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shadowanne 02-02-2010 04:30 AM

Seat too deep?
Is is possible or appropriate to have a saddle with a seat too deep? I am trialing a Hulsebos saddle with a very deep and secure seat. (I want a secure seat right now since I'm a beginner and working with a horse that's trying to run w/ me from time to time - yes I have pro help w/ that issue). The pommel and cantle feel like they are hugging me from the front and back - but in a very comfortable way - as opposed to me just sitting 'on top' of the saddle.

It is SUPER comfortable (I could ride in it all day) - I love the knee blocks and the flaps feel like they aren't even there. My horse seems to like the saddle as well as someone on the ground commented that she seemed to be moving with more rear under her. I post in it very well, much easier and more secure then the Isabell I was riding in. It's also quite fitted from front to back (which is ok since if I lose some weight, my butt shouldn't be hogging all the cantle).

That said, am I too restricted in movement in this saddle? Hopefully I can get someone to take a pic of me in it tomorrow. But for now, here's a quite photo of the saddle in question:

DarkEquine 02-02-2010 04:48 AM

Hmm...tough one. I'll let someone else answer that question, but I shall lurk in interest!! :)

xxBarry Godden 02-02-2010 06:25 AM

That is indeed a nice deep seat - much like my own.

An English saddle is measured from the centre of that button up by the pommel to the middle of the cantle. Sizes run from 16.5 up to 18 inches.
So, the size required to make the female rider comfortable is dependent upon the size of the riders butt, especially round the hips. Men have the additional problem that anatomically they are built different. Saddle which rise up sharply towards the pommel are not always comfortable.

An English saddler will come along, ask what you are going to use the horse for ie dressage, jumping or general purpose and then choose the saddle to fit the horse's back . The tree must be the right length, the padding must fit the dip in the horse's back. The important thing will be that no part of the saddle touches the horse's spine. The shoulder must be clear to move. The tree must not dig into the horses back above the kidneys. The saddle must sit level. The saddle should fit without the padding from a numbnah.

You can go into a second hand saddle shop look at 20 saddles and find that not one will fit your horse. But a new saddle can be made to fit - until the horse muscles up. Then it might need re stuffing.

The rider makes their judgement not on measurements but comfort.
Once the saddler is happy that the saddle fits the horse, he will then ask the rider to sit on it and ride around at walk, trot and canter. In the olden days saddles were made from stiff leather and they took time to wear it. Nowadays
saddles are made from soft leather. Some have air cushions underneath instead of horse hair stuffing. Some saddles are adjustable for width. Some saddles are built from components which can be interchanged. Some are built without any central tree and are called "tree less".

Whatever, the key thing about a saddle is that it must fit the horse exactly - because it is the rider's seat is what transfers cues/aids/instructions to the horse. But the rider must feel comfortable in it - you do.

You posted a photo of the saddle sitting on a chair - you should have posted
photos of the saddle lying on the horse. But to a viewer it won't mean much because the fingers tell the fitter as much as the eye.

Saddles come in cut ( ie jumping or dressage)
width ie back type
& length - as discussed

Never skimp on the saddle.
My own cost about $2000 and looks just like yours.


xxBarry Godden 02-02-2010 06:30 AM

PS Anne

The horse on your logo - is she an Irish Draft?

If she is, then she might well have a broad flat back calling for an extra wide saddle. - just like my mare.

Scoutrider 02-02-2010 08:12 AM

That saddle does look uber comfy, shadowanne!

Really, the depth of seat becomes a problem when you (the rider) feel restricted, or "locked in" to the saddle to the point that it is difficult to move to cue the horse. When the seat is too deep, and the blocks to big, the rider must fight the tack to ride well; not a good thing when the entire point of a dressage saddle is to free up the movement of the horse and facilitate greater clarity of the seat and leg aids. If you're able to get out of it to post the trot, odds are that you're not too restricted. I'd love to see video, though, if you have it.

From your description, it doesn't sound like the seat is too deep for you. However, if you start riding higher-level dressage where precision counts even more, you may find your tack working against you where it didn't before. It's a really subjective thing. If you care to experiment, maybe find a flatter dressage saddle that will fit your horse and borrow it for a ride, and see what the differences are.

@ Barry

Maybe (like so many things) saddle measurement for the rider is different in the UK, but in the US the measurement that tends to give the most accurate match is the thigh length, from kneecap to hip-bone. I have the exact rubric in a book at home, matching inches of femur to seat sizes, but I can't find an online version (someday I will find a way to pack my home "library" into a 4-door Chevy and bring it to college with me... :lol:) Of course, there are a ton of other variables in the mix, and rider comfort is paramount after horse comfort, no matter what the numbers read.

Does this Saddle make my Butt look Big? Saddle Fit for Riders EQUINE Ink

shadowanne 02-02-2010 11:51 AM


Originally Posted by Barry Godden (Post 540259)
PS Anne

The horse on your logo - is she an Irish Draft?
If she is, then she might well have a broad flat back calling for an extra wide saddle. - just like my mare.

No, she's a registered Appaloosa but is 1/2 thoroughbred and mostly built like one - other side is appy/QH. I understand about the saddle fitting the horse first which is why I'm even getting a new saddle as the Isabell was low on her withers (which also tipped me forward) and a narrower gullet would pinch.

No def no expert, but so far I'm liking the fit, appropriate pressure, clearance, etc of this saddle on my horse. I feel I'm able to communicate to her well at this point but yeah I do feel locked in - but in a secure way, not in a restricted way.

That said, my mare doesn't have much muscling on her topline so I'm sure if we really got going with dressage I might be having to get another saddle down the line anyway - which may eliminate worry about be restricted at higher levels.

QHDragon 02-02-2010 01:36 PM

I would say that if you like the saddle, it fits you and your horse well, then go for it. I have never really heard of somebody complaining of the seat on their saddle being too deep. I use to ride a crazy TB who loved to bolt on me without notice, I got a saddle with a really nice deep seat and found it much easier to stay with him.

eventerdrew 02-02-2010 03:43 PM

If you like the saddle, then by all means use it! It's no deeper than the very popular Wintec/Bates Isabell.

shadowanne 02-02-2010 04:30 PM


Originally Posted by eventerdrew (Post 540546)
If you like the saddle, then by all means use it! It's no deeper than the very popular Wintec/Bates Isabell.

Really? Because I'm replacing the Wintec Isabell and I think this Hulsebos is deeper, lol! But that may be just because it fits my horse better ;)

I was leasing a horse using her Wintec Isabell and that felt deep to me which is why I got myself an Isabell originally.

eventerdrew 02-02-2010 04:51 PM

Seems about the same to me. Then again, I haven't sat in the saddle you posted. I'm saving up for an Isabell right now :) I love them!

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