3 different ways to measure for English saddle?
   

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3 different ways to measure for English saddle?

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  • How measure myself for saddle seat size english
  • How to measure for english saddle size

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  • 1 Post By greengirl

 
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    01-21-2013, 10:52 AM
  #1
Foal
Question 3 different ways to measure for English saddle?

Hi, all! I'm brand new to this forum (1st post) and brand new to riding (1 month in). This is such a great place to learn!

I'm looking to buy a close contact saddle because the saddle that came with the horse I'm renting is too small. I'd also like to take advantage of Smartpak's saddle trial program and try out a few saddles to see if they work for me and "my" horse. I know that my horse takes a medium. Now I just need to measure myself to get a ballpark idea of which saddle size to trial.

Google has led me to THREE WAYS to measure myself for an English saddle. Which way is correct? I plan on asking my instructor, but would like your input, too.

METHOD #1: Sit in chair with legs at 45-degree angle and buttocks touching back of chair. Measure from front of knee to back of buttocks and use this measurement to find seat size on size chart.

-OR-

METHOD #2: Sit in a chair with your shoulders, hips, and heels in a straight line, much as you would when sitting on your horse, making sure that your buttocks donít touch the chair back. Make a mark directly in front of your crotch and immediately behind your seat and determine that distance to get an approximate seat size.
Continue to sit in the chair and measure the length of your inner thigh from your groin to the middle of your calf with your knees bent. This denotes your upper leg length and the approximate size of a proper saddle flap for your body.

(This method is confusing to me, as they then only discuss using leg length to find seat size).

-OR-

METHOD #3:
Sit on a chair with your feet in a parallel position.
Rest your back and buttocks against the back of the chair. Measure the area from the crease of your hip to the end of your kneecap with a cloth measuring tape.

These are all different. Not sure which one is correct. Help?

Thank you!
     
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    01-21-2013, 11:34 AM
  #2
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by greengirl    

METHOD #1: Sit in chair with legs at 45-degree angle and buttocks touching back of chair. Measure from front of knee to back of buttocks and use this measurement to find seat size on size chart.

-OR-

METHOD #2: Sit in a chair with your shoulders, hips, and heels in a straight line, much as you would when sitting on your horse, making sure that your buttocks donít touch the chair back. Make a mark directly in front of your crotch and immediately behind your seat and determine that distance to get an approximate seat size.
Continue to sit in the chair and measure the length of your inner thigh from your groin to the middle of your calf with your knees bent. This denotes your upper leg length and the approximate size of a proper saddle flap for your body.

(This method is confusing to me, as they then only discuss using leg length to find seat size).

-OR-

METHOD #3:
Sit on a chair with your feet in a parallel position.
Rest your back and buttocks against the back of the chair. Measure the area from the crease of your hip to the end of your kneecap with a cloth measuring tape.
Welcome to the Horseforum! Hope we all can make you feel welcome and share lots of ideas with you.

I've never used any of those. Remember that all the methods and calculators are "estimators". Any result given by any method will give you a starting point. Your real seat size could be anywhere from your measured size to 1/2" in either direction.
Seat sizing will depend on the saddle design: if it has a deep seat, you may feel squished and want a 1/2 size larger - flatter seats give you more room. Some saddles actually measure a little larger or smaller than their specified size.
Seat sizing also depends on your build. If you're really leggy, you may find the perfect seat, but find that your knee comes off the flap and have to go 1/2 size larger to accommodate your leg, etc.

That said, the method I've used is to sit on a chair with my feet flat on the floor, and hips and knees at 90į angle. Measure from the front of the kneecap to where your buttocks hot the chair, in a straight line. This isn't your seat size, but there are tables online that convert this measurement to your approximate seat size. This is very similar to your method 1.

Method 2 looks completely bogus. According to that, I should be using a seat 2-3 inches smaller than what I use.

Method 3 looks like what I do, on;ly you have to use that measurement to find your seat size on a chart or table.

