Riding in a saddle that's too big? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 04-06-2012, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Riding in a saddle that's too big?

I see the problem with having a saddle to small, but is there a disadvantage to having a saddle that's too big?

For example. I ride in 17", but I have a tiny butt. Would having a smaller saddle make a huge difference, or does it not matter?
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post #2 of 11 Old 04-06-2012, 05:03 PM
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Being only 4'11 and a 14" seat, I often have the problem of saddles being too big for me! The only real problem that I see is that your center of gravity tends to be shifted a little, which might unbalance a beginner. That, and atleast for me- the stirrups are too long to use xD I actually do better in childrens saddles, but those are too small for our stocky quarter horses!

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post #3 of 11 Old 04-06-2012, 05:23 PM
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I'm interested in this also as my friend is just learning to ride and wants to get a saddle when shes more experienced. Currently she's riding in my 18" dressage and could do with a 17" at least. She's short and so we'll be looking for a GP for her little legs!!


I have a friend who rides in a 17.5" saddle but can fit into a 16.5" - she has the bigger saddle for her horses, not herself. She doesn't seem to have issues in it but she has been riding for years and has a stable seat regardless.
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post #4 of 11 Old 04-06-2012, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petitepyromaniac View Post
For example. I ride in 17", but I have a tiny butt.
Would you like some of mine? I have enough to share....
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post #5 of 11 Old 04-06-2012, 06:53 PM
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i fit best in a 16.5" saddle and find that i've had a harder time finding the sweet spot if i go up to say a 17.5" or in some cases even a 17" (depending on the saddle). i think its a combination of personal build, size, experience and personal preference.
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post #6 of 11 Old 04-06-2012, 09:57 PM
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I fit well in a 16" English saddle. Some of it depends on what type of saddle you ride in. For example I don't have as much issue with a large flat type seat (jumper) saddle as I do a too large dressage saddle where you need to be in the pocket.

Ive also found that the placement of the stirrup bars makes a very big difference. Stirrup bars that are set further back, on larger saddles, still tend to give me the same balance point as a smaller saddle.
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post #7 of 11 Old 04-07-2012, 09:12 PM
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I started riding in my Mom's 18" English close-contact saddle when I was 4 years old. I used that saddle until I was 25. I learned to ride just fine, and never came unseated. Certainly not ideal, but it's not the end of the world. I've never been able to ride in a seat that's too small though. I'd rather ride bareback. When my knees are off the flap and my butt is up against the cantle, I don't seem to be able to balance right or give the right cues, and I cramp up everywhere.
I bought my first very own saddle a year ago (at age 42), which fits me like a glove. Boy what a difference that makes. Should have done that 38 years ago...
I would say, perfect fit is just wow. Too big is manageable. Too small is a no-go. Of course, it makes a difference what you're doing too. Big difference in how much slop you can get away with on a Sunday afternoon hack vs eventing, etc

Last edited by freia; 04-07-2012 at 09:15 PM.
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post #8 of 11 Old 04-07-2012, 09:32 PM
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seat size has not much to do with the size of your butt, and a lot to do with the length of your thigh.

endiku you must have really short legs !! im 5ft2 and fit 16-17" seat.

too big saddles are not always ok. quite often if i ride in a saddle that has too big of a seat, the seat wants me to sit too far back and the flap wants my leg too far forward.

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post #9 of 11 Old 04-07-2012, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsygirl View Post
seat size has not much to do with the size of your butt, and a lot to do with the length of your thigh.

endiku you must have really short legs !! im 5ft2 and fit 16-17" seat.

too big saddles are not always ok. quite often if i ride in a saddle that has too big of a seat, the seat wants me to sit too far back and the flap wants my leg too far forward.
Think of a penguin. Thats what I feel like when I ride. My legs are easily taken up by a 12-13hh pony!

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post #10 of 11 Old 04-07-2012, 10:58 PM
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If your saddle is too big, it's going to shift your seat, which will shift your legs and feet. You won't be in the correct position (or it will be harder for you to remain in the correct position) while you ride which can cause all sorts of issues such as making it easier for you to fall, harder for you to cue correctly, or even accidentally cue the wrong thing.
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