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Super sized saddles

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  • Super sized saddles

    Just saw this article on Yahoo...


    Had me wondering...are western saddles sized the same as english?

  • #2
    Scary. And Western seat sizes are generally 1.5 - 2" smaller than the equivalant english saddle. I ride in a 17.5" english saddle, and a 15.5" - 16" western saddle. So a 22" western saddle is HUGE.



    • #3
      I just read this too.. I cant understand how the outfitters allow people that large to ride. Draft cross or not that's too heavy if they "overflow the saddle on all sides".
      www.windhorsefrm.org and on Facebook too!
      Where mares rule and Basset Hounds drool!


      • #4
        Yuck. I have found an increasing amount of english saddles in the 18+ inch range and am scratching my head. In fact I have been having a hard time finding a wide tree name brand saddle in my price range that is actually SMALL enough for my butt. Use to be other way around.
        Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
        The Blog


        • #5
          Years ago, I found a VERY old saddle (english) for $50 that I thought I might use as a display (never did). I measured that saddle to be 19.5" !!!!

          I later sold it to a man who was about 6'6" and was NOT fat. He just needed the seat size. He had it reflocked and loved it!
          Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.
          W. C. Fields


          • #6
            super sized saddles

            English seat size is related to your thigh length not just your butt size. If your hip-to-knee measures 19 then a 17.5" saddle probably won't put you in the right position. Other things like seat depth, stirrup bar placement and flap design factor in of course. But often people choose the "standard" 17.5 more out of ignorance or vanity than anything practical.
            Touchstone Acres Lipizzans, Standing N. Samira VI (Gray), N. XXIX-18(Black), more in 2014


            • #7
              A 22" western saddle...that's ridiculously enormous. The person who overflows that should not ride...for their own safety and for the horses' health.

              Saddle size depends on a lot of things...and while English saddles normally also fit thigh/leg length it's tough on long legged people with tiny butts to find a good fit. It can still have too large a seat. More saddles should come with the longer flap options IMO.

              Wow...22" western saddle. At that point the Dude Ranch needs to seat them in the chuckwagon.
              You jump in the saddle,
              Hold onto the bridle!
              Jump in the line!


              • #8
                Ugh - MB hit the nail on the head with the thigh-length issue. I have ridiculously long thighs. The County rep did all sorts of measurements and her solution was to order me an 18" with the most extreme forward flaps she could find. The result? A saddle I was SWIMMING in. I have since opted for a correct seat-size and accepted my knees going over on occasion.

                Long thighs are a curse.
                Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.
                W. C. Fields


                • #9
                  I was just thinking about this today, not quite THIS topic but the topic of thinking you can do ANYTHING you want.

                  Why do we keep accomodating an issue that we are trying to eliminate? what's the motivation? If you keep expanding the opportunities there will be no restrictions.

                  What sparked it was seeing a commercial for a show called "Taboo". The upcoming episode featured a woman who is having surgeries to make herself be a parapalegic, and another of a guy who dresses like a blue bear all the time. I thought, this crap was NOT permitted 50 years ago. Now, its like hey! you want to be a blue bear, be one! Hey, you want to have no legs, sure, we'll chop them off for you!

                  Where does it END??????


                  • #10
                    It's more than butt size at least when it comes to English saddles. I have a feeling that, just as in shoes and bras, there are a lot of people riding 17.5 saddles that should be riding 18.5 or even 19 and we're not talking morbidly obese. I've ridden 17.5 saddles because those are the saddles that were available when I was riding school horses. Faithfully I bought a 17.5 and guess what -it's too small for me -obvious when you look at video. I have a pretty long leg on top of it all. I expect when I get a saddle fitter out we're going to be talking bigger saddle. I'm not thin at 200+/- lbs, but by no means am I too fat to ride.


                    ETA: Spacytracy, this is not an "in the good old days" issue. It's just visible now. It's not like back in the day there weren't people doing weird things. As for the obesity problem. I'd say it's such a problem in the USA that the last thing I want to find myself doing is discouraging physical activity in an obese person.

