I am looking at buying a horse who’s fairly short coupled, however I’ve got long legs so need a seat that could end up sitting beyond the rib cage. How could a saddler accommodate this if I were to buy him?
Former Society of Master Saddlers’ President, Kay Hastilow says :
“First of all remember that the horse dynamic (working) has more room for a saddle than the horse static so if a saddle that suits you appears just a little too long when the horse is standing and being fitted, try riding in it, having marked T18 with a dot or tape so that you can see if the saddle is still beyond or now within this area. I have seen up to 2” (5 cm) extra length in the saddle area in a working horse as opposed to that horse static so you might well find that you have enough room for the saddle that you would really like to ride in.
It is not difficult with a bespoke saddle to have a larger or more forward cut flap and panel (depending on the discipline that the saddle is for) made with a suitable seat size for your horse and this will accommodate your extra leg length. Possibly a tree with a wider, flatter seat can be used here as this will give you more room to sit in whilst keeping the length of the tree within bounds for your horse. An SMS Qualified Saddle Fitter can take measurements of you whilst you are sitting on a chair from hip to knee and knee to heel, possibly marking on a pattern exactly where you like your knee to sit. Knee and thigh blocks fastened with Velcro can also help as you can position them to suit your leg shape.
Short backs in the horse are a common problem for saddle fitters these days. Horse breeding has favoured a shorter back for some years as this is considered stronger but of course, all things in moderation – there has to be room for a rider to sit on the horse!”
For more information visit www.mastersaddlers.co.uk or contact The Society of Master Saddlers on 01449 711642.