Originally Posted by poppy1356
Thank you both. I might put different stirrups on anyway since it has the normal English stirrup bar.
I know it wasn't made in Australia as most in the us aren't. But I've ridden in a cheap no name English saddle and the leather feels different. Not cheap just old and needs conditioning. The seat isn't really hard leather and there's no cracking anywhere.
We will see if I even like it when I'm riding or if Lizzy dear likes it. She will tell me right away if it doesn't fit as she bucks then.
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I have not found the less expensive Aussie saddles to feel as stiff and hard as the cheaper English saddles. There seems to be something as to how the leather is shaped in the seat and sides that makes them seem softer and more comfortable. Maybe it's the larger, unbroken surfaces of leather, I don't know. The leather isnt tanned as well and so it will not absorb oil as well and may become quite dry over time. An older saddle that has been well cared for will still feel quite nice.
As for your horses comfort, after you have ridden look for any pressure marks or areas that sweat more under the saddle. The saddle should distribute the weight fairly evenly along the contact points. If anything, watch for fit in the shoulder. Some Aussie saddles can seem to fit a bit narrower and limit shoulder movement a bit.
Aussie stirrups are different than English stirrups. They should be heavier and larger with 4 bars across the bottom. They are quite comfortable and encourage a proper riding position. I wouldn't recommend switching to an English or a western stirrup. In the Aussie saddle, you tend to ride with a deeper seat and straighter legs with the toes a little farther forward. You should be able to slide your flattened hand down your thigh so that it fits comfortably between your thigh and the poleys. It shouldn't be snug and there shouldn't be a ton or room either. The spacing between the top and bottom of the pokey and your thigh should also be fairly even if your leg is in the correct position.