Measuring the length and width of an English saddle is a moderately easy task that just about anyone can do. There are many styles of English saddles from multiple saddle makers. However, one of the most important aspects when considering purchasing or trying a new saddle is to know the seat length and gullet width to ensure proper fit to both rider and horse. The length of the saddle seat reflects how a saddle will fit a rider, whereas the width of the saddle will determine how the saddle will fit the horse. A saddle that fits properly will enhance rider equitation and prevent potential injury or lameness to the horse.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Locate the nail found on the outside of the saddle skirt below the pommel. Hold one end of the measuring tape to the centre of this nail.
Extend the measuring tape across the seat of the saddle to the centre of the cantle, or the back of the saddle. This number is the length of the saddle seat.
Carefully turn the saddle upside down, exposing the panels and gullet.
On each of the front panels of the saddle locate the felt circles or dots.
Hold one end of the tape measure to one felt dot and measure straight across to the other felt dot. This is the width of the gullet.
Tips and warnings
- Some saddles come with the length and width stamped in the leather under the skirt or flap.
- Measurements are most commonly referred to in inches.
- It is extremely important that the saddle fit the horse correctly. Saddles that are too wide or too narrow can cause serious injury.
- Not all saddle makers measure the width the same way. It is a good idea to double-check this measurement.
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