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How to perfectly measure a horse saddle?

measure a horse saddle

If you buy horse equipment, you must know that horse saddle is an essential part of the top three components. Purchasing the correct saddle size for your horse can be a bit of a difficult task. If your saddle doesn’t fit the horse properly, then it may lead to sores, discomfort and pain for the horse’s back. Similarly, a poorly fitted saddle can affect the rider’s balance and can make them fall from the horse.

Apart from the horse’s fitting, measuring the saddle first and then fixing it over is equally important. If you are a newbie, learn that some of the saddles may be hard to fit and for that, you may require some help. However, with the right tricks, you can do it easily without feeling the need for a professional.

Before we move further and walk you through the perfect measuring trick of a horse’s saddle, know that there are two classes of saddles. They are – Western saddle and English saddle.

How to measure a Western saddle?

As you know, Western saddles are a bit longer in size in comparison with the English saddles. Therefore, it’s crucial that you measure it correctly so that the fittings fall perfectly on the horse when you receive it.

For the correct measurement, you need to grab a tape first and start measuring from the back of the pommel to the cantle. Most measurements may count between 14 to 20 inches as a rough note. More so, the companies who make these saddles give several measuring options depending upon who’s going to use them.

western saddle measure

Here is the basic size chart –

  • Adults – Small Saddle: 14 inches
  • Adults – Medium Saddle: 15 inches
  • Children’s Saddle: 12 or 13 inches
  • Large Saddle: 16 inches
  • Extra Large Saddle: 18 inches

Now, this is not the complete guide, but it will help you understand the basic sizes of the Western saddle. More so, there can be other external factors like – the height and weight of the person. Therefore, you can select the suitable one as per your requirements.

How to tell if a Western Horse Saddle fits?

By looking at a Western saddle, you can easily say that they are pretty different from an English saddle. It doesn’t matter if you choose a leather or synthetic saddle. Depending upon your budget and other factors, you can quickly get a Western saddle in either of the material.

See also: Best Vegan Synthetic Saddles for Horse Riding

Accordingly, you may like to know if a Western Horse Saddle fits appropriately! To decide that, you will have to look for the right fit, equal weight distribution, and saddle size before selecting the proper one. In general terms, Western saddles are always larger in size in comparison with English saddles.

  • Placing Properly & Fitting: You can fit the Western saddle onto your horse once you have confirmed that it’s the same fitting as your horse’s back. Always make sure that your saddle fits the horse so that it doesn’t come in between its movement. In addition, you must check for the saddle skirt, as it should not be too big or small, restricting the horse’s movement.
  • Gullet Size: As you place the saddle on the horse’s back, check for the gullet size and if it’s not too gripping or loose. There must be enough space to pass through 2 fingers between the gullet saddle and the horse’s skin. Likewise, the fit should be accurate. Otherwise, the saddle will keep sliding or hurting the horse during the ride.
  • Overall Fit of the Saddle: Finally, as you place the saddle after checking everything, it’s essential that the saddle’s cantle or seat should not go beyond the horse’s last rib. Furthermore, the skirt can be moveable a little more than the actual resting place or the seat.

Important Note: Western Saddles distribute the weight of the rider on the horse’s back in an equal manner. That’s why they can take a little more space than the English saddle on the horse’s back.

How to measure an English saddle?

English saddles, as we know, are shorter and light-weight in comparison with the Western saddle. That’s why it’s essential to have the proper fitting of the saddle, as a lousy fitting can make your ride uncomfortable. Furthermore, your ability to move and riding techniques are affected by the comfort level of the saddle.

measure english saddle

Unlike Western saddle, an English saddle consists of 2 main parts. They include –

  • Seat: It is designed while keeping the rider’s comfort level in mind. When a rider sits on the horse’s back, the seat gives them the correct position; it makes them achieve better performance in horse riding.
  • Gullet: It is placed right under the seat that basically sits according to the horse’s structure. More so, while placing the gullet, it is essential to know the actual size of your horse so that it fits the horse comfortably.

See also: Buy Top 7 Lightweight Saddles Online

Note: Both seat and gullet work together to determine the best fit for an English saddle. Furthermore, you need to work both ways in order to know the right fit of English saddle for you and your horse.

Measuring English saddle –

The basic method to measure the size of an English saddle seat is by measuring the knee to your buttocks in the sitting position. Before selecting the correct saddle size, make sure you check both the measurements individually.

Seat measurements:

  • Small/Children Saddle: 14 to 16 inches
  • Average Adult Saddle: 17 inches
  • Large Saddle: 18 inches
  • Extra-Large Saddle: 19 inches and above

Gullet measurements:

  • Narrow: 6 inches
  • Medium/Average: 6.5 inches
  • Wide: 7 inches
  • Extra Wide: 8 inches

Note – The thumb rule of choosing the right English saddle is to go for a two size larger than the Western saddle you are currently using. For example, if you are using a Western saddle with the measurement of 15 inches, then you’ll need 17 inches English saddle. More so, this may not be the exact calculation, but you can go for it if you are a first-time buyer.


It might be a little complicated to know the correct measurement size of your saddle. However, if you follow the advice in the right direction, there will be no confusion. More so, you can buy saddles online from our website as we are providing the most high-quality good at an affordable price.

Related Source:-

How to Design your Western Saddle?

How to measure a horse for a saddle

How to Measure a Saddle Gullet?

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