Many challenges are faced by female riders sitting in saddles that are essentially ‘gender inappropriate’. Why are you experiencing those bouts of discomfort – back aches, hip aches, bladder infections? Perhaps it could be your saddle at fault! Women with these issues and chronic pain led to the development of saddles made for women. Human body workers also treat clients for problems that they may not even realize come from saddles. Here is what to consider when women buy saddles:
a) The width between the upper inner thighs affects the width of the twist of the saddle. Make sure it works for you.
b) The ratio of the length of the upper leg to lower leg length determines position and/or length of the stirrup bar.
c) Women’s hip bones are articulated at the pelvic joint differently, causing the legs to naturally angle out. Proper flap positioning is another point in accommodating the female anatomy in saddle design.
d) The width of the seat is determined by the space between the seams running along the edge of the seat. If the twist is too wide and seat is too narrow, position and comfort are impacted.
e) The pelvic tilt and contact of the pubic symphysis is affected by the saddle model and the saddle balance.
f) Female ‘butt cheeks’ are generally higher placed than those of a male, and will benefit from added support or ‘push’ from behind.
Jochen Schleese, Certified Master Saddler and Saddle Ergonomist developed the Saddlefit 4 Life 80 point diagnostic evaluation to help you and your horse achieve optimal saddle fit! Book a Saddlefit 4 Life Educational event for your group!