Another Aussie saddle thread (Sorry!)
 
 

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Another Aussie saddle thread (Sorry!)

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  • Australian cross over saddle
  • Australian stock saddle co. reviews

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    02-08-2013, 08:59 PM
  #1
Yearling
Another Aussie saddle thread (Sorry!)

Okay. So, I've been talking to a few separate people individually, but I just have so many questions running through my mind that I'd rather let anyone who might know something help me out.

I'm looking for an Aussie saddle. A black one, to fit my extra wide backed horse. My main issue is this - and please don't be offended by it! But I am a western rider to the bone. I honestly don't care for the look of an English saddle. I think they look silly. (DO NOT take this the wrong way! I very much respect English riders. It's just not my thing). And a lot of the Aussie saddles look a lot like English saddles (I understand the reasoning behind it). I would ride one that has the more English look, but NOT for the cost that I'm looking at here.

Now, I did find one that I love. This first one, the Muster Master (I would get it in black).

Aussie Leather Saddles

It has the Aussie seat and poleys, but it's got some skirting in back, and the western leg leathers that I really like. It's got enough 'western flair' to it that I would be willing to spend the money on it. And it's got all kinds of rings to attach stuff to in the back for trails.

I don't mind this next kind so much, but I don't care for the look of it tons. I wouldn't mind it but I don't want to spend that kind of money on a saddle unless I love it. It does have a nice amount of rings in back.

Down Under Legend

Mu only issue with the first saddle is it's made by Australian Stock Saddle company. I have not read very good things about them. They get their saddles made in India with Aussie materials, and I've heard bad things about their customer service. If I'm going to be spending 1300 on a saddle (The very top side of my budget) then I want to know it's going to last, and that I'm going to be able to contact the company should I have any issues. I've read average reviews on the Muster Master - some people seem to be really really happy and some people absolutely hate the quality or it breaks and they can't get in contact with the company, etc.

Does anyone here have experience with ASSC? I know DownUnder is a better brand (And Syd Hill better yet but I can't afford that). I'm just looking for advice here, I guess. I know it might seem stupid to refuse a good saddle based on looks, but if you're making a big purchase like this you want to be absolutely happy with it, right?

So. What do you recommend? I love the first one. I would pay for it. But the company who makes it gives me second thoughts. Is there another company that is more reputable that makes one like it? Or a place I can get one custom made to resemble the first one? What is your experience with different Aussie companies? I hear ASSC is based out of California.... I wish I lived there, I'd just go in!

I've heard of halfbreed saddles, but can't find a ton of info about them. I wouldn't be doing anything super crazy with it immediately - maybe a while down the road, but right now for trails and general work. I'd like to train her Western Pleasure style (Would an Aussie saddle inhibit this?). The three major brands I hear about are the ASSC, DownUnder, and Syd Hill - and I can't really find any others like the first one I posted. (And with no saddle horn!) I am looking for leather, not synthetic. I just don't have the knowledge that I need! I feel like I've googled near everything I can think of, but without knowledge of brands or companies or really anything it gets hard to sort through what's junk and what could potentially help me out.

My budget is being stretched with the first saddle. It's expensive, and I'll have to cut some current expenses out to be able to afford it. I can do that, but I don't want to go much higher.

Thanks for any help you can offer!
     
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    02-08-2013, 09:33 PM
  #2
Yearling
Sounds to me like you'd want a swinging fender half breed. I personally don't like the look of them, but they have a more western appearance which you may like.

I did some quick shopping around but as an Aussie, I have no idea where to look for Americans. If I were you though, I'd try looking secondhand too.

With any luck a fellow American with experience in stock saddle will come along to help.
     
    02-08-2013, 09:37 PM
  #3
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracer    
Sounds to me like you'd want a swinging fender half breed. I personally don't like the look of them, but they have a more western appearance which you may like.

I did some quick shopping around but as an Aussie, I have no idea where to look for Americans. If I were you though, I'd try looking secondhand too.

With any luck a fellow American with experience in stock saddle will come along to help.
I can't do secondhand. Clementine needs an extra wide, and in most Aussies I have seen that's a custom thing - the bar options go up to FQHB/Wide, and then there's the 'special order, send in wither tracing' option. I am highly doubting I'll find a secondhand that meets my specific wants :p If I did, I would snap it up, of course!

I'll look into swinging fender halfbreeds, though. (And probably come up with a billion questions about the brands I find LOL)
     
    02-09-2013, 09:17 AM
  #4
Green Broke
DO NOT buy the one made in India, they are cheaply made knock offs.

I have a down under longreach endurance saddle, it is lighter than the average aussies and the panels are shorter.

