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Discussion Starter #1
If I ride in a 16" barrel saddle, what size english saddle should I need?

I'm on the large size of the 16"

Oh, and do english saddle come with the irons or do I have to purchase seperately?



Thanks, :)
 

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Rule of thumb is 2" larger than Western for an English saddle. Of course, that's just an average.

Nothing comes with an English saddle except the saddle. You'll have to buy stirrup leathers, stirrups, and a girth.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Speed Racer.

Another question if you dont mind.
What size, tree wise, should I look for?
I have a quarter horse who is a bit wide.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok. Hopefully my horse doesnt try to kill me in this new venture. I dont know if he'll like english.
 

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The saddles are lighter than Western, so I'm not sure why he'd care. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
He's crazy. I never know what he'll do. Haha.
 

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My suggestion is to find a Professional Saddle Maker/Fitter to come out and help you with this saddle search process. There is a lot to ensuring proper fit for both you and your horse.

A good saddler, will come out to your place with a truck/van full of saddles, that he/she will assess on your horses back to ensure proper fit, and then will see you ride in the saddle to see how you are positioned, and how your horse reacts.

They usually cost around $100+. Find a saddler who doesn't work for a particular company aka county, stubben, etc, etc.

Also, you can go to a tack store, and have the saddler put you in a bunch of different english saddles, to see how they fit you and what position they put you in. Each saddle will put each person that sits in it, in a different position due to our conformation.

It isn't just about seat size, it's about the twist of the tree, the forwardness of the flaps, the position the saddle puts you in - I can sit in one saddle, and it can put me in a chair seat, pushing my seat to the rear of the saddle. I can then sit in a different saddle, and it'll put my feet directly under me, my weight will be distributed near the pommel and I can feel instantly stabalized and balanced.

You wont know, until you sit in them.

Then, the saddler will put the one's that work for you, and "may" work for your horse to the side, and then will bring them out and try them on your horse first to ensure proper fit, and then will continue onward with the process.

There is also a thread I started in the Tack And Equipment section, titled "Does your saddle really fit?" and you can watch the step by step process of saddle fitting for your horse. Schleese made the videos, which are very educational and helpful. There is A LOT to saddle fitting - far beyond what size of tree should you get.

I wish you the best!
 

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It really depends not only on size of your bum, but also on length of your legs. I rode in 15" western. I ride in 18" english, because otherwise my legs don't fit in. And even with 18" I have to look for very forward flap for CC saddle (or again my knees go over the block :) ).
 

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I dont know if he'll like english.
He'll like the English better. The saddle is lighter, most people use either a girth with elastic or (my personal favorite) cotton string girths which conform to the shape of the horse--VERY comfortable. (Avoid the cotton webbing girths bc they don't last and you won't see when they're ready to rip.) The downside is that English saddles need to have a tighter girth so it doesn't slip when you mount. I can get away with a looser cinch on my Western saddles than when I ride English. You might want to lunge your horse with this saddle the first time you ride to see if he's going to act up or not. If you DIDN'T break him yourself then it is quite possible that an English saddle was the first one he wore when he was broken to saddle.
If you are tall you will need to buy longer leathers. You roughly measure your stirrup length by placing your middle finger on the stirrup bar, stretching the leather WITH the stirrup, and the right (average) length should stretch to your armpit. After mounting people sometimes tighten up a hole or loosen a hole. (Don't forget to pull the buckle up to the stirrup bar and to put the end of the excess leather through the guard on the skirt.) Also, when mounted the average length will have the bottom on the stirrup hit just below your ankle bone. Make sure that you buy rubber treads for your stirrups! Your foot can slip through the metal. Although the English saddle has a failsafe in that the stirrup bar end (which folds vertical to keep the leather on) will flip down if the leather is pulled (as when the rider loses balance and takes the stirrup with him/her,) you don't want to test this. If, for WHATEVER reason you feel nervous about the stirrups, buy a set of peacock stirrups. They have a rubber band that flips open when necessary.
Another thing, you do NOT need a saddle pad with an English saddle. However, you'll need to clean the bottom of the saddle more often without it--your choice. My personal preference for the knee roll is suede bc I get a better grip than with smooth leather. Since it's your first English I suggest you get an all-purpose. Purists LOVE their close contact saddles, but the knee rolls are thinner--not sure it would be as comfortable for YOU, going from a much more secure Western. You can't have too many saddles, I think!! lol
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Woah! Lotsa info. I'll have to study all of this. Thanks!

