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Discuss What size of Western saddles for my teenage girls ????? Help !! :) at the Tack & Equipment forum - Horse Forums.

A 16in western saddle would b way to big for either of them! Its ok ...
  1. #11
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    A 16in western saddle would b way to big for either of them! Its ok to ride around in, but they are too small for one technically... Both could ride a 15, but depending on what they r doin, the one may prefer a 14, like I said, have them set in it and make sure stirtups adjust properly, the cantle is high enough and they like the feel and placement of the horn! I prefer a barrel saddle, but there are nice comfy saddles made for each discipline

  2. #12
    Senior Member+ Amarea's Avatar
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    Actually Sassy, depending on the way the seat is and considering the girls height, the 16 could be a better fit. These are girls who still have some growing to do. A 14" saddle isn't a really wise investment if they aren't competing, etc. With their height alone I wouldn't put them in a 14 unless they were barrel racing.

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    True, barrel racing is probably the only reason to buy a 14, but I am 6 ft tall and have never had a problem riding in a smaller saddle...as long as the stirrups are adjust long enough, which they should, its fine...western saddles arent like english where youre leg is going to hang in front of the knee rolls, because there are none and there is not near as much bend in the knee. I think the only time a 16 would be necessary in a western saddle is if it was a show saddle or yhe kind with a bump in the seat. Sorry, I just always think in terms of a barrel saddle, or one with a seat similar to it, but keep in mind an english saddle would measure 2 in bigger than youd need in a western!

  4. #14
    Senior Member xSecertsx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amarea View Post
    Actually there should be 2-3 fingers of width between the thighs and the swell of the saddle. Anything less and you are opening yourself up for problems. Case in point: When I started riding again last year, I was completely uninformed about proper saddle size for myself. I was riding in a 15" barrel saddle. I had very little to no clearance between my thighs and the swell. My horse was spooked by another one in the pasture and he lunged forward. I was thrown forward onto the swell and horn. My legs being that close to the swell caused SERIOUS bruising on my inner thighs. I'm talking bruises about 6in in diameter. And that was from hitting the swell ONCE. Not repeatedly like in a bucking scenario.

    Your mom's boyfriend likely should be in a larger saddle just due to his height. Seat size isn't totally based on the weight/overall size of the rider but the height as well because the thigh is longer on a taller person. To say that a 16" is too big for most people is a pretty inaccurate statement as I honestly know very few people who ride in a 15" other than kids and very slim women. Saddle fit isn't a "one size fits most" thing.

    Think of it this way. Say your moms boyfriend weighs around 225 (my dad is 6'3 and that's what he weighs). By riding in a 15" seat, he is concentrating his 225lbs over those 15". If the saddle isn't an accurate fit in the thigh area, he may be sitting at an angle to compensate for the lack of room for his thighs. That will also cause his weight to be distributed differently. If he were to bump to a 16" or 17", that is giving him the room to sit in the appropriate position as well as providing a greater area to distribute his weight.

    Overall, you just need to make sure the saddle is an appropriate fit for the horse first and foremost. A saddle could be comfortable as can be to me but if it doesn't fit my horse, then it's not the saddle for me. Find a style that fits the horse. Then try different seat sizes to see what you are most comfortable in. Personally, after the situation I had with the saddle that was too small, I have become what I consider "claustrophobic" with a saddle that I think is too small. I can easily ride in a 17" saddle with plenty of clearance. But because of getting caught on the swell before, I actually prefer riding in an 18" just because I have more room.
    Funny he does just fine in it, and it's a barrel saddle. Hasn't came off yet, or been bruised. I would rather been held in than be sliding around. I'm 5'1" about 120 lbs and ride in a 14.5" barrel saddle, low back and a low swell. Many horses have bucked with me in this saddle, never have been bruised or have i hit the horn.
    But I have notice pleasure saddles tend to be ridden in a bigger size. As for barrel saddles, everyone I know rides in a 15" or less, very very few ride in a 16"

    OP also remember western saddles also come in half sizes, 14.5, 15.5
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  5. #15
    Senior Member+ Amarea's Avatar
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    Secret, please re-read my post. I said I was bruised because I was in a seat that was too small for me. That's a big contributing factor to the extent of my bruising. Of course you are not getting bruised etc because you are in a properly fitting saddle.

    As for your moms bf, I truly doubt the 15 is a correct fit for him. Just based off his height, most saddle seat size calculators would put him in a 16. I'm not trying to argue, I'm just sayin the 15" likely isn't as good of a fit as what you think it is.

    OP, you seem to have a good idea of what you are looking for so good luck!

  6. #16
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    I owned a tack store for many years and have bought and sold hundreds of saddles. Nearly everyone that came in to try out saddles thought they rode in a seat size much smaller than they actually did. I have yet to meet an adult that actually fit in a 14" saddle unless they were 5'2 and 100 pounds and rode barrel racers.

    My son is 6' and about 130. He rides in a 16" seat and sometimes even a 17".

    What type of riding will your daughters be doing? If barrel racing or speed events, they'll want a higher cantle and a steep pommel and may fit into a 14 or 15 inch seat. If they're doing trail riding, 15" may work. If they want to show pleasure, horsemanship, reining, they may want a 16". If cutting, then 17" definitely.

    The best thing you can do is take them to a tack shop with a lot of saddles and have them sit in every one. Even the same seat size in similar looking saddles will feel different. My son has several reining saddles, some are 16", some 16 1/2" and one is just 15" and they all fit him well. Three are made by the same mfg and are similar in style, but are 2 different sizes.
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  7. #17
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    I'm 5' 3" and 100 ish lbs and rode in a 14" saddle. It wasn't tight, but I can't see anyone much bigger using it. I can't say the same for a 16" English saddle (the equivalent).

    Most people of average height and weight can comfortably fit into a 15" Western saddle. I'd say that 16" would be too roomy based on height and weight alone. That being said, people carry their weight differently. I find a lot of seat size has to do with the circumference of the thigh. People with bigger thighs tend to be more comfortable in a larger seat size.

  8. #18
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    I'm 5'7 and ride in a 14" barrel saddle.
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