Seat width and saddle comfort.

Like twist width, seat width determines comfort of a saddle. And what is comfortable is determined by pelvic/hip structure of the rider. If seat width is too wide, it will prevent the rider’s legs from dropping naturally down and around the horse’s sides.

When we sit on a saddle in the showroom of a tack shop, we are sitting on a molded and un-moving “saddle buck” which feels nothing like a real horse.  And many of us don’t know what we’re feeling. Riding on your own horse allows you to really feel a saddle. Try this test with the help of a knowledgeable observer.

  • Tack up and ride for 5-10 minutes to warm up. Ask for the rising trot.
  • If you are riding correctly, you will have ear-shoulder-hip-heel alignment.
  • Sit the trot. Ask your observer to watch your alignment. Do your legs move forward into a “chair seat” position after a few beats? If they do, then the seat of your saddle’s seat is too wide. It gets in the way of your leg and if you’re trying to ride correctly, you should try a different saddle with a narrower seat.

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