In many instances everyone goes with saddle purchasing by what is readily available in the shop or online in popular seat sizes for adults of 16-17.5 inches.
Unfortunately in many cases we simply don't fit into that space properly. Yes, our bottoms are too big!
Not only do our behinds not fit into the correct position within the saddle, this significantly affects the position of legs and angle of our hips.
Vanity has no place in riding. Many of us age out of the 120# weight bracket and 17 inch bottom! If you sit upon the saddle and not in the saddle, then you are not only doing a great disservice to yourself, but also to your horse. Soundness issues for both of you will prevail and your spines will not align as they are supposed to do.
I visited with a video producer at Equine Affaire a year or so ago and she shared a booth space with a saddle retailer. She told me that she was absolutely aghast at the number of customers that would come and sit in a 17.5 inch saddle that was quite obviously too small for them and be told by said saddle fitter/retailer that it would work for them.
I urge all dressage riders, and indeed riders in all disciplines, to take a good hard look at how they actually fit in the saddle they are currently utilizing. Of course it is essential the saddle fit the horse, but it is equally essential it fit the rider. When both these factors are properly addressed the training for both horse and rider will be significantly improved.
As a note to saddle retailers and fitters, please provide some larger saddle sizes! Everything does not need to be custom ordered or made, most saddles can be readily adjusted to fit the horse. Not so much the rider. Please help us help ourselves!