the stoutness of your bottom. Look at a dressage saddle from the side and find the lowest point, and imagine your seatbones settling there. Now look at the stirrup bar ... it is in front of the deepest part of the seat by a few inches. The angle between those too points is very important. If your saddle is too big for you, that stirrup bar will put your leg way out in front, if it's too small, the angle is too steep. There is an ideal distance/angle from the sitting point to the stirrup bar, depending on the length of your thigh. If we were all of 'slim build' then this would be all we'd need to determine seat size. However, for most of us, the actual bulkiness of our bottom can become a limiting factor. An exceptionally tall, slim person can manage to sit in a tiny 16inch saddle but the geometry is all wrong. A short, tubby person like me has to go up to a larger seat size than their leg would otherwise warrant - but it's a compromise. We would be better balanced if we were less bulky around the beam, and in a more suitable seat size for our stubby legs.

For the OP : abandon all these correction pads unless you are trying to correct a particular problem. Adding a bounce pad raises the back of the saddle, which you would do if a saddle was too narrow and therefore tipping up at the front. By raising the back of a saddle that is too narrow, all you do is put even more pressure on the points which are already pinching. Never use a bounce pad to raise the back, unless you are dealing specifically with a very uphill, or very sway-backed horse, and have looked carefully at where exactly you are trying to 'fill in' the horse's back to balance the saddle. I agree that this seat size is too small for your enviably long leg and your particular geometry will be better suited to a larger seat size, and a longer flap.

BoyleHeightsKid
Jun. 21, 2011, 11:30 AM
For the OP : abandon all these correction pads unless you are trying to correct a particular problem. Adding a bounce pad raises the back of the saddle, which you would do if a saddle was too narrow and therefore tipping up at the front. By raising the back of a saddle that is too narrow, all you do is put even more pressure on the points which are already pinching. Never use a bounce pad to raise the back, unless you are dealing specifically with a very uphill, or very sway-backed horse, and have looked carefully at where exactly you are trying to 'fill in' the horse's back to balance the saddle. I agree that this seat size is too small for your enviably long leg and your particular geometry will be better suited to a larger seat size, and a longer flap.

This ^^^ :)

Petstorejunkie
Jun. 21, 2011, 01:21 PM
you need the next size up

and an unsolicited critique:
think of bringing the bottoms of your shoulderblades together. your horse will never truly be "through" until you get those shoulders back and down and get a real connection through the bridle.

Catmando
Jun. 21, 2011, 01:47 PM
Saddle is too small...you look jammed. That sure looks to be a riser pad yoy are using. Time go back to the drawing board and find a saddle that fits that horse instead of using gimmick pads like this to try and make it fit and that also fills in the gullet and puts pressure on the spine of the horse.

Alex and Bodie's Mom
Jun. 21, 2011, 01:53 PM
No, you need at least one inch bigger, IMO. Looking at the photos, you're actually sitting on the cantle. BUT, how much bigger a seat you need depends on how deep/flat the seat is. It almost looks lik you're riding in a 16 or a 16.5 seat, and need to be up to a 17 or 17.5. If you can, get to the nearest tack shop and ask to sit in a bunch of different dressage saddles with someone who knows how to fit both horse and rider until you find the one that suits you best. (This from a somewhat reformed eBay saddle buying junkie!)

paintlady
Jun. 21, 2011, 02:05 PM
I agree that it's too small.

TheBrightSide06
Jun. 21, 2011, 02:16 PM
I've got what I needed to hear, thanks:)

And Petstorejunkie, it is almost physically impossible for me to keep my shoulders where they need to be, as my left one likes to come out of socket. Trust me, I've improved, and it's taken many years to get to where I am now. I'm trying! :)

Thanks

Velvet
Jun. 21, 2011, 02:51 PM
I disagree.

Seat size is determined by by the length of your thigh as well as the stoutness of your bottom.

Nope. Nope. Nope. :no: You really need to be careful about making such incorrect statements. Maybe go talk to a saddle fitter or even look on some custom and semi-custom saddle shop sites to get a better understanding.

Saddle fitting 101. The seat is for the riders backside and it needs to be the right size for the size of the person's backside--has nothing to do with the thigh. The flaps are where you handle the thigh and rest of the leg--and what needs to be fitted there.

I can tell you must not have a long thigh and small backside. Otherwise, you never would have made this comment. In jumping saddles yes, you can go up a seat size, but even there, you SHOULD have one that has the correct seat size and different flaps that match your leg.

