Does it look like I could afford to go up or down a half size (or even more)? I'm thinking about making the switch to a dressage saddle and want to know if there's any kind of range I can look at or if I should stick to the size I have (17) or what?
(please no critique on my position or anything we were just kind of relaxing a bit xD my stirrups were a bit short too..)
I definitely wouldn't go up a size and you could probably very easily go down a size. You should have one hand in front and behind you in the saddle, which you do here, but this saddle just looks really big. How old are you? Are you done growing?
With that brand of saddle I would say you could easily go down half a size, perhaps a whole size depending on how much you're going to grow. It's better to ride in something too big then too small. I always have my growing students buy something a touch too big so they don't have to replace their saddles every year.
I would say if you are going to invest in a nice saddle to stay at te size you are at or maybe go a half a size smaller but if you are making an investment then giving yourself room to grow is the best idea.
My first saddle was a 16.5 and it was to big for me but it is perfect now. I am done growing and my first trainer was very smart to have me buy big
Rocky: I see that you are in Hollister ... there is a great used tack store in Pleasanton that has tons of saddles and you can go sit in them and if the owner is ok with it I think you can even try them on your horse. It is called Happy Trails