Saddles to fit small women?

Discussion in 'Tack & Equipment' started by trailcreekranch, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. trailcreekranch

    trailcreekranch Full Member

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    I would really love to find a saddle that fits me, I am only 5'0 and weigh 110 lbs. I have looked at the ones available built for women, but they are way out of my price range! Someone mentioned that a barrel racing saddle would be a good choice and I could find a decent one used. Another friend said no way on the barrel saddles because they are not designed for a balanced ride. I just wonder if you folks on the forum have any insight?
     
  2. Lopinslow

    Lopinslow Senior Member

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    I hate to break it to you, but there are not woman's or men's saddles.

    They vary in seat size and style, I would venture a guess that a 15" would work well for you. seat style is just preference and what discipline you are riding
     
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  3. tlwidener

    tlwidener Senior Member

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    You may prefer a narrow twist. I would put you in a 15" seat.... Though my 110, 5'3" daughter rides in my 16" Billy Royal training saddle. I also have a 16" reining Corriente, and it's wide.

    IME, many of the Bob's saddles are wide. Blue Ribbon saddles are wide. Silver Mesa hurt me.

    Cutting saddles are pretty comfy.

    I had a Lady McCall Pendleton that was perfect.

    You just need sit in as many saddles as you can and see what you like.
     
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  4. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    Go to a tack store and sit in some saddles but, first, find out what fits the horse, then look for that in your seat size.
     
  5. E90Style

    E90Style Senior Member

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    I'm 5'3, 110 lbs, I rode in a 16 inch western trail saddle for 18 years. Go to a tack shop and try some on
     
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  6. Circle C

    Circle C Senior Member

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    I'm 5'4 and 128lbs and I ride a 14.5" barrel saddle, a 16" WP saddle, a 15" trail saddle and a 17" english CC saddle.

    A lot of it is personal preference as well.
     
  7. Tack Collector

    Tack Collector Senior Member

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    A vintage 14" saddle might work, if you don't need a modern trendy show saddle for big shows. Every saddle company used to make a 14" ladies saddle that had a 14" seat and standard length fenders, so it was not a kid's saddle. But people got taller and heaver and manufacturers quit making them. When I was down in that weight range, any 15" saddle felt huge and off-balance. Those '70s vintage 14" ladies saddles always worked well. I had a 14" Billy Royal and a 14" Tex Tan Hereford. Both were the silver trimmed dark oil fully tooled California (single) skirt of that era. The Hereford was wide across the seat. The Billy Royal was much more comfortable. I don't own either one of them now. I can ride a 15" now but that's only because I am fatter than I used to me, lol.

    There are still ranch and ladies all-around roping, etc. saddles being made in seat 14.5". Tesky's usually has some used ones. But a good working saddle is expensive. Keep in mind, if you look at slick seats, that an unpadded slick seat will ride a good 3/4" or so larger because there's no padding to take up room in the seat. A youth slick seat rancher might work for you.
     
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  8. Puddincup

    Puddincup Full Member

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    I"m 5'2 and 115 pounds and I ride in a 16 1/2 inch training saddle. Honestly it was such a good saddle that seat size didn't bother me much. I also have a 15 inch barrel saddle. I can feel the extra security from a smaller saddle but honestly I feel like the larger saddle has taught me better balance. Take everyone's advice and go to some tack stores and sit in them.

    Make sure it fits you horse as that is more important. Most tack shop owners will allow you to buy the saddle and try it out on your horse and return it if it doesn't work for you. I've done that quite often.
     
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  9. Circle C

    Circle C Senior Member

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    I grew up riding in 16" roping saddles b/c my grandpa was a roper and a big guy. I think it taught me to ride better too.
     
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  10. Tack Collector

    Tack Collector Senior Member

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    Yeah, a modern training saddle might work. They seem to be better designed for a more centered and balanced seat. Saddles geared toward reining will be more chair-seated and have your feet out in front. Others designed more for equitation seating position will put your legs under you better, in the more "classic" balanced seat.

    Whenever I rode big saddles like 15" or 16" in the past, they chair seated me like crazy and also I needed the fenders stuffed all the way up under the jockeys in order to shorten the stirrups enough. If you do get a larger seat saddle, you almost certainly would benefit from having the fenders shortened at the top. This is real easy to do if they are plain leather or roughout, because there's no tooling to work around and it the "after" look of the shortened fenders is better if the tooling pattern doesn't get lopped off. Having shorter fenders allows the stirrups to swing more naturally. If you have real long fenders stuffed up under the jockeys, the stirrups will feel almost frozen in place, might feel awkward, and might stress your joints oddly. It'll be much more comfortable if the fenders can move.

    There certainly are some modern 16" saddles that are comfortable for a smaller rider. But a lot of those will have the seat built up to provide a narrow twist, will have areas kind of scooped out to better accommodate women's rounder thighs, and may or may not have the seat padded down 1/2" to 1" so that it fits smaller.
     
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