Why in the world do you think the custom and semi-custom offer options for different seat sizes and flaps? (Not to mention that fact that different manufacturers have different flaps, seats, etc. that fit different body types and thigh lengths.) The old cheap fix used to be to tell people to go up a size. It really isn't a fix. It creates it's own group of problems as the rider works up the levels--especially on a big moving horse. It's not about sacrificing, it's about fit. There are many options out there and the fit for each rider can be found.

The argument about the stirrup bar is incorrect. If a longer thighed person is in a larger seated saddle, used only at provide additional room for their length of thigh which puts there knee in the knee roll, then their seat is too far BEHIND the stirrup bar to make it work well. It will throw the rider in the back of the saddle, making it very difficult to balance over the leg when it is stretch long and on the horse's side.

TheBrightSide06
Jun. 21, 2011, 03:04 PM
Nope. Nope. Nope. :no: You really need to be careful about making such incorrect statements. Maybe go talk to a saddle fitter or even look on some custom and semi-custom saddle shop sites to get a better understanding.

Saddle fitting 101. The seat is for the riders backside and it needs to be the right size for the size of the person's backside--has nothing to do with the thigh. The flaps are where you handle the thigh and rest of the leg--and what needs to be fitted there.

I can tell you must not have a long thigh and small backside. Otherwise, you never would have made this comment. In jumping saddles yes, you can go up a seat size, but even there, you SHOULD have one that has the correct seat size and different flaps that match your leg.

Why in the world do you think the custom and semi-custom offer options for different seat sizes and flaps? (Not to mention that fact that different manufacturers have different flaps, seats, etc. that fit different body types and thigh lengths.) The old cheap fix used to be to tell people to go up a size. It really isn't a fix. It creates it's own group of problems as the rider works up the levels--especially on a big moving horse. It's not about sacrificing, it's about fit. There are many options out there and the fit for each rider can be found.

The argument about the stirrup bar is incorrect. If a longer thighed person is in a larger seated saddle, used only at provide additional room for their length of thigh which puts there knee in the knee roll, then their seat is too far BEHIND the stirrup bar to make it work well. It will throw the rider in the back of the saddle, making it very difficult to balance over the leg when it is stretch long and on the horse's side.

So a seat that is too big could potentially throw me in a chair-seat position?

Bogie
Jun. 21, 2011, 03:50 PM
So a seat that is too big could potentially throw me in a chair-seat position?

Velvet is correct. I have very long femurs (freakish is what one trainer said ;)). I don't have a particularly petite backside but buying a bigger saddle didn't help me. I had to buy a saddle with the correct flap configuration for my leg and the right size for my seat.

I'm a hair under 6' tall and I ride in either a 17.5" or 18" saddle depending on the seat depth and the flap. My Roosli, which was ordered for MY legs, is a 17.5 and it fits me fine.

My jumping saddles are also cut for people with my conformation.

I tried going up a size -- it didn't help put my leg in the right position and it meant that I floated in the saddle.

TheBrightSide06
Jun. 21, 2011, 04:05 PM
Sounds like what happened to me, as my previous 2 dressage saddles were 18" and it threw me WAY off balance. 17.5" was a little better, 17" was very good. But If the flaps are going to fit my legs they will have to be about 18" long.
I'll stay away from getting a bigger seat for leg room. Going with the bigger seat has only harmed me in the past.

Thanks so much Bogie and Velvet! :)

Bogie
Jun. 21, 2011, 04:20 PM
Pay a lot of attention to the position of the stirrup bars. I've found that I need bars that are set reasonably far back, otherwise I end up in a chair seat. Some saddles (I've heard) have adjustable bars. That sounds like a good idea but I've never seen them. My WOW saddle had two sets of bars so you could choose, which was pretty cool.

Of course once you find a saddle that works you'll never want to let it go!

Good luck. Saddle shopping can be a real pain in the butt.


Sounds like what happened to me, as my previous 2 dressage saddles were 18" and it threw me WAY off balance. 17.5" was a little better, 17" was very good. But If the flaps are going to fit my legs they will have to be about 18" long.
I'll stay away from getting a bigger seat for leg room. Going with the bigger seat has only harmed me in the past.

Thanks so much Bogie and Velvet! :)

alto
Jun. 21, 2011, 05:52 PM
Nope. Nope. Nope. :no: You really need to be careful about making such incorrect statements. Maybe go talk to a saddle fitter or even look on some custom and semi-custom saddle shop sites to get a better understanding.


