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Starting to look for a new saddle and questions

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  • Starting to look for a new saddle and questions

    So I definately needa new saddle. The one I am riding in I have had since I was, oh, 16 and am now 32. I do not have a big budget, I was hoping to spend around 700 at the most. I have been looking at ebay, but of course that is a little scary since I don't know how it will fit us both. I know, though, that alot of people buy saddles online. How do they do it?

    I wanted to put a picture here of me riding in my saddle:


    My mare and I at a show Oct. 28.

    This saddle is a 16" Collegiate Ian Miller. I don't know if that is what it is called. It has his signature on it. When I shorten my stirrups, my knees almost go over the saddle in front. I feel like maybe I need a more forward flap.

    One more question. I do have short legs, but I keep hearing people say 'long femur'. How do you measure that and what is considered long?
  • Original Poster

    Wanted to add some of the saddles I am looking at on ebay.






    • #3
      Originally posted by Koniucha View Post
      I have been looking at ebay, but of course that is a little scary since I don't know how it will fit us both. I know, though, that alot of people buy saddles online. How do they do it?
      Three ways:

      1. Non-refundable, as on Ebay and with most private sales. This tends to get you the beset price, but you have to hope and pray that the saddle fits. If it doesn't fit, you try to resell it and get your money back. This is a gamble, of course. I find it works best for people who either have pretty easy-to-fit horses or have already identified precisely the product they need to buy. It also works well if you buy products that resell easily or that you purchased at an unusually good price.

      2. By purchasing through a vendor, usually a tack store, that offers a trial period on the saddle. This costs you shipping money back and forth, and you'll often pay a little more for the saddle than you might on the non-refundable private market. But you get to try before you buy, and sometimes that's worth its weight in gold.

      3. Buy locally, which may mean choosing from a limited selection or biding one's time for the right product to show up.

      This saddle is a 16" Collegiate Ian Miller. I don't know if that is what it is called. It has his signature on it. When I shorten my stirrups, my knees almost go over the saddle in front. I feel like maybe I need a more forward flap.

      One more question. I do have short legs, but I keep hearing people say 'long femur'. How do you measure that and what is considered long?
      You're right to be suspicious of everything you're "hearing." I'll tell you a secret: For everyone person I meet who genuinely needs a very forward flap angle to accommodate a circus-side-show-worthy long femur, I meet ten other people who have kidded themselves into thinking they have a "long femur" and need an "unusually forward flap." Statistically, it's impossible that everyone is right. Pictures or in-person meetings tell the real story, and I'm happy to say that you appear to have a perfectly average leg--if anything, they're a bit short in relation to your torso, as you already mentioned/knew. You're riding in a 16" saddle. That's a size typically used by children or very, very petite adults. I bet if you looked at some 17" saddles, you'd initially find them a bit disorienting but would soon find they were an elegant solution for your woes.

      I understand how the "I have a long femur" business starts. Folks look down at what is already the longest bone in any human body peeking over a saddle flap, and they say "Oh, I must have an unusually long leg." It's easy to see what's in front of you; it's hard to remember that there's also saddle underneath and behind you, and that too can be sized up!

      I'm not saying that folks NEVER need a more forward flap. Of course that happens, pretty often in fact. But the seat size thing is practically an epidemic, and I know why: most of us stay in the seat sizes we started riding in when we were shorter, younger, often thinner people, and sometimes people who hadn't even gone through puberty yet so we had totally different pelvis/thighs/behinds and totally different torso lengths. Over time, we slowly grow accustomed to being crammed into saddles that are way too small for our bodies *all over*, including but not only in the flap. We've also been fed a pack of vain, ridiculous lies, like "You only need two or three fingers' clearance on each side of your saddle and any more than that will ruin the aesthetic picture" and "Bigger seat sizes are for fat people." Both of those statements are reductive nonsense.

      Your photo tells the tale: Your pelvis has no room to truly sink into the deepest part of the seat, and thus you're stuck arching it back across the cantle and leaning forward just to make room for yourself. The stirrup bar is way under your pelvis, which means the stirrup leather can't hanging straight down but is rather being forced out in front of you in a brace position. And I can see you're forced to ride in long stirrups, otherwise I bet all of these problems get a hundred times worse: with a shorter stirrup your pelvis would be right on the cantle AND your knee would come over the flap.

      The good news for you? The Collegiate Ian Miller is still a popular children's saddle on the market, and those older Collegiates are particularly prized because they're much better quality than the newer ones. You should have no problem reselling it.

      Your $700 budget is tight but reasonable, especially if you're willing to buy something older and used. Without knowing more about the horse/horses in question, it would be hard to recommend a particular saddle, but there's plenty of solid older tack available in that price range. Good luck with your search.
      Last edited by jn4jenny; Nov. 24, 2012, 12:13 PM.
      Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/


      • Original Poster

        Thank you for the response. I went to my local tack store to sit on some saddles, and we decided 17 was too big for me. He had a new Toulouse Padjette in 16.5 that I will buy. My old Ian Miller will be my daughters saddle when she starts riding


        • #5
          In the event you may now know, on facebook, you can "like" I Sell Tack.com and find some AMAZING, AMAZING deals on saddles, etc. Rachael Schaffer owns that business and I've just picked her up as a marketing client. I'm floored at the deals she can bring to you. Go see!
          Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist