Newbie saddle advice - fitting horse and me? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 12-03-2013, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
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Newbie saddle advice - fitting horse and me?

Advice on purchasing a saddle. After I got my guy, I bought a sturdy used saddle that fit him, however, I failed to fit it to me (duh!), and, I have decided instead of just trail riding, I want to also learn barrels (plus I feel more secure in a barrel seat). I have a chubby horse that needs FQHB, plus at least a 7 inch gullet. How do I find a saddle that is decent and fits him? I worry buying online it won't fit either me or him (I need either a 14, 14.5, or 15 depending on maker) and many consignment stores have little selection of quality saddles - and I can't afford new (want to keep it under $600). I am also short and current saddle won't go short enough for my little legs (fender is pulled all the way to top) Thoughts? This seems like an impossible task with so many variables..(Have already brought one home to return it because it pinched him so bad)..... I currently use my trainers, but feel uncomfortable because her daughter is always needing to use it. My current saddle - while very pretty and sturdy and fitting him, is WAY to huge for me. I silde all over!

Also, I know some brands to stay away from like double T - what are others?
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post #2 of 3 Old 12-03-2013, 07:35 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
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find a saddle that you like how it fits you, and measure the openning where you thigh goes, between the back edge of the fork, and the edge of the cantle. that flat area where your thigh goes should not be crimping in your thigh, but neither be so large there is more than an inch or two in front and an inch or less behind. its a little bit of a personal thing. some people like to feel really wedged in, some like some room to shift around their thigh. find the one YOU like and measure that openning. then, when you make online inquiries about a saddle, on top of the seat measurement, you can ask about this "thigh" measurement.
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post #3 of 3 Old 12-04-2013, 07:10 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
Posts: 4,847
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I can feel your pain.

Saddles are a constant nightmare for me. Right now I am looking for a saddle on Semi-Qh bars with a narrow twist and fenders set far back enough to ride with my leg underneath me, but without a too sloped seat. With a price limit.

I bought one online that I had sat in before but never ridden in and it wasn't bad but it was just different once I had it on my horse and now I am selling it on.

I keep almost finding saddles but then there is something wrong. Like I found one that seemed pretty good the other day but it had a "rattle" when you tipped the saddle back and forth, wasn't going to risk near a grand for that.

The thing is buying online you don't know. Even with all the measurements you can't really measure saddle balance, and you don't know until you ride. Both for your fit and the horses.

The higher your price range the more options you have, that's the reality of the situation.

The best option I think is to find a local saddlery, or semi local saddlery that stock second hand tack and let you take them out on a trial, or have a returns period. Find one that looks as if it will fit then try it.
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