Pony Saddle vs Horse Saddle: Are They Same?

By Zunnun Ahmed •  Updated: 04/13/23 •  5 min read

Ever heard the name Pony or junior saddles?

If you’re in the horse riding world, you must have heard. But what is a pony saddle?

Pony saddle vs horse saddle – Are they the same?

Is there any difference actually?

Pony saddles and horse saddles have distinct features and characteristics, and they are, of course, not the same. Pony saddles are usually at least two to three inches smaller compared to horse saddles. They have different structures and fittings. In consequence, most pony saddles are better for kids, and horse saddles are best for teens and adults.

So, what is a saddle pony?

A pony saddle is a saddle made specifically for ponies. 

It is a leather seat you can fasten on the back of a pony for riding. These saddles are wide but smaller in size to fit the backs of ponies.

Here is the deal…….

A pony is a breed of horse family with a smaller body. 

Mostly kids ride ponies, as these animals can not carry heavy loads due to their small size and less strength. That is why pony saddles are also designed to fit such requirements.

Related: Find the perfect saddle for your flat-backed horse! We review the best saddles to provide a comfortable and secure fit. Learn more now.

What is a horse saddle?

In plain words- this is for adults.

A horse saddle is a saddle or a leather seat that you can set on a horse’s back for horse riding. You can sit on the seat and guide your horse well while ensuring your safety.

These saddles are slightly larger than the pony saddles, as horses are bigger and heavier than ponies. You can find various types of horse saddles on the market, such as….

Key difference between a pony and a horse saddle?

The basis for comparisonPony saddleHorse saddle
SizeIt is compact in size, usually around 12 inches, to fit the smaller back of a pony.It is larger than a pony saddle, usually around 15 to 18 inches, to have a better fit on the horse’s back.
WeightDue to their smaller size, pony saddles weigh less.Horse saddles weigh more than pony saddles because of their larger sizes and various features.
Flap lengthThe flap length is short, as ponies are not tall.The flap length can be short or long, depending on the type of horse saddle.
VarietiesOne for adults and one for kids.Numerous varieties are available depending on the rider’s purpose.
CompatibilityBetter for kidsSuitable for both kids and adults
Stirrup Bar PlacementPlaced further forward to accommodate shorter legsUsually in a further back to accommodate longer legs

Related: Discover the ultimate guide to selecting the best horse saddle brand. Learn what to look for and get expert tips on finding the right product for you. Read more.

Pony saddle or horse saddle: what to look for finding the right saddle?

Finding the right saddle is crucial.


For the safety of you and your beloved pony.

The wrong saddle can hurt the horse. Here are a few things to look for when finding the right saddle.

Riding purpose First, you must determine why you want to ride your horse. 

Fix your purpose, and then select a particular type of saddle that will fit your need.

Seat size

Do you know that Saddle size is measured in inches?

Yeah, that’s right.

Once you know the saddle type, you need to select the seat size. 

The equation is pretty clear……

If you are buying a saddle for your pony, then you will need a smaller one. But for a grown-up horse, you will definitely need a larger one. 

Gullet size

The gullet size indicates the width of the saddle. Generally, they come in three different sizes: 

But usually, women always go for wide gullets, while men prefer narrow gullets.

Flap length

Flap length is quite important, as a short flap will stick to the rider’s boot, whereas a long flap will be harder to reach. 

As a rule of thumb……

You should select a flap where one-third of the flap stays beneath your leg. 

Tree material

The tree is the main construction material for your saddle. Saddles are made of 

And other synthetic materials. 

I usually prefer leather as it is more comfortable and long-lasting.

Related: Learn about the similarities and differences between Wade and Association Saddles. This comprehensive guide will determine which is best for you and your horse’s needs.

Can you use a pony saddle on a horse?

Yes, you can use a pony saddle on a horse if it fits. 

Most pony saddles are 12 inches, whereas horse saddles start at 15 inches. If the horse’s body size is small, you can use the pony saddle. 

But here is the kicker:

You should not use a horse saddle on a pony. 

That’s because a horse saddle will be too large for a pony, which will make the pony uncomfortable. It’s best to get a pony saddle for the pony and a horse saddle for the horse.


As you can see……..

The key difference between a pony saddle and a horse saddle is their size. 

Besides, pony saddles are usually for kids up to age 14, whereas adults go for horse saddles. My recommendation will be not to use them alternatively, as it can hurt the animal.

Zunnun Ahmed

We are a group of horse enthusiasts. We want to provide information and tips to help others learn more about horses, how to care for them, and how to enjoy them.

Keep Reading