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Just bought my 1st western saddle!!

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  • Just bought my 1st western saddle!!

    Eeeeps it's exciting and scary. It's a 14.5" no name trail saddle. It's well made and in good shape. I got a heck of a deal on it at Brighton Saddlery. Can't give those guys enough props for helping out a clueless hunter rider

    It fits the pony pretty well. Not perfect, but better than anything else I've found. Apparently a wide-ish WB with monster withers is an odd side for a western saddle. I've been able to pad it up nicely and he moves well in it.

    Here's the beast making my new saddle look tiny

    ETA- My back cinch isn't really tight. He's just that hairy
    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
    My equine soulmate
    Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding

  • #2
    Having just replaced a saddle that didn't fit and caused pain from pinching and general unhappiness as well as vet bills, I'm concerned about your "not perfect" fit. Especially at the withers. That's where we had our problem and make no mistake: it was a painful problem all the way from his withers, through his shoulder and into his knee.

    The problem wasn't evident at first...took a while for him to give in to the pain and then compensate with other parts of his body for the pain.

    Just be aware that this could happen to your boy too.

    You're right...the saddle looks tiny!
    Ride like you mean it.


    • #3
      You need to turn the saddle pad, it is sideways.

      Ditto on the "not perfect fit". Just keep an eye on things. And if you get an opportunity, have someone qualified check the fit. In my experience, calf ropers seem to be really good at knowing if a saddle is a good fit or not.


      • Original Poster

        It fits him great through the withers but bridges a little through the back.
        Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
        My equine soulmate
        Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding


        • #5
          If its bridging you should try a swayback pad or maybe a Diamond pad with shims.

          And check the fit with that as well. Or keep looking for a different saddle. Bridging will cause all kinds of problems, whether it's a little or a lot.


          • #6
            14 1/2 is pretty tiny for an adult. I am small and sit in a 15 1/2. Be sure you are not sitting back on the cantle.
            Have fun with it, but be sure to check you pony for fit carefully.
            Never argue with a fool. Noone can tell who is who.


            • #7
              The saddle size goes by length of leg..i.e. how tall you are..not how big your butt is. I'm 5'6" and ride in a 16 inch.
              Ride like you mean it.


              • #8
                How big is that beast? He dwarfs that 14.5 saddle.

                FWIW, I rode a broad 16.1 h KWPN gelding in a 15.5" Full QH bars saddle. This one was a deep equitation bucket. I ride in a 16.5" CC saddle.

                I was taught that you subtract an inch from your english saddle seat size to get the one you'd like in a western saddle. That's why I think 14.5" is small.

                Preferred seat sizes will vary, however. I'd ride in a larger dressage saddle, for example. And some people might choose a seat that was .5" smaller in a flat cutting saddle.

                As ezduzit points out, the length of your leg is the relevant bit for both english and western saddles. But fit for butt and leg can be determined why where the stirrups hang, too.
                The armchair saddler
                Politically Pro-Cat


                • #9
                  If the saddle bridges you'll want to take a closer look at the fit! You'll make your horse sore if you keep riding in a saddle that only fits "well enough". Check out the padding options cloudy18 suggested, or find a new saddle. 14.5" also seems pretty small for a full-size adult person, as other posters have mentioned. Good luck!
                  Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique