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Saddle Fitting Rider Question with Pictures *oh yes, another one*

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  • Saddle Fitting Rider Question with Pictures *oh yes, another one*

    I don't live too near tack shops so I thought I'd come to the community for help! I think I found my dream saddle however the one I tried out might have been too small. (Not mine, was at a funshow and borrowed it)

    The saddle in question is the Wintec Pro Jump 16.5". I've tried measuring myself for saddles and it says I should go with a 15.5 to 16! That's way too small for me from the saddles I have tried on the rare trips to the tack shop.

    From the pictures the seat seems to be a little small while everything else looks all right. It felt good though very snug. (I only did flatwork in it). Was at a friend's fun show.

    I have found one in a 17" that I like the looks of and am wondering if maybe I should go up a size if the seat is that close.

    Photobucket Photos

    Theres a few in the album so let me know if you can't see them.
    Telling a worrier to relax is counterproductive. Then we worry about relaxing.

  • #2
    It looks a tad large
    chaque pas est fait ensemble


    • Original Poster

      Really? I would have guessed the other way! hum. what's large about it?
      Telling a worrier to relax is counterproductive. Then we worry about relaxing.


      • #4
        you should be able to fit a hand behind your bum, i think it looks good
        Beyond the Ring-para dressage, training, coaching

        Proud Team Four Star Minion! Renegade for Life!


        • #5
          sidenote: is it me or his feet look long/low heel?
          Beyond the Ring-para dressage, training, coaching

          Proud Team Four Star Minion! Renegade for Life!


          • #6
            I think the reason it looks a little big is that the flap looks a little large for your leg. You might need a shorter flap but the seat size should be good. You can try riding in a 17" and see how you feel but some of it will depend on how deep the seat is. I usually ride in a 17.5" but I fit in my mother's 18" deep seated saddle (flap doesn't work for me but the saddle is not too large), and my new saddle is actually a 17" because it is very flat in the seat. So really it depends.
            "I'm too sexy for my blanket, too sexy for my blanket, these mares-they should take it..." (J-Lu) - Featuring The Skypizzle Pony aka Classic Skyline


            • Original Poster

              Thanks you guys. And I've pretty much resigned myself to larger flaps until I can afford a brand new saddle. I'm gonna try the 17'' and if it feels too big just save up for a new 16.5

              Teddy: Maybe? he was a lesson horse I borrowed and I don't know too much about hooves. He was healing from a hoof injury (one hoof) but was ok'd to walk/trot and a little canter. Don't know if that would affect anything.
              Telling a worrier to relax is counterproductive. Then we worry about relaxing.


              • #8
                How tall are you?

                It looks pretty good to me, with some caveats.

                1) Your heel is never way down. Is the "heel level" thing the way you always ride? I ask because sinking into your heel in the two-point will be the acid test of the saddle's fit for you.

                2) The other two tests of a saddle's fit (and really, it's balance for you) are trotting in a two point and sitting the trot.

                In the two point, you should feel like you can "just stand there." You should feel that the thigh/knee roll in front is either not in the way or helping you out a bit. If you look down and can see lots of daylight ahead of your knee and behind the pocket designed for it, the flap is too forward or too long for you.

                While sitting, you should feel that the saddle isn't squeezing you up out of the seat and getting you to a bouncing predicament faster than you would have gotten there in another saddle. This is a bit of a hard test because it depends on your core fitness and ability to sit in general. But if you compare saddles at the sitting trot, you'll learn which shape seats (first) and seat sizes (second) work for you.

                If you aren't especially tall, the difference between a 16.5" and a 17" will largely be preference. The seat size won't make quite as much difference as the horizontal distance between the center of the seat and the pocket for your knee. That dimension has to fit your femur and it's hard to associate reliably with seat sizes.
                The armchair saddler
                Politically Pro-Cat


                • Original Poster

                  I am 5'2 (my thigh is slightly longer than my calf).

                  1. Um pretty much though its something i'm working on. Its very hard to have my heel "down" (have bad knees and super tight calves which I am working on stretching) and I pulled a muscle in my foot at a previous barn trying to "heel down" too much. I can flex them nicely over jumps though and in two point, I just can't hold it yet.

