What size and type of saddle should I get? Or is this one good?
I have a western saddle (I have a picture but I can't figure out how to post it here) and I don't really like it. I don't know what kind it is, but it's about 30lbs. Is that an average weight? Because it just seems really heavy to me and that's the big reason I don't like it.
The seat is fairly comfortable, it's suede I believe. But I ride in a 17in English saddle and I've read that western would be 2in smaller so should I ride in a 15in? The saddle I have is 16in. And when I sit in the saddle, there's about 6ins from my crotch to the horn. Is that okay? I've only ridden in it a couple times and I guess it was okay but I don't remember if it felt too big or anything.
Oh and if it helps, I'm 5'6" and 135lbs. I'm fairly thin, kinda average.
Any suggestions? Opinions?
Last edited by HorseCrazyChick1234; Apr. 21, 2013 at 05:15 PM.
30 lbs would be toward the lighter end of the spectrum. A working ranch/ roping saddle figures to be in the 40-44 pound range, a barrel racing saddle, low 20 pound range. My current two weight about 35 and 42 lbs, I have an old Tex Tan Hereford that doesn't fit current stock but what I like about it is that it is light, about 26 lbs, I've always liked using it for starting young horses because it is light but still provides good back protection.
The way to measure whether a western seat fits you is not from crotch but from inside of thighs nearest the base of the pommel. You should ideally fit two fingers (forefinger and middle finger) between leg and base of pommel. It is true that the 'rule of thumb' is 17 English = 15 western but there's some variation with different saddle builds and styles.
I agree that 30 lbs is very light for a western saddle. There are some saddle makers that build lighter weight versions of various saddles, but they are in the 28 lb. to 36 lb. range.
I'm 5'3" and around 115 lbs. and I ride in a 17" dressage saddle, and a 15-1/2" wade. A really good wade saddle is almost like a western version of a dressage saddle, and I think they fit the rider a little closer than other western saddles. My saddle fits me just about perfect, but sometimes I think I wouldn't mind a little more room in the seat when I'm riding a big moving horse, or posting the trot.
If you're in the market for a super light "strip down" saddle, Double H Ranch Saddle Shop is supposed to make wonderful saddles. http://www.dhrss.com/saddles/strip-down.html I have never ridden in one of their saddles, but have heard great things about them. They are incredibly light (some are under 20 lbs.) and are supposed to have great range of motion in the fenders. The saddles are made on a Laporte fiberglass tree and are all cable rigged. They're not very pretty since they're basically just the tree and stirrups with most of the leather omitted, but there are quite a few cowboys that use them daily to work and even rope from.