I need English help..lol - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 02-16-2013, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2010
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I need English help..lol

So..I'm a western rider, touched my first english saddle yesterday when I accepted it as a trade for breastcollar/bridle/reins, haha.

It's an all purpose, which is just fine for what I plan to do. I just want to get an english foundation on the horses I start so I can sell them as all around 4h horses.

So..not worried about riding (aside from the fact I know I'm gonna fall off at first, haha), but saddle doesn't have leathers or stirrups.

I need help with leathers and a girth. I want a girth (and extender?) that'll work for a majority of horses. I have no idea of size or how they would compare to a western cinch..or, anything, basically, haha. I think I'm going with a girth that has an interchangable fleece/neoprene slip on thing, just don't know what size will fit a majority of horses.

As for leathers..What length do I get? I plan on doing hunters and pleasure with the horses (good or not, just to add to their experience). I'm 5'7" and prefer a longer leg so I don't cheat on posting (I do know that much, I rely on my stirrups if they're there too much, even western). Soo..whst length should I look to buy?
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post #2 of 21 Old 02-16-2013, 12:09 PM
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The length of the billets can vary alot on english saddles, your best bet is to put the saddle on the horse and measure - the size is literally the length from billet to billet (I measure to the second hole on each side). Girth extenders are a pain, you are better off to buy a few inexpensive synthetic girths as needed that fit properly. Unless the horses you train are fairly consistent in type, you are likely to need more than one saddle.
Funnily enough I have been riding english for over 20 yrs now, and I don't know what length my stirrup leathers are. I am 5'8" and I seem to remember buying the middle length.
hope that helps
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post #3 of 21 Old 02-16-2013, 12:11 PM
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For the leathers, 54" is the standard length for adult riders. Really short people are sometimes happier with the 48" length (often considered a kid's or youth size). Dressage leathers are longer, but you don't want them THAT long. Get the 54" - they'll work for everything you're doing.

For the girth, there really isn't a size that works for every horse. Can you put the saddle on one of your horse's you feel is about the average size of your horses? Then tie a string to the second hole up on your billets on one side. Pull the string under the belly and mark where it reaches the second hole on the other side. Lay the string down and measure your girth length. that might be your best shot.

I have a 48" and 52" girth. I use the 48" on a 14hh TWH and a 15hh slender Arab/TWH cross. I have to use the 52" on a 14.2hh stocky, draft-type Morgan and an overweight thoroughbred/QH cross. I rode a thoroghbred this week who was so tall, that I figured he'd need the 52", but becasue he was so slender, the 48" probably would have been better. However, I can't recommend for you to get those same lengths, because my saddle is different than your saddle: it may have longer or shorted billets than yours. It's really a very individual thing dependent on horse and saddle, so you really do have to measure.
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post #4 of 21 Old 02-16-2013, 12:19 PM
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An additional thought about leathers, if you buy long you can always add extra holes if needed, buy to short and you are stuck
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post #5 of 21 Old 02-16-2013, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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I'm only interested in paint/QH and the stockier TBs since my main focus is games (I have the most experience in that and have trained for that before). So, the horses will be a fairly consistent type between 14-15.2 hands.

I'll measure either my current lease (that she won't sell to me :/ ) or Copper's appendix and average something around there for the girth then. Hopefully it works, if not I'll buy bigger/smaller if necessary.

I put the 54" leathers in my cart to save, so I'll go ahead with them then. (:

Thanks, sorted out today's problem..lol.
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post #6 of 21 Old 02-16-2013, 12:51 PM
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I'm 5'7 and have 54s. I have them on hole 16 and have plenty of room to move them up if I'm jumping or need a shorter stirrup. You'll be fine with 54s for the leathers. For the girth it is going to depend on your horse. I agree that extenders are a pain. You can buy decent/cheap girths and just have them if you need more than one. My Arab fits a 48" nicely with a few extra holes if I needed to make it tighter. She is typically on hole 4 5 on each side. My Arab is about 15.1 hh. There is another pony I sometimes ride who is about 13.3 and the 48" girth barely fits her. For the bigger horses, like warmbloods and TBs, I use a 52-54.

This might help: Horse Girth Sizing Chart

Also make sure that the saddle tree fits your horses comfortably. The trees measure different from western to English (I used to ride Western). Try putting the saddle on their backs without a pad to make sure it doesn't look tight. If it is to small and pinches, don't use it. If it is a little big, you can always add more padding. Also if your horse isn't used to an English saddle, be gentle when tightening the girth. It is alot faster to do than a western so go up one hole at a time.
Have fun! I love English!

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~He knows when you're comfortable
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post #7 of 21 Old 02-16-2013, 01:41 PM
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You'll need irons too. To size the irons, measure across the ball of your foot with your riding boots on, then add 1/2". You should be able to squeeze a finger between your boot and the edge of the iron on either side of your foot. Iron too tight, and you can't get your foot out. Too loose, and your whole foot can go through it and get caught. You're probably a 4.75" iron or therabouts. That's my size (I'm 5'9 and wear a size 8.5 width B paddock boot). And remember that you'll need 1/2 chaps or tall boots, or some kind of calf-protection, otherwise your calf muscle will get pinched between the stirrup leather and the saddle-flap. It hurts more than it sounds like it would. It bruises deeply.
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post #8 of 21 Old 02-16-2013, 01:53 PM
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i just love it when someone has a concise, clearly worded problem, puts it out there and the knowledgeable HF folks return with concise, clearly worded answers. Problem solved! And for free! Horse Forum rocks!
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post #9 of 21 Old 02-16-2013, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Can we link me to some inexpensive girths?

I know I need 5" irons because my feet are extremely too wide..lol.

I'm definitely going to get some half chaps, but those aren't a necessity for the next two paychecks..lol. I bought extras with the last two and have to build my account back up a bit for that.
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post #10 of 21 Old 02-16-2013, 03:06 PM
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Have fun with English :)

Try smartpak or dover for girths as they have an excellent return policy and will work with you if something doesn't quite work out.
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Last edited by Skyseternalangel; 02-16-2013 at 03:10 PM.
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