How to size my western horse for an english saddle?
In the new year I hoping to start english.
My horse fits a semi quater horse bar western saddle what is that in an english saddle?
My saddle has a 16in seat what would that be an english saddle?
What leather colour? I am planning to just stay with english pleasure and MAYBE jumping but thats up in the air right now.
Any brands to stay away from and others to keep in mind? I am buying a used saddle.
A 16" Western saddle is about equal to an 18" english. But if you are of an average size, you may be more comfortable in a 17 or 17.5. It depends on your weight and height, especially your height.
I think Semi Qh bars would be a medium tree. Isnt a semi qh bars sort of an average width? or is that on the narrow side.?
All I can say about getting an English saddle is to steer clear of the "beginners packages". Usually the saddles are of such poor quality that they will be useless in no time. Better to look for one second hand from a good maker.
There are so many. Like Crosby , Collegieate, Stubben and others.
Good luck and hopefully you will get more consise advice from English riders.
It's a pain to fit english saddle. That's all I gonna say! :D
But seriously, it's harder to fit english than western. It very much depends on horse's confo, back, shoulders. Also what is "medium" tree in one brand, is "medium-wide" or (worse) "wide" in another brand. The saddle can be V-shaped or U-shaped, etc. I always recommend to read fitting guide (which is sticky in this section) and Saddle Fitting | Trumbull Mountain Tack Shop
Your best bet is to have a saddle fitter come out with a bunch of saddles and see which fits best.
Not so hard
I don't think its so hard to fit an English saddle. They are smaller and lighter and for the average horse the fit is pretty easy. Everyone at my daughter's barn uses an English pad with a fleece half pad over it. The extra padding helps to adjust any minor fit problems. My daughter is 14 and 5'2. She wears a 16 in Western and 16.5 in English. Her first english saddle was bought on consignment in perfect condition ($325 for a 16.5 inch seat Carlye close contact). It fit a 16'2 H thoroughbred with fairly high withers and 15'2 quarterhorse. It wasn't the best saddle as she progressed so I just bought a used Stubben Edelweiss which is a jumping saddle. It fits the quarterhorse just fine.
The fit on the horse is important but the people I know don't have many problems fitting saddles to their horses until they becoem very advanced and have very specific needs. An English All-Purpose saddle with a medium tree will probably suit you fine.
I also want to add that badly fitted english saddle may cause a permanent damage in horse... And there is a number of people on forum, who know about it not from just someone's words... :wink:
I would go with a brown Wintec AP saddle. The Wintecs have changable gullets, so you can make sure you get the right fit. In a Wintec, he would likely be a medium-wide gullet.
A brown saddle will have a higher resale value and an easier time selling it should you decide English riding isn't your thing, or you decide to show more or switch to Dressage.
If you don't want a synthetic saddle, then a good medium tree All Purpose saddle would likely fit, like an older Stubben, Passier, Courbette, or Collegiate. Older Crosby medium trees may fit as well. If the tree comes in cm sizes, look for a 31-32 cm tree.
English saddles run differently, so a medium in one brand may fit but a medium in another may not. The size can alsy vary among the models within a brand, or new vs. older modles. Most stock horses need an English saddle with shorter tree points, to allow those big shoulders room to move. A medium tree with short tree points will fit better than a medium tree with longer tree points.
If you want a fixed tree saddle, you need to work with a local shop or an online that does saddle trials. A good online shop can also have you take wither tracings and narrow down your search based on that and photos of your horse.
For your size, you'll most likely need an 18" seat, but it depends on how you fit in your current 16" saddle. If you have some room in front of your thigh (3-4") when you're seated in the middle of the saddle (not up against the back/cantle), then you might be fine in a 17.5" English saddle. If you prefer a snug fitting saddle and only have 1-2" of room in front of your thigh and like to sit more against the back of your saddle, then you may need an 18-19" English saddle.
Again, working with a shop would be helpful. A good online shop can look at picture of you seated in your current saddle plus your height/weight and they can help you find the right size. If you have a local shop where you can sit in saddles, you want to have 3-4 fingers of space behind your rear end and between you and top of the rise of the pommel. You want room to be able to post the trot comfortably without going over the front of the pommel.
Do not, I repeat, do NOT buy a cheap English "starter package". They are not made well, have ZERO resale value (littleraly, none), rarely fit horses well, and rarely put the rider in a decent position. The best way to use your money on an English saddle is to buy a used European or Argentinian made saddle, or a good synthetic like Wintec or Thorowgood. If you stick with one of these options, you'll be much happier in the long run, as will your horse ;-).
Yet, almost all of the western saddles I have put on her fit just fine, or needed just a slight adjustment in padding. Why? Because she's a nice, medium width stock horse and that's what most western saddles are made to fit. :-)
If your daughter is 5'2" and uses a 16" western saddle, I would bet she would feel much better in a 15" western saddle, and a 17" English.
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