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Monday, 13 May 2019

4 Reasons Why Your Saddle Doesn't Fit YOU

As equestrians, we get the saddle fitter over every 6 months to make sure the saddle still fits our horse.  This is great for our horses but have you ever thought about yourself fitting the saddle.  Our saddle fitter should be fitting us to the saddle but often it is not as important.  Here are 4 ways to check if your saddle fits you.  

How To Measure Yourself For A Saddle 

It is pretty easy to measure your body to find the best size saddle.  You will first sit down on a chair with your butt as far back as possible.  You want to have your whole upper leg on the chair, right to the back of your knee.  Next, measure your leg from hip to the knee and note how long your upper leg is.  Now you can look at the chart below to find the best length of saddle for you.  

Different Styles

Sometimes our body doesn't fit a certain style of saddle.  For example, if you have long legs then a show jumping saddle with knee blocks that do not move may not suit you.  

You can also get saddles with different lengths of the saddle skirt.  This is because using a saddle with the wrong length of the skirt can cause the top of your riding boot can get stuck underneath the skirt.  When sitting on the saddle with your feet in the stirrups, the top of your boots should be at least 4 fingers above the end of the saddle skirt.  

The Finger Test

Along with the leg measurement way to measure yourself for a saddle, you can also do some quick checks while riding on the saddle.  

While sitting on your saddle, reach behind and how many fingers you can fit between your bum and the edge of the cantle.  You should be able to fit about 4 fingers for jumping and general purpose saddle.  If you ride in a dressage saddle you should be able to fit 3 fingers.  

Stirrup Bars 

Surprisingly, most saddles have stirrup bars too far forward.  This causes the 'chair seat' and makes riding harder and it becomes impossible to keep your legs still.  This means you will have a worse riding position while riding in a saddle than you do riding bareback.  

You must make sure that your saddle's stirrup bars do not cause your legs to move forward while riding.  This will only make you unbalanced which will then have an effect on the horse.  


I am not a horse trainer or any other equestrian professional.  I only give advice on horsey topics that I have experience as a horse owner in.  Please don't follow my advice without contacting a relevant equestrian professional.  


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