Girth Size....? and Saddle Size.....?
How do I determine which sizes are good for my horse and I? I know how to measure a saddle but how do I measure myself for a saddle? lol. THANKS IN ADVANCE!
English or Western?
For English, while sitting in the saddle, you should have approximately 4-finger's width between the back of your buttocks and the edge of the cantle. Then, there's the decision on how long and how forward the flap is. That really depends on which discipline you're in and partially your personal preference. A standard (huntseat) flap length is around 13-14 inches. Longer flaps are often preferred in equitation. If you have a really long leg, you may want a longer and/or more forward flap to accommodate. Also, if you plan to jump (and jump high), a more forward flap is probably good. General seat sizes: 16 or 16.5 is a small adult, 17 or 17.5 is standard, 18+ for males or tall females.
As for girth size, someone once posted this trick here on the forums: measure (in inches) your horse's barrel at the point where the girth will lay. Divide that number by 2. Subtract 3 inches. That's an estimate for your girth size! I haven't tried it, but it sounds good! :D
And remember, the length of your billets could make you need a different sized girth. I use a 50 on my horse with my Crosby and a 56 with my Pessoa. Also leather girths (and ones with elastic) will stretch a little over time to gain an inch or two. Once you pick out your saddle, try it on your horse with a friend's girth to see what size works! 48 is generally a popular size though. :wink:
I can't decide between a 16 and 17. I have no saddle to try out in the first place.
Could I measure the Western girth I have for an approx. English girth?
For seat size, it's probably better to err on the larger side than smaller. Riding in a too-small saddle sucks! What size Western saddle do you use? I think it's generally Western Saddle +2 = English Saddle.
I'm not sure how to convert western cinch size into english. It could vary greatly since with western, your long billet strap can compensate for a wide range of cinch sizes.
I had this one 48" girth that I swear fit every horse I'd ever ridden. I kept it in the truck of my car at all times, "just in case" someone needed a girth for a new horse or new saddle. I recently bought my first horse and surprisingly, it was just a tad too small for him! You have a ~16hh Paint...am i remembering correctly? My boy is 16.1 (Paint/TB) and pretty big in the barrel, so he uses a 50-56 as I mentioned. If your horse is pretty average, and you had to take a shot in the dark at girth size, I'd go with 48. Up or down a size or two if he's stocky or slim.
Unless you're getting a dressage saddle, then you'll need a much smaller girth!
For what fits your horse depends on your horse. If your western saddle is Full QH bars, then he probably will take a wide or x-wide tree. If your saddle is QH or Semi-QH bars, then he will likely take a medium/regular or wide tree. Most modern stock horses need a medium-wide to wide tree. Medium or Regular trees in English saddles are built for "English-type" horses, TBs and the like that are more narrow. You might be able to get a regular/medium tree to work on a stock horse with a riser pad, but if you use a riser pad, then that usually means the saddle is too narrow in front for your horse, and will eventually cause pain or white spots.
Whatever you do, just DON'T buy one of those cheap package deals, or any leather english saddle (NEW) for under $500. Those cheaper prcied saddle are generally made in Asia and are not worth the money... The leather is far inferior, as is the hardware and tree. At best, it will look bad quick and may start to fall apart after a year or so. At worst, it will fall apart quickly and/or sore your horse. You're better off buying an older used saddle that's in good condition, or a synthetic like Wintec or Thorowgood (the HDR synthetics are cr@p). In looking for a used leather saddle, look for brands such as collegiate, stubben, crosby, courbette, passier, crump, nice, ovation, etc. Anything that is made in Europe or higher priced Argentine saddle, and retails for $700+. I have a 30 yr old Stubben that has been one of the best saddles I have ever owned! lol
luvs2ride79, I couldn't have said it better myself! I'm glad that someone out there appreciates quality-made saddles (even the oldie-but-goodies!)
I have a Crosby that's going on 20 years old that still looks brand new. I'm a tack cleaning freak though, so it's had really good care. And it wasn't used much in its first 10 years.
here is a good website the has a photo to measure girth
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