How To Measure a Saddle

A well-fitting saddle is a staple for easy and enjoyable riding, while keeping your horse safe and comfortable.It isn’t easy to find the perfect saddle.Use the guide to find the perfect saddle for you and your horse.

Step 1: Understand what the bars are.

You will need to pay attention to the bars when looking at new saddles.The part of the saddle that rests on the horse and holds you up is called the bars.The weight is distributed evenly on either side of the spine.The horse’s back will be in contact with the bars if the saddle is well-fitting.

Step 2: Look for the cantle.

The back of a seat is called the cantle and it slopes upwards like a chair.The entire saddle is held together by the bars, which are connected to the cantle.The cantle refers to both an English and a western saddle.

Step 3: The fork is on the saddle.

The bars are held together by the fork in the front of the saddle.It has the appearance of an upside down U shape, and is located underneath the horn.A swell fork and a slick fork are the primary types of forks.A slick fork is the most popular, and is recognized by sides that angle straight up to the horn.The edges of a swell fork rise to the horn.

Step 4: Take a look at the pommel.

The bars are held together by the front section of the saddle.The English saddle has a rounded section at the front, unlike the western saddles which have horns.It is a smaller version of the cantle.

Step 5: The gullet can be found.

It’s important to make sure the gullet fits in your saddle.The empty space between the bars of the saddle is referred to as the gullet.The fit of the saddle can be examined by looking at the gullet from the front and back.

Step 6: Understand what addle tree means.

The bars, cantle, fork, and gullet are referred to as the saddle tree.The areas that need to be looked at when fitting a saddle.Look at the parts of the saddle tree when checking for fit.

Step 7: Look at the rocker of the saddle.

The bars from the front of the saddle to the back are referred to as the rocker.Imagine it as if it were the base of a rocking chair.Depending on the shape of the topline of your horse, you will have to try different saddles.

Step 8: There is a twist in the saddle.

The saddle tree’s twist is an important measurement.The bars are usually closer in the middle and further apart at the front and back.The measurement for the horse and rider may be affected by saddle twists.

Step 9: The saddle has a flare.

The bars of the saddle flare out at the front.The bars curve upwards at the front and back of the saddle.

Step 10: The seat of the saddle is visible.

The seat of the saddle is the part that you sit in.The length and slope of the seat should be noted.The length of the seat is how much space it takes up from the front to the back; a well fitting saddle will allow you to sit forward without being pressed against the cantle.The slope is the angle from the front of the seat to the back, with three options: high, medium, and low.There are different types of riding on each slope.

Step 11: Look at your horse’s withers.

The withers of the horse are above the shoulder blades.The length and rocker angle of the saddle are determined by withers.Defined withers can be seen by a high point and a gentle slope back to the croup.Most saddles will fit this type of horse.The withers are gently sloped and the horse has a more flat back.A wider saddle tree is required for the withers to be a bit more flat.

Step 12: The horse has a topline.

The back of the horse has a curve from the withers to the croup.Level, straight, swayback, and downhill are the primary build types of the topline.The use of special saddle pads is required for each build.A level topline can be seen when a horse has withers and a small dip between the two.The regular saddles will fit this build.A straight back can be seen in horses.Straight backs occur when the withers and croup are not very high.Their back will be almost level from the side.The saddle needs to be built with bars that don’t have much of a rocker angle.Swayback horses have narrow withers.This occurs when a horse is old and poorly conditioned and makes it so that the saddle cannot sit against the back.Special pads can be used to fix this problem.A downhill topline occurs when the horse’s croup is higher than the withers, causing the saddle to tip forward.You can get a saddle adjusted with more flocking near the front to balance it out, or you can use special pads under the fork to force the saddle upright.

Step 13: Look at the back of the horse.

A regular saddle is built to fit a horse with an average length back.If your horse has a short back, the skirt of the saddle might dig into them, causing pain and irritation.If your horse is small, you may need a small saddle to fit their back.

Step 14: Consider the age of the horse.

If you are buying a saddle for a very young or unconditioned horse, you will likely have to buy a new one in a year or two to fit their growing body.If your horse is overweight, you may need to get another saddle after a year or two to make up for the weight loss.

Step 15: Determine what type of saddle you want.