I've also seen calculators where you input various measurements and it approximates for you.

Try 3 different methods and see which seat size show up the most. That is probably a good starting point.

You can also give a description of your build, and a lot of people can get your seat size pretty close based on that.
     
    01-21-2013, 11:55 AM
  #3
Yearling
This thread might help you.

Quick Saddle Fitting Question
     
    01-21-2013, 12:00 PM
  #4
Green Broke
Unfortunately, there's no "correct" way to measure for seat size because the same size seat can feel different from saddle to saddle. Deeper saddles tend to feel 'tighter' while flatter seats feel roomier. You might like the feel of a 16.5" jumping saddle but feel cramped in the same size dressage saddle. Since those methods for measuring don't include the depth of the saddle's seat, they're going to be wrong at least some of the time.

You might be better off asking your instructor what size saddle you've been riding in and if that one would be the right size for you when buying your own. She probably has smaller & larger saddles that you could sit in just to feel the difference.

IIRC, SmartPak generally only offers one size seat for their test ride program (usually 17") so at this stage it doesn't really matter what your size is; when you get the test saddle you can decide if you'd like to go up or down in size when you order the "real" one.
     
    01-21-2013, 02:02 PM
  #5
Foal
Freia, Verona...thank you so much for all the great info! Freia, I will try what you suggested. Verona, I'll check out that thread.

Freia, you asked about my build. I'm 5'7", average weight but must look "slim" because people comment that I look so. Very flat butt, long rise, longish thighs with calves that are average to a bit short for my height, short-waisted. Average inseam...I wear a 33" inseam with 2.5" heels.
     
    01-21-2013, 02:27 PM
  #6
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by greengirl    
Freia, Verona...thank you so much for all the great info! Freia, I will try what you suggested. Verona, I'll check out that thread.

Freia, you asked about my build. I'm 5'7", average weight but must look "slim" because people comment that I look so. Very flat butt, long rise, longish thighs with calves that are average to a bit short for my height, short-waisted. Average inseam...I wear a 33" inseam with 2.5" heels.
I'm guessing a 17" would be a good starting point for you.
Based on your slim figure and flat butt, a 16.5" seat might fit you better than a 17", however your long thighs/legs might force you into a 17". If you could find a 16.5" with a long flap with lots of knee-room, it might be your ideal, but that can be hard to find. Sometimes we have to compromise a bit, especially if we're on any kind of budget. Again, 16.5" or 17" will all depend on the style of saddle, depth of seat, etc.

You should have room for about 4 fingers in front of you and about 4 fingers behind you, and your knee should be comfortably on the flap. You shouldn't feel cramped at all, and you shouldn't feel like to have room to slide much front-to back either.
     
    01-21-2013, 02:37 PM
  #7
Foal
That provides me with a great starting point, Freia. Thank you very much!
     
    01-21-2013, 03:06 PM
  #8
Foal
I just measured from my knee to the back of my butt, and it's about 22.5-22.75". Should I maybe look at a 17" seat with a long flap (bearing in mind my flat butt) or a regular 17.5? I know it's hard to try to fit a saddle without sitting on it. I'm just trying to get an idea of where to start.
     
    01-21-2013, 05:47 PM
  #9
Yearling
Given your height and build I wouldn't look at a 16 1/2" unless you're likely to be riding something under 14hh.

Follow Freia's ideas and you shouldn't go far wrong - most formulae based on thigh length ought to be taken with a pinch of salt because that's more relative to flap angle than seat size. Sitting on a saddle is the only way, really.

Oh, and 'medium' can cover a multitude of sins, but I wouldn't worry about that just yet.

Best of luck :)
     
    01-23-2013, 02:26 PM
  #10
Foal
Update: I sat on a 17.5 long flap M. Toulouse Denisse yesterday and it was a good fit. I'll update when I make my final purchase.
freia likes this.
     

Tags
english saddle, leg length saddle, measure, seat size

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