All you need is a tape measure and the saddle in front of you. You would start by placing the tape measure (at mark 0) in the centre of the saddle badge/head nail and measure to the centre of the cantle. This measurement in inches is the saddle seat size which is measured in whole and ½ units e.g. 17”, 17.5” etc.
How do you know what size saddle your horse needs?
There should be about four inches between your body and the swell of the saddle. Anything less than that may mean a too-small saddle, and a bigger gap means the saddle may be on the large size. Larger may be more comfortable for you. Western riders with longer legs should choose a larger-size saddle.
How do you properly fit a saddle to a horse?
Your saddle should sit level on your horse’s back, and the front of your saddle should be positioned behind the withers. Make sure the bars don’t pinch. The saddle is too narrow if the front rides high. Conversely, it’s too wide if the front of the saddle is low.
How do you measure a horse for an English saddle?
The best way to measure for your seat size is to take the measurement of your thigh from your knee to your buttocks. Sit in a chair so your knees are at a 45-degree angle with your feet flat on the floor and with your buttocks touching the back of the chair.
How do you know if a saddle fits?
Take a look at the saddle on the horse. You should be able to stick two of your fingers between the saddle gullet and your horse’s withers. The saddle should have even contact along both sides of the bars. After girthing up, your saddle should look even on the horse’s back, not tipping up or drooping down.
What size gullet does my horse need?
The gullet width should be about the same width of the wither’s, approximately 2″ below the top of the withers. Just remember, the main thing you need to know is, is your horse narrow, wide or in-between!
How high should a bit be in a horse’s mouth?
A bit should extend approximately a quarter-inch (0.6 centimeters) beyond the horse’s lips on either side, and it should fit comfortably across the bars (the toothless gap between the incisors and molars) of the horse’s jaw.
Where should the girth sit on a horse?
The girth will always find its position at the narrowest point of the rib cage behind your horse’s elbow, and the unfortunate result is that the saddle either gets driven forward into your horse’s shoulders, or driven clear on top of his shoulders.
What width saddle for 130mm sit bones?
Many suggest adding about 20mm, as signified by the Road Bike Bros above, which would then land you on the ideal saddle. For example, if your sit bones measured 130mm, you add 20mm and voila, a 150mm saddle width will fit perfectly!
What height should saddle?
If your saddle height is correct, your heel should just graze the pedal at the bottom of the pedal stroke (in the 6 o’clock position). When riding, if you encounter pain at the front of your knee, raise the saddle slightly. If you have pain in the back of the knee, drop the saddle.
How to Measure for a well fitting saddle
How to Measure Your Horse or Mule for Saddle Fit Before Purchasing A Saddle Then go out and get a saddle that fits! Crest Ridge Saddlery’s main priority is to ensure that saddles are properly fitted. When compared to other firms, Crest Ridge Saddlery provides saddles in a unique way. We’re not just here to sell you a saddle, though. If you want a saddle that is both proper for your horse and pleasant for you, we can help you. Our goal is for you to tell your friends that “this one fits!”. We can achieve this with your help if you provide us with accurate measurements and high-quality photographs of your horse.
We may obtain these measures by having you come to our facility in Lowry City, Missouri with your horse or mule, by having you come to one of the events we attend, or by having you take the necessary measurements and sending them to us.
We are familiar with the distinctions between the breeds and know how to construct a saddle that is tailored to your horse’s needs, no matter what breed he is.
We have devised a straightforward procedure that will provide us with the information we want in order to propose the most appropriate tree for your horse or mule.
- Measure and cut a sixteen-inch length of firm wire that can be readily shaped to suit the contour of your horse and that will hold its shape once it has been removed from the animal.
- Make a mark with a marker in the middle of the wire at the 8-inch point.
- Place your horse in a square position on a flat surface.
- With your other hand, position the measurement instrument over the withers of the horse’s shoulders.
- In order to create a flawless outline of your horse’s wither, mold and push the wire down until it is flat.
- A free mobility of the scapula is required for a correctly fitted gaited horse saddle to be achieved.
- Prepare a sheet of paper and trace the wire as indicated to the right, following the illustration.
To find the middle of the wire, measure straight down 3 inches and then across the wire from side to side.
Then take a straight across measurement from wire end to wire end, which will give you the width of the bar across the shoulder.
Aspects of photography and template design that must be accurate Step 4: Take pictures of your horse or mule.
It is critical that you deliver images taken from the angles that have been requested.
Take three shots of your animal when it is standing squarely on level ground, as demonstrated in the example below.
These photographs assist us in determining the suitable rocker for your animal and in identifying any fitting concerns, such as a pronounced spine, that may exist.
Please do not give us images that are more than 1000kb (1mb) in size, since this can cause problems during your fitting.
Please send your images in the form of.jpg files only.
Please do not submit any more images than what we have requested from you.
Extra images will be requested if they are required by the project.
The size of the saddle seat is a significant consideration in saddle fit.
The swell (pommel) should be close enough to your jeans that you can put your palm flat behind it without it touching the swell.
The posture of the rider on the saddle has a significant impact on how well a saddle fits.
