Plus size rider saddles? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 02-01-2019, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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Plus size rider saddles?

Hello all! I know this might be kind of controversial but Iím really not looking for critiques on it. Iím a plus sized rider, Iíve been riding 13 years and love it with all my heart! Anyways, one question Iíve had on my mind lately is wether western or English saddles are better for bigger riders? Iíve heard western saddles are better, theyíre heavier but they disperse the weight in a more even, wide area. Is this true? Iíve also heard that saddle type doesnít matter to an extent, at least for a rider who has good balance and knows how to ride without flopping everywhere. Curious to hear your thoughts!
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post #2 of 5 Old 02-01-2019, 10:04 AM
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I am a plus size rider and ride in an 18" Tucker River Plantation saddle. It is more like a cross between an english and western saddle. I could probably go down a seat size in this model.

The biggest issue that I have ever had with a bigger saddle is the length of the saddle compared to the horses back. Weight distribution is key and the saddle MUST fit the horse for weight to be distributed properly.

I read an article one that most riders ride in a saddle too small for them. many western riders do it because they like the feel of being wedged into the saddle and feel safer. In reality many times this is more harmful than good because it changes weight distribution.

Personally, I think the key to horse comfort is a saddle that fits both horse and rider regardless of the riding discipline.
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post #3 of 5 Old 02-01-2019, 10:40 AM
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I am plus sized as well. I agree that the most important thing is that your saddle fits your horse and you feel balanced. I also agree that the saddle needs to fit you. From a strictly aesthetic standpoint, I cringe when i see barrel racers riding a tiny saddle and they are literally overflowing over the cantle. I understand wanting to feel secure, but that can't be comfortable or help you with balance or position.

I ride in a 16" Circle Y flex tree reiner.
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post #4 of 5 Old 02-01-2019, 10:45 AM
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For the most part...think about what you're asking.
If you ride in a 18" English saddle or a equivalent sized western saddle it is still the same length of tree basically used to distribute your weight.
The rest of the differences are discipline differences...
I also would not ever go treeless when of such a weight, period.
That formed tree is a distribution point and load bearing frame...
I'm not skinny but I''m also not obese either that it concerns me...
It is important that as a rider you are quiet astride, balanced and help your horse to move with your weight not be a negative factor astride.
A unbalanced rider or larger sized rider could upset the balance of a Belgium or Clydesdale horse forget a normal sized riding companion.
...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #5 of 5 Old 02-01-2019, 10:49 AM
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Join Date: May 2012
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In 'english' saddles the size of the saddle dictates the size of the rider in terms of leg length and the size of your backside.
In very basic terms, when you're sitting on the correct part of the saddle (for your ideal riding position) there should be room to place your hand across the back of the saddle between your backside and the end of the saddle (cantle)
For that same saddle to then fit your horse it shouldn't be any longer than the horse's last rib

Just winging it is not a plan
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