Saddle Buying Help

Here at ISellTack.com, we know how important finding the right saddle is, and how much of a difference the right saddle can make in your ride.  We also know that saddle fitting is more of an art than a science, and as such have put together the below information to help you select the saddle that is right for you.  From gullet width, to seat size, and flap length to how it fits on your horse, there's so much that goes into saddle fitting that we also offer trials on most of our saddles so that you can be sure the saddle is the right one fore you.


Trial Information

Most saddles come with a 3 day trial and a full refund less $65 for shipping and handling. Please contact us for the trial/return policy on the saddle you are interested in as some sellers will not accept returns and do not allow trials.  All prices listed are if you are paying by check or money order. Credit card and PayPal payments are gladly accepted.

I Sell Tack.com will not hold any saddle unless payment has been made. If you see a saddle that you are interested in, we strongly suggest sending a deposit or paying for it up front to reserve it as many of our saddles sell very quickly.  All saddles must be paid for in full before they are picked up or sent out on trial.


Choosing the Right Saddle
 

There's a lot that goes into choosing the right saddle, so we've broken it up into a few parts.  First, we'll talk about seat size.  Seat size in an English saddle is measured from the nail or button on either side of the pommel to the middle of the back of the cantle.  Remember that the size of the seat is also impacted by seat depth - a flatter seat will fit bigger than a deeper seat, and in some styles such as dressage saddles, riders find they need a 1/2" bigger in the dressage saddle than they do in their close contact saddle.

Next is understanding flap length.  There are many variations, from forward flaps, long flaps, short flaps, and all sorts of combinations.  Keep in mind that many of the high end and custom French saddle brands use a number/letter system to indicate the flap size and style, while your "off the rack" saddles tend to simply be marked as "standard flap," "long flap," "long forward flap," "forward flap," and so on.  

The best way to be sure the flap will fit you is to know the measurements that are ideal for your leg and riding style and compare to the actual measurements of the saddle flap.  To measure flap length, you would measure in inches from the stirrup bar to the bottom of the flap.  For the French saddles, as well as some other high end brands, there can be a combination of letters and numbers to indicate the flap style.  Usually the numbers range from 0 - 4 (short to long) and AA - D (very forward to straighter).  A saddle with a 2A flap would mean that the saddle has a shorter, more forward flap.  A 2AA saddle would be a short very forward flap, and a 3A would mean long forward flap.  Keep in mind that different companies may use different letter/number systems and it can vary by manufacturer, so it always helps to try the saddle out to be sure, or check with the manufacturer.


Fitting the Horse

Finding the right saddle for you is just the first step.  Once you know what saddle style, size, and fit you need, you need to also make sure that it fits your horse or horses.  There's nothing quite as good as hands on saddle fitting and evaluations, but we will give you a few pointers here to help you on your way.

First and foremost, the saddle should never touch the horse's spine.  For optimal performance, the horse should also have good shoulder clearance.  A saddle that rests on the spine can cause serious damage to the horse's back, and a saddle that is too tight in the shoulders can pinch, causing a restriction in the horse's stride or jump.  

Next, you want to check for bridging.  Bridging is when the saddle doesn't sit flush along the back muscles on either side of the spine, but actually leaves a gap under the seat, leaving usually the area under the pommel and the cantle as the two main points of contact.  This is bad because it can create pressure points on the muscles and negatively impact the horse's way of going.  If gone unnoticed, it can cause serious damage to the muscles of the horse's back.

Finally, when you check the saddle for fit on your horse, it should be without any saddle pads or accessories.  You can always ad shims and pads if necessary, but the ideal saddle fit needs no padding and allows the horse's muscles to move freely.  When testing out a new saddle, or taking a saddle on trial, please remember to place a thin towel or sheet between your horse and the saddle to keep it clean in case it doesn't fit and you need to return it!


Need More Help?

We know just how hard saddle fitting can be for the horse and the rider, and sometimes you may not even realize that the reason your horse isn't moving as well as he used to is due to a change in his body that has impacted how the saddle fits.  The information above is provided as general guidelines to use when trying out saddles, but in no way is the same as having a professional saddle fitter out to asses you and your horse.  If you need additional help, and are interested in having someone evaluate your saddle fit and don't want to be tied down to a specific brand representative, please contact us. If you want us to fit the rider, please send a clear picture of the rider sitting in a saddle from the side. Let us know the specs of the saddle he/she is sitting on and the rider's height. Please also tell us if the stirrup length in the picture is typical. Email that information to rachel@iselltack.com and we will work with you on a virtual saddle fit!

Trial Terms:

  • You have 3 days from the time you receive the saddle to decide if the saddle is right for you. If we do not hear from you on the 4th day with an answer, your sale will become final and no refunds will be given.
  • ** PLEASE RIDE ONLY IN BREECHES AND NEVER IN THE RAIN - THANK YOU! **
  • PLEASE USE CAUTION WHEN SLIDING A SADDLE ONTO A WOOD SADDLE RACK
  • Please store your saddle INSIDE your HOME (not in your garage, car, tack trunk, trailer, etc.) away from pets and smoke.
  • Warranty: I Sell Tack.com does not warranty or guarantee any used saddles. Some brands have warranties. Please check with the respective company to find out the details on their warranty. You are welcome to have a professional inspect your saddle prior to you making a final decision.
  • You are responsible for any damage done to the saddle while you have it on trial. If the saddle returns with any damage, your refund will be deducted accordingly plus depreciation.
  • Refunds/Returns: If you need to return a saddle, email us at rachel@iselltack.com with your reason for returning it (it will only help us with trying to sell it in the future). We will then email you a prepaid, UPS Ground label. Refunds are processed within THREE business days of receiving the return. We have no control on how long it takes your credit card company to process things on their end. You must wrap the saddle’s cantle and flaps in bubble wrap to prevent scuffs. Please never use packing peanuts.
  • 6% sales tax will be charged if you live in the state in Maryland

 

Happy saddle shopping!