Determining Seat Size

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Determining Seat Size

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  • Determining saddle seat size
  • Sizing a yancey saddle

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    08-02-2013, 12:54 PM
Determining Seat Size

I get annoyed with this more than anything. I currently have a 16" saddle, well, several 16" saddles. I didnt start riding in a 16" till about 3-4 years ago and the only reason I did that was because they didnt have that particular saddle in a 15". Now, my issue is a 16" feels like a boat to me. Keep in my mind I am 35 weeks pregnant with my third baby. So the past three years I have spent the majority of the time being pregnant and the 16" has been kind of nice because it gives me belly room.

Now, I was 201lbs prior to getting pregnant this last time. I currently weight 193lbs at 35 weeks pregnant, so I am hoping after this one is born I can continue to get my weight back down and under control.

Not only do I NOT like the 16" seat because it feels huge but I can't get the stinkin stirrups to go up far enough. I am 5' 1". I have short legs. Every 16" saddle I have tried the stirrups will not go up far enough. (expect my JM Yancey) Now, the JM Yancey is going to be a big no go after the baby is born because it is just way too big.

So, what happens if a 15" is too snug now? Do, I go with the saddle that is a little more snug or do I stick with the 16"? I have gotten to wear the 16" I feel like I am sliding around too much. This may be due to the fact Im pregnant and my balance isnt the best.

Could I put some kind of seat cover on my 16"? Would that make my seat smaller? I really do not want to saddle shop all over again. Im still trying to get rid of saddles I bought to try on my mare that didnt fit.
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    08-02-2013, 01:17 PM
Super Moderator
You have lost weight during your pregnancy? Unusual.

There is a thing called a saddle shrinker. It ties on the cantle of the western saddle and will effectively make a 16 inch saddle into a 15.5 inch. It helps with that feeling of being on a boat.
    08-02-2013, 01:37 PM
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
you have lost weight during your pregnancy? Unusual.

Can't eat a whole lot due to having gallbladder problems. So I have to be very careful of what and how much I eat and I can't have anything but water to drink.
    08-02-2013, 01:45 PM
From my knowledge, a saddle fitter/maker can shorten up the fenders on the stirrups so that you can bring them up enough holes/notches for your leg length.

As far as seat size, i'm 'average' size for being nearly 33 years old, and range in weight from 150-160 (i yo yo a little bit depending on activity level and what I eat, lol). I wear pants that range in size from 10 up to 14 depending on the style/manufacturer, but most are 10 to 12. I ride in a 15 inch western saddle and find it to be just right for me.

Also, what type of seat material is on your saddle? That might make a difference as to how 'snug' you feel. My seat is suede and I love it. Slick seat saddles I can't stand, no matter the seat size. They always feel like they are bigger than they are for some reason, even though I don't slide around in them any more than my suede seat.
    08-02-2013, 01:58 PM
My JM Yancey is a slick seat which I really like. I don't mind the suede seats but I am not partial to them.

"If" I have to saddle shop again I am just going to go find a me a good A-fork Wade saddle. All this who dilly with saddles is getting on my nerves.
    08-02-2013, 04:19 PM
Ask around and find people with saddles that you can try for seat size. I've noticed that often times in the English world that two saddles of different brands/slightly different styles in the same measured size can seem to fit completely differently. I would imagine that it may be the same for western saddles. Ask everyone you know who has any saddles ranging in siz from 15-16" if you can try them on for size. Do you have any local tack shops or feed stores with consignment saddles? See if the employees will let you have a sit in their available saddles to see. It's possible that you might find something you like You'll start to get a feel for what feels right and what is too big/too small.

I found this one time, and the results it gave seemed about right for me, but I would definitely say that your best bet is to sit in all of the saddles that you can find to see what feels right and figure it out for yourself! I've never been pregnant so can't really say too much, but I would probably wait until after the baby is born and your life starts to settle into a normal pace to buy a new saddle. You don't want to buy something that fits perfectly and then lose or gain a bunch of weight! Until then I'd look into something like the saddle shrinker posted. I didn't even know those existed, but it's a good concept! Do they make those for the English world?
    08-02-2013, 04:22 PM
Oops, forgot to post the thing I meant to post! western-saddle-seat-size-calculator
    08-02-2013, 04:44 PM
Even though i'm not in the market for buying any more western saddles (i love mine too much), what I do do is go sit in just about ALL the saddles at a tack store when I have the time to do so. This gives me insight as to what I do and don't like, what I can offer to friends for info if they are saddle shopping, etc. It may seem like I am wasting my time doing this, but I feel it is an excellent tool for finding exactly what I do and don't like should I need to buy another saddle in the future or help a friend find one. Mind you, saddles never feel the same on a horse as they do on a saddle stand, but it does give you an idea of how your butt feels in them.

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