Get the Perfect Fit: How to Measure an English Saddle with Confidence
Saddle shopping can be a fun experience, but it can also be stressful. Getting the proper measurements is essential for the right fit. Not only do you have to measure for the proper fit of the horse, but you will also need to make sure the saddle fits you precisely. If you are planning to purchase an English saddle for your horse, this guide will be helpful. Now, you can learn how to measure an english saddle effectively.
Several Measurements Must Be Taken for a Proper Fit
Before delving too deeply into the topic of measuring an English saddle, it is important to understand the steps involved. There are a few different measurements that will need to be taken to get a perfect fit for both horse and rider. The process is not all that difficult, as long as you know the areas to measure.
- Measure the saddle width.
- Measure the seat size carefully.
- Measure the flap and angle.
Taking these measurements and having them on hand when shopping for an English saddle will allow you to try different brands and models with ease. Often, finding the perfect saddle simply involves trying out various English saddles until you find the one that fits like a hand and glove.
Steps Involved in Measuring an English Saddle
The following measurements are easy to carry out. It takes a bit of practice, but you will soon become an old pro. With each of the steps broken down, it will be a straightforward process to carry out your measurements.
The Seat Size
Although most saddle companies are accurate with their measurement descriptions, there can be minute differences from saddle to saddle. To know if you fit perfectly in a saddle, it is important to check the following.
- Make sure you can fit one hand between you and the pommel.
- Make sure one hand can fit between you and the cantle.
To measure the size of the saddle seat, make sure to start from one of the nailheads on the side of the pommel to the middle of the cantle. The following are some of the common measurements for different age groups.
- Smaller adults and all youth will typically fit in a fifteen-inch English saddle.
- The average adult will fit in a seventeen-inch English saddle.
- A heavier or taller adult likely needs an eighteen-inch English saddle.
The Flap Length and Angle
The flaps are the sections of saddle that hang over the sides of the horse. If you have achieved the right fit, your knees should not go beyond the edge of the saddle flap. You will need to be sure the saddle has the perfect angle by sitting with your feet in the stirrups. If the flap length and angle are correct, you should be able to fit two or three fingers between the top of your knee to the edge of the saddle.
To measure, start from the metal piece that holds the stirrup in place to the edge of the bottom of the flap. This will be your flap length.
The Seat Width
The size of the seat is for the rider and has nothing to do with the measurements of the horse. If you want to know the proper seat width, you will need to measure your thigh. To measure, follow these steps.
- Sit on a chair with your backside all the way to the back of the chair and your legs bent at a forty-five-degree angle.
- Take a measuring tape and measure from the top of your knee to the back of your bottom.
The measurement you get will be your proper seat width. When you are in doubt, it is always advisable to go up one size. The right seat width is important because if the seat width is too small, riders will put too much pressure on their horse.
While English saddles are not much different than Western saddles, there is one key difference. English saddles do not have as large a cantle as Western saddles, thus they tend to measure larger.
With this guide, you now know how to measure an english saddle. With proper measurements, you will be able to find the perfect English saddle to meet the needs of you and your horse.