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BubblesBlue 09-10-2012 07:37 PM

Is it okay to barrel race in a saddle 1/2 inch too big?
Just curious. This question came a cross to me today as I was looking at saddles.

Anyone have experience?
Does it depend on the saddle?
Do you slip around?

Elaborate please. :D

BarrelracingArabian 09-10-2012 07:44 PM

Well i recently found out my barrel saddle is too big for me. I have back problems and they think the saddle being a bit to big causes some of the pain as when i run i do slide a bit however when im in the saddle i dont personally notice it. I feel very secure in the saddle however yes it can cause some problems if you get lazy like allowing you to go into a chair seat and throwing you back if you have a hard pushing horse. Now i know i need to get a smaller saddle for my backs sake BUT i dont feel unsafe or anything and as long as i watch my seat it doesnt affect me much.
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CLaPorte432 09-10-2012 07:50 PM

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My barrel saddle is a little large. I really need a 14.5" but i have a 15" and have had NO issues with balance. If you are a good rider, you willnot have a problem. I do not slip around. My backup saddle is even a 16" and there is no difference in how i feel.
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BubblesBlue 09-10-2012 08:05 PM

I see. My mother is under the impression that it has to be perfect size. Which makes it harder to find the right saddle.
Of course she doesn't listen to me either.
So I wonder how I could relay this information to her...

BarrelracingArabian 09-10-2012 08:07 PM

Some people like that extra space they dont like being the perfect size i love my 15 in although i should be in a 14.5 or possibly even a 14. I feel safe and balanced.
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MangoRoX87 09-10-2012 08:35 PM

My barrel saddle is a 15" and it looks perfect on me, and I feel just as secure in my 16.5" cutting saddle.
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BarrelRacer67 09-10-2012 09:21 PM

I need a 14" and I'm using a 17" right now. But I got it for free and it's better then nothing until I can save up for a new one. I've GOT to get a job haha :P

QHriderKE 09-10-2012 09:46 PM

Well, it just depends on what makes YOU comfortable. If you feel okay in something a bit roomier, go for it, it's not going to hinder you if you feel comfortable in it.

My barrel saddle is a 14", and my rope saddle is a 15". I can definetely feel the 1" difference between the two saddles, but I feel safe in both.

beau159 09-11-2012 05:16 PM

Your saddle should fit both you and your horse, for optimal performance.

And keep in mind that saddles for different disciplines will require you to have different seat sizes because you are doing different things. So I would expect someone to use a different seat size for cutting, or for roping, or whatever, because you are doing different movements for a different purpose.

Maybe the best way I can put it: You don't see one of the world champion barrel racers running in a saddle that's too large. Nor do you see a basketball player wearing a 1/2 shoe size too large. Nor a Tour de France bike rider with the seat too low for their legs.

Doesn't mean it can't be done. But, you should have the proper tack and the proper tools that FIT you.

DrumRunner 09-13-2012 05:20 PM


Originally Posted by beau159 (Post 1679670)

Doesn't mean it can't be done. But, you should have the proper tack and the proper tools that FIT you.

This.. As well as Beau saying it should fit you AND your horse.

I ride in a 14.5" saddle and I feel "off" riding in my sister's 14" or in my old 15"...I guess it's because I've gotten so comfortable in a saddle that actually fits me that I feel odd out of it. It is true that you CAN ride in a saddle that doesn't fit you well but you can definitely tell the different in a saddle that fits you or a saddle that kinda fits you.

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