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Spin-off: Saddle fit for rider: Show me!

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  • Spin-off: Saddle fit for rider: Show me!

    This is about all you long-femured types saying your knee comes off the front of the flap. So pony up with the pics, please? Or show me a saddle you think really doesn't fit you in the flap section?

    Here's the issue. The pictures of GM Himself on the luscious gray hunter and the newest monoflap Butet a while back in Practical Horsemen (we discussed it ad nauseum here) plus plenty o' pics in that rag show string-bean pros with their knees and thighs mighty close to the front of the flap.

    I write as a jealous, butt-owning shorty. I think it's easier to balance in the two point in a saddle that's a 1/2 inch too small rather than a 1/2" to large in the seat. I suspect that the tall lanky types are getting a better deal from their saddles' geometry than are people built like me. I also suspect that some of them buy a saddle that's technically a tad too small. They dig it, but the horse might prefer with a saddle that had a greater surface area.

    Hence, the cut of the flap versus length of thigh matters. Other things matter too-- is the horse wide or narrow, a push-ride or a whoa-ride.

    But start with the basics. Show and tell about saddles that help and hinder so we can all learn about saddles and rider fit.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat

  • #2
    I'll play! And believe me, after looking at these, any butt-owning shorty with decent EQ will be glad to keep their physique and skills in lieu of my 18" femur. (Also, that leg doesn't make me not a shorty, I'm a whopping 5'4.)


    That said horse and I are always happier no matter the saddle if I take the stirrups off. That's just not legal

    Hopefully you can ignore enough of the "proof" stamp on these to see the issues. Oh, hell, if you needed braille you could figure out the issues with these. (No offense to anyone.) Also I hope everyone can figure my horse is WAY nice when he's properly ridden.
    Blog: The Continuing Adventures of an (ahem) Mature Re-Rider without a Trust Fund...but, finally, A Farm of Her Own!!


    • #3
      Well, I am 5'5" and have an Antares 17". My leg is on the short side and I am also butt-owning! The flap fits quite well, but I do feel a little cramped in the seat. Can't seem to find a saddle that fits me well at all. If the seat is large enough, the flaps are in another county. If the flaps fit, the seat is too small. Also have a 17 1/2" County Stabilizer that doesn't fit in the flap (too big) or the seat(too big). Sighhhh....


      • #4
        I'm a hair under 5'5" and my femur is 19" long. I rode a 13.1 hand Welsh/Arab mare in a 16 1/2" saddle, and my knees did go a little over the front of the flap. I'm wearing 2 fluffy sweaters under my eventing vest, so I look even more wedged in there than I actually was. This saddle and this one gave me more room.
        Stay me with coffee, comfort me with chocolate, for I am sick of love.


        • #5
          This picture is awkward but shows my knee mighty close to the front of the flap http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-..._2090443_n.jpg
          And standing still

          Here's a video too

          I'm 5'2" and saddle is a 16" Beval Gladstone. Saddle is way too narrow for my poor horse who is a bit light for a WB but is still quite wide. He's got a 'you better hold on' jump, particularly over biger stuff. I ride with my stirrups habitually too short although I let them out 2 holes yesterday (we'll see how long that lasts). I don't mind if the seat is a smidge small, heck I adore my 15" pony saddle, but I really dislike swimming in a massive seat.
          The horse is can be fresh but is a kick ride, don't forget your spurs unless you really want a workout.

          Also...the stirrup bars on my saddle are uneven--no matter what stirrup leathers I use, the leather placed on the right bar must be adjusted 2 holes shorter pretty sure I need to kick this saddle to the curb even though it's only a year old. I don't think I need something in a specially cut forward flap...just something a bit more forward than this one.

          ETA: For reference here's a picture of me in 17" (maybe 17.5") Dover circuit (one of the really old ones). This flap was too large and I didn't particularly where my knee sat on this one either.


          • #6
            I want to know too! I posted about saddle fit some time ago and I am still confused.

            I ened up buying the saddle because it was comforatble and pretty reasonably priced....

            I am 5'8" and have a longer leg... not a string bean... older gal w/ five kiddies... Yes, things change...

            I have ridden in many saddles over the years trying to find something that I like and fits my round horse. I like a narrow twist, flatter seat, a saddle that puts me closer to the withers (front of horse), leg at girth and well under me, straighter flap and a thigh block/knee roll for added security. I like this saddle because its seat is wide from side to side and gives me a nice level area for my (large) spread out seat bones...

            However, from the side when just sitting, I feel my "trailer" (butt cheeks) hang off the saddle... but I see other riders that have this too....

            So yeah... I would love to hear what others think. Here is another picture of the saddle:



            Older saddle w/ no knee roll... and slippery as heck:
            Last edited by doublesstable; May. 16, 2010, 11:36 PM.
            Live in the sunshine.
            Swim in the sea.
            Drink the wild air.


            • #7
              Well, I'm not a stringbean but I am tall and have long thighs. I don't think I've ever ridden in a saddle that properly fits, although this one was close. It's a 17.5 Bates Elevation J. I would still own it but it doesn't fit my horse. I hope the link works. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...3&id=751565037

              My saddle is a 17 or 17.5 old Crosby Soft Ride. The kind that doesn't really have a knee roll, just some extra padding. Good thing because it's a little too small in the seat and in the flap for me. It fits my horse beautifully. Sorry, I don't have any pictures to share.

              I don't mind riding in a saddle that's a little too small as long as the knee rolls don't get in the way. I've learned to adapt. Actually, the first time I rode in the Bates I thought "so THIS is what it's like to ride in a saddle that fits!"
              I love my Econo-Nag!


              • #8
                You can always go with Quantum saddle (www.quantumsaddle.com), as it is fit separately to horse and rider.
                Small Spark Farm Performance Horses: Home of Bellerophon


                • Original Poster

                  _Most_ educational, thanks.

