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How to measure a saddle - Saddles Direct

How to measure a saddle

Measuring a saddle can be a daunting task if you have never had any experience doing so. At Saddles Direct we have years of experience measuring new saddles and measuring used saddles that come into us to sell. We want to help break down the fear and show you two quick and easy ways to measure your saddle; seat size and saddle width.

1. Measuring Saddle Seat Size

Measuring the saddle seat size is the lesser of two evils. All you need is a tape measure and the saddle in front of you. You would start by placing the tape measure (at mark 0) in the centre of the saddle badge/head nail and measure to the centre of the cantle. This measurement in inches is the saddle seat size which is measured in whole and ½ units e.g. 17”, 17.5” etc.

Measuring Saddle Seat Size


Measuring Saddle Seat Size to the middle of the cantle.

2. Measuring Saddle Width

Measuring the saddle width can be trickier and leave you wondering where to start. There are many ways to measure a saddle including the exact width between the saddle points, between the panel etc. However, a very quick gauge of the width is with your fists at the front of the saddle between the panel.

Measuring Saddle Width

Saddle Width: MEDIUM/M

A M fit saddle would roughly be 1 fist’s width in the front of the saddle, see image below:

1 fist width = medium fit

Saddle Width: MEDIUM WIDE/MW

A MW fit saddle would measure around 1.5 fist’s width or a fist + ¾ fingers, see image below:

1.5 fist width = medium wide

Saddle Width: WIDE/W

A wide fit saddle would again be bigger and generally would be 2x fist’s widths, see image below:

2 fist widths = wide

These are the most common sizes seen on new saddles and used saddles. If you needed to expand further with Narrow/N, Narrow Medium/NM or Extra Wide/XW you would decrease or increase from the M and W fist widths accordingly.

*Please note this is an approximate guide and not in any way an exact science, all saddle manufacturers (like clothes or shoes) have their own standards for M/MW/W and can differ between makes and even models*

Measuring a saddle using a Gullet Gauge

If this all still fills you with dread, you can also purchase a nifty little tool from the EASY-CHANGE fit solution range. The Gullet Gauge is a tool to help you select the correct size gullet to fit your horse. You can also use the Gullet Gauge to monitor any changes in your horse’s muscling every three to six months.

As the EASY-CHANGE gullet bars, similar to the Thorowgood/Kent & Masters/Fairfax, are very true to size this gullet gauge is a super useful tool to have for width measurements of saddles and of your horse!

Let us help you get the right size

If you're still unsure, we can help! If you can provide us with a serial number for your saddle (usually under the flap) we can reference this with the manufacturers to see what the original size of the saddle was. However, if you have a secondhand saddle, it is important to remember that this may have been adjusted so may not always be the same size as the stamp. 

Reach out to our friendly team of saddle experts for more advice, you can start a live chat, email or call our team on 01995 642 102

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