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A Guide To Saddle Sizing for the Rider

Sierra L |

Having the right size saddle is important for numerous reasons. The right size saddle ensures that your horse is comfortable and that the saddle will not cause them any unnecessary harm while riding. Still, saddle fitting isn’t all about the horse. 

An ill-fitting saddle can negatively influence your riding technique and rider balance, which can be a safety hazard. Here is a guide to saddle sizing for the rider. 

Discipline Matters 

How your saddle will be used can influence what type of saddle and fit you’ll need. For example, comfort-built saddles are more important for trail-riding, whereas a roping saddle will be more durable and withstand more torque. 

Sizing Up Your Saddle 

Saddle size preferences can vary between riders; however, you’ll mainly want to focus on the seat size. Generally, you should have four inches between the front of your body and the swell of the saddle. Your backside should rest at the base of the cantle without pressing against the back of the cantle. 

Sizing by Leg Length 

Taller and longer-legged riders should look to purchase a larger seat saddle, so your knees can comfortably rest without overhanging in front of the fenders. Before buying a saddle, you should test the stirrup length to assess your ability to balance in the saddle. Here is a guide to picking a saddle size based on leg length: 

Leg Measurement  Seat Size 
16.5 inches or less  13” 
16.5 – 18.5”  14” 
18.5 – 20”  15” 
20 – 23”  16” 
23 – 25”  17” 
25” +  18” 


Sizing by Weight 

Finding the right saddle seat can also be done by picking the right size associated with your total weight. Here is a guide to picking the right seat size for your weight: 

Rider Weight  Seat Size 
90 – 130 lbs  15” 
131 – 190 lbs  16” 
190 – 240 lbs  17” 
240 + lbs  18” 


Following a guide to saddle sizing for the rider can be a great way to find the right saddle for you. Check out Coolhorse for used ranch saddles for sale among many more options with your newfound saddle-fitting knowledge.