It is likely that the saddle will shift out of its normal position as a result of this over time.
The saddle will rise up in front, sending all of the rider’s weight to the rear of the saddle.
Step 6: Submit your information to us.
You can submit it either electronically or through normal mail.
Optional: Make a plan for the future.
See our “How to Build a Back Map” page for more information. We have periodically requested that customers construct a back map for us, and we have chosen to make the more thorough instructions available to all of our customers.
How to Measure Your Horse for a Saddle – Equestrian Imports
YOU WILL NEED THE FOLLOWING: Your horse Saddle for the camera on level ground (your current saddle or a trial saddle from EQUESTRIAN IMPORTS, INC) Using a color that contrasts with the color of your horse, draw a line on the chalkboard. Flexible curve with a minimum length of 16″ (This is the flexible ruler used by architects). You may get one at an office supply or craft store, or you can get one from the Accessories area of our website.) A sheet of paper measuring 8.5″ x 14″ Ruler with a felt tip FOLLOW THESE EIGHT STEPS TO SUCCEED: AS SHOWN IN THE PHOTO BELOW, STEP 1: Stand your horse straight and square without a saddle with his LEFT side facing you on level ground against a solid background of a contrasting color as shown in the PHOTO BELOW.
- To photograph the horse’s whole LEFT side, take a step back from the center of the horse’s LEFT side until you can see the entire horse in your camera’s lens.
- Afterwards, put on your saddle without a pad and gird it up as if you were about to go horseback riding.
- After taking the second shot, remove the saddle and go to Step 2 of the procedure.
- Mark the rear edge of the scapula with a piece of chalk.
- Make certain that the flexible curve is located below the shoulder muscle since you are attempting to imitate the position of the saddle tree on your horse’s back in order to allow for full range of motion of the shoulder.
- Make certain that the flexible curvature does not appear when you release your grip on it, otherwise your findings will be erroneous.
- STEP 5: Make a label for the wither tracing that includes the following information:
- Name of rider
- Name of horse
- Breed of horse
- Age of horse
- Riding discipline
- Level of training
- Height and weight of rider
- Date of birth of rider
- Date of birth of horse Phone number during business hours
- E-mail address
MARK the top of the curve with a pen or pencil in STEP 6. (Point A). Starting with the mark at Point A, use your ruler to measure along either side of the curve and make exact marks at 14.5cm (Point B and Point C) and then at 17.5cm (Point D and Point E) along the way (Point D and Point E). To link Point B and Point C, draw a horizontal line, then to connect Point D and Point E, draw another horizontal line. Measure each horizontal line as precisely as possible and write the measurement above the line.
- STEP 7 If feasible, scan your wither tracing and save it as a pdf file, then attach it to your e-mail along with your images to the recipient.
- 1601 Bern Creek Loop Sarasota, FL 34240 if you are unable to e-mail them.
- Tracings that need assembly are not eligible for evaluation.
- Once we have received your wither tracing, images, and money, we will call you as soon as possible to schedule a time that is suitable for you for a consultation.
- To make a payment for the online consultation charge, please click here.
- In this position, it lies completely level behind the horse’s scapula, providing the animal with a full range of motion in the shoulder, with the girth positioned a hand’s width from the elbow.
- It is positioned incorrectly in the pommel (front) and incorrectly in the cantle (back) (rear).
- As a result, pressure points are formed under the rear panel, impacting the most vulnerable portion of the horse’s back.
- Under the pommel and cantle, there is too much pressure, and there is a space where contact is disrupted through the middle of the pommel.
- This saddle is far too large for the horse’s frame.
- As a result of the incorrect fit, the rider’s legs swing back and behind the rider’s center of balance.
Because of the unequal distribution of contact between the front and rear wheels, a “rocking” effect may occur. In most cases, your horse’s back will grow intolerant of the constant shock that his back will receive from the unstable rear panels of a saddle that is excessively broad over time.
Ultimate Western Saddle Fitting Guide: How To Size a Western Saddle for Your Horse
- The Ultimate Western Saddle Fitting Guide: How to Select the Proper Western Saddle for Your Horse
Weblog; ; The Ultimate Western Saddle Fitting Guide: How to Select the Proper Western Saddle for Your Horse
Why Is a Proper Western Saddle Fit Important?
When attempting to visualize what it feels like to have a bad western saddle fit, consider wearing a pair of shoes that is either too wide, too tiny, or too short that it pinches your toes. Not only will your feet pain, but you may also find yourself refusing to work, hobbling, becoming stiff, developing sores, or even causing irreversible damage such as hammertoes or bunions. That is why understanding how to correctly measure a western saddle is critical to properly caring for your horse. Western saddle fitting is important since it may improve your horse’s comfort and performance while also reducing behavioral concerns.
Taking the effort to find a saddle that fits properly can assist you in maintaining open lines of communication with your horse.
What Size Western Saddle Do I Need?
When it comes to western saddle seat size, it relates to how well the saddle fits the rider, not how well the saddle fits the horse. However, it is still vital since if the saddle does not properly fit the rider, it will have an adverse effect on their balance and overall stability. You can tell whether your saddle fits you precisely if you can squeeze three fingers (about four inches) between your thigh and the saddle’s swell and if you can hold your hand vertically between the cantle and the seat of the saddle.
