Fitting the Rider

drfgh-1Fitting the rider

It’s important that the saddle fit the rider for both comfort and ease of riding. The style or type of riding you like should determine what saddle you ultimately buy. Here is a great article on Saddle Facts, which can help explain to you the best options for saddle types for the style of riding you love to do.

As a general guideline, a saddle that is too small will cause you discomfort as you bump against the pommel at every stride (believe me, I’ve been there) A saddle that is too large will have you swimming around trying to maintain your position. Ideally, you should be able to place your flat hand between you and the cantle when seated in the lowest part of the seat.

Comfort and stability are most important when fitting the rider. Comfort can only be determined by yourself. Most riders find the standard WOW seat super comfortable, and for riders with special comfort needs, there are options for channels and cut out that offer coccyx or crotch pressure relief. Options that do not cost extra. Stability comes from being able to grip the twist of the saddle without squeezing yourself away from the saddle. And from the knee or thigh block being in the perfect position. The twist of the WOW saddle is unique because there are no tree bars. The top of your inner thigh will be directly on the horse. The usual descriptions of wide or narrow twist do not apply. When you ride in it, I believe you will find that perfect fit you have been looking for.

Many riders are riding in a seat that is too big for them. Often because they need the stirrup bar further forward or they need more room for their leg. Every WOW saddle has two stirrup positions and every WOW flap can be angled further forward. A small seat size saddle can accommodate a longer leg.

Many riders are riding in a seat size that is too small for them. Often because their horse needs a shorter panel or because they need the stirrup bar further back. WOW saddles can be ordered with a large seat size and a short panel. You and your horse can both be comfortable. If you have short legs you can place the stirrup bar further back and angle your flap backwards. Saddles can be ordered with a third stirrup position that will help keep your leg even further back.

Many riders do not custom order extra long or extra short leg flaps. The ideal flap length can really improve your stability and communication with the horse. Custom flap lengths do not cost extra on WOW saddles and if you are worried about the saddle resale value, don’t be. If you change horses there, is no reason to change the flap of your saddle. If you want to sell your WOW saddle, you will get the best price by selling it piece-meal. Your seat and panels will be just as valuable to someone who has different legs than you. Your custom flap will be easy to sell too.

Horse Saddle Buying Guide Tips – For the Rider Recap:

Saddle Length – The length of the seat of the saddle is the most common measurement when fitting a saddle to a rider. The length and placement of the flaps is also important when saddle fitting as these influence your leg position and how you sit.

Saddle Width – The width should be wide enough to support your seat bones but without being so wide as to be uncomfortable. Saddle Balance – This is critical. The rider needs to be placed over the horse’s center of balance.

Stirrups – The stirrups vary in length depending on your discipline but in all cases the stirrup leather must be properly placed so that the rider remains in balance over the saddle.

Every rider has their own preferences, so get in touch with how you feel and how your horse feels when you are trying saddles. Contact us for custom saddle fitting in Ontario or Michigan, until you are sure you know what you are looking for, I wouldn’t make a purchase. This could save you a great deal of frustration and money now, and in the future.

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