:lol: :lol: :lol:



Of course, direct consultation with a saddle fitter would be an excellent next step for the OP :yes:

JB
Jun. 21, 2011, 07:32 PM
it is almost physically impossible for me to keep my shoulders where they need to be, as my left one likes to come out of socket
They have surgery for that :D My husband had it. Long, slow rehab, but SO worth it. His was to the point it would pop out just turning over in bed :(

JB
Jun. 21, 2011, 07:37 PM
Saddle fitting 101. The seat is for the riders backside and it needs to be the right size for the size of the person's backside--has nothing to do with the thigh. The flaps are where you handle the thigh and rest of the leg--and what needs to be fitted there.

To some extent I will disagree with you :)

I pretty well agree with you in the context of dressage saddles. You are sitting so much more vertically, head to toe, than in a CC/jumping saddle, that you're right the seat is the seat, the flaps are the flaps, and they are fairly independent of each other in terms of one affecting the fit of the other.

But there are for sure some CC saddles for some riders where a size bigger seat fixes an otherwise cramped leg without negatively affecting the rider's position in the saddle. Of course, those same riders could use the same seat size but a more forward flap in that same saddle and accomplish the same thing, but that's not always a viable option (as in, not all saddles come with a more forward flap option).

LarkspurCO
Jun. 21, 2011, 09:05 PM
The thigh rests at an angle against the horse, not vertically. Longer thighs need a longer seat so that the thigh finds the right placement on the flap.

When I sit in a saddle that's too small for my long legs, my knees will hang over the front of the flap, even though my butt fits fine in the seat. That's because on the smaller seat size, the center of the saddle is closer to the front of the flap.

Here, I ripped this off of Trumbull Mountain's FAQ page:

Q: How do you determine seat size? I’ve been riding in a 17” seat, but my new trainer tells me I should be in a 17.5” or 18” seat! I’m 5’8” and weigh 135 lbs, so I’m not fat; why is she telling me I need a bigger seat?

A: Seat size is determined more by the length of your thigh than the size of your butt. If you have long legs – in particular, a long femur – chances are that your trainer may have a valid point. Say that you have two people, both 5’6” and 135 lbs. Person A has a 21” femur, while Person B has an 18” femur. If you put both people in the same make and model of saddle, Person A might fit perfectly in an 18” seat, while Person B might need a 17” seat.

Another thing to consider is seat depth and the set of the flap. A deeper-seated saddle with a straighter flap will ride smaller than a more open-seated saddle with a more forward flap. A cut-back head or very high cantle can also make a saddle ride smaller. This is one reason that someone who rides in a 17” close contact saddle might need a 17.5” or 18” dressage saddle.

Personal comfort plays a big role, too. Some people like a little more room to move, and some people don’t. The most important considerations are:

The seat needs to be comfortable for you. You shouldn’t feel pinched or jammed, and you shouldn’t feel as though you’re sliding around.
Your knee should not come forward onto the knee roll / thigh block, or off the front of the flap.
The seat should be large enough to spread your weight as evenly as possible over an adequately large area of your horse’s back without putting weight past the 18th thoracic vertebra.

http://www.trumbullmtn.com/saddle-fitting/faq/

LarkspurCO
Jun. 21, 2011, 09:09 PM
To follow up, take this photo of Edward Gal.

http://www.efanational.com/site/equestrian/image/fullsize/24302.jpg

Imagine if the seat were an inch smaller. His skinny butt would probably fit it, but what would happen to his thigh? It wouldn't fit the same way on the flap, unless he scooched his butt to far up the cantle.

TheBrightSide06
Jun. 21, 2011, 09:10 PM
When I sit in a saddle that's too small for my long legs, my knees will hang over the front of the flap, even though my butt fits fine in the seat. That's because on the smaller seat size, the center of the saddle is closer to the front of the flap.


Makes SO much sense!! Thanks a bunch!

KrazyTBMare
Jun. 21, 2011, 10:37 PM
Much like the info Lark just posted, your thigh length absolutely effects the size of your saddle, along with every other factor. DUH. But to say that the thigh does not effect the seat size and its absolutely incorrect to size up to accomidate that is incorrect. Sorry. I *do* have a professional saddle fitter and actually just got a semi custom saddle and have had my saddles professionally adjusted and purchased with the help of professionals for years. To say that one part of the body that directly connects to the other doesnt effect how everything plays into sizing and relations just doesnt make sense. That saddle is too small for the OP. The flap is pushing it. If that saddle was at least 1 size bigger, shed have more room for her seat and thigh, keeping her off of the cantle, and allowing her leg to drape properly and actually fit the flap the way it needs to.

