Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Beautiful Pacific Northwest
• Horses: 0
I've never heard of an adult riding in a 15.5" saddle. That's awfully tiny, even for 5'3". My very leggy 7-year-old rides in a 15.5" saddle. If you're currently using a 16.5" saddle, and it barely fits, you shouldn't go any smaller, even if it's a different shape. Seat size/fit can vary by model/make, but it shouldn't be more than 1/2" off between different saddles. 1" is a huge difference in seat size.
Are you sure the County saddle is measured correctly? It seems odd for any adult to ride in a 15.5" saddle. Is it measured from the nailhead at the side of the pommel to the center of the cantle? If it's been measured straight across the top, it will come out about an inch or so too short.