Children love to ride horses and ponies, maybe even more than adults do. It can be a fun activity for them in the outdoors. However, riding horses could be a dangerous sport for kids to do. This is where saddles come to the rescue.
What size saddle do I need for a child? Your best bet is to take your child to a state fair or big rodeo where they have many saddles. Put her on one that she is comfortable ask for help. You want one that will fit a range of horses as well. We bought one that will fit our mini horse and it will also fit a quarter horse.
Seats are a safety measure for both adults and kids. Use of saddles should not be left out whenever riding a horse, because you can’t trust animals. To find out the perfect size saddle your kid needs, continue reading!
What is a saddle?
The saddle is a supportive structure for a rider or other load which is tied to an animal’s back by a girth. Here we are talking about the seat which placed on a horse’s back. Sidesaddles are made from cotton material and contain a small quantity of leather or plastic. The saddle should be comfortable not only for the rider but for the horse as well.
The facts that need to know before buying a saddle are, is the child tall or short? What is their waist size? What are the child’s thigh and leg size? Is the child heavily built or skinny? What is the age of the child? A saddle can be bought which fits the kid perfectly, and the child can overgrow it as they grow, or it can be purchased of a bigger size so that the child can use it in the future also. For a child, it’s essential to use a proper format for saddle because he or she is new to learning horseback riding. The kid is just beginning to experience a journey, and it should be done correctly so that he or she can determine it well.
Different features of a Saddle:
1) A depth of the seat: Some saddles have deep places designed for running. Also, shallow seats are designed particularly for movement.
2) The slope of Cantle: The cantle of the saddle can be straight or high.
3) Cantle dish: The cantle can be flat and have a front side that might be deep.
All of these features of the saddles determine the way a seat will fit on the rider and in our case, the child.
How to measure the child for the saddle:
For determining, what size saddle do I need for a child? First, you have to take proper measurements. The child’s leg length and size of the seat are measured firstly. For this, the child is required to sit on a chair with keeping his or her shoulders, hips, and heels in a straight line. The child’s button should not touch the chair back. Make a mark between the thighs and add another mark behind the seat. The distance between these two marks will determine the seat size. Then measure the length of the inner thigh with the knees bent. This will determine the upper leg length and the breadth of the saddle.
How to measure a saddle:
The next step is to measure the saddle. Place the measuring tape against the middle part of the pommel of the saddle. Now measuring tape is stretched across the seat of the saddle to the centre of the front of the cantle. Then the size is measured in inches.
Measure the saddle size by age:
1) For 2-3 years old children 8-inch saddle is recommended.
2) 3-5 years old – 10 inches saddle.
3) 6-8 years old – 12 inches saddle.
4) 8-10 years old -13 inches saddle.
5) 10 years old – 14 inches saddle.
Upper leg length measurement:
If a child’s leg length is 9 inches, then saddle should be of 10 inches. If the child’s upper leg length is 11 inches, then the saddle size should be of 12 inches.
Benefits of using a saddle:
A saddle is a must, especially for children when they are horse riding. Also, on top of that, the size of the leather matters a lot. If the size is not according to the child’s body proportions, then it can be dangerous for the child. Horseback riding should be a joyful and great experience so all the safety margins should be taken care of. Children should ride only when adults are keeping a watch on them. They should not be allowed to ride without a helmet. Usually, saddle for kids not made of good quality, and the seat is not balanced which will disturb the leg position.
Facts to be noted before buying:
1) Seat size: If the seat size is too large then a child who is skinny will be floating around in the seat. If the seat size is too small then for a heavyweight child it will become challenging to ride.
2) Comfortable for the horse: The saddle should also be suitable for the horse. If it does not fit properly, then it might put a strain on the horse’s muscles and injure it causing danger to both the child and the horse.
3) Buying proper stirrups: Stirrups are attached to each side of the saddle which provided a base for the rider’s feet. It’s essential that the length of stirrup should be of appropriate size. If the stirrups are too long for the child, then it can cause difficulty in horseback riding. They should be short enough to fit according to the child’s length. If the child is quite short in length, then stirrup helper can be purchased.