How to Measure a Western Saddle
If you’re wondering, “What size western saddle do I need?” you’re not alone. You must first determine the size of your saddle tree before anything else. The angle of the saddle bars has a role in determining this.
How to Fit a Western Saddle to a Horse
Due to the fact that each horse is different, determining the proper western saddle sizing may be difficult. When choosing how to fit a western saddle to a horse, the following are some important factors to consider:
- Size of the saddle seat- The saddle seat should extend beyond the horse’s final rib. The length of the saddle skirt should terminate before the point of the hip and should not protrude. The breadth of the saddle is governed by the size of the gullet in the horse’s back. Between the saddle and the withers, you should be able to fit several fingers between them.
Make certain that the saddle is centered and flat on the horse’s back before mounting it. Because the horse’s center of gravity is the strongest area on its back, you want to sit as near as possible to it when you are riding. Don’t make the mistake of attempting to correct a bad western saddle fit with a saddle pad.
How to Measure a Western Saddle Gullet
The gullet is a tube that runs down the horse’s withers, just below the fork of the tail. The horse’s shoulders and back may move freely because of this gap between them. It is possible that a saddle that is excessively thin will squeeze the horse’s back. If it is overly broad, the saddle may slip or scrape against the horse’s back, resulting in saddle sores. When looking from the rear of the horse to the front, the vertical space should be a minimum of two and no more than four fingers broad, and you should be able to see a little amount of light shining through the gullet.
Always remember that while this measurement is an approximate indicative of bar angle, it is never a 100% accurate indicator of bar angle.
Nonetheless, if you know what size gullet best suits your horse in general, this measurement might assist you in purchasing a perfectly fitted saddle online without having to view it first.
However, you should still try to obtain a trial period for any new or used saddle in case the saddle does not fit you or your horse adequately after you purchase it.
Signs of an Ill-fitting Western Saddle
Because horses are unable to communicate when their saddle is hurting, you must pay close attention to their body language and check for visible indicators of an inappropriate western saddle fit. Due to the fact that each horse is different, determining the proper western saddle sizing may be difficult. When choosing how to fit a western saddle to a horse, the following are some important factors to consider:
- Saddle sores
- Inability to respond to stimuli A dog’s irritability is expressed by his tail swishing or his ears pinning. The appearance of white hairs all of a sudden
- After the saddle has been removed, there is back swelling. Skin thickening or scarring around the saddle region
It is important that your saddle sits level on your horse’s back, and that the front of your saddle is positioned slightly below the withers. Make certain that the bars do not pinch. If the front of the horse rides high, the saddle is excessively thin. If the front of the saddle is too low, on the other hand, it is excessively wide.
Find the Ideal Western Saddle Fit at NRS
It’s time to tack up your horse now that you know how to properly fit a Western saddle for your horse. Choose from our large variety of Western saddles and accessories for roping, barrel racing, pleasure riding, and other activities. We carry the Western saddle sizes you need for all types of horses, from Quarter Horses to Morgans. Nonetheless, if you have any more queries, our experts would be happy to assist you in determining the appropriate Western saddle size for your horse. Today is the day to shop our collection of Western saddles!
Western Saddle Pad Fitting: Related Articles
The 11th of April, 2016 A horse owner’s ability to properly fit a saddle is among the most significant skills he or she may acquire. It is more pleasant for you and your horse to ride in a saddle that is correctly fitted. If your horse’s saddle does not fit properly, he or she may develop sores or possibly become lame. The fundamentals of saddle fitting are the same regardless of the discipline you ride in. For the sake of simplicity, we shall explain the process of fitting a simple English all-purpose saddle as well as a Western stock seat saddle.
Jumping saddles and dressage saddles, as well as cutback saddles, can benefit from the principles of fit for both saddles.
The Importance of Saddle Fit
Saddles aren’t just for your comfort while riding; they also serve as a link between the rider and the horse in some situations. When the saddle is properly fitted, it sends subtle signals of weight change to the horse’s back muscles and nerves, allowing him to respond appropriately. These signals assist him in understanding and anticipating the commands of his rider. Because the saddle panels rest on either side of the horse’s spine and on its muscles, it is critical that they are properly fitted.
- The toes pinch, the heel slips, and before you know it, you’ve got a blister and aching feet.
- A saddle that’s too big will slip around, causing painful back sores.
- You should check saddle fit, however,annually, but ideally twice a year.
- Older horses’ bodily conditions might also change fast, needing changes to the saddle.
- Stitching might unravel, and padding can flatten or become stiff.
- Take your time to really check the fit of the saddle before investing in one.
- If your saddle does not fit well, or your horse’s body changes and your saddle no longer fits, do your best to adjust the saddle.
You can borrow a friend’s saddle or trade your old one in for a new one at many tack shops around the country. Whatever you do, don’t skimp on fit. Not only will a properly fitted saddle feel better, but you will ride better, too.
