Saddleseat fit

Discussion in 'Tack & Equipment' started by baymax2018, Jan 21, 2019.

  1. baymax2018

    baymax2018 Full Member

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    So - I found a neat thread that explained saddleseat saddle fit and I tried the measurements out, but I'm afraid I'm a bit perplexed. Sadly I don't live close enough to any saddlers that stock saddleseat saddles so I'm winging it on my own here :)

    I'm 5'9" and weigh ~180lbs, and I'm fairly long-femured. My measurement sitting down (according to the tape measure thing) is 19", but I'm guessing I need some space to accommodate the cutback a bit? So I'm thinking the minimum size that I need is a 22", but is that really accurate?

    Switching from the hunter world where I know saddles very well (I ride quite comfortably in an 18") and struggling :)
     
  2. NBChoice

    NBChoice Senior Member

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    @baymax2018 : In general you will see most riders in a 21" cutback saddle. That's just the norm for the most part. However, a 22" is probably a better fit for you if you have a long femur. You may feel more comfortable in it as you don't want to feel squished in a cutback. Some places will have 23" saddles, depending where you buy from- Freedman's has a 23" saddle that you can buy directly from their website. Others will have to have it special ordered.

    Here is a super article about the cutback sizes and may help you decide better. Finding the Right Saddle

    I'd guess you'd probably do fine in a 22" though.
     
  3. Tack Collector

    Tack Collector Senior Member

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    Freedman runs 1" small because they measure from front of the tree, instead of from the nailhead. So you'd buy a 23 Freedman if you ride a 22 Barnsby.
    Flatter seats have more room than deep seats. Anything with a V shape will fit smaller than one with a U shape, just like hunt and dressage saddles.
    The layered sticky leather saddles are what "everyone" is using nowadays. I got rid of mine and I use Lovatt & Ricketts buffalo instead, for the durability. A large surface like Saddleseat flaps is a bad idea. The upper layer will delaminate and bubble even using manufacturers recommended conditioners. Freedman and Shively both have probs with delamination, and Freedman charges $600 to replace flaps.
    Shively MMXtreme carbon fiber tree was prone for breakage and that saddle has been discontinued. Shively adjustable stirrup bars were stripping out too easily, too, but the most recent stirrup bars are said to be better.
    Whitman saddles haven't been made since early 2000s and can be an excellent value. 22" was the largest, and they are not oversized like the Shively.
    The only feedback I have re. Jeffries sticky saddles is the sticky layer leather is extremely soft and easy to blemish. Shelby Horse Supply Facebook has used ones, and lots of photos to look at.
     
  4. Tack Collector

    Tack Collector Senior Member

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    Join Facebook groups for Saddleseat and saddle seatctack. That's where you'll possibly find a saddle near enough to you to go try. Try as many as possible before you buy. The Shively saddles don't work for me at all. Too chair seat, twist is too narrow, the seat has edges that make my seatbones hurt, and I can't sit where I want when I want. I like the long flat center like Whitman and L&R / Arabian Saddle Co. L&R also can make a saddle in narrow, medium, wide, or Xw tree width. That's a 2003? Louisville 20" in my avatar. Faded color like that is very easy to redye with excellent results.

    Smith Worthington saddle trees can be adjusted by them. There may be some cutback saddles in the clearance on their website.
     
  5. Tack Collector

    Tack Collector Senior Member

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    The Whitman you bought in summer 2018 doesn't fit? People ride more chair-seated now than they did before adjustable bars! lol. But I'd wager that most riders your height will be riding a 22" saddle with adjustable bars nowadays. The sit-back thing with 4" of saddle flap in front of your knees seems to be current fashion. I can't ride in that chair-seat, and that's why I can't stand the Shively saddles, because they chair-seat me..
     
  6. baymax2018

    baymax2018 Full Member

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    Trainer didn't like the fit in the Whitman despite the adjustable bars. Said I needed more room, but I've been struggling to find that in a saddle - I think I just have the long femur and a bit of extra padding behind so it looks like a worse fit. Could NOT locate a 22" Whitman, so ended up finding a Barnsby, but of course, it's deeper because it's newer - I'm going to try it, worse case scenario it won't fit me either (although it looks cushy). I can't win on this saddle thing LOL
     
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  7. baymax2018

    baymax2018 Full Member

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    I may actually like the newer Barnsby now that I've read your description. I like the flatter seats BUT a narrow twist may help keep my hips from dying (old broad with bad hips here). When you're referring to V shape vs U shape, what are you referring to?
     
  8. Tack Collector

    Tack Collector Senior Member

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    Look at the saddle's seat from the side or profile view. A long flat center is U. Whitman's flat seat, Shively MMXtreme or Jeffries / Eldonian deep seat. Those I would call a U. The V seat has a shorter center and a steeper cantle. The old Crump deep seat, the Blue Ribbon deep seat with the tall round cantle , to lesser extent the Barnsby round cantle equitation seat. Those that tend to scoot you forward and upright are V.
     
  9. Tack Collector

    Tack Collector Senior Member

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    The L&R flat seat is roomy. The 20" ones are 20.5" nail to cantle and 17" from pommrl straight back to cantle They are a long tree padded well. Showcase Tack has used ones. The buffalo models are comfortable + durable. My favorite now, but I was a Whitman fan before that. The L&R tree is about 1" longer than same size in a Whitman.
     
  10. baymax2018

    baymax2018 Full Member

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    Got it. This may be a bit of a V, but the seat area looks so huge that it doesn't look like it will tip me too far. If my stirrups are long enough, my thigh looks (in my imagination, as it's way too cold to ride right now) like it might be in the middle of the flap. Not sure, it may be a bit more comfortable as it's closer to what I'm used to in a hunt saddle OR it may cause me to fight the saddle and be very sad. Either way, no harm done trying another version. This one is a Barnsby but labeled Shively 2k on the inside button. It looks like it might fit like my dressage saddle actually (also a Barnsby, but an AVG) and if it does then I don't have too much trouble sitting back in that, just struggled a bit with the bars being so far back on the AVG because of my hips, but since I can move them forward a bit on the Saddleseat saddle I might be ok. I might have to just satisfice either way.
     
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