Horse riding exists for everybody to enjoy, whether you are a small person or big-boned. All you need to do is get a horse that fits your body size, have the appropriate riding skills to handle that particular horse, be in a balanced riding position, and finally, ensure that your saddle is well-designed to comfortably suit both you and the horse. In a bid to satisfy the demand for fitting saddles by both English and Western riders according to their respective body sizes and heights, designers have created a wide range of saddle designs and sizes.
Saddle Seat Size
As a rider, your horse’s saddle should be large enough to accommodate you comfortably. While Western saddles have their seat sizes measured between the cantle top and the hole in front of the saddle horn, the size of an English saddle is measured between the pommel and the cantle. With Western saddles, the height of the cantle and the skirt length are also taken into account. Generally, English seats are one inch or two larger than comparable Western saddle seats.
There is a wide variety of English saddles for big-bodied riders to pick from, including general-purpose, flat/jumping, dressage, and others. One other thing big and tall riders should take into account is flap length since it varies among different saddle markers, with longer flaps being generally more secure for bigger riders. If you are a tall or big rider, 17 inches or more for an English saddle is probably the most appropriate for you.
Western saddles also vary in skirt size, cantle height and seat size. For bigger riders, lower-cantle saddles make the process of mounting and dismounting much easier, with a minimum of 17 inches in saddle seat size also being most suiting for their larger body size.
Getting Used Saddles
Due to the fact that saddle makers tend to make more smaller-size saddles than bigger ones, a big-bodied rider is much more likely to find it difficult to get a used saddle. If you decide to shop for a used saddle, be sure to confirm the good condition of its seams, as well as sticking and girth buckles. You could also get in touch with a plus-sized riding community like Eighteen Hands for further help with finding a suitable used saddle.
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