                  The "looks right to me" pics--doublesstable's flat pic and Skipchange's pics and video.

                  Interesting and messy because doublesstable also showed a pic in the same saddle where she wondered if the flap were too forward. ('nother thread, not here.)

                  And Skipchange described her Beval 16" (rider 5'5") as "knee all up/ahead of the flap's grill." That may be so, but here's the question:

                  Did you feel as if you could hang out in the two-point all day?

                  Also the unevenness of 2 stirrup holes is deeply disturbing.

                  Anywho, mortebella's pic brings up a new problem. Hon, you have long thighs, but I think your lower leg is long, too. Knowing your legs in real life, would you agree?

                  I think this may be my problem as well. I don't have it figured out, but the ratio of lower to upper leg might figure in, too.

                  Not for the next round: Show me your pics of flaps that are too forward.

                  You can't ever find the knee pocket. You feel as if you are always falling backward. You look like the HUS in AQHA world-- knee having no relationship to the front of the flap and stirrup leathers hanging behind the vertical.
                  The armchair saddler
                  Politically Pro-Cat


                  • #10
                    Actually, SOOOOO interesting, my lower leg is SHORT! At least according to my tall boot measurement. (It's a 12 or 13".) I think if they were proportional I'd be like 5'8" or something. I have considered part of my issue is that by the time something is long enough for my thigh, the stirrup bars are more forward than my shorty lower leg can get back under me. I WISH I really had long lower legs, too. At least maybe they LOOK that way?
                    Blog: The Continuing Adventures of an (ahem) Mature Re-Rider without a Trust Fund...but, finally, A Farm of Her Own!!


                    • #11
                      I really hesitate to reveal any photos of myself here, but if it furthers anyone's saddle hunt I'll contribute:


                      I'm 5'-4", horse is 15.1hh, round yet somehow also narrow (why yes, that did make saddle shopping fun!), I'd say neither push nor pull, and saddle is 17.5" county innovation. I should probably have the next seat size down and I think the flap is too long for me. I bought it used and seem to remember that it might have a more forward flap than standard. While saddle shopping I concluded that I would not be short if my shins were in proportion to the rest of me. I am more than happy with this saddle, but probably do prefer slightly too small to slightly too big. I was fairly content in the 16" Collegiate I had before this, though was thinking it was time to admit my rear had grown since I was 11.


                      • #12
                        IMO I think it would look better, and more correct if my knee wasn't quite so on the flap--but i would MUCH rather have saddle too small than too large. But if you say you think it looks about right, maybe I'm wrong and it does fit well? I probably could hang out in two point all day long although my trainer might faint as he would rather me mostly sit. And I'm 5'2"- not 5'5"
                        Glad you think it looks alright though, I will hopefully be purchasing a new saddle in the near future.

                        I'm glad you think the 2 hole difference is deeply disturbing. I wonder if there is something wrong with my tree? Who knows. Saddle is only a year old emailed Beval if they have any sort of warranty on the tree or anything, haven't heard back. I'm quite upset about it.


                        • #13
                          Here's something else to deepen the mystery: it's a complete piece of crap saddle, first 18" saddle I ever sat in, because yes, I could never believe a saddle that big would be right, no matter what my thigh measured. Didn't fit my horse, and he obviously hated it , but parse the white line and the difference on the whole hip/heel deal...


                          And so, I went on to buy a couple of NICE 18" saddles, and still have the same problems...ain't life a hoot? I'd ride in the POS if it fit horsey...
                          Blog: The Continuing Adventures of an (ahem) Mature Re-Rider without a Trust Fund...but, finally, A Farm of Her Own!!


                          • #14
                            Here is a picture or two of me in my "new" saddle (these were actually taken 2 years and I have gained a lot of weight since, but my leg length is the same).

                            I felt in my previous saddle that I was always perched forward. This one I feel better in. I tend to have a problem with my knee coming past the flap, so this saddle has an extra forward flap.


                            FREE TACK/APPAREL ADS: BITS AND BARTER BOARD: http://bitsandbarter.proboards.com/i...ay&thread=5450


                            • #15
                              ^Your knee is below where the flap is forward though.


                              • #16
                                This comes at a good time. I have short legs AND a short thigh. Darn near all saddles have knee rolls/thigh blocks that are under (as in between my knee and the horse) my knee with jumping length stirrups. The Amerigo/Vega monoflaps are the only saddles I've tried that seem to fit my leg...but there's no way I can afford them. I am also overweight, so I need a 17.5-18" seat. It seems like you can't be fat and short at the same time.

                                I think the Wintec pro would be good...and in my price range if I could find one used after I sell my extra saddle (one horse, three saddles).


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by NorthFaceFarm View Post
                                  ^Your knee is below where the flap is forward though.

                                  This isn't the actual exact saddle I ordered, it was a demo, but it was close enough for me
                                  Last edited by naters; May. 18, 2010, 01:20 PM.
                                  FREE TACK/APPAREL ADS: BITS AND BARTER BOARD: http://bitsandbarter.proboards.com/i...ay&thread=5450


                                  • #18
                                    Here is a flap that is too forward. This isn't my saddle. This was a horse I was trying out and the owners saddle. I'm 5'8" and have a pretty damn long hip to knee. I think this was a first for me to ride in a flap that is too forward.

                                    Owned by an Oldenburg


                                    • #19
                                      Oh my Mimi La Rue, that is too forward indeed!


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Mimi La Rue View Post
                                        Here is a flap that is too forward. This isn't my saddle. This was a horse I was trying out and the owners saddle. I'm 5'8" and have a pretty damn long hip to knee. I think this was a first for me to ride in a flap that is too forward.

                                        What saddle was it?