                  The saddle felt good (though seriously hugging me) during posting and sitting trot. Most saddles pop me into a chair seat and I don't know why just yet. This was the first time any of it felt effortless if that makes sense. (I won that spoon contest at a sitting trot ) No one in my family is into horses and I have only a few friends nearby who are into them but they're not saddle fitters by any means :P

                  If they are having another showing or my friend is going down to hang out I will see if I can tag along and try it out again and give it a good run through.
                  Telling a worrier to relax is counterproductive. Then we worry about relaxing.


                  • #10
                    If you are 5'2", I'd say go with the 16.5" until you find a compelling reason to buy larger.

                    IME, the chair seat comes from flaps that are too forward (really, a saddle built for someone with longer femurs than you have), And maybe some of your not-heel-downness.

                    The heel problem will get fixed with time. Just chill and try to "stand there" with a minimum of effort while you trot or canter in the two point. Your calf muscle and achilles tendon will find their way.

                    In any case, when your heels do begin to drop all the time, I think you'll find most 17" saddles with the modern long/forward flaps a tad too large for you to find the saddle "helpfully there" while you are in a two-point.

                    That's true unless you gain a whole buttload of weight. And I do mean a buttload; your femur doesn't change length and speaking in simple terms, it's the length of that bone plus the bootay that makes a saddle fit.
                    The armchair saddler
                    Politically Pro-Cat


                    • Original Poster

                      Thanks for the help! I'll keep that in mind while I'm looking.

                      The 17'' was a really good deal for an almost new saddle, however I want something I'm going to keep for a long time as I get better.

                      I'll have to check out the other saddles (all lesson saddles) and see how the flap fits my leg.

                      Thanks again mvp
                      Telling a worrier to relax is counterproductive. Then we worry about relaxing.


                      • #12
                        I think that the saddle in your pictures is large enough for you. You'd probably be comfortable in a 17, too, but this one is fine.
                        It's an all purpose saddle with a deep seat, so even if you don't have that "hand's width" or "three fingers" between your butt and the end of the saddle, it doesn't mean that it's too small.
                        I've found that one good test of a saddle is to stand up in your stirrups. If you can stand comfortably without feeling as though you will fall forward or back, then it's well balanced for you. In my Stubben, which tends to put me in a bit of a chair seat, when I stand up, I find myself falling back. When I stand in my Smith Worthington, I'm well balanced.
                        Trumbull Mountain tack used to have some great pictures on their web site about saddle fit for the rider, but they've changed their site. Maybe someone else has a useful link?

                        Dummy me, found the link:
                        Last edited by Hinderella; Jan. 17, 2013, 11:42 AM. Reason: added link


                        • Original Poster

                          Thanks hinderella for the thoughts and link. I was told it was the Jump Pro (which is a jumping saddle, not all purpose I thought). However I may be wrong...
                          Telling a worrier to relax is counterproductive. Then we worry about relaxing.


                          • #14
                            It doesn't look bad at all for the seat. You could use a slightly shorter flap but that's really no big deal. I say get it if you like it!



                            • #15
                              You're right OP, my mistake on the AP thing. The way that the cantle wrapped up behind you made me think it was an AP saddle, but now that I've looked at photos of the saddle without a rider I see the difference.
                              I don't know what your budget is, but Smith Worthington has some nice saddles in their "bargain" section on their web site.
                              But since you say this might be your dream saddle, I assume that you like the way you ride in it. And if it works for you and fits your horse well, that's all that really matters.


                              • Original Poster

                                No worries Hinderella! Their a/p and their jumping saddles are really similar in that way!

                                Yes mostly because its the first time I wasn't pushed into a chair seat, I have ridden in so many lesson saddles that do that! So it was like riding a dream (I was probably wearing "rose colored glasses" the whole time because of that!)

                                I have pretty much almost no budget though I jumped on an ebay deal because I couldn't pass it up. It was way too good. Yeah even their clearance sales are a bit too much for me but thanks for the link! I"ll have to try them out sometime!

                                The saddle/horse were lesson borrowed but I exercise one (maybe two soon) horses so I wanted something I could ride well in as the one is very particular with how you ride.
                                Telling a worrier to relax is counterproductive. Then we worry about relaxing.