Sunday, April 4, 2010

Question

What size saddle do ya'll ride in? I'm thinking of getting an all purpose saddle for Casey, but I have no idea what size I should get for myself. Also, since we're talking about sizing, how do I determine if he needs a standard or a wide tree? I realize a wider tree would probably be more comfortable for my rear as I prefer Hereford saddles to Circle Y, but I don't know a whole lot about English saddles as I've never had to buy one before. In this case, trying it on him before hand may not be an option as I may buy a saddle at a tack sale.

So, let's talk saddle sizing. What's most comfortable for you? Why?

9 comments:

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Ugh! Saddle fitting. What a confusing topic. lol!

I think saddle fitting is most important for the horse. They are doing all the work carrying our butts around. Their comfort is more important than my own, imo.

I had a heck of a time trying to decide over a saddle tree size for Apache. She's got good tall withers and a wide shoulder, but she'd flat on her top line. I was worried about getting a FQHB because the ones I've tried on her sat too low on her withers...but the SQHB felt like they were sitting too high on her back...and made me feel like I was riding a camel. lol!

And for me, when I bought my Henry Miller Plantation saddle, they recommended I choose a 19" seat size because I "should" in theory fit well in a 17" western seat.

That's fine in theory, but I guess, even though I am tall and my weight fits into their charts, my butt and thighs really aren't that big.
So, I swim like a minnow in a great big ocean in my Henry Miller A 'frame' Plantation saddle (probably why I slipped off so easily when my horse teleported 8 feet sideways. There was nothing there to give me a more secure seat).

So, against what all the charts said, I chose a 16" seat for my new Abetta Saddle. And it not only fits me perfectly with a couple fingers in the front and back, but it fits my horse great, too. I chose the FQHB for her, and it has a higher gullet/pommel than most FQHB trees I've seen or tried, so it fits great on her flat back and on doesn't even come close to touching her bony withers. Yay!

Oh....and it's comfortable like I never would have believed. I rode in it for almost 3 hours and neither I nor my mare were sore. I love the Acu-Suede seat for the extra grip and the high cantle, too. And the Endurance style cushy stirrups are awesome for my poor old knees.
And best of all it only cost me $300.
I did switch out the billets, latigo, and saddle strings and will eventually switch out the fenders for the leather ones off of my old saddle. I just don't like the nylon ties as much as I do the leather. But that's just me.

Good luck with your saddle shopping!


~Lisa

cdncowgirl said...

While Lisa made some very valid points in her comment I have to say that I do think saddle fit matters for the rider as well. Let's face it, if you're not comfy you won't ride as much OR as well.

That said it is the fit to the horse that is the primary concern.

That's about all the help I can give, I have NO experience with English saddle fit.

Mrs Mom said...

Only thing I can offer up right now? Make a "cast" of his back to fit the saddle to. (Plaster of paris, over swran wrap works, or just shape a couple of coat hangers/ wire over withers, etc so you'll have a shape idea.)

As for seat sizes... sit in a lot of them. Ride a few if you can. But sit in a lot of them even at a tack shop, so you get to know what you like, (close contact? deeper seat? shorter knee rolls? no knee rolls? etc etc) and then take your casting of hsi back and go from there.....

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Laura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura said...

Deleted my first comment 'cause I made a big typo...

Ugh. Saddle fitting. Ugh.

Rusty is super hard to fit - high wither, wide barrel, start of a sway back... The closest I could come to a decent fit for him was a wintec with an adjustable gullet...

What is Casey's build like? Super stocky QH? Regular? If he looks pretty regular, then you might be able to use a standard sized tree. Saddles are just like clothes - they say that they have a standard this or wide that, but a wide in one brand is a standard in the other. (helpful, aren't I? lol)

I would really recommend a wintec or collegiate, or Pessoa as they have adjustable gullets and will give you some options with sizing. Both are reasonably priced too (depending on how much you want to spend).

As for fit for the rider - also important. I wouldn't go below a 17.5" seat for an adult rider (depends again on your build). Some English saddles have more forward flaps as well ( even on an AP) which I found really annoying with my short legs. If you are taller (which I think you are) you might not find that an issue.

Does any of that help? This comment is a mile long! I hope you can sit in a few saddles before buying one, to get a feel for them...

AKPonyGirl said...

Saddles are like shoes....one size does not fit all. And a 14" Tex Tan barrel saddle doesn't fit like a 14" Hamley.

You might borrow saddles from others and just try them.

Go to Double H or Champions and sit in a bunch of saddles. cdn is right, if the saddle doesn't fit you, you won't ride as much.

John and Regina Zdravich said...

I know this is going to sound stupid, but I have no idea what size my saddle is....
P.S. Weight loss to date has been 15 pounds! However, I gained one back over the Easter weekend...

oregonsunshine said...

Thank you for the help. Sorry it's taken so long for me to get back to ya'll. I've had company! :D

Let's see... Casey is "normal". He's a BIG AQHA, not flat backed. I think fitting him to a saddle will be easier than me. And I forgot about the Wintecs with the CAIR. Thanks for the reminder!

Mostly, I was wondering what the difference in regular and wide tree is. Is it like the difference between a Circle Y and a Hereford? The Circle Y is a little narrower in the seat and the Hereford is a little wider.

And crap! I can't remember what I like in a saddle, let alone an English saddle! Tasha's got this great Double Diamond reiner saddle that I love, but the brand isn't made any more. I can't even tell you what it is that I love about that saddle.

@Lisa- Have you tried just regular QH bars? They're right inbetween fqhb and sqhb.