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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 29, 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    373

    Question New to Dressage...Questions

    I thought it was obvious that seat size of a dressage saddle was related to the.. umm, size of the riders seat. Recently saw a saddle wanted ad and they were looking for a 19" seat for a tall man. What are the guidelines for determining seat size ?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 28, 2006
    Location
    Florida
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    3,097

    Default

    You have to consider your "seat" size, and also your length from hip to knee.

    ETA: I am on the smaller side, could probably ride a 17" or 17.5", but I am long from hip to knee, so I am usually more comfortable in an 18". Otherwise, my knee can be too far forward, or sometimes OVER, the fron of the flap. When you're sitting straight and tall in the saddle, a *general* rule of thumb is that you want to fit four fingers between your seat and the cantle.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2010
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    1,645

    Default

    I think of seat size as only a starting point for saddle sizing. It's like buying a bra. You can go to the rack and look at all the 36Cs, but there is no guarantee that even if your usual size is 36C, that every bra on the rack will fit you. Just like with bras, every manufacturer has variations in the way they make the saddle, so one manufacturer's 18" will not fit like another saddle maker's 18".

    I know for sure that a 16" seat would never fit me, but I've had everything from 17 to 18.5 feel pretty good - just depended on the rest of the saddle.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2011
    Posts
    1,644

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    I'm 5'5" with a 33" inseam. I'm 135lbs. I'm happiest in a flatter, 18" dressage saddle even though I'm small weight wise and 'fit' visually into a 17" saddle just fine. The balance point is just all wrong because my legs are so long. The stirrup bars are in the wrong spot and I just fight for position. Same saddle, bigger seat? Problem solved for me.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 9, 2005
    Location
    Chattanooga, Tennessee
    Posts
    3,511

    Default

    and as an example about how different two people can be....I'm 5'4" 150lbs with a 33" inseam, but all MY leg is knee to ground. I'm happiest in a 17-17.5" medium depth saddle. It really is like fitting a darn bra.....



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
    Location
    Spotsylvania, VA
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    12,223

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    And to complicate matters further I am comfortable in a 17 inch County Eventer but need an 18 inch County Connection
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2011
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    1,644

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noctis View Post
    and as an example about how different two people can be....I'm 5'4" 150lbs with a 33" inseam, but all MY leg is knee to ground. I'm happiest in a 17-17.5" medium depth saddle. It really is like fitting a darn bra.....
    Exactly. My leg is all femur. I can wear off the rack tall boots with no issue. Some are even too tall despite overall having long legs.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
    Location
    Northeast
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    9,891

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    So from all of this, I hope you have figured out that saddles are a thing you try before you buy. And then, when you have fit you, you have to be sure it fits your horse.

    It's enough to send you flying back to WP.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 16, 2008
    Posts
    290

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by merrygoround View Post
    So from all of this, I hope you have figured out that saddles are a thing you try before you buy. And then, when you have fit you, you have to be sure it fits your horse.

    It's enough to send you flying back to WP.
    It really is! Aside from that, I would say first find saddles that are comfortable for your horse. Then, from those, choose the one that is most comfortable for you. Then, when your horse's top line, etc., changes as the two of you work, start all over again ...

    Or switch to western dressage. Seriously!
    Rack on!



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