Western - Long Legs Issue - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 26 Old 04-09-2018, 12:08 AM
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Sounds like the stirrups are too short, but also, you're going to want to try a lot of different saddles before you buy one, and yes, a saddle on a stand can feel very different from a saddle on a horse. The way the seat is made, the type of swells, how high the back is, any of those can change how a saddle sits.

But... you really, really need to have a horse first or else you're really just window shopping. ;)

PS I'm 5' 9", 200 lbs, and ride a 15.5, but I have to let the stirrups out to a length most men ride to get everything positioned right.

Afterthought: Like Beau... what kind of saddles are you trying out? Who's the maker? A barrel saddle feels different from a roping saddle feels different from a trail saddle feels different from a reining saddle, etc.
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Last edited by AtokaGhosthorse; 04-09-2018 at 12:15 AM.
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post #12 of 26 Old 04-09-2018, 01:16 AM
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Agree with those that say the stirrups are most likely too short. It may feel uncomfortable to have them long, so you may be getting into a chair seat on the 17" saddles.

Or could be the tush...mine is small allowing me to use a 15" seat even though I have longer than normal thighs and wear tall sizes in pants.

Also agree with those that say to wait to buy a saddle until you have a horse to put it on
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post #13 of 26 Old 04-09-2018, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mewlie View Post
I tell myself that if I do find a saddle that's perfect for me, I'll take just as long finding a horse to fit it!

Until then, I'll take lessons or consider a lease if I'm desperate to ride more frequently.

I was just so stumped as to why I was having a hard time finding a decent-sized seat!
Of course, I think you realize that’s wishful thinking on your first point. You won’t “horse search” for a horse that fits your saddle.

If you take lessons, the trainer that you are taking lessons from is going to provide tack for their own lesson horse.

If you are leasing, there is no guarantee your saddle will fit. And if it doesn’t, You’ll need to find a different saddle that does fit the lease horse.

I’m not trying to shoot down your enthusiasm but just trying to make sure you see why it is not a good idea to buy a saddle before you have the horse.

When you do go saddle shopping in the future, make sure your stirrups are long enough and you are using an appropriate seat size. Let your legs hang naturally out of the stirrups. As a rule of thumb, your ankle bone should be at the bottom of the stirrup (give or take). Also, you should have about two fingers width between your thigh and the swell (give or take). At your height and weight, I would guess that a 15” might be just about right.
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post #14 of 26 Old 04-09-2018, 09:33 AM
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I understand! I'm a leggy 5'10" with a touch more meat on my bones than you, but my primary horse is ridden in a 17" Continental Reining saddle. The seat itself is a little bigger than I'd prefer if I were being nit-picky, but it's not ridiculously outsized and I don't slip on the cushy suede. It allows my leg to be in proper alignment, without my long thigh hitting either the cantle or pommel swells.


I also have a 15.5" barrel saddle (it's what fit my shark-fin withered Arab whom I rarely ride.) My tush will fit in the seat itself but if my stirrups are adjusted as long as they should be, the back of my thigh rubs the cantle sides. If I shorten the stirrups, the front of my thigh rubs the pommel swells and my knees poke over the fenders.
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post #15 of 26 Old 04-09-2018, 10:06 AM
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Then I'd say a 16 is what you need, but again - different manufacturer's saddles fit differently in the seat and the way the seat is seat up changes where your thighs fall. A barrel saddle made by SRS or Billy Cook Greenville is going to put you in a different position than a Double J or a Billy Cook Sulphur or a Circle Y.

I have flipped a ton of barrel saddles in the last year and if they were 14 and up, I sat in them on a stand knowing full well I couldn't ride a 14 or 14.5, and some 15's are iffy... and some aren't.

You really are going to need to get your horse first, THEN your saddle and be certain you try a huge variety of saddles by a lot of different makers and different seat/cantle/swell combinations. I think that's the thing everyone is trying to drive home here. Buying a saddle and then trying to find the horse to fit the saddle is not the optimum situation. I mean, it's doable, or you'd have people having to sell their saddles every time they changed horses, but a lot of people have to sell their saddles when they buy another horse ;)

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post #16 of 26 Old 04-09-2018, 11:25 AM
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A former moderator on HF has a saddle almost identical to mine. Guess he liked it more than I've liked mine, because he took it horse shopping. First thing he would check was if his saddle fit the horse. If not, discussion ended.

He must have lived in a place with a lot more horses for sale than around here. If I tried that, I might never buy another horse. I'm trying to imagine a 'want to buy' ad: "Looking for a 5-7 year old Arabian mare, spooky is OK but she MUST fit my Semi-QHB saddle!"

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post #17 of 26 Old 04-09-2018, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the input, everyone! Yes, the comment about getting a horse that would fit the saddle was meant in a joking context. :)
I'm looking at saddles now simply to know what to look for, what I want out of a saddle, and if my budget is reasonable to get something that's decent and not beat to heck. Get all that out of the ways so that when I do get a horse, I'm not spending months and months looking at saddles (though I may end up doing that anyway!).

I do like my stirrups long. I'm thinking my issue may just be that I need to sit on a horse, not a stand. Most of the time my legs touch the floor when I'm sitting on a stand. If it's just that being the issue it should be a simple fix (crossing my fingers)! I like the look of a slick fork saddle as well and maybe I can convince someone to let me try it on their horse. :P
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post #18 of 26 Old 04-09-2018, 12:27 PM
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some saddle shops will have that kind of stand that is like a fake horse barrel, so it feels approximately what it will be like on a real horse (albeit a skinny one).

if you can, try those.
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post #19 of 26 Old 04-09-2018, 12:35 PM
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Stands don't puff out the sides and stirrup leathers like a horse's ribs do and stands can cause the saddles to tip forward. That can create a very different feel and put you in a wonky position.
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post #20 of 26 Old 04-09-2018, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by secuono View Post
Stands don't puff out the sides and stirrup leathers like a horse's ribs do and stands can cause the saddles to tip forward. That can create a very different feel and put you in a wonky position.
Yup. Back when I was temporarily using the same saddle on both my horses, I would have to shorten the stirrups one hole for Red. He is very beefy and stocky. But when I would put it on Shotgun, I would let the stirrups back down a hole. He was more narrow (still growing) so my leg hung down more and needed a longer stirrup.

So if saddle adjustment can vary between horses, you’re darn right it’s going to vary between a saddle rack versus a real horse!

And if it affects western saddles that much, it affects English saddles even more!!! (Ask me how I know...)
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