Fitting an English Saddle

This article teaches riders about how to fit an english saddle and the various types like dressage saddles, close contact saddles, and all-purpose saddles.


Fitting an English Saddle

Buying the correct english horse saddle that fits both you and your horse is a difficult task. The wrong saddle could lead to discomfort, sores, and back pain for your horse, not to mention that poorly fitted saddles can impair a rider's balance. Here we will walk you through how to find the perfect english riding saddle whether you are hitting the show ring or enjoying the trails.

How to Measure for an English Saddle

How to Measure an English Saddle

Before you begin your search for your perfect saddle, it’s important to know how they are measured. This will help you understand how a saddle is fitted, which is especially important when shopping for used saddles. If you know how to measure a saddle you won’t have to rely on the expertise of a store owner who might not know much about saddle fitting.

To measure a saddle, grab a tape measure and measure the length from the center of the nail head (the metal piece below the pommel and just above the d-ring) to the top of the cantel. The measurement should usually be between 12 and 19 inches.

Most companies size their saddles using these inch measurements. Saddles can be sizes 12-19 and often increase in half inch increments. Here is a basic size chart:


Children’s Saddle: 12”-13”
Small Adult Saddle: 14”
Medium Adult Saddle: 15”
Large Adult Saddle: 16”
Extra Large Adult Saddle: 17” or above

Though this chart will help you understand the basics of saddle sizing, finding your correct size is a bit more complicated than knowing whether you're a small, medium, or large person. Factors like height, weight, and personal preference are also important when fitting a saddle.