How much difference does an inch make in an english saddle? - Page 2
 
 

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How much difference does an inch make in an english saddle?

This is a discussion on How much difference does an inch make in an english saddle? within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category
  • Will a 17.5" saddle fit a short 15.2 horse
  • Does haf an inch on a saddle make a difference

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    03-31-2012, 04:41 PM
  #11
Super Moderator
ABSOLUTELY too small. You want the seatbones to sit on the level part of the seat. This rider has her bum jammed up on the inclined portion of the cantle. There is no way the seatbones can be making proper contact on the saddle surface which will affect everything she tries to do with her seat.

In hunters, where the seat is not used as much....you MIGHT get away with that. In dressage, no.
     
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    03-31-2012, 05:06 PM
  #12
Yearling
@ Maura
My point is Rachel appears not to be in the saddle but above it and behind the horse's movement, because the horse is in movement and itself unbalanced. Both horse and saddle are on the forehand and leaning right. If you think about being slightly 'left behind', you'll see what I mean. And because of all that you can't judge anything very accurately from this picture.

If the horse was moving straight and level, rider sat in balance and she still had so little room, I'd agree with you. Rachel's knee doesn't really want to be any further forward and as you say would come back with longer stirrups - provided her seat's that advanced. No disrespect intended but I'd suggest not. Rachel's femur is quite long, but not in relation to her torso length, so IMO that's not a major issue.

But she's 5'4". I reckon that horse must be 15.2 at best and he's not long backed (though again it's difficult to tell on the turn). All that being the case, I'd try a 17" seat before the bigger size because, depending on panel length, you'll be getting close to the horse's fitting limit with the longer saddle.

Oh, BTW, sliding your seatbones with the horse's movement? Only when you're leaning back over a drop fence, I'd have thought! I'm sure you mean not being 'locked in' to a position which is fair enough. I hate that, too, so I dislike deep-seated dressage saddles with huge blocks. Though a suede seat and pads are good when your horse gallops down the centre line convinced the boards in front of the judges are really a showjump :)

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    03-31-2012, 06:01 PM
  #13
Trained
The first picture is hard to judge. Although it is embarrassing, I'll post the picture below to show why. In my defense, it was my first time ever cantering, and Trooper's first time in a year, and this photo was taken in our second try...



In that photo, my rump is pinned against the rear of the saddle while the poleys are right at my thigh - so the saddle seems too small. In fact, it is a combination of Trooper being off-balance, and my having less than 60 seconds of experience cantering.

I rode that same saddle today on Cowboy, who decided to buck with my daughter-in-law and then tried it with me. We did a lot of laps at a canter or gallop, and the saddle fit fine. I couldn't afford to go any smaller, and the Aussie saddle I normally ride is an inch bigger - but the problems in the photo above are rider & horse, not saddle.

Based on the video, I'd guess the saddle may be too small, but I'd try lengthening the stirrups first.

I've only cantered on 3 horses, so my advice has pretty limited value. FWIW, each horse canters very differently. Trooper has a very short back and a rough canter stride. If I get behind his balance, the rear of the saddle rises vigorously, shoves my rump, and puts me further off-balance. This is particularly true when his weight is forward.

The extra inch between the Aussie saddle above and the one I normally ride helps. It just FEELS better. And saddles should make doing the right thing easy, not hard. If possible, borrow before buying. If it isn't possible, then an extra inch probably wouldn't hurt - if it is within your budget.

Hopefully, no one will follow my example and end up with 5 saddles of varying size & style in quest of the perfect saddle...

Quick edit: sliding seatbones. When learning, a good piece of advice was to polish the saddle with my rump. It is NOT the right way to ride a canter, but it helped my visualize the motion I needed. After a few attempts, my rump stopped sliding...well, except for if/when I get out of synch with my horse. Unfortunately, that is the sort of thing that still happens to me at times. But the 'polishing', while excessive, gave me an idea of what to do. In my first attempt, I was trying to sit the canter the way I would sit a trot, and that didn't go so well! I needed to be more pro-active.
     
    03-31-2012, 07:55 PM
  #14
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
The first picture is hard to judge. Although it is embarrassing, I'll post the picture below to show why. In my defense, it was my first time ever cantering, and Trooper's first time in a year, and this photo was taken in our second try...



In that photo, my rump is pinned against the rear of the saddle while the poleys are right at my thigh - so the saddle seems too small. In fact, it is a combination of Trooper being off-balance, and my having less than 60 seconds of experience cantering.

I rode that same saddle today on Cowboy, who decided to buck with my daughter-in-law and then tried it with me. We did a lot of laps at a canter or gallop, and the saddle fit fine. I couldn't afford to go any smaller, and the Aussie saddle I normally ride is an inch bigger - but the problems in the photo above are rider & horse, not saddle.

Based on the video, I'd guess the saddle may be too small, but I'd try lengthening the stirrups first.