This is my saddle
DULongreach_H[1].jpg

I found this one from the place I bought mine from.
You might like it.
503e4cccfcc22e8189c134c8253c6e60.image.180x219.jpg

This where I got mine from.
Down Under Crossover Saddle with Horn [Down Under Crossover Saddle wit] - $1,145.00 : Cariboo Outback, Australian Saddles & Supplies
     
    02-09-2013, 11:31 AM
  #5
Yearling
I know it's made in India, but it's made with the Aussie leather and materials. I know there are people who are extremely happy and riding in ASSC saddles still 10-15years later.... And I know there are some people who are unhappy with their saddles. So there are some major mixed results. I wish I had a contact in CA to go there for me so I wouldn't have to deal with everything over the phone (If I went that way) LOL! -When I mentioned that I love the muster master... I REALLY love it, hence my waffling about going ahead to deal with the company. They do have a return policy. I wish I could find a custom maker in my price range!

I did look at those two. (I think I've looked at every DownUnder saddle in existance, it feels like.) The one I liked best was the Legend. That second one is okay, but I don't like it enough to buy it. I don't know why... The seat looks a bit different? It's got a saddle horn, but I bet that's optional. Hmm.
     
    02-09-2013, 11:42 AM
  #6
Trained
One of my friends has had a Muster Master for close to ten years and she loves it. Not all their saddles are made in India, even now. A few years ago I was looking for a saddle for my hard-to-fit Arab cross gelding and I really liked the ones from the Australian Stock Saddle Co. I called them to ask about custom fitting and actually spoke directly to Colin (the owner). He was SUPER nice and extremely helpful. I was on a budget and he gave me options that were very affordable. I called back a couple of weeks later and spoke to a woman and she was super friendly and helpful as well.

Things may have changed in the past couple of years, but that was my experience with them. My friend that has the Muster Master spoke to Colin when she bought her saddle (at the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show) and she loves him.
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    02-09-2013, 08:22 PM
  #7
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by DraftyAiresMum    
One of my friends has had a Muster Master for close to ten years and she loves it. Not all their saddles are made in India, even now. A few years ago I was looking for a saddle for my hard-to-fit Arab cross gelding and I really liked the ones from the Australian Stock Saddle Co. I called them to ask about custom fitting and actually spoke directly to Colin (the owner). He was SUPER nice and extremely helpful. I was on a budget and he gave me options that were very affordable. I called back a couple of weeks later and spoke to a woman and she was super friendly and helpful as well.

Things may have changed in the past couple of years, but that was my experience with them. My friend that has the Muster Master spoke to Colin when she bought her saddle (at the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show) and she loves him.
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That's heartening! The reviews I read on it were these (I couldn't really find too many other detailed reviews). There are two 3-4 'stars' and 2 single 'star' reviews. Two mention the piping on the cantle coming off, but I can't see that happening without some kind of jarring to cause it. I do hear good things from other people, like your friend for instance - ten years without issues.

Australian Stock Saddle Company/Colin Dangaard Australian Muster Master Saddle Trail Saddles Reviews @ Horse Tack Review

Australian Stock Saddle Co Muster Master Trail Saddles Reviews @ Horse Tack Review

Australian Stock Saddle Co Muster Master Trail Saddles Reviews @ Horse Tack Review

The Australian Stock Saddle Company Muster Master saddle Trail Saddles Reviews @ Horse Tack Review

Can you talk to your friend and ask what she thinks of these? Does she agree with any of it? Disagree? One of them has in the Dislikes section the "Exposed metal from the adjustable tree" - what does that mean? If you could help me out I'd be forever grateful :) It seems as if, if I buy this saddle, it could really go either way - be fantastic or be an issue.
     
    02-09-2013, 08:52 PM
  #8
Trained
I showed them to her. She doesn't agree with any of the negative ones. No idea what the "metal from the exposed adjustable tree" is all about. I've ridden in her saddle once and, although it was too small for me (she's very petite), it was very comfortable. It's never sored her horse, even with his weight fluctuations (when I met him, he looked like a pregnant mare).
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    02-09-2013, 09:23 PM
  #9
Yearling
That's fantastic! I'm glad there's a good review on it.

I just stumbled across this saddle, from James Saddlery, based out of Australia. If you look at the Ringer Mk III saddle, third down on this page, it's very similar to the Muster Master.

James Saddlery

Has anyone heard anything about James Saddlery? Good, bad? They seem to have a better customer satisfaction rate, and have a 5 year warranty on their saddles.
     
    02-09-2013, 09:28 PM
  #10
Trained
I've heard that James is one of the best out there. Not sure how much shipping to the States would be, though. O.o
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