Seat size simply measures the distance from the base of the horn to the top middle of the cantle. This distance is then expressed as a size in half-inch increments from 12 inches to 17 inches.
Attach the saddle to your horse and sit down in the saddle. While riding, you should be able to fit 3 to 4 fingers in between the swell and your thigh. If you can fit more than 4 fingers, your saddle is too big. If you can’t fit 3 fingers, then your saddle is too small.
Place the saddle on the horse’s bare back without a pad. There should be two to three fingers space between the top of the wither and the gullet of the saddle. If you can vertically fit your whole hand between the bottom of the gullet and the wither, the tree is probably too narrow.
Signs of a Bad Saddle Fit for your Horse
You should be able to stick two of your fingers between the saddle gullet and your horse’s withers. The saddle should have even contact along both sides of the bars. After girthing up, your saddle should look even on the horse’s back, not tipping up or drooping down.
5 tips for finding the perfect saddle
Place the saddle on the horse’s bare back (no pad). There should be two to three fingers space between the top of the wither and the gullet of the saddle. If you can fit your whole hand (vertically) between the bottom of the gullet and the wither, the tree is probably too narrow.
You should be able to put one index finger under the cinch to your finger’s first joint. If you can reach in at the back of the cinch more than that, it’s probably too loose. If you can’t fit a finger in at all, it may be too tight.
Measuring your Saddle Seat SizeYour MeasurementYour Saddle SizeLess than 16.5″15″ saddleBetween 16.5″ and 18.5″16″ saddleBetween 18.5″ and 20″16.5″ saddleBetween 20″ and 21.5″17″ saddle
Gullet Size ChartGullet SizeInchesNarrow6”Medium or Average6.5”Wide7”Extra Wide8”
Fitting the Rider
When you sit in a Western saddle, you should be able to fit two to three fingers between the front of your thigh and the fork of the saddle. You should be able to fit approximately four fingers between the back of your seat and the top of the cantle. Saddles seats also have different widths.
A too-long saddle will put pressure on the withers and loin area. Keep the saddle in place on the horse’s bare back, but don’t cinch it up. … The saddle should never make contact with the horse’s spine or withers at any point. Look at the gullet.
Regardless of the horses back length the rider still needs the same space in which to sit on the saddle and the same weight has to be distributed, so obviously the saddle seat cannot be shortened as the rider will not fit and therefore the conclusion until now has been to shorten the panel and in doing so increasing …