Fitting a saddle to the rider - English - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 01-11-2020, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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Fitting a saddle to the rider - English

So, I'm buying a new jumping saddle soon (literally as soon as I have my saddle fitter's ok for the one I have my eye on!) and I'm in a bit of a dilemma. 17" or 17.5"? 18 is definitely too big, 16.5 is definitely too small.

Pic 1 is the exact model I'm looking at, in a 17.5 - I used to own one yonks ago and sold it because it didn't really quite fit the little red horse and the horse it was bought for retired. I used to jump the big stuff in that saddle! Obviously I'm not a skinny lanky 17 year old anymore, so bear in mind I have more butt now!
Pic 2 is a very similar saddle in a 17, on my mare. Not quite exactly the same, but similar. It felt fine.
Pic 3 is a semi-recent photo of me in a different 17" which felt fine but looks awkward to me!

Edit: please don't critique the riding, I have a coach for that :)
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post #2 of 19 Old 01-11-2020, 09:36 AM
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Really need to see you seated and not in motion. The first looks way too big. Is that a recent picture? Considering you are saying size is only .5 difference it could be that you are rising and not in full contact as it is an in motion picture or that there are differences between the saddles since they are not the same. The second looks way too small but you could be sitting too far back for the same reason. Third looks perfect but again I am seeing a rise happening that could be giving the impression of better fit.

Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.
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post #3 of 19 Old 01-11-2020, 10:00 AM
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Ok, I know you said no critiquing the riding...but...I must say that third picture is fabulous!! You both look great and your horse is moving beautifully

The third saddle is the one I would pick. It looks like a perfect fit for both of you. Looks really nice!!


The second looks awkward and small, the first looks too big for both of you and not right on the cute little red horse either.

Go with the third saddle, in that size or can go up a half size for more thigh room if you feel you need it.
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post #4 of 19 Old 01-11-2020, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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The third saddle actually didn't fit the horse at all, per my saddle fitter - too narrow through the channel. The gullet was perfect, the balance was beautiful, the channel was too narrow and the horse was not happy.

First is not a recent picture, I sold that saddle years ago. Used to jump the big stuff in it, on my educated horse. Didn't fit the little red very well at all so when the educated horse retired I sold it. I was 17 or 18, I don't remember exactly, and I'm 25 now. I am significantly thicker thighed and bigger bootied than I was as a teen! I haven't gained any thigh length, but I have gained a fair bit of weight.

I do not have any stationary photos of me in any of the above saddles.

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post #5 of 19 Old 01-11-2020, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue eyed pony View Post
The third saddle actually didn't fit the horse at all, per my saddle fitter - too narrow through the channel. The gullet was perfect, the balance was beautiful, the channel was too narrow and the horse was not happy.

First is not a recent picture, I sold that saddle years ago. Used to jump the big stuff in it, on my educated horse. Didn't fit the little red very well at all so when the educated horse retired I sold it. I was 17 or 18, I don't remember exactly, and I'm 25 now. I am significantly thicker thighed and bigger bootied than I was as a teen! I haven't gained any thigh length, but I have gained a fair bit of weight.

I do not have any stationary photos of me in any of the above saddles.
Narrow channel is not good, no way to see that in a picture of a saddled horse...
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post #6 of 19 Old 01-11-2020, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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Funny part is it wasn't THAT narrow as Kieffers' channels go, she's just got a broad spine. I'm not looking at anything with a less than 6cm (at the narrowest point) channel
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post #7 of 19 Old 01-11-2020, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue eyed pony View Post
Funny part is it wasn't THAT narrow as Kieffers' channels go, she's just got a broad spine. I'm not looking at anything with a less than 6cm (at the narrowest point) channel
It is a Kieffer? Oh no wonder I thought it looked so nice. Quality leather shows...I had my eye on a wide Kieffer many years ago, but never could find a way to buy it without my then spouse noticing the money gone


PS - the reason I mentioned more thigh room in a bigger saddle is it gives more room for the rear to fit...
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post #8 of 19 Old 01-11-2020, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue eyed pony View Post
The third saddle actually didn't fit the horse at all, per my saddle fitter - too narrow through the channel. The gullet was perfect, the balance was beautiful, the channel was too narrow and the horse was not happy.

First is not a recent picture, I sold that saddle years ago. Used to jump the big stuff in it, on my educated horse. Didn't fit the little red very well at all so when the educated horse retired I sold it. I was 17 or 18, I don't remember exactly, and I'm 25 now. I am significantly thicker thighed and bigger bootied than I was as a teen! I haven't gained any thigh length, but I have gained a fair bit of weight.

I do not have any stationary photos of me in any of the above saddles.
That said about the first I would say that it would be a good fit now. Kind of reiterating on the rest. Middle would be a no for me and the last I looks like it could be a good fit as well.

Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.
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post #9 of 19 Old 01-11-2020, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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it was LOVELY to ride in, I'm so sad the horse didn't like it! :( the people I sold it to love it though, and I got back what I paid for it, so I ended up breaking even.

Second saddle brand new is about $300 out of price range and horse didn't like it very much, first saddle brand new is within budget and even though it didn't fit that little red, the horse it was bought for was a very similar shape to my big girl, so it will most likely fit, with a little bit of help from my saddle fitter. Just need his okay. BUT, if second saddle is too small for me, first saddle in a 17" will be too. That half inch can make a big difference!
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post #10 of 19 Old 01-11-2020, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by blue eyed pony View Post
it was LOVELY to ride in, I'm so sad the horse didn't like it! :( the people I sold it to love it though, and I got back what I paid for it, so I ended up breaking even.

Second saddle brand new is about $300 out of price range and horse didn't like it very much, first saddle brand new is within budget and even though it didn't fit that little red, the horse it was bought for was a very similar shape to my big girl, so it will most likely fit, with a little bit of help from my saddle fitter. Just need his okay. BUT, if second saddle is too small for me, first saddle in a 17" will be too. That half inch can make a big difference!
That is so true! I can't understand how 1/2 inch can make such a big difference! I like a 17" best, but some saddles I used were 17.5 and seemed fine (especially if very deep) but an 18" feels HUGE


PS doesn't "more thigh room" sound so much better than "my butt needs more room"
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