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Discussion Starter #1
So after many years, I decided to give English riding another go. Back in the day, I did quite well in local shows in English (though I didn't jump, just flat work), but I've shoved most of my knowledge in a closet in my brain somewhere, never to be found again, I'm afraid, so I am basically a newbie at English riding.

I bought a saddle that I thought would do for my current size *ahem (it's bigger than it used to be, LOL)* Anyhoo, the stirrup leathers seem to be causing an uncomfortable bump under my leg (the buckle is under my thigh, more or less). I'm not sure if I'm not getting my stirrup length right, or the saddle is the wrong size, or if it's just a piece of crap saddle. The buckle of the stirrup leather is up by the hook, with the excess length held in place by the keeper.Admittedly, I didn't spend too much on it(the saddle-used), as this was a trial run to see if I could even get my behind to stay on the darn thing, and hopefully post a trot.
And in case any of you were wondering...I managed to post a few strides...stirrupless as I took the darn things off because of that horrible bump from the buckle, but my muscles then reminded me it has been YEARS since I climbed in an English saddle, and I felt it for 3 days. Ah, that brief moment of glory. ...

So, anyone want to refresh my mind about proper English saddle fit for the human? (All purpose saddle), and yes, it fits the horse fine..I'm the one suffering here! I will happily toss the old thing and get a new one if need be, but I'd like to know if I'm just an idiot that needs to let the stirrups out a notch or if I've been flattering myself about how well I really bounced back after having a baby, and really just need a bigger seat, or if it is, indeed, a worthless saddle.
 

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What size is it? What kind of saddle is it(Brand)?
 

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You can run the stirrup down, so the buckle is behind your knee. Just cut the end of the stirrup. If you plan on doing a lot more riding in it, then I would invest in some Wintec Webbers, that don't have any buckle under your thigh. They're nice for that issue.

For saddle size, generally your English saddle should be 1.5" to 2" larger than your western saddle.

For stirrup length, you want a bend in your knee, but not jockey short. You do not need short stirrups for flat work, but they should be short enough that you can post confortably and keep your leg back under your rear.
 

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The rule of thumb in english in gerneral is that the sturrip iron should hit the ball of your ankle when your leg hangs down beside the leathers. Now I dont' follow that rule lol! My jumping sturrips are way shorter and my dressage leathers are nice and long!
 

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Do you have a pic?
 

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Well, from what I read - I'd say you need a bigger saddle. How tall are you? Are your legs long?

I'm 5'9" and slim with long legs and I ride in a 17" saddle.

Here's a little summary explaining how I've been taught to find seat size:
To check the size for you, the rider, on an English saddle - sit down in a chair, so that your upper leg is at a right-angle to your lower leg, then measure your upper leg length ...from the back of your buttock to the tip of your knee. The sizes of an English saddle are from 16" through 18" - a measurement from the nail head just below the pommel and the middle of the cantle. If your upper leg is up to 16 1/2" your seat size is 15". For up to 18 ½" your size is 16", up to 20" your size is 16 ½", up to 21 ½" your size is 17", up to 23" your size is 17 ½" and over 23" your seat is 18".
 

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If the stirrup bars aren't recessed enough, as is usually the case with cheap saddles, then there will be an uncomfortable bulge under your leg. As for seat size, I ride in a 17" english seat, and when I tried on a western saddle (which I know nothing about) the girl said that I fit best in a 15" seat. Based on that, I'd say that if you're a 14.5" seat in western, you'd be right around a 16.5" seat english. Do you have shorter or longer legs? That will also affect saddle fit. What kind of saddle is it? Even if you don't know the brand, is it more foward (more of a hunt saddle), or straight flapped (dressage)? This will affect how long or short your stirrups should be for proper balance and position.
 

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I'm 5'9 and slim with long legs and a 17 inch is too small for me. My saddles are 17.5". My XC saddle is 18 inches. I hate a saddle getting in my way on XC.

16 inch is mostly for kids, or tiny adults. Betcha it's too small.
 

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16" is a kids/youth English saddle.

Most adult women take a 17-18" English saddle, 17" being for more slender or petite women. A 16.5" saddle would fit a very slender woman under 5'5".

My 11 yr old daughter, who's 5'4" and wears a size 8/9 in ladies/juniors ("stocky" girl, but not fat) rides in a 17.5" English saddle, and 15" western.
 

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I ride in a 17" saddle (I'm 5'8"ish, and have the longest legs EVER and I'm a bit stocky) and it is to small. I'm getting to test ride a 17.5 soon and hope it will fit, if not I have to get the 18" for my jumping saddle
 

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barefoothoooves, I vote for too-small seat size for you. The reasons that I say that are:

You're in a 16" AP saddle. An AP is (typically) a deeper seat than a close contact. But the only time I've had an extreme problem w/ buckle bulge is when I was riding a 16" close contact, and that size is too small for me. If I went up 1/2" in the same model and even kept the double thickness leathers, the budge went away.

If you are not wanting to get a different saddle you could try the Webbers. Or the thinnest double-thickness or better yet use single thickness, nylon stirrup straps. I bought the cheapest ones from Libertyville Saddle Shop. I wouldn't put them on a good saddle because the nylon is abrasive against leather, particularly soft leather. But if it's a cheap saddle and you don't care, it might be a $15 to $20 fix.

Another thing that's a $20 - $25 fix or less if you can get a local shop to make them, is stirrup sleeves. Or I suppose you could tie the leathers tightly if you don't want to adjust them. But like LTR said, you flip the leather, in this case totally upside down, so that the buckle is down by your boot and the sleeve or rope or whatever is wrapping around the leather to secure the "tail" from flapping and also prevent the buckle coming undone.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Excellent tips, everyone. I'm 5'2-3" depending on which gas station I'm walking out of, and more leg than body, a bit of an athletic build (with extra padding after having the baby).

I'm going to try that measuring my leg in the chair thing. I do think it's probably a cheap saddle, so I may try the nylon straps if when I measure the saddle it comes out to the right size, until I decide if I'm going to stick with it.. It's probably too small, if it's more of a child's size. I'll keep you guys posted on my findings. Thanks a bunch!
 
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