Join Date: May 2011
Location: Chino Valley, AZ
Supposedly, because of the way they are measured, English saddles measure about two sizes bigger than a comparably-sized western saddle. For example: I am most comfortable in a 16.5-17" western saddle and my 18.5" Stubben Siegfried fits me like a glove.
Sometimes you just have to sit in the size saddle you think you need and see how it feels. I know for a fact that even when I'm thinner, I am not comfortable in a 16" western saddle. A 16.5" is as small as I'll go, and even then I prefer a 17".
For reference, I'm 5'7" with a 32" inseam (no joke!) and currently weigh 250#. I sat in a 17" hard seat cutting saddle the other day at one of our local tack shops and, other than the fact that I didn't like the hard seat, it fit me like a glove. Even the tack shop owner commented on how well it fit me. When I was 165# a couple of years ago, I rode in a friend's 16" show saddle (with a padded seat) and not only was the saddle uncomfortable, but you could visibly see that it was too small (I have pics, if you'd like to see them for reference).
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