How Saddles Are Constructed: Parts of a Saddle
Saddles are fashioned around a tree, which can be made of wood or plastic. Saddles are produced by placing sheets of leather or artificial cloth on top of a tree skeleton and molding them into the shape of a horseshoe to create the saddle itself. This type of tree is formed like the letter “T,” with the tree’s bars fitting over the horse’s withers, or shoulders, and the long stem of the T extending down each side of the horse’s spine. Horses, like people, are available in a variety of forms and sizes.
- Each form necessitates the use of a somewhat different tree.
- After the tree has been made, many layers of thin leather are placed over it and carved into the desired shape.
- English trees are devoid of horns and have narrower bars than their American counterparts.
- In England, panels of foam or wool are used to fill the saddles’ seats and panels of leather are used to fill the saddles’ seats and panels of leather.
- Knee rolls on English saddles assist the rider in maintaining proper leg posture.
- In addition, the skirt, numerous straps, and keepers are included.
- The girth or cinch is the strap that passes under the horse’s belly and holds the saddle in place.
- Both Western and English saddles require the use of a pad or blanket underneath the saddle to prevent the horse’s back from rubbing and to keep the saddle clean.
- English saddle pads are composed of acrylic, wool fleece, or cotton and are contoured to the curve of the saddle.
How to Measure a Horse for a Saddle
The art of measuring a horse for a saddle is truly a lost art. A master saddler, on the other hand, has years of expertise observing horses and selecting saddles that are a good fit. Some tack shops have workers who will actually come to your barn and assist you in putting the saddle on your horse or pony. Take use of any services that are made accessible to you. When it comes to horsemanship, nothing compares to hands-on experience. Even if you have the luxury of having a professional assist you in fitting your saddle, it’s crucial to understand how to measure a horse for a saddle before getting started.
Examine your horse’s conformation to determine the appropriate size for both Western and English saddles.
Take a step back and examine your horse from every angle, including the side, rear, and front.
Is your horse’s withers high or typical in comparison to the rest of his body? Do you have a long or short back? What if there’s a swap, a dip, or some anatomical variation that has to be compensated? First, choose the sort of tree you want to plant:
- Narrow withered horses may require more padding behind the saddle bars if they are exceptionally high or narrow withered. This shoulder bridge pad aids in improving the fit of the saddle. In most cases, a medium or regular tree is appropriate for a horse with ordinary withers. Broad—A wide tree is recommended for horses with a block build or flat withers. The extra-wide tree is required for draft horses, draft crosses, and horses who are “large and broad” in appearance. Horses with large, well-developed shoulder muscles might be difficult to fit because they are not flexible. These horses may fare better under a more flexible tree.
Check to see how well the saddle fits the horse at this point. To check the fit of the saddle, slide it on without putting any padding on it. While you shouldn’t ride without a pad or blanket, you should be able to assess saddle fit without one if necessary.
English Saddles: Wither Test
The following is how you will determine whether the tree will fit properly on the withers:
- Slide the saddle onto the horse’s back from the withers to the hindquarters
- Allowing the saddle to sit freely on the horse’s back without buckling the girth is recommended. Slip your fingers into the space between the saddle tree and the withers and make a mental note of the size of the space
If your saddle is cushioned with synthetic material, or if you are checking out a used saddle, you should be able to slip two or three fingers’ breadth between the saddle and withers before it becomes uncomfortable. If the saddle is brand new and wool-stuffed, there may be a bit more space between the saddle and withers than usual. As you bike, the weight of your body compresses the wool, closing the gap.
English Saddles: Balance and Level Test
English saddles should be level along the topline of the horse’s back or along the back of the saddle. Saddles for general use, all-purpose use, and jumping should have a modest U-shape down the back. The saddle seat should have a slight incline to it so that it sits evenly on the back. Pommels (on the front) and cantles (on the rear) on general or all-purpose English saddles are approximately the same size. It’s possible that the cantle is a little higher. They should be uniformly distributed throughout the back.
It should look to be balanced and centered on the horse’s back when viewed from behind.
Western Saddles: Wither Test
You may use a Western saddle to do the same wither test as you would on an English saddle. Slide the saddle into position, and then put your fingers between the horse’s gullet and withers to secure the saddle.
- A decent fit—the breadth of two to three fingers is approximately correct
- Insufficient width—If you can put your entire palm between the withers and the saddle gullet, the tree is insufficiently wide. It is too broad if the gullet brushes the topline of your horse’s neck or if you can barely get a finger in
Western Saddles: Balance and Level Test
In the same way that you would check the balance of an English saddle, you should check the balance of a Western saddle. After you’ve strapped the saddle to your horse’s back, take a few steps back to see how it fits.
- Does the saddle appear to be level? If it doesn’t work, try moving it or using shims instead. You may also experiment with various rigging positions. Is the saddle a little too high in the front? It’s possible that the tree is too thin. Does it appear that the saddle is sinking in the front or that it is slumping forward? It’s possible that the tree is too large.
Can You Use Pads to Correct Poor Saddle Fit?
