Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Aussie saddles LONG for an Arab? My horses are Arabs, and I bought one because it was only 23 inches long! It isn't noticeably longer than an English saddle, and much shorter than most western saddles.
They are heavier than English saddles (mostly - I know DownUnder has one that weighs 13 lbs). I think around 25 lbs is typical. They have a wood and metal tree plus lots of leather, but are still lighter than a lot of western saddles (the western saddle I would like pushes 40 lbs!)
The cinching? It takes getting used to. My Arabs are small enough that I can't convert it over to western cinching, because there just isn't enough room for the converters and the cinch and straps. I think it is easier to overtighten an Aussie cinch than an English, but that just comes with practice. I like that the motion pulls on both the saddle and cinch at the same time.
I often ride mine using English stirrup leathers and stirrups. You can buy leather ($24) or cloth ($9) covers for the Aussie stirrup leathers. The only thing I like about the design is that the buckles are low instead of bulging at the hooks. I almost always wear cowboy boots when riding, so the boot shaft keeps the buckle from bothering my leg.
I typically ride an Aussie saddle with English stirrup leathers with cowboy boots and a Navajo blanket, so I won't win any awards for looks - but it works well for me.