It is important to know what type of saddle you are looking for before you make any measurements.The quality and style of the saddle should be examined differently depending on the type of work you plan on doing in it.

Step 16: Think about your body type.

Most saddles are built for the average horse, but they are also designed to fit average riders.A saddle is needed if you are tall, overweight, or have other factors that affect the shape of your body.There should be four inches of space from your body to the front of the swell/pommel when you sit in a saddle.You should not be sitting and resting against the cantle or the swell.It’s important that your stirrups fit comfortably in your knee.

Step 17: Measure your seat.

With your back against the chair and your feet on the floor, sit in a regular chair.Measure the distance from your kneecap to the crease in your hip using a soft measuring tape.This can be used to determine the size of your saddle.

Step 18: Determine your size using an English saddle.

To determine the seat size of an English saddle, use your measurement.A leg/seat measurement of less than 16 inches equates to a 15-inch saddle.A 16-inch saddle is equal to a leg/seat measurement of 16.5–18.6 inches.The leg/seat measurement is equal to the saddle.A leg/seat measurement of 20–21.5 inches (50.8–58.6 cm) equals a saddle.A leg/seat measurement of 21.5–23 inches (54.6–58.4 cm) equals a saddle.A leg/seat measurement larger than 23 inches will fit an 18-inch or 19-inch saddle.

Step 19: Determine your size in a saddle.

The seat measurement is different for western and English saddles.The easiest way to convert is to subtract two inches from the size of your English saddle.A leg/seat measurement of less than 16 inches equates to a 13 inch saddle.A 14-inch saddle is equal to a leg/seat measurement of 16.5–18.6 inches.A 15-inch saddle is equal to a leg/seat measurement of 18 to 20 inches.A leg/seat measurement of 20–21.5 inches (50.8–58.6 cm) equals a saddle.A 16-inch saddle is equal to a leg/seat measurement of 21.5–23 inches.A leg/seat measurement larger than 23 inches will fit a 17-inch or 18-inch saddle.

Step 20: Take a look at the seat of an English saddle.

When you get your measurement, you can compare it to the seat size of a saddle to see if it is in your size range.Straight back to the center of the cantle is how to measure the seat of an English saddle.The size of the saddle will be given by this.

Step 21: Measure the seat of a horse.

The measurement of a western saddle seat is different from the English one.Measure straight from the base of the pommel to the stitching in the seat using a tape measure or ruler.Measure in a horizontal line from the base of the pommel.When you measure the seat, be careful not to touch the saddle pommel, as the angle of it will give you too large of a measurement.To get to the base of the pommel, you have to go along the stitching.

Step 22: Try on different saddles.

The only way to tell if a saddle is right for you is to sit in it.Try out many different saddles in different styles to find the best fit for you.Every time you try on a saddle, be sure to adjust the stirrups.It is better to go with a saddle that is larger than the one you are going to use.It will be easier for you to ride the horse.If you are going to sit in the saddle, bring a trained friend along.

Step 23: Check the bar’s width.

When did you check your horse’s withers?This is when it comes in handy.Without a saddle pad or blanket, place the saddle on your horse.The bars should be in contact with the horse if it fits.The saddle is too narrow if the bars only touch the base of the horse’s back.The saddle is too wide if the bars only touch the top of the horse’s back.

Step 24: The bar slope needs to be checked.

The rocker angle against the horse’s back is the slope of the bar.The bars on a saddle mimic the angle of the topline.The bars will be in contact with the horse’s back.Bridging will cause sores on the horse if the bars only touch the withers and the croup.This happens if the bars are too long, or if there isn’t a large enough slope to match the sway of the horse’s back.If the bars don’t hit the center of the horse’s back, then rocking will occur.If the bars are too short or if the slope is too great, this can happen.

Step 25: The bar has a flare.

The bar flare is the angle at which the bars turn upwards.The saddle may be too small for your horse if there is no bar flare.The bar flare on your saddle should be visible to prevent it from digging into your horse’s back while riding.

Step 26: Look at the gullet.

Without a blanket or saddle pad, place the saddle on your horse.You should be able to see all the way through to the withers from the gullet.The saddle is too small if you can’t.Go to the gullet by the withers and place as many fingers as you can vertically in the empty space.If your saddle is too large or too small, you will not be able to stack your fingers in the gullet.