                    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


                    • #11
                      True, but in regards to the obesity, is it REALLY a good thing to accomodate more and more in general? I mean, you're throwing not only overweight people up on these horses, but beginners on top of that, so you have heavy weight plus lack of body control? Not really fair to the animal.

                      Ive seen plenty of overweight people ride with no ill effect to their horse, but not in the 300 lb range, and they were good riders with proper balance.


                      • #12
                        I think it's always great to encoourage people to be active.
                        I would never condone or agree with telling an actually largely obese person that they can/should ride horses. Not if the weight exceeds the confort zone of the horse. A horse is not an inanimate exercise machine. Just because a person wants to do something doesn't make it okay for the horse.
                        Although I would equate someone wanting to be a blue bear the same as someone extremely obese wanting to ride. Being a blue bear is pretty...well...freaky.
                        You jump in the saddle,
                        Hold onto the bridle!
                        Jump in the line!


                        • #13

                          I think that there are many obese people who are not 300lbs. According to my BMI I am obese, for example. I think it's important not to rely on generalizations in these discussions as much as we tend to. I do think it is important not to discourage physical activity in obese people. I also think it is important to match the person to the horse.

                          He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


                          • #14
                            And just for comparison's sake, I'm short (5'4") and almost 200lbs. I have a 17.5 Collegiate Diploma that fits well, a 16.5" ancient Crosby Prix de Nations that also fits well, and an 18.5" Smith Worthington Maxx dressage saddle that's big, but very workable. I'm looking for a jump saddle that better fits my gelding and discovered yesterday that my trainer's 17" M. Toulouse Monoflap fits LOVELY, even when I'm at my heaviest by far. So, chunky doesn't necessarily correlate to seat size.

                            That said, yes, I do see the population getting heavier and yes, I have acquaintances that I wouldn't let ride my horse. But I have a very good friend who's pushing 300lbs, but has been an avid (and skilled!) rider her whole life and I'd loan out Gus to her anytime. FWIW, he's 16h and at least 1200lbs Appendix--so not a draft.

                            As far as the idea of not accommodating the more bizarre things (like bear costumes), well, that's a whole 'nother ballgame. Some people are just fascinated by the bizarre as it makes them feel more normal. But some people just have poor taste. And maybe some people are all of the above.
                            Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.

                            You call it boxed wine. I call it carboardeaux.


                            • #15
                              I'm thinking a saddle that big is going to be hitting the loin of most horses. Which is unacceptable. A longer backed horse might accommodate the seat size, but the long/weaker back couldn't support the weight of such an obese rider. Either is simply unacceptable and would result in constant pain or distress to the horse.

                              That isn't an "I hate fat people" argument. Nor do I believe anyone bigger than a size 10 remain cloistered at a fat spa.

                              I'm just thinking about the physical size of the saddle in relation to the horses anatomy. And folks, the saddle, plus the mass of the rider it is designed to accommodate......means there are some pretty miserable horses on those dude ranches.

                              Yes, I understand that seat size is not a reflection of the weight of the rider. But the rider's butt does go into the saddle. And a saddle that big does not mean the rider has freakishly long giraffe thighs. It means the rider is enormous.
                              Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                              Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                              -Rudyard Kipling


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Eye in the Sky View Post
                                Years ago, I found a VERY old saddle (english) for $50 that I thought I might use as a display (never did). I measured that saddle to be 19.5" !!!!

                                I later sold it to a man who was about 6'6" and was NOT fat. He just needed the seat size. He had it reflocked and loved it!
                                I have a friend who is a large-but-not-fat nearly 6' tall woman that needs a 20" - which, is too long and interferes with the loins on most horses, so much so that she's gone over to a barefoot treeless for her beastie.


                                • #17
                                  22" western saddle

                                  I'm not a small girl (5'6, 175) but I still use a size 15 western and 17 english because I have a short femur.
                                  Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
                                  My equine soulmate
                                  Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding