Choosing a Ghost

Although your choice of Ghost model is mostly personal and based upon your tastes and riding activity, I'll try to help you choose the best seat size and thigh block angle for your human conformation and seat preference. Note that most treeless saddles, Ghost included, recommend maximum rider weight of around 165 pounds and less for faster riding endurance riders. We are currently testing different panel shapes and materials to extend this range or add to your comfort zone especially if you ride for particularly long times. 

Below are pictures of me sitting on 2 different Ghost models on a saddle stand. Keep in mind the saddle stand isn't balanced like a horse and I'm sitting, not the position I'd be in for trotting, which for me, means I'd prefer a thigh block more vertical than these pictures might indicate. So you'll have to compare to what you know about your riding preferences and if possible - pics of you sitting on a horse. I can help if you email me pics of you riding from the side.

Information on me: 5'3" approximately 128lbs, distance from my hip to knee is 18", circumference of my thigh is 22"

Saddle #1 18" Firenze - long flap, angled thigh blocks

I would typically ride in a 17" seat.
There is a fair amount of open space
behind my butt and a big gap
between my thigh and the blocks.

The angle between my thigh and the
block doesn't look too bad, but I
know I'll be riding more vertically in
my typical trotting gait for endurance.

I have done long rides in this saddle
without any problems because I can
use the front stirrup position and I
just use the front of the saddle for
posting and two-point.

I also created some inserts to help
the "in-between" rider - here.

Saddle #2 17" Roma - long flap, straighter thigh blocks

 

 

This is the saddle I would
choose for myself. I feel
passive contact with the
blocks and the cantle. 

The 17" Roma and Quilty
might run a bit small if you
have a long thigh.

My first ride in a Ghost was 20
miles in this saddle. I was 
hooked!

 

One of the best metrics for choosing seat size is thigh size - circumference and length/angle. Measure at the fullest part of your thigh near the top. This corresponds to roughly 6.75-7" down from your crotch when sitting on a saddle (pic below) which is the farthest back point of the thigh block. The first pic is me sitting in a 17" Quilty with a 23" thigh circ (yup, I gained weight!) The second pic below shows the space from the thigh block to where my seat bones sit at about the 9" mark. A 17" Roma/Quilty has roughly 10" of room from that point on the thigh to your seat bones, depending upon the width of your pelvis. The next pic shows Stace in the same 17" saddle. We normally both ride in a 17" english saddle, but here, his 26.5" thigh puts him a bit far back on the seat. He looks much better in the 18" Quevis (although with his straight leg, I would put him in a Roma/Quilty.

How can you use this information to choose a seat size? Measure your thigh at this point, divide by 2.8. This table will get you a rough estimate of which seat/thigh block angle to start with, but I can help refine by looking at pictures of you sitting on a horse from the side to judge your angle. There is room for error in all of these - the real important measurement is based upon where your seat bones will sit and that's a bit harder to determine with pictures and a different saddle. But if you're demoing a Ghost, you want your seat bones to be in front of the stitch line at the back of the seat. From there, if you're comfortable, then that's what's important!

Thigh circ/2.8 Model
<8.5 17" Roma/Quilty
8.5-9 17" Firenze/Quevis
9-10.25 18" Roma/Quilty
10.25-11 18" Firenze/Quevis

If you think you might be in between sizes, let me know because I have options! To help me do some test rides  in the Firenze when the Romas were out on demo, I created some inserts - check this page.


By discipline:

Trail/endurance
Obviously I'm an endurance rider, so that's the area I'm most experienced. I think any of the Ghost models would be comfortable on the trail. The Barroca might be a little fancy looking, but hey, on the trail, do what feels right! If you want to look a little more western, I'd suggest a brown or two-tone saddle in either the Quilty or Quevis models with fenders. You can ride these saddles without the fenders and endurance riders might consider this to save on weight. If you already have a treeless pad, it's likely it can work with Ghost. I've tested several for shape and support suitability, so if you're wondering, just ask. The Ghost pad is a great entry level pad, especially for the price. But endurance riders might also consider Skito, Grandeur, Toklat Matrix or others.

Dressage
The Roma is the best option for dressage riders with a long, straight leg. And of course the classical black looks great. If you have a longer thigh and need a bit more angle in your leg, the Firenze still looks great in black.

English/arena
The Firenze will allow a shorter stirrup more comfortably.

Jumping
I'd love to hear stories of people jumping with theirs Ghosts. I've only done about 18" so far because I don't have any horses interested in jumping right now. The jumps I've taken were in the 17" Roma and I didn't have any problems with no having shortened my stirrups - well, at 18", we barely did a hop! I also took a few in an 18" Quevis which was too big for me, but I had my stirrups forward and we had some lovely canters out of the hops. I'd recommend the Firenze because you'll have a smoother line under your leg - no chance of catching fenders or stirrup straps on girth rigging. Ok, yes, I'm one of those weirdos that run my stirrups under the flaps. Illegal in Australia I hear! Here's to breaking the rules and being comfortable I say!

By horse size:

For those of you riding ponies or shorter backed horses, saddle length can be an issue. And it's a tough one. You want to distribute your weight over the biggest (but still weight bearing) area possible, but you don't want your weight to interfere with shoulder action or rub the horse's hip when turning. My mare Ava is 14.1H and while technically some might call her a pony, she still feels horse sized, or at least not limiting, for saddle length. But she's the shortest back of my test horses for comparison. 

Colors and materials
Click here for information on leather and synthetic materials as well as your options for colors!

Customers!

I love when my Ghost customer send me pics and stories of how you're using your Ghost. 

Last Updated: 4/4/2016