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My son was riding my horse the other day and he's just using my spare 16" close contact. I felt real bad cuz he sits so far back and cannot maintain his position at all. So I was thinking of just snapping up a cheep saddle off e-bay for both of them to use. He's 5 and she's 3. Both tall kids with no butt to speak of. Would a 12" be to small or should I go for a 14"? Closest tack store is an hour away so I'd rather guestimate ;)

This is him in my wintec....it's either 16 or 16 1/2

 

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Instead of going cheap, just go with a Wintec Leadline Saddle. They're around $160 on Horseloverz.com, not including stirrups or leathers. Your son would definitely fit in it, for at least a while, and your daughter can keep using it after he grows out of it.

Once he grows out of the leadline saddle, you can usually find 14-15" AP saddles used pretty cheap. I just bought an Argentine made 15" AP (leather), in good condition (well made), for $125, shipping included.
 

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14" would be my suggestions. I have a 14" all purpose and it fits my midget 6yr old and my nearly 9yr old great. Any smaller and the 9yr old never would have fit and the 6yr old would have gotten *maybe* a year out of it.

Try Craigslist, I posted on there looking for one and had at least a dozen people (who had never posted theirs for sale) respond. I got one that had never been used, just collected dust in a garage for $75 including saddle pads, stirrup leathers and ordinary irons. We changed to safety irons and added a leather grab handle to the front.

I spent less than $150 total and that included buying a new girth for my apparently chubby horse since the one that came with the saddle was a good 5" or so short! :shock:
 
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