For many kids, western saddles are the first they’ll ever ride in. Buying a saddle – even a pint-sized one – is a major decision and a bit of an investment. Before making this important purchase, it is a good idea to do a little homework.
Pick a Size
Just like a full-size saddle for adults, a kids’ western saddle needs to fit the child and the horse he or she will be riding.
If your child is riding a full-size horse, consider our kids seat quarter horse saddles, which are built on average size quarter horse trees with youth seat sizes.
A very small child or toddler will fit in a 7 to 8 inch seat, while kids between 3 and about 6-1/2 years old need a 9 to 10 inch seat. Kids between 7 and 10 years old usually fit into 11 to 12 inch seats, and kids age 11 and up are typically ready for size 13 and larger, depending on height and body shape. Boys normally take a smaller seat than girls at this age, as girls’ hips begin to widen as they develop.
When choosing a size, think about what fits the child now, or what will fit well in just a few months. Whatever fits best right now is probably going to be most comfortable, although you can go up by about an inch in size and end up with a good, comfortable fit. Be sure that you are able to return the saddle if it’s not the right size for your child! At SaddleOnline, we understand that your child will need to try their new kids’ western saddle out for size, and we have a generous return policy in case the one you pick doesn’t fit right.
Pick a Price Range
Kids’ western saddles don’t have to cost a bundle! Since your child is going to outgrow a small saddle in just a few short seasons, it makes sense to look for a bargain. At the same time, it’s best not to spend any money on a saddle that’s either poorly made, or so used that it’s falling apart at the seams. Both choices exist, but there’s a better option. You can easily get a brand new saddle for under $300, without sacrificing your horse’s health or taking any chances on your child’s safety. If you are on a very tight budget and have a good saddle that already fits your horse, consider a set of Western buddy stirrups that attach to a western saddle’s horn, providing kids with a safe, secure place to put their feet while riding. These are about $20 a pair and adjust to different lengths.
Pick a Style
Just like saddles for grownup cowboys and cowgirls, kids’ western saddles come in a fantastic array of color and style options. Maybe you’ve got a little girl who loves to dress her horse all in pink! Check out the pink crystal mini saddle, which comes complete with matching tack. This is a great set for lessons and everyday riding, and it’s packed with cool details any horse-loving princess is sure to appreciate.
Boys might like the similar blue trimmed version of this youth saddle, or they might like the classic appearance of the kids’ western saddle in buckskin brown. Conchos add a cool cowboy look!
If showing is your child’s goal, then the downsized western show saddle, which features black contrast and lots of carved floral and basket weave tooling, might be just the thing.