Saddle seat size conversion from English?

I have a pony who I am considering buying a western saddle for as she is semi retired and our goals now are trail riding and fun days (plus I can easily school her in anything), and I want to refit her English saddles for my young horse.

Is there a general conversion guide for English seat size to western? I know next to nothing about western saddle fit, but she is a pony so giant saddles aren’t an option and I want to at least have a vague idea when shopping around if something might work.

She takes at most a 16.5” dressage/jump saddle. What does that equate to with a western?

Seat size is for humans and in western saddles generally can be about 1" to 2" less in a western saddle.

I use a 17" English saddle, measured from the nail/button under the pommel to the middle of the back of the seat.
I ride a 15" reining western saddle, measured from the base of the horn directly to the top of the middle of the cantle.

As how a western saddle will fit a small pony, you meant skirt length, maybe?

Strictly speaking I need a 17-17.5" dressage saddle for my femur length, (my ass can easily fit in a 15"), but of course short backed pony meant we make do with a 16.5", the dressage was actually custom made with a slightly longer flap.

And yes I guess I’m asking about the skirt…I think I have read that the skirt can come further back than english saddle panels can as the weight distribution is different? Pony is a whopping 13.2, saddles tend to slide forward and to add to the fun she’s got a wither that would make you wonder if she’d part TB!

I use a 18 inch english and ride in a 16 inch western ( or endurance saddle) if your pony is short backed I suggest a round skirt saddle.

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It depends on what kind of riding you’ll be doing. For example, I have competed in most all western performance events at some point in my life and am a wannabe eventer. I’m about 5’8" and weigh about 155. I ride a 17.5 - 18 jump saddle depending upon how forward the flap is. In a western saddle, if it’s a barrel saddle I would ride a 14.5 - 15 depending on how flat the seat is and how the fenders are hung. But in a reining or cutting saddle i’d ride a 16". Hope this helps!

Hope this might help you

Western Saddle seat size chart

Generally I have people start with 2" less from English to Western. However, each style of saddle is going to fit your body differently so this really isn’t an accurate gauge. The best thing you can do is go to a saddle shop and sit in as many different types as possible. This will help you determine what style seat fits your anatomy best. Seat length, cantle height, twist on the bars, and width of the seat will all have a major impact on how the saddle fits you. Not to mention you should try both padded and hard seat saddles.

Personally I prefer a flatter seat with very high back and deep pocket, so ranch saddles are ideal for me, most barrel saddles work as well. I also hate padding of any sort, it makes me sore after a while, my saddles are all hard seat. Cutting saddles are typically very flat, but the twist is too narrow for me and the pocket isn’t as deep as I’d like. Roping saddles can go either way depending on their build, some work, some don’t. Reining saddles almost always have too much rise for me. The height of the cantle will also effect seat length. The higher the back, the longer the seat you’ll need otherwise it will push you forward rather than sit you down. I ride a wade with a 4" cantle that has a 16" seat and that’s perfect. I’ve also got a roper that fits well, has a 2.5" cantle, and is comfortable at 15". My other saddle is a barrel saddle with a 3" cantle that works for me at a 15.5" seat. I spend a lot of hours in all 3 of these every week and they all fit me well. Go sit in as many as you can. It’ll do you much better than guessing.