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Saddle - seat sizing for rider

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  • Saddle - seat sizing for rider

    I see so many people squeezed in to saddles that are too small for them - what about the too-big saddle?

    I'm interested in opinions on saddle sizing for the rider. I have various saddles that I ride in ranging from 17" (jumping saddle) to 19" (also jumping saddle - Mr. PoPo's that happens to fit my mustang). I've had a 17.5" Rembrandt Integra that I had to sell because it gave me serious crotch problems. I have an 18" Prestige (for my TB) and now have an 18" Frank Baines Capriole on trial for my mustang. After selling the Integra, I was so happy to ride in the Prestige - the more open seat was much more comfortable, as was a twist that is a little wider. I like having room to move around and realized I don't like a deep seat.

    I had a saddle fitter out last week to try some dressage saddles for Mac (my mustang) and after whittling the selection down to the final three, I loved the FB Capriole. I feel very centered and balanced in it and it is a good fit for Mac. I've got it on trial, but it is an 18", and I could probably go down to a at least 17.5 or even 17 due to the flatness of the seat.

    I don't feel like because of the extra room behind me that my butt slides back and my legs come forward; the saddle puts me in the right spot and it is easy to stay there. I got a price break on this because it was a demo. Oh, and the fitter did some flocking adjustments to give it a better fit for Mac.

    Is .5" of room worth getting a new saddle for and paying a few hundred more dollars (for new vs. demo)? I really don't feel like the larger seat size affects my riding.

    I'm 5'5" and longer hip to knee than knee to ankle.
    "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

  • #2
    According to the lovely Austrian fellow that comes over a few times a year & clinics at a local barn (the BO is a longtime student/family friend) - North Americans ride in too small saddles he would absolutely reccommend the 18! course he'd probably have rather more to say if you were actually riding with him (eg BO has a 17 1/2 Anky she prefers, he says she has a better position in her 18 Rembrandt - oh yeah, she is 5'4" & maybe 110lbs).

    The saddle should not lock you in - many people seem to ride in smaller seat saddles with large blocks because they do want the support so it really depends on what you want in your ride.

    That said, the kid is riding in a 16 1/2 County Competitor as it is a really lovely fit on the pony, she can hardly wait for his back to finish so that she can get a proper saddle on him: he could do a 17 this year & maybe a 17 1/2 by the time he's 6 - she prefers a 17 1/2 - 18 (but it's is somewhat saddle dependent, some 18's are lovely, some are massive for her).

    If this saddle fits your horse & you feel good in it, buy it!
    btw that longer femur does mean you'll feel comfortable in a "bigger" saddle, but also make certain that the flap is appropriate for your lower leg.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by alto View Post
      According to the lovely Austrian fellow that comes over a few times a year & clinics at a local barn (the BO is a longtime student/family friend) - North Americans ride in too small saddles he would absolutely reccommend the 18!
      I've worked with a saddle fitter in the past who said the same thing. Most people ride in saddles that are too small...looking around at shows and videos I see on YouTube, I'd have to agree!

      The flap feels like it fits my leg very well. And this saddle already feels like it is broken in (buffalo leather, rough-out seat) so I really don't want to give it up if I don't have to!
      "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

      Comment


      • #4
        That's funny, a saddle that came out last week said most dresSage riders are in to big of saddles! She put me in a smaller saddle and Ive already ordered it! Hmmm, she did hunter jumper people are often in too small of saddles to fit the look.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Pocket Pony View Post
          Is .5" of room worth getting a new saddle for and paying a few hundred more dollars (for new vs. demo)? I really don't feel like the larger seat size affects my riding.
          .5-1" of seat size can make a huge difference I have found. It's not about the seat size in inches as much as the seat size and where it places you in the saddle relative to the stirrup and flap position.

          IMO if you are struggling or feel even the slightest bit off balance then the saddle doesn't fit no matter what the seat size is or how you look to anyone else. After feeling the feeling I had in a dressage saddle that fit me perfectly, there is no substitute!
          On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

          Comment


          • #6
            My Frank Bains has a 17" tree for my horse, with the seat then padded to make the seat sized right (smaller) for me.

            Perhaps the slightly too big saddle can be fitted for you?
            Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Perfect Pony View Post
              .5-1" of seat size can make a huge difference I have found. It's not about the seat size in inches as much as the seat size and where it places you in the saddle relative to the stirrup and flap position.

              IMO if you are struggling or feel even the slightest bit off balance then the saddle doesn't fit no matter what the seat size is or how you look to anyone else. After feeling the feeling I had in a dressage saddle that fit me perfectly, there is no substitute!
              PePo that's why I'm thinking it ISN'T worth it to get a different size. I love this saddle as it is and when I was trying the other saddles I only wanted to get back to this one. I feel very balanced and secure and I feel like even though the seat is a little big I'm still in that sweet spot where I don't struggle at all with my position. It actually makes it feel like riding is "easier," if that makes sense.
              "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

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