top of page

How to Measure the Seat of Your Saddle

Wrong way to measure western saddle seat size


How to correctly measure western seat size


The tape is low to give actual seat size on a tree with leather applied. The makers tag reads 17″ seat, but you can clearly see that the actual seat size is closer to 16.5.Thats how much room the rider has in the seat. Do you see the line of stitching clearly running around the cantle? It attaches the suede to the tooled leather of the cheyenne roll on this cantle. If the leather were removed from the pommel and the seat the bare tree itself would measure 17″ seat. Thats is how the maker chooses the tree. BARE. Therefore he labels the saddle with that “tree makers” measurement. Notice that the end of the tape is not pressed against the back of the horn, but instead raised just above the hole in the front of the seat and is pressed against the back of the swells instead. The tape can be raised up 1-2 inches from this hole without changing the seat size. but if you raise the tape up to the back of the horn you can actually gain a whole inch- sometimes more if the horn is a “forward” horn. Notice the difference in the 2 pictures of the same saddle with the tape moved up and down. That is why the proper way to measure is to press the tape to the back of the swells and stretch it tight and run it to the first line of stitching on the cantle where the leather is stitched to the tree beneath it. this will show the rider how much actual room they will have in that seat after the leather and padding has been applied. I ask for a picture of this measurement being taken so I can SEE how much actual room the rider will have in the seat. Thats what buyers want to know. 

bottom of page