When it comes to saddle fit, you can utilize cushions to help you out, but they shouldn’t be your sole line of defense. Pads can be quite beneficial when riding an older horse whose saddle fit is prone to fluctuation. Foam rubber inserts and other padding can be used to help horses that are developing sway backs or who are becoming older and whose form is changing. Western riders can experiment with different rigging configurations to get the best fit.
Saddle Fit for the Rider
Saddle fitting is difficult because you are fitting not one, but two live beings at the same time: the horse and the rider. So far, we’ve spoken about how to properly fit the saddle to the horse. Let’s take a look at how well the saddle fits the rider. The seat size and flap length of the saddle are used to establish the optimal rider saddle fit. The saddle seat must be proportionate to the horse as well as the rider’s height and weight. A seat that is excessively short causes the saddle to strike the rider’s back in an unusual location, which might shift the rider’s center of balance too far forward.
That is why the size and shape of both the rider and the horse, as well as the saddle to the horse and rider, must be properly suited. It’s a delicate thing, but it’s all part of the art of horsemanship, so to speak. To determine your seat size, start by taking a measurement around your thighbone.
- Don’t forget to bring your riding attire. Relax in a chair with a straight back and no arms
- Measure the distance between the knee cap and the back of the buttocks. Make a note of the measurement in inches
Now, convert the inches to English seat sizes by multiplying them by two.
- If you’re under 16.5 inches tall, you’ll probably need a 15-inch seat size in an English saddle
- If you’re between 16.5 and 18.5 inches tall, you’ll probably need a 16-inch saddle
- And if you’re above 18.5 inches tall, you’ll probably need a 17-inch saddle. Try a 17-inch saddle if your height is between 20 and 21.5 inches. If your height is greater than 21.5 inches, choose a seat size of 18 or 19 inches.
If you want to ride Western, you may use the same specifications as before with a small modification. Western saddle seat sizes tend to be one to two inches smaller than English saddle seat sizes, on average. Based on the measurements provided above, if your thighbone measures 20 inches, you should consider a 17-inch English saddle seat or a 15-inch Western saddle seat size. When in doubt, it is better to size up rather than down in a saddle. If you are in between sizes, consider going up a size as well.
English Saddle Fit for the Rider
In order to determine the saddle seat size for English saddles, follow these steps:
- Take a tape measure and set one end of it on the nail or button on the left front panel of the saddle towards the top of the saddle’s left front panel
- Draw a line along one of the cantle’s highest points with a tape measuring device.
The seat size is determined by this measurement. Seat sizes for all-purpose saddles in the United Kingdom are commonly denoted as follows:
- Suitable for juvenile riders or smaller people, seat sizes 15 to 17 inches are the most common. Typically, persons of average height and weight will like the seat sizes 17 and 17.5 inches in width. Suitable for bigger adult riders or taller riders, seat sizes 18 and 19 inches are recommended.
In a saddle that is too tiny, your buttocks will strike the cantle, and your crotch will hit the pommel as you are seated in it. Because you will be partly out of the saddle at a sitting trot or canter, it is very hard to maintain a centered position. It is likely that you may find yourself sliding or squirming around a lot in order to locate your center of balance if your saddle is too large. If you’re trying out a saddle, take your stirrups off and ride the sitting trot in an English saddle to see how it feels.
Although the measurements are the same, padding and saddle structure might cause a seat size to feel different than it actually is.
To gain a feel for different saddles, try riding different horses in classes and note which saddles feel excellent and which saddles feel uncomfortable.
Western Seat Sizes for the Rider
Western saddles are often smaller in size than English saddles, which makes them more comfortable for riders. Choose a Western saddle with a seat size that is two inches smaller than the seat size that you are used to wearing in an English saddle if you know what size you are currently wearing in an English saddle. Take a seat in a Western saddle. The distance between your body and the swell of the saddle should be around four inches. Everything below that indicates a saddle that is too tiny, and anything beyond than that indicates a saddle that is too huge.
Western riders with longer legs should select a saddle that is one size larger.
New Saddle Technology
Saddles, like many other aspects of life, have benefited from technological advancements. This is especially true in the realm of saddles. Despite the fact that saddles have been around for hundreds of years, developments in contemporary technology are changing the way they are made and fitted. Some English saddles come with interchangeable gullets and adjustable trees, which makes them more versatile. Instead of a typical poplar or birch saddle tree, these saddles are constructed around a fiberglass or plastic tree to provide strength and durability.
Trainers and training barns who need to utilize the same saddle on a variety of horses would benefit from these saddles, as will everyone who rides horses.
Leather is a long-lasting and pleasant material that has been used for centuries in both English and Western saddles.
They can be less difficult to break in for both the horse and the rider, less difficult to clean up after a trail ride, and just as durable as leather in some cases.
To see how you like it, try riding in a synthetic saddle for a few rides. They are not for everyone, but they may be quite beneficial for competitive trail and pleasure riders who do not want to spend time cleaning and conditioning their leather saddles.
Properly Fitted Saddles Make Riding Easier and More Comfortable
It doesn’t matter what riding discipline you practice, a correctly fitted saddle will make your horse more comfortable. Because it improves his natural gait or stride, he will be more able to do whatever task you assign him to complete. When your saddle is properly fitted, not only will your horse be more at peace, but you will be as well. A well-worn and well-cared-for saddle, like a comfy pair of sneakers, eases you into your ride and makes hours in the saddle a pleasure. It’s important to take your time when selecting and fitting a saddle for both you and your horse.
