How to Measure an English Saddle Flap

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If you are trying to sell an English saddle, whether dressage or jumping, through a classified ad or online, you may be asked by potential buyers to measure the length of your saddle's flap. Knowing the saddle flap length can also help you if you're the one looking to buy one of these saddles online. The bottom of your saddle's flap should not fall any lower than one-third of the way down your calf muscle when your leg is in the appropriate position for your discipline. Remember, your leg position is longer in a dressage saddle than in a close contact or all-purpose jumping saddle.

Things You'll Need

  • Saddle stand
  • Tape measure
  • Helper

For the Seller

  • Place the saddle on a saddle stand so that you can get the most accurate measurement.

  • Measure in inches from the bottom of the stirrup bar, which is the metal piece under the small flap on each side of the saddle, to the bottom of the large flap.

  • You can also consult with the manufacturer or a tack shop that offers your saddle's brand to find out what size flap your saddle has, as some manufacturers offer multiple flap sizes in one saddle model. This information can be helpful for potential buyers.

For the Buyer

  • Sit in a saddle with the seat size you normally ride in or are looking to buy on a saddle stand. Lift your knees into a normal riding position (your knees will fall just behind the front edge of the saddle's flap).

  • Ask a friend to measure the saddle as described in Step 2 above.

  • Look at where the flap falls in relation to your calf. The flap doesn't have to be exactly one-third down your calf, but that is considered the best placement for contact with your horse's sides. You can use the measurement you have taken to approximate what flaps may fit you best when you're reading saddle descriptions.

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