How To Measure A Western Saddle Seat
Western saddle seat sizes are easy to measure accurately. Below is an illustrated photo showing how to do it. Using a tape measure or ruler, measure from the front of the saddle's cantle (shown in the photo as the left-hand end of the blue line) in a straight line to the front of the seat (shown in the photo as the right-hand end of the blue line).
Below: Measuring the seat of a Western saddle. This saddle has a 16 inch seat.
When measuring a Western saddle's seat, don't make the common mistake of touching the tape measure or ruler to the saddle pommel to get the seat measurement. Many saddles have a pommel that slopes forward, and measuring all the way to the pommel will result in an inaccurate measurement. Be sure to measure in a straight line, and stop measuring at the front of the seat, which is illustrated in the photo by the red line.
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Here's another look at how to measure a Western saddle seat, this time with a saddle that has a different style of cantle. The same technique applies, though: Measure from the front of the saddle's cantle (the left-hand end of the blue line) in a straight line to the front of the seat (the right-hand end of the blue line).
Below: Another Western saddle. After being measured, this one has 15 1/2 inch seat.
Measuring English Saddles
English saddles are measured differently than Western saddles. To measure the seat of an English saddle, place your tape measure or ruler at the cantle, the same way you would with a Western saddle. However, instead of measuring straight forward to the front of the seat, with an English saddle you should run the measurement at an angle to the nail head or rivet visible at the front of the saddle skirt.
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