Keep Your Horse Fit and Healthy
Maintaining the health and overall condition of your horse is an important component of being a competent rider and owner. Keeping your horse’s weight and physical condition stable can also assist to ensure that your saddle fits consistently over time. Kauffman’s® all-natural equine nutrition products will assist your horse in gaining or maintaining weight, maintaining a shiny coat and healthy hooves, and building strong muscles, among other things. Shop for Kauffman’s® Integri-Hoof and Kauffman’s® Animal Health products at your local tack and feed store, or visit our website for more information on our complete range of competition and pleasure horses’ health supplies.
|Many riders find that the best way to determine their seat size is to start with their current seat size. From there, you can determine if you want more or less room.While a variety of fits are acceptable, for most disciplines we recommend at least 2″ or space between the rider’s thigh and the closest point on the swell.|
|It’s easy to measure a western saddle’s seat size.Use a retractable tape measure. Start the tape measure behind the swell and stretch it across the seat to the front of the cantle.That measurement is the seat size.|
How to Choose Your Ideal Seat Size
When determining whether or not a particular seat size will be comfortable for you, you should take the cantle height and angle into consideration. These suggestions will assist you in selecting the most appropriate seat size.
- The saddle seat will encourage you to sit more in the centre of the saddle seat, providing back support. It may be necessary to select a 1/2″ bigger size due to the fact that it positions you more upright and depending on the cantle angle
- It has a warm and safe feeling
- Allows you to sit more comfortably
- Provides a more open feeling Some riders will move down 1/2″ since the seat is more open
- However, this is not the case for everyone.
- When transferring from a low cantle to a high cantle, you may need to go up a size to facilitate the transition from an open to a snug seat
- However, this is not necessary. Going from a high cantle to a low cantle could necessitate a size reduction in order to fit into an open seat after going from a snug fit to an open fit.
It’s always preferable to be able to sit on the saddle and have a sense for how it feels. Most riders (particularly trail riders) report that they feel better in a saddle that provides a little more room rather than one that is overly tight. Speed event riders, on the other hand, like their saddle seats to be snugly fitting. When it comes to sitting comfortably in the saddle, there is no right or wrong method as long as your leg is at least 2 fingers away from the closest point of the swell when you are riding.
Fitting an Western Saddle
Choosing the right western saddle that is comfortable for both you and your horse may be a challenging undertaking. For your horse, the inappropriate saddle can result in discomfort, sores, and back pain, not to mention that improperly fitted saddles can hinder a rider’s ability to maintain balance. We will lead you through the process of finding the ideal western saddle, whether you are competing in shows or simply riding the trails.
How to Measure A Western Saddle
It’s crucial to understand how saddles are measured before you begin your quest for the appropriate saddle. This can assist you in better understanding how a saddle is adjusted, which is very crucial when shopping for secondhand saddles and bridles. By learning how to measure a saddle, you may avoid having to rely on the knowledge of a business owner who may not be well-versed in the subject of saddle fitting. To measure a saddle, use a tape measure and measure the length vertically from the rear of the pommel to the seam of the cantle, starting at the back of the pommel.
The majority of saddle manufacturers size their saddles based on these inch measures.
Here’s a simple sizing chart to get you started: 12″-13″ for a children’s saddle; 14″ for a small adult saddle; 15″ for a medium adult saddle; 16″ for a large adult saddle; 17″ or above for an extra large adult saddle Despite the fact that this chart will assist you in understanding the fundamentals of saddle sizes, choosing your ideal size is a little more involved than simply knowing whether you are a small, middle, or big individual.
When choosing a saddle, it is also crucial to consider factors such as height, weight, and personal choice.
Fit the Saddle for The Rider
The majority of firms provide a precise size chart for consumers who are looking to purchase a western saddle. Western saddles are frequently customized for individual riders based on their height, weight, and body shape. Example: A tall and skinny rider may be able to fit into the seat of a medium adult saddle, but may require the length of a large adult saddle to be comfortable. Tall riders frequently choose bigger saddle sizes in order to accommodate the length of their legs, and this results in a compromise in the fit of the saddle’s seat.
- The saddle size that is most appropriate for you will be determined by your height, weight, and body type.
- While seated, make sure you are in the proper riding posture by putting your weight in the center of the saddle while maintaining your balance.
- Here are some guidelines to follow when determining whether or not the saddle is a good fit: In order to sit comfortably, there should be enough space between your thigh and the swell for about 2-3 fingers to fit between them.
- You should be comfortable on the saddle, and the stirrups should be long enough to let you to retain your optimal position.
Fit the Saddle for The Horse
Another important step is to ensure that the saddle is properly fitted to your horse; saddles that are too tight might strain your horse’s back and create sores. In addition to causing behavioral difficulties, an uncomfortable saddle can reduce your riding effectiveness. It is possible that horses can buck or kick out in response to uncomfortable pinching or rubbing of the saddle, or that they will nibble and pin their ears when you are tacking up the saddle. To avoid this, make sure you choose a saddle for your horse that is properly fitted so that you and your horse may ride in comfort together.
