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 Fitting Your Saddle to You
 Looking for the right size saddle for my daughter.
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ShowMOM
Tenderfoot



USA
2 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2012 :  2:00:28 PM  Show Profile Send ShowMOM a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I need some help choosing the right sized saddle for my daughter.

She recently began showing her horse in some fun shows. She loves to ride! At home she often rides bareback. In the shows we put her on her grandma's 13.5 custom Bandalero, which is really big for her.

She will be 3 years old, she weighs 29 pounds, and is 38 inches tall. Shes pretty little but tall for her age. She rides a full size black and white tobiano paint horse that measures 14.4 hands.

The saddle will be used for everyday riding as well as the shows, we plan to get her in riding lessons soon also.

My main issue when looking for saddles is the smaller sizes are often pony saddles.

Any info you can give me would be very helpful!

Thanks!

Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 04/29/2012 :  1:27:29 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ShowMOM

I need some help choosing the right sized saddle for my daughter.

She recently began showing her horse in some fun shows. She loves to ride! At home she often rides bareback. In the shows we put her on her grandma's 13.5 custom Bandalero, which is really big for her.

She will be 3 years old, she weighs 29 pounds, and is 38 inches tall. Shes pretty little but tall for her age. She rides a full size black and white tobiano paint horse that measures 14.4 hands.

The saddle will be used for everyday riding as well as the shows, we plan to get her in riding lessons soon also.

My main issue when looking for saddles is the smaller sizes are often pony saddles.

Any info you can give me would be very helpful!

Thanks!






I'm trying to grasp what you're saying here. Your daughter isn't even three years old and is riding a full-sized horse totally on her own ? Am I reading that correctly? I feel I need to know that's correct before making any kind of a recommendation. Don't get me wrong. I'll try to help if I can, but I've never heard of a child that young riding a horse totally on their own. It just took me by surprise.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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ShowMOM
Tenderfoot



USA
2 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2012 :  10:28:25 PM  Show Profile Send ShowMOM a Private Message  Reply with Quote
She is not yet riding completely on her own, though she is not far from it. She is riding in the leadline class at the fun shows, but is dying to go go go. She is very advanced for her age- in preschool she tested at a 5-6 year old level! We are hoping to get her in riding lesson as soon as the teacher is willing to take her.
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 05/02/2012 :  11:23:46 AM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You said, "...as soon as the teacher is willing to take her." I'd call that a wise teacher. I gave riding lessons for about 5 or 6 years, and I'd be very leary of taking on a 5 or 6 year old child let alone a--for sake of argument--a 3 year old child. Lessons take concentration and dedication. The student must stay focused on the lesson from anywhere from 30 to sixty minutes. The student must have a good sense of balance and coordination and be able to concentrate on using certain parts of the body independently. Most children under the age of 10 can't handle that.

If you came to me with your daughter and asked for an evaluation of her riding skills, I would do it. She would have to be extremely gifted to the point of miraculous before I would even consider her for lessons. Even then, I'd probably tell you to wait until she's older--say like 8 or 9 at the youngest--and then I would consider giving her lessons.

But that's not the question here. You're asking for advice on a saddle. You say your daughter is having fun in leadline classes at fun shows and that she only weighs 29 pounds. I would think a pony saddle that fits the child is more important, safety-wise, than fitting the horse. I really don't think a pony saddle for a few minutes in a leadline class would hurt the horse all that much toting 29 pounds. You want your child to be secure in that saddle. Her safety is paramount in this respect and should come before the horse.

Does she ride for long periods of time at home? Then a pony saddle might be a problem. If anything, I'd get this child a pony that the saddle will fit and that the child can learn from until she's grown enough to fit a horse saddle. There are some awesome well-broke ponies out there if you look. And I have seen ponies beat horses at fun shows... not many, but it has happened. Again, your daughter would be safer this way, and the saddle that would fit her would fit her mount.

I realize I don't know you and I haven't seen your daughter ride; but I do think your pushing the show thing way too fast. Let her enjoy showing in leadline for now. When she's old enough, put her in some walk/trot classes. There's no need to get into a rush. She's barely tasted life. She has tons of time to show and enjoy horses. Let her grow into it without all the hassle. Please don't take this the wrong way, but in my honest opinion you're rushing all of this way too fast.

Just thought I'd add that even if she tested scholastically at the 5 and 6 year level has nothing to do with physical ability. Most 3 year old children don't have the motor skills needed for lessons. Again, give her time to grow and gain experience gradually. She has a lifetime to learn without being rushed.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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