How do you buy a saddle?

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How do you buy a saddle?

This is a discussion on How do you buy a saddle? within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category

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    06-21-2010, 06:43 PM
How do you buy a saddle?

Are there different sizes for all sorts of tack? I don't have a horse now, but I want to have stuff that fits. Do I fit it to myself first, then if it doesn't fit bring it back and get another? How would I know?
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    06-21-2010, 07:37 PM
If you're shopping without a horse, you're pretty much shopping for seat size. Once you get a horse, you'll be able to shop within your seat size for a saddle that properly fits your horse.

In a western saddle, you should be able to comfortably fit a hand between the pommel and your crotch. In an English saddle, there should be a hands width both in front and in back of you while sitting in the saddle....Basically, whatever your western seat size is, plus 2.

As for fitting to the horse, here's the sticky topic that explains that.
    06-21-2010, 07:45 PM
I did notice that. :P

I think I'll probably shop for myself to see my seat size. I've just seen saddles being used on multiple horses--then again, that's probably why my trainer's horses didn't enjoy being ridden.

There isn't any regulation for sizing for the horse itself? Is it just kinda individualised and every saddle is different so you gotta use that method?
    06-21-2010, 07:50 PM
Green Broke
Every horse is different, Size of withers, shoulder, back, conformation, you should ask a lot of horse people to get their opinions on what size. Brand ( because every brand is different) And basically trial and error! LOL
    06-21-2010, 07:54 PM
Saddles are built with different tree sizes, shapes, and widths. For most horses, the width of the bars is critical in making sure the saddle fits your horse. If the bars are too narrow or too wide, it pinches the horse or puts undue pressure on their withers or parts of the back not meant to be weight bearing, which can significantly impact the performance and attitude of your horse. Think about buying a pair of shoes that doesn't fit and having to carry a 30 pound back pack for miles. You would be cranky and irritable by the end of the hike and you wouldn't be very enthusiastic about getting up the next morning to do it again, right? Well, same thing for a horse with a poorly fitting saddle. To me, buying a saddle that fits the horse is one of the most important things you can ever do for your equine companion.
    06-21-2010, 07:58 PM
There is a standard in western saddles. For the horse, there is semi quarter horse, quarter horse, full quarter horse etc. Even those basic standards can vary by manufacturer. Its best to have the horse first, then buy a saddle that fits it. Its easy to fit yourself to a saddle but its extremely difficult to get a good fit for your horse.
Depending on how much you want to spend for a good fit, you can estimate the size. Or you can spend the big bucks and have a custom saddle made. Even then there is no guarantee since a horse will change shape many times throughout its life.
Here is a website that has been very helpful to me
Western Saddle Fitting and Different Tree Sizes
    06-21-2010, 08:25 PM
Green Broke
You want to try it on a horse you are interested in. I have gone through soooo many saddles so far. I have one that fits my girl but it's a snug fit on me..very secure. I had to go through three saddles untill I found one that fit her. My saddle is a SQ bar and it's a wintec so it's lightweight. I love it. Some horses are hard to fit more than others.
Also a saddle pad needs to be fitted. I have a 30x36 I believe. If I were to get any bigger it would rub the hair right off of her. I did have a longer pad and it would do that. Style helps too. I have a theraputic one that works for my horse. Some horses with tall withers need a cut out one. There are so many options and it will be a good idea(if you have a trailer) to take your horse to the tack shop to try on tack instead of buying and returning over and over. Saves a lot of time and stress.
    06-21-2010, 08:35 PM
Are most tack shops open to you bringing your horse there?
    06-21-2010, 08:37 PM
I've never taken my horse to the tack shop but I'm sure most would. As long as they have room for a trailer in the parking lot Many will let you take a saddle home for a day or so. That might be easier.
    06-21-2010, 08:41 PM
Green Broke
You can or you can bring it home. They usually want the money and if you don't like it they give it back..that way you won't steal it.

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