I've only cantered on 3 horses, so my advice has pretty limited value. FWIW, each horse canters very differently. Trooper has a very short back and a rough canter stride. If I get behind his balance, the rear of the saddle rises vigorously, shoves my rump, and puts me further off-balance. This is particularly true when his weight is forward.

The extra inch between the Aussie saddle above and the one I normally ride helps. It just FEELS better. And saddles should make doing the right thing easy, not hard. If possible, borrow before buying. If it isn't possible, then an extra inch probably wouldn't hurt - if it is within your budget.

Hopefully, no one will follow my example and end up with 5 saddles of varying size & style in quest of the perfect saddle...

Quick edit: sliding seatbones. When learning, a good piece of advice was to polish the saddle with my rump. It is NOT the right way to ride a canter, but it helped my visualize the motion I needed. After a few attempts, my rump stopped sliding...well, except for if/when I get out of synch with my horse. Unfortunately, that is the sort of thing that still happens to me at times. But the 'polishing', while excessive, gave me an idea of what to do. In my first attempt, I was trying to sit the canter the way I would sit a trot, and that didn't go so well! I needed to be more pro-active.
I don't think that pic looks bad, especially not for your first time cantering. I've ridden numerous horses with my saddle and I feel like it's snug the matter who I'm riding, My instructor is constantly telling me to sit forward but I find that I really don't have the room to move up much more without sitting right on the pommel of the saddle lol. I have tried lengthening and shortening my stirrups, strangely some days they feel too long, others too short even if the length is the same. The english seat size calculator tells me I need a 17.5 due to my fat thighs It's not exactly in my budget but I really think it will help(or I'm really hoping). I'm planning on selling my current saddle, just hope I can find a buyer, maybe someone at my barn will be interested.
     
    03-31-2012, 10:19 PM
  #15
Trained
Rachel, I'm going to take some pics with a tape measure tomorrow on the saddle for you to compare so you don't buy a saddle that might not work for you. I'll post them on the other thread. Then you can see how much that inch will actually get you.
     
    04-02-2012, 06:41 PM
  #16
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
Rachel, I'm going to take some pics with a tape measure tomorrow on the saddle for you to compare so you don't buy a saddle that might not work for you. I'll post them on the other thread. Then you can see how much that inch will actually get you.
Thanks It's just hard to believe that one little inch will make such a difference in how you fit in the saddle. I took a half hour dressage lesson a few months ago, it was only at the walk but she had me in her 18" saddle and that felt much more comfortable then my current saddle and she said it fit me very well. I can't wait to ride in it and see what a difference it makes, if I can find someone to take a pic I'll take one for comparison
     
    04-05-2012, 11:01 PM
  #17
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel1786    
Thanks It's just hard to believe that one little inch will make such a difference in how you fit in the saddle. I took a half hour dressage lesson a few months ago, it was only at the walk but she had me in her 18" saddle and that felt much more comfortable then my current saddle and she said it fit me very well. I can't wait to ride in it and see what a difference it makes, if I can find someone to take a pic I'll take one for comparison
I have found even a half of inch makes a difference! I have riden in a 17" Wintec Pro for over 15 years on 3 different horses. Then I thought I better get a second one, incase something happens like the tree breaks. So my friends all tell me to buy "a 18" because 17 inch saddles are just for kids". So, I compromise and buy a 17.5" and I hate it!! It is too big, so now is for sale and I still ride in the old one. Same with the western saddle, I can't stand my friend's 16", my is a 15" and it fits perfect!

I am 5'8", 150lbs with long legs. When I sit down I am the same height as a 5' tall person...I guess the other 8" are all legs

Also, I think your stirups are too short and your legs too far out in front of you. A good way to see if longer stirrups will help is to kick your feet out of the stirrups, cross them in front of the saddle, and ride without them for a bit, streaching your legs down and back. Keep them long and loose, and I think you might be a lot more comfortable and will be sitting straighter. Then you will know if you still need more room in the seat. Do some sitting trot and canter without stirrups and see how your saddle feels.
     
    04-08-2012, 06:07 PM
  #18
Foal
It is small for you. I rode 2 years in 16.5 thinking it was all fine. Then I sat into 17.5 and it made it :)
     
    04-08-2012, 07:07 PM
  #19
Foal
Completely unrelated, but in your video what is the brand of that saddle pad, I love it!!!!!!
     
    04-08-2012, 09:12 PM
  #20
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnl764    
completely unrelated, but in your video what is the brand of that saddle pad, I love it!!!!!!
Aren't they awesome saddle pads! I got it from here OTTB Designs - Our OTTB Saddle Pads sell out faster than we can make them! To join*our*notification list email us at list@ottbdesigns.com they are on back order right now. They also have a facebook page which they regularly update what color saddle pads they will have coming out and when. I have the black and then a white one. I'm waiting for them to come out with a purple!
mnl764 likes this.
     

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