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Bigger saddle could be coming to the market

Riding wear company Fuller Fillies has prompted some raised eyebrows after revealing plans to launch a new saddle.

It will be available to order in a 22in seat.

The general-purpose saddle, which the company hopes to release in late October, is its first foray into tack.

Until now, it has solely created riding wear for female riders in sizes 16-24.

But posts from the public on the company’s Facebook page, and since removed, questioned whether the new saddle would encourage people who are too heavy to ride.

In reply, Suzanne Wild of Fuller Fillies said: “We are dedicated to ensuring larger ladies get everything they need to enjoy their horses.

“I doubt we will be asked to produce a 22in seat, but if we were the chances are that it would be needed for an extremely tall person, rather than a heavy one.”

All saddles sold would be fitted by an approved saddler.

President of the Society of Master Saddlers, Laurence Pearman, said fitting such a saddle could be an issue.

“The weight-bearing panel of the saddle should not extend further back than the last rib and it would be difficult to find a horse with a long enough back to accommodate a 22in saddle,” he said.

He said saddle size is determined by both the size of the rider’s bottom and length of thigh.

But H&H vet Karen Coumbe said: “Its advisability depends on the horse’s conformation and the rider’s capabilities – a light rider can be like a sack of potatoes. Heavy horses were, after all, bred to carry a man in armour.”

This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (4 October 2012)

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