After buying a saddle that was definitely smaller than advertised, I learned how to measure the seat size on a Sensation treeless saddle. Unlike an English saddle where you measure from the button on the side of the pommel to the center of the cantle, or a Western saddle where you measure from the pommel straight back to the cantle, with the Sensation saddle, you need to measure the size of the base — underneath the padded seat. That measurement isn’t the seat size, but you can determine it from that.
On a Sensation saddle, the seat topper is attached using Velcro. Once you remove the seat and the stirrup attachment, measure from the middle of the pommel/swell straight back to the cantle. Using that measurement you can extrapolate the corresponding seat size. Note that English and Western versions are different.
The saddle that I had bought was a “Hybrid”, which as it suggests, is a mix between an English and a Western saddle. It’s a very popular model, so I wanted to try it. The saddle was advertised as an 18″ saddle (which would be a 16″ Western saddle).
What a relief. It’s not quarantine weight. It’s a misrepresented saddle. Of course, in a fair world, the seller would have apologized and told me to send it back at her expense. In reality, she refused to take the return and I’m now working through Paypal to get my money back.
You might remember that I already own a Sensation Western Sport, which was sold to me as a 16″ Western (18″ English). That one fit as advertised and, sure enough, when I pulled out the tape measure and took of the seat topper, it measured 14″, just like it was supposed to.
In retrospect, I shouldn’t have bothered with the Hybrid. I bought it because I wanted to see if I liked that model better and it reinforced for me that the Western Sport is absolutely a great saddle. It still is the only saddle that doesn’t cause my knee and ankle any pain and it’s very secure on Zelda’s back.
Given the confusion over measuring these saddles, my advice to anyone looking for one is to either buy from someone very reputable, or ask them to pull of the seat topper and pull out the tape measure.
Have you ever bought a saddle that wasn’t as advertised?