Regardless, you buy your saddles and fit them the way you see fit and so will everyone else. Not worth it to get into a tit for tat about something so personalized as saddle fit. Everyone prefers a different feel. Everyone is built differently. Everyone balances differently. Theres unfortunately no cookie cutter answer when it comes to saddle fitting.

purplnurpl
Jun. 22, 2011, 09:26 AM
So a seat that is too big could potentially throw me in a chair-seat position?

correct. but I would rather say, "A saddle that doesn't fit properly will throw you into a chair seat".
but the saddle you have shown is def small in the seat. You should have more room/saddle behind your behind...

purplnurpl
Jun. 22, 2011, 09:30 AM
To follow up, take this photo of Edward Gal.

http://www.efanational.com/site/equestrian/image/fullsize/24302.jpg

Imagine if the seat were an inch smaller. His skinny butt would probably fit it, but what would happen to his thigh? It wouldn't fit the same way on the flap, unless he scooched his butt to far up the cantle.


UGGGH!! I want that saddle!! what is it?

Velvet
Jun. 22, 2011, 09:50 AM
All of the seat size stuff pulled from the sites is all great for JUMPING type saddles, but for dressage, you really have to be more judicious in fitting your seat and our leg together.

Think about it for a LONG second here. If I have a very long thigh (which I do) which requires that I have slightly more of a bend in my knee than those with shorter thighs, it jams my knee it into the thigh roll. This shoves my seat back. If the seat is too small, I end up rocked on my crotch and unable to ride correctly. If it's too large, I end up in a chair seat in the back of my saddle with my legs too far out in front of me. IF I have a saddle with a longer flap that is slightly more forward, THEN I am able to have the correct seat size for my backside and sit balanced over it, and my leg is able to come slightly forward and down into the knee pocket (this is why I tell long thighed riders to stay away from big thigh blocks--those saddles are NEVER forward enough in the flap for the knee position and always rock you on your crotch) and now I'm also balanced over the middle of the horse and the saddle.

This is why I also said you need to shop for custom or semi-custom. The old fit for thigh still works on off the rack jumping saddles, but even then, you need one with a longer flap that comes forward a bit lower for the knee rolls. But for dressage saddles and doing the higher level work, you really need to find one that is much more fitted. It's harder for us long thighed riders to find them, but it's well worth the effort. Following the old guidelines is a cheat to make people buy off the rack saddles that are ill fitting for the rider and make it MUCH harder for them to do the work.

I hope the OP listens to the experiences of those of us out here who have already dealt with this struggle and know what really works for long thighed riders who do upper level work. Quoting online saddlefitting sites the are trying to sell saddles off the rack are really incorrect and do the riders a dis-service.

LarkspurCO
Jun. 22, 2011, 11:00 AM
It is not the advice only of online saddle shops. Master saddlers and saddle fitters I know and work with say the same thing. Wouldn't it be great if everyone could afford a custom saddle? Yes, but it's not really necessary for most people.

It's a very simple measurement. If the length of your femur roughly matches the measurement from the center of the saddle to the sweet spot on the flap where your knee wants to rest, and the saddle is balanced and you can comfortably sit in the middle of it, the saddle will not put you in a chair seat.

If you have some extra space behind and in front, your thigh will still fit and your leg will still hang correctly. If you find yourself swimming in the saddle with too much extra room you can always look for a saddle with a deeper seat. There really are a lot of options off the rack.

If you and your horse are just starting out and you can afford a custom saddle with the flap designed at the perfect angle and length for your thigh, go for it. If you happen to make it to upper levels with this same horse and same saddle, I'd wager you are in a very tiny minority.:)

JB
Jun. 22, 2011, 11:06 AM
It's going to come down to, most likely, how straight or forward of a leg the rider wants. The straighter the leg, the more the seat is its own island.

But as soon as you start putting more bend in the leg, such as the picture of Edward Gal, then yes, seat size becomes more pertinent to the flap position. That bend may be because you like it and rider better that way, or it may be because you have an insanely long thigh and it just has to go somewhere.

KrazyTBMare
Jun. 22, 2011, 04:28 PM
Or in other words, saddle fitting to the rider depends a lot on personal preference.