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saddle size help?

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  • saddle size help?

    I know I should know this, but its been so long.

    I hope to buy a new (well, new to me) jumping saddle this year. My old saddle is too small and my trainer suggested I need a new one.

    My problem: This saddle is literally 20 years old. I can't for the life of me remember what size it is, how to measure it properly, or how to know what size I need. Also, how do I know if I should look at forward flaps? Is there a height/ thigh length ratio that can indicate this? I've never really known what the line is between 'normal' leg length and 'long' legs.
    I'm 5'8 or a shade under and my thigh is ~21".

    I know I should really try many different saddles, but I ride at unusual times so the opportunity to ask others is limited.

  • #2
    What I would recommend is to review some saddle/saddlery websites for information on measuring/ordering saddles. I just ordered a saddle through Trumbull Mountain saddlery and could not have had a better experience. Their website is also a treasure trove of information on saddle fitting, for horse AND rider. If memory serves, County also has some good info on their website.

    If you are remote from tackstores, saddle fitters, and/or other riders who will loan you saddles to try, I would really recommend working with one of the very reputable online saddle fitters who can use tracings of your horse's back, photos of you on the horse, and other info to find a demo for you to try.

    COTHers will have a wealth of information on these, I personally cannot recommend Trumbull Mountain highly enough, and also worked with a business in Florida (Equestrian Imports) whose saddlefitter successfully matched me with a saddle for a hard-to-fit horse via email and phone.

    Take your time and do your research. Saddles are a big investment!


    • #3
      Typically, to measure a saddle's size you measure from the button in front of your thigh just below the pommel to the center of the cantle.

      However, so much can depend on the rest of the saddle. You may need a bigger seat in a deeper seated saddle, etc.

      I had the best luck by going to a big used saddle consignment store, sitting in bunch there, taking the ones that felt best on trial and picking one from that lot. You really do need to sit in a bunch (it's like kissing frogs before you find your prince! )

      Also: Be sure to have your trainer sign off on it before you buy. Sometimes saddles feel good but exacerbate bad habits like slouching, leaning, etc. A pair of eyes on the ground is really helpful.

      Good luck! Finding a saddle is a pain but you will probably be so happy you did once you have one that suits you and your horse!
      "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals" Immanuel Kant


      • Original Poster

        Thanks guys. I guess there's no getting around sitting in a bunch. My problem is they all feel the same when I'm not on a horse.
        Maybe I'll give trumbell mtn a call and see what they suggest.


        • #5
          Why don't you wait for Rolex and take a look there? If I remember, you're here in Ky. You can try WAY more saddles there than you can any other time and the folks are usually experts in their field. They can steer you in the right direction. You can usually swing bringing one home overnight to try on your pony too, depending on the vendor. Once you get an idea of what you like and what fits, if you can't find it at Rolex, then start looking online. I've got a lovely Black Country Quantum as a result


          • #6
            Too big is just as hard to ride in as too small, but there is definitely more to saddlefit/liking than size (twist, flap forwardness, deepness of seat). So yes, do sit in lots and you'll figure out what you like and can go from there.

            I expect from your height you'll need at least 17 1/2, although if you are super skinny, maybe not.