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How to Measure a Horse Saddle

For most horse riders, buying a saddle is their favourite task for various reasons. It’s obvious that after the horse, a saddle is the only part that costs such high value. Therefore, you must be careful while purchasing the saddle and make sure the leather is of genuine quality. It’s seen that with good care and maintenance, your horse saddle may last for 5 to 6 years or even more.

In some cases, purchasing a horse saddle can be tough, for it requires proper measurement of the horse saddle. Thus, one should always take guidance from a saddle fitter and buy a saddle online as per the proper fit!

To save you from the struggle of finding the right horse saddle, here are some tips that you can follow. But first, let’s go over some of the basics of measuring a horse saddle.

Read More: How to Choose the Right Saddle for your Horse

Why is it essential to Measure a Horse Saddle?

The importance of taking the actual measurement of a horse saddle lies within the hands of the rider. If they are not laying stress on the correct measuring process, there will certainly be issues later. All in all, it will be visible through the riding pattern and how well they can converse with the routine.

Usually, when you haven’t taken the measurement properly, it will start creating a problem when you ride the horse on it. In short, if there’s any mistake in measuring the saddle, it will directly impact the horse and cause discomfort.

Here are a few points that you can consider when taking the correct measurement of your horse saddle. It includes:

  • It’s pretty easy to measure the saddle, and you don’t even need to have expert knowledge. All you have to do is take the exact measurements and then mark them somewhere correctly.
  • To take the correct measurement, the easiest method you can apply is measuring your horse’s old saddle. However, if that doesn’t fit well, it’s better to take accurate measurements.
  • If you have a young horse who is still growing, the saddle needs more fitting and changes than usual.

In some cases, riders are buying their first saddle for the horse and do not have an old saddle for reference. Thus, it’s better to apply the proper technique of measuring horse saddles rather than other unreliable techniques.

How to measure a Horse Saddle so that it fits properly?

Steps to measure a Horse Saddle

Before measuring your saddle for the horse, make sure you know what saddle you need. Generally, there are two different categories of horse saddles: the English saddle and the Western saddle. Moreover, a Western saddle is always slightly bigger than an English saddle.

To measure a horse saddle properly, you first need to take the right measurement of the saddle’s seat. More so than the flap length and angle for any type of saddle. If you need to buy a Western saddle, then make sure you take the correct measurement of the skirt length.

Steps to Measure a Horse Saddle

Measuring the saddle’s seat size –

Now, it can be a bit confusing, as many think buying a saddle online is not a good option. To their surprise, you can buy a saddle online without any hassle, as it’s the most convenient option. Also, there won’t be any issue if you take the right measurements of the horse’s seat. In addition, it should comply with your horse’s back; that must not be too much.

Saddle’s size in comparison with you

The best way to determine the size of the seat is by checking if your hand fits in front of the saddle. Likewise, the place is between the pommel and the end of the cantle. If you are not able to choose the right saddle size even after such detail, we want to give you a brief idea.
It follows – an average-height young adult may require a 15” saddle. On the other hand, an average female adult may require a 17” saddle. More so, if you are taller, then you may require an 18” saddle for proper fit and comfort.

Measure the Flap Length and angle.

The next thing you need to measure the size of is the flap of the saddle. Likewise, while you sit on the saddle, your knee should not bend too much over the edge of the saddle flap. Thus, your flap length should be appropriate and must not compensate for the angle of your knee. In addition, you need to be sure that the flap of the saddle should not rub against your boots.

Measure the horse saddle width –

More so, you have to check the width of the saddle to confirm its actual size. Here also, you have to measure the size of the horse and yourself. Hence, if your horse is wider, the saddle’s gullet should also be wider.

See More: Common Beginner Horse Riding Mistakes

How to know if the size is properly fitted?

The last thing you’ll have to check is if the saddle is properly fitting on the horse’s back. For this, you may take help from the saddler and look for the essentials that are placed in the right place. More so, evaluate whether the saddle is of the right fit or not. In addition, it will help to place the saddle pad under the saddle first and then use it accordingly.

Rider’s Posture and Health

While starting with how the saddle must go onto the horse, it’s also the rider’s potential to make it stable. Likewise, sitting on the saddle in the right posture will give the horse’s body a proper dimension to move in a set direction.

In case you are not using the correct saddle as per your riding discipline, it will be improper for you to settle in. Henceforth, it may result in injury or other issues with the horse during the ride. In addition, the size of the saddle seat will also affect your riding style. Thus, make sure you choose the right saddle as it helps evenly distribute the weight over the horse.

We know that choosing the right saddle for your horse is all that’s important. But if you have chosen a saddle that doesn’t go well, you may also suffer back, leg, or knee pain. Moreover, it can be problematic for people dealing with high-impact riding disciplines.

Size of the Saddle Seat

Once you have taken all the measurements, you have to align the horse’s measurements according to the rider’s seating area. If you know the proper technique, it will be easier to match the gullet size with the saddle’s seat size.

If you have to likely take the right saddle seat size, you must make the right choice. While referring to English or Western saddle, there will be a clear difference between their seat sizes.

Here is the table of different horse seat sizes –

Horse’s Size English Saddle Western Saddle
Youth 12 – 13 inches 14 – 15 inches
Small 14 inches 15.5 – 16.5 inches
Standard 15 inches 17 inches
Large 16 inches 18 inches
Extra Large 17 inches 19 inches

As we know, English saddles are a little shorter than Western saddles, so they usually come in small sizes. Hence, you can get the one that’s more suitable per your riding discipline and proper sizes.


Now that you know what points to consider before measuring your saddle, it would be helpful to use the right one. Also, you take extra precautions while measuring the saddle, for you may not determine it afterward. If you are looking to buy saddles online, you can also prefer products from our site as they are available at the best rates.

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Written by

Thanks for dropping by! Sara is our blog writing expert and trained herself in endurance riding. Through her articles, she is trying to inform others more about equine life and its related terms.

3 thoughts on “How to Measure a Horse Saddle?

  1. How do riders ensure a proper fit for both the horse and the rider when measuring a Western saddle or English Saddle?

  2. I found this blog to be a useful reference for measuring a Horse saddle accurately. The instructions were clear and easy to follow, This blog provided valuable insights and instructions, Adding some real-life examples or case studies could enhance its practicality. Nonetheless, a solid 5-star resource!

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