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New to Dressage...Questions

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  • 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
    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
      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.

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      • #4
        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.

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        • #5
          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.....

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          • #6
            And to complicate matters further I am comfortable in a 17 inch County Eventer but need an 18 inch County Connection
            I wasn't always a Smurf
            Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
            "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
            The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

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            • #7
              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.

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              • #8
                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.

                Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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                • #9
                  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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