How to Measure a Saddle

Knowing how to measure a riding saddle is vital when it comes to buying one for your horse. A properly fitted saddle should be comfortable for the horse and must not impede its movement. A saddle that is too tight will not fit properly and will cause a lot of pain and discomfort for your horse, so it’s important to know how to measure a saddle.

Measuring a western saddle

Western saddle on a western pad

There are several steps involved in measuring a western saddle. Seat size is one of the most important aspects of the saddle. While many riders already know what their current seat size is, if you are unsure, it’s best to start with your current seat size and work up to the size that you would like. The size of your saddle is crucial for your horse’s comfort and performance.

The seat of a western saddle is different than the English saddle. However, the seat of both a western and an English saddle should fit the horse’s withers comfortably. The saddle should not interfere with the horse’s shoulders while it’s being worn. In case of a western saddle, the skirt should cover the horse’s sides and leave room for the gullet.

The saddle should sit evenly on the horse’s back. If your horse is narrow withered, it may require more padding behind the saddle bars. You might also want to buy a shoulder bridge pad. Medium-withered horses should choose a mid-tree, while the riders with block-built horses will need a wide tree.

Measuring an English saddle

Dressage saddle on a dressage saddle pad

Knowing how to measure an English saddle is essential when it comes to purchasing one. English saddles typically have two parallel panels with four felt knots embedded in them. The distance between these knots and the center of the cantle should be the same as the horse’s width. To measure an English saddle, you’ll need to measure your current saddle and make sure it is the correct size for you. Measure from the center of the pommel button and work outward from there. For example, an adult needs an around 17-inch saddle. A teenager may require a shorter saddle and a tall rider will need a larger saddle. Once you’ve measured your current saddle, you’ll know what size to get.

The seat size of an English saddle should encompass the entire button as well as the center of the cantle. Using this method, you’ll avoid the common mistake of measuring from the center of the gullet straight back to the cantle, which will result in a saddle that is too small or too large for your horse. The cantle of the English saddle should rest at least one inch above the horse’s withers. Similarly, the pommel should be two to three fingers away from the horse’s withers. If these measurements are accurate, your saddle should fit your horse well and not cause any problems. The smallest alterations in your horse’s size will result in changes of the fit of your saddle.

In order to determine the flap length, simply put a soft measuring tape on the stirrup bar. Lay the tape along the lay of the stirrup leather and take a measurement from the stirrup bar’s center to the bottom of the saddle flap. Once you have found the flap length, make sure you have the correct stirrup width. A stirrup flap should be at least three inches longer than the rest of the saddle.

Buying the correct size of any riding saddle can be challenging. Incorrectly fitting saddle can cause back pain and discomfort to the rider and the horse. It may also cause you to experience balance issues, especially if you’re not used to riding. That’s why knowing how to measure an equestrian saddle is so important. It will save you time and money. You’ll need to take several measurements to get a perfect fit – just remember to be patient and take your time.

Read more in our another articles – How to measure saddle size? and How to measure saddle gullet?