What do you think about wintec saddles?
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Another thing, you do NOT need a saddle pad with an English saddle. However, you'll need to clean the bottom of the saddle more often without it--your choice.
I have to say I don't know anyone who rides English with NO saddle pad! :shock: (and I've always ridden English) I use a pad every time, with a gel pad over top of that.

And OP as far as getting an all purpose saddle, that's a good idea if you're unsure what you'll be doing in your new discipline, since you can do flat work or jumping in an AP. But if you want something similar to Western, you're better off getting a dressage saddle, they're the closest thing to Western in the English world.
 

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My very first saddle was a Wintec :) They're cheap because they're synthetic so they're not as "nice" for showing and such as the leather saddles, but they're very easy to clean since all you need is a little soap and water! No leather cleaner and no conditioning needed. They're also very light because of the material they're made of! I really liked mine, but I traded it in eventually for a nice soft leather saddle ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Did the wintec fit your horse? I'm not so much concerned about the material. I kind of want a synthetic because I might not use the saddle regularly and I'm lazy so it wouldn't be conditioned if it was leather.

Just so long as it fits my horse, I'll be content.
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A good English saddle that fits well has lots of stuffing. I'm not looking for an argument, just curious HITS about why--have you ever tried it without the padding?
I guess if somebody's horse is really sensitive or if the saddle doesn't fit, you have to pad it up. Heck, I tried out an Arab/QH cross not too long ago, and the owner used both an English and a Western roper pad under the English saddle to make it work.
I have never had one of my horses reluctant to being ridden English sans pad, and I've owned/ridden >30 of my horses that way. I ride English, Western, and military. Western saddles LOOK like they don't need any pads, but we know that they do. Now with my McClellans I wouldn't dream of having inadequate padding, but they have a hard, wooden tree, w/minimal rawhide or rawhide/leather, and I'm VERY fussy about finding just the right padding per horse to make it comfortable for each individual. I agree about a Dressage saddle being the deepest. However, the OP might want to do some jumping, or just need to get off the saddle some on a rocky trail ride, so I didn't recommend it in my first post.
RE: synthetic--many people like them. Just do NOT use leather anything, like the stirrup leathers, with your synthetic. leather+leather, synthetic+synthetic. Just FYI.
 

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Barrel, part of the reason I liked the Wintec is they come with the Easy Change Gullet system :) So for most horses, you can adjust the panel and make them fit! There are some others that have this system as well, for example my Collegiate Senior Event has it and I love it!

EASY-CHANGE™ Gullet System

Corporal, I have to say that I have not. But I do know that my horse has very sensitive skin and if I ride her with a really thin saddle pad and that's it, eventually the hair on her back will be rubbed down (not completely off, but it's almost like the friction is cutting it shorter sort of). I've found that with a regular saddle pad and one of these, that doesn't happen any longer! :)

Rider's International Cut-Back Gel Pad < Gel Saddle Pads < Horse Tack|Dover Saddlery.
 

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I agree with the other poster about it is the length of your upper leg/Thigh that determines the size of the saddle. not the size of your butt ;)

p.s. yes, english saddles were actually MADE to be ridden and fitted without a saddle pad! it's just common practice to ride with one (most likely to keep the saddle clean!)

that is why if you forget to bring a saddle pad in a dressage show you can actually ride WITHOUT one and not be faulted.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thats cool! Haha. Im gonna be lost if I can ever get a saddle and jump into it.
 
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