What size english would I need

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What size english would I need

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  • How to determine the size girth you need for an english saddle
  • What Size English Saddle Do I Need?

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    10-11-2011, 11:21 AM
What size english would I need

If I ride in a 16" barrel saddle, what size english saddle should I need?

I'm on the large size of the 16"

Oh, and do english saddle come with the irons or do I have to purchase seperately?

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    10-11-2011, 11:23 AM
Rule of thumb is 2" larger than Western for an English saddle. Of course, that's just an average.

Nothing comes with an English saddle except the saddle. You'll have to buy stirrup leathers, stirrups, and a girth.
    10-11-2011, 11:25 AM
Thanks Speed Racer.

Another question if you don't mind.
What size, tree wise, should I look for?
I have a quarter horse who is a bit wide.
    10-11-2011, 11:28 AM
Medium wide to wide, I'd think.
    10-11-2011, 11:31 AM
Ok. Hopefully my horse doesnt try to kill me in this new venture. I don't know if he'll like english.
    10-11-2011, 11:34 AM
The saddles are lighter than Western, so I'm not sure why he'd care.
    10-11-2011, 11:49 AM
He's crazy. I never know what he'll do. Haha.
    10-11-2011, 11:57 AM
My suggestion is to find a Professional Saddle Maker/Fitter to come out and help you with this saddle search process. There is a lot to ensuring proper fit for both you and your horse.

A good saddler, will come out to your place with a truck/van full of saddles, that he/she will assess on your horses back to ensure proper fit, and then will see you ride in the saddle to see how you are positioned, and how your horse reacts.

They usually cost around $100+. Find a saddler who doesn't work for a particular company aka county, stubben, etc, etc.

Also, you can go to a tack store, and have the saddler put you in a bunch of different english saddles, to see how they fit you and what position they put you in. Each saddle will put each person that sits in it, in a different position due to our conformation.

It isn't just about seat size, it's about the twist of the tree, the forwardness of the flaps, the position the saddle puts you in - I can sit in one saddle, and it can put me in a chair seat, pushing my seat to the rear of the saddle. I can then sit in a different saddle, and it'll put my feet directly under me, my weight will be distributed near the pommel and I can feel instantly stabalized and balanced.

You wont know, until you sit in them.

Then, the saddler will put the one's that work for you, and "may" work for your horse to the side, and then will bring them out and try them on your horse first to ensure proper fit, and then will continue onward with the process.

There is also a thread I started in the Tack And Equipment section, titled "Does your saddle really fit?" and you can watch the step by step process of saddle fitting for your horse. Schleese made the videos, which are very educational and helpful. There is A LOT to saddle fitting - far beyond what size of tree should you get.

I wish you the best!
    10-11-2011, 12:15 PM
It really depends not only on size of your bum, but also on length of your legs. I rode in 15" western. I ride in 18" english, because otherwise my legs don't fit in. And even with 18" I have to look for very forward flap for CC saddle (or again my knees go over the block :) ).
    10-11-2011, 12:36 PM
Originally Posted by BarrelWannabe    
I don't know if he'll like english.
He'll like the English better. The saddle is lighter, most people use either a girth with elastic or (my personal favorite) cotton string girths which conform to the shape of the horse--VERY comfortable. (Avoid the cotton webbing girths bc they don't last and you won't see when they're ready to rip.) The downside is that English saddles need to have a tighter girth so it doesn't slip when you mount. I can get away with a looser cinch on my Western saddles than when I ride English. You might want to lunge your horse with this saddle the first time you ride to see if he's going to act up or not. If you DIDN'T break him yourself then it is quite possible that an English saddle was the first one he wore when he was broken to saddle.
If you are tall you will need to buy longer leathers. You roughly measure your stirrup length by placing your middle finger on the stirrup bar, stretching the leather WITH the stirrup, and the right (average) length should stretch to your armpit. After mounting people sometimes tighten up a hole or loosen a hole. (Don't forget to pull the buckle up to the stirrup bar and to put the end of the excess leather through the guard on the skirt.) Also, when mounted the average length will have the bottom on the stirrup hit just below your ankle bone. Make sure that you buy rubber treads for your stirrups! Your foot can slip through the metal. Although the English saddle has a failsafe in that the stirrup bar end (which folds vertical to keep the leather on) will flip down if the leather is pulled (as when the rider loses balance and takes the stirrup with him/her,) you don't want to test this. If, for WHATEVER reason you feel nervous about the stirrups, buy a set of peacock stirrups. They have a rubber band that flips open when necessary.
Another thing, you do NOT need a saddle pad with an English saddle. However, you'll need to clean the bottom of the saddle more often without it--your choice. My personal preference for the knee roll is suede bc I get a better grip than with smooth leather. Since it's your first English I suggest you get an all-purpose. Purists LOVE their close contact saddles, but the knee rolls are thinner--not sure it would be as comfortable for YOU, going from a much more secure Western. You can't have too many saddles, I think!! Lol

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