- It is important to position the saddle such that the gullet is 2-3 fingers away from the horse’s withers.
- Their withers will be pressed against the saddle if the gullet is too broad, and the angle of the saddle will cause pinching if the gullet is too small.
- This may be accomplished by putting your hand below the saddle.
- If there are big regions of the country that are not experiencing pressure, there are other places that are under additional pressure.
- Finally, set the saddle on your horse’s back without using any pads, and rock it from side to side and then back to front by resting your hands on the horn and cantle on each side of the saddle.
Whenever you perform this test, if the item moves more than a half inch off your horse’s back, it does not fit. The saddle must be nearly precisely flat in order to guarantee that pressure is distributed evenly from rear to front.
Common Mistakes of Saddle Fitting
We believe that if you follow our recommendations, you will be successful in fitting a saddle to your horse. A number of typical mistakes riders make while fitting a western saddle to their horse, however, should be avoided at all costs. Here are some typical blunders that you should avoid while putting a saddle on your horse. One common mistake is to position the saddle too far forward on the horse’s back, which causes the shoulder blade to become immobile. The front bar of the saddle tree must sit behind the shoulder blade in order for the saddle to be able to move freely.
- Two, individuals make the usual error of purchasing a saddle that appears to be the correct size but is really too lengthy for the horse’s back.
- During rides, the horse may become agitated and refuse to canter as a result of this.
- Too much tension in the front cinch can put pressure on the front of the saddle before the rider even gets on his or her horse.
- The flank cinch is another tool that is frequently misapplied.
- The flank cinch is responsible for ensuring that the pressure of the saddle is spread equally over the horse’s back at all gaits, hence it is critical that it is properly adjusted when the saddle is fitted.
- The pads you use for your horse should reach 1-2 inches around the outside of your saddle and should be placed between the saddle and the horse’s shoulders.
- Any less and they won’t be sufficient to protect your horse’s back, and any more and you’ll be forced to overtighten the cinch in order to keep the saddle from slipping off his shoulders.
- Several riders have underlying difficulties in their riding that are contributing to their horses’ back pain, but they mistake these issues for a problem with saddle fit.
- It is possible to exert unequal pressure on the horse’s back by sitting too far back or too far forward in the saddle.
- Always take your riding posture into consideration before determining that a saddle does not fit.
Picking the Perfect Saddle
Having learnt how to properly fit your saddle, the next question is: what sort of saddle do you want to purchase? To begin, you might select a western saddle made of leather or synthetic materials. Leather is a traditional and long-lasting material that has been used by riders for hundreds of years to protect their horses’ skin. If you take good care of your leather saddle, it will survive for many years to come. Synthetic saddles, on the other hand, are less expensive, lighter, and easier to maintain than their leather counterparts, and they appear virtually identical to them.
- Take into consideration the sort of riding you want to conduct with your horse and select the saddle that best suits your requirements.
- These saddles include circular skirts, which allow the horse to move more freely beneath the saddle, broad stirrups, which offer the rider with comfort, and a cantle of medium height, which provides the rider with additional support when on their horseback riding excursions.
- They are available in sizes ranging from 12″-14″ and are designed to assist young riders in lessons, on the trails, and in the show ring.
- Their padding and durability make them an excellent choice for working and riding on difficult terrain.
- Western Ranch Saddles: These saddles are designed for horses that work on ranches for lengthy periods of time.
- They are also substantial in weight and have a sturdy structure to withstand the extended hours of use that they will see.
- Additionally, they are equipped with saddle strings, allowing riders to quickly and conveniently connect saddle bags and other equipment to their saddles as needed.
In order to allow the rider’s hands to stay apart from the saddle while competing in these events, the horn and fork are of medium height.
Reining saddles are also designed with thinner fenders and a lower seat to allow the horse to move more freely over the course of the competition.
They have been designed to be both lightweight and pleasant to wear.
Moreover, they are equipped with d-rings and strings, which enable riders to connect saddle bags and other items essential for their ride.
In order to prevent the saddle from tilting forward, centerfire rigging is also employed on this one.
Most of the time, these saddles are used for exhibiting, and they are frequently decorated with stunning and eye-catching designs and patterns.
Western Barrel Racing Saddles: These saddles are designed expressly for barrel racing, gymkhana competitions, and horse training in the western style.
Short skirts and single rigging are other common features of barrel racing saddles, which allow the horse to bend freely around obstacles.
If you’ve found the right saddle, don’t waste any time in getting it!
Following the selection of your saddle, you should investigateSchneider’s financing alternatives to ensure that you are purchasing your horse’s western equipment at the most competitive price.
How to Measure a Horse for a Saddle
Ideally, a decent saddle should provide comfort for both you and your horse. This might occur when you do not take the proper measurements of the horse in order to assess its size. When looking for the correct saddle, it is also important to examine the shape of the saddle. With the appropriate information, you can select the greatest possible saddle for your horse, regardless of its breed or kind. To ensure that your measurements are as exact as possible, you’ll want to follow these guidelines.
- Construct a measuring instrument that is saddle-fitting.
- Afterwards, you will take this wire and mould it to fit the contours of your horse.
- Make a mark on the wire exactly in the middle, because you’ll be placing that point over the withers later.
- Check to see that your horse is standing on a level surface before you ride him.
- Place the measuring tool over the withers with the designated center of the stiff wire so that the remainder of the stiff wire passes over the withers on either side with your other hand, as shown.
- The wire should be traveling down the rear border of the shoulder blade, directly behind the rotator cuff.
Once you’ve achieved the desired form, remove the measuring tool and retain the object in the shape that you’ve just molded it in for the time being.
It’s been a while since I’ve been back into the saddle after a long period of jogging.
I really like this horse picture.
You’re now ready to take precise measurements of your horse’s proportions.
Once you’ve done that, grab a ruler and measure down 3-inches from the precise center of your measuring instrument.
This will be your initial measurement, and it will be used to determine the gullet.
As you did previously, make a note of the distance between the two sides of the tool.
Once you’ve completed taking measurements with your instrument, you’ll be able to look at the length of the horse’s back for a better understanding.
Take a measurement of the entire body length, and then take two measurements of the same place.
More than one-third indicates that the horse’s back is longer, although this should have no effect on the saddle specifications.
If the measurement is too short, defined as less than 14 of the horse’s total body length, the horse should probably not be ridden since it will be at a higher risk of developing spinal arthritis as a result of the short measurement.
The majority of riders are already aware of the seat size that provides them with the most comfort when riding.
All that is wrong with it is that not every standard saddle seat size will fit every horse in every situation. The following are some principles that should be followed in order to ensure that you obtain the right fit from your saddle:
- The pommel should be close enough to your hand that it can be touched and almost touches your jeans when you put your palm flat behind it. When your legs are dangling down from the pommel, they should have at least 2-inches of clearance from the pommel. In order to ride comfortably, you should be able to sit in the saddle without sliding back and forth. The use of too big saddle seats can result in pressure points, saddle sores, and other difficulties, which can in turn cause the horse to exhibit negative behavior.
In order to properly measure a saddle seat, it’s necessary to note that the distance between the base of the horn and the cantle must be considered. Place your feet flat on the ground while sitting on a chair. Check to see that your knees are bent at a 45-degree angle before you begin your workout. Make certain that your buttocks are in contact with the back of the chair. Then, using a measuring tape, measure the length of your thigh from top to bottom. Measure the distance between the end of your knee and the back of your buttocks (without including your thighs).
Using these comparisons, you may calculate what your individual saddle size should be if you’re riding on an English-style saddle.
- Measurements less than 16.5 inches require a 15-inch saddle
- Measurements between 16.5 and 18.5 inches require a 16-inch saddle
- Measurements between 18.5 and 20 inches require a 16.5-inch saddle
- Measurements between 20 and 21.5 inches require a 17-inch saddle
- Measurements between 21.5-23 inches require a 17.5-inch saddle
- And measurements greater than 23 inches require an 18-inch or 19-inch saddle
- And measurements less than 16.5 inches require a 15-inch saddle
When comparing western saddles to English saddles, the cantle of the western saddle is often bigger. If you choose a Western saddle, the measurements above will still be applicable to you. The only thing you’ll have to do is remove 2 inches from the final saddle size. As an example, if the measurement from the knee to the buttocks when sitting is 17 inches, a 16-inch English saddle or a 14-inch Western saddle would be required. Most saddles have standard seat sizes ranging from 14 to 19 inches in length, however some vendors may be able to accommodate special requests.
Please speak with your trainer, a local specialist, or another personal resource to ensure that you are purchasing the appropriate size for both yourself and your horse.
We’re going to saddle up the horse once more for a ride the following Saturday.
Using your measurement instrument, examine the form of the withers.
This would imply that a medium or normal saddle tree would be the most appropriate choice.
If you look closely, you’ll find that the measurement tool is more rounded in shape than it is triangular in design.
Draft horses and their progeny crossbreds have withers that are fairly broad, as opposed to withers that are flat on the back of the neck.
As a result, most draft horses have their unique draft tree that is specifically designed for their body type.
Some horses have a wither that is highly noticeable and thin.
In this case, you’ll note that the measuring tool has a distinct triangular form.
It is likewise true in the other direction.
In this situation, you may want to consider using a flexible tree.
As soon as you’ve gotten your saddle based on the measurements you provided above, it’s critical that you fit it properly to ensure that it matches the needs of the horse in question.
Use the saddle pad that you want to use with your new saddle instead of the one that came with it.
Placing the saddle on top of the pad and allowing it to glide down until it reaches its natural resting point below the shoulder blade is the next step.
In order to determine whether or not it is level, examine the skirt to see if it is straight from front to back.
Inspect the saddle to see if you can slide a hand under the saddle on both sides of the withers, then adjust the saddle if necessary.
Knowing how to measure a horse for a saddle will help you both be comfortable when it is time to ride. Use these steps to get the measurements you need so that you can find or make the saddle that will work best for you.