Australian Saddle Fit - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 11-10-2009, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: California
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Question Australian Saddle Fit

I need some help with australian saddle fit. I have a standardbred gelding, and I recently bought a used australian saddle. I am transitioning from english to trail riding, so I do not know much about proper saddle fit for australian.

The saddle looks great on the horse, it sits evenly, it does not slip, There is plently of clearance under the pommel, it seems to snuggle right down into that nice spot on his shoulder. However, I am worried about the clearance over my horse's spine. I am not sure if this is an issue with australian. With my english saddles, I would always make sure that when the saddle sits on the horse, there is plenty of clearance between the pannels down the gullet from the front to the back of the saddle. With my australian saddle, there is clearance directly over his withers, but about 5 inches behind the pommel the saddle makes contact flat across his back. He is not a meaty stock-horse type, he is a typical standardbred with prominent withers and a narrower frame. The saddle is not one of the australian saddles with pannel flocking, it has felt flocking kind of like this one:

My question is: Is this type of saddle supposed to sit down more along the horse's spine, or do I need to address saddle fit?

Thanks in advance for any advice you have!

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post #2 of 5 Old 11-10-2009, 07:55 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
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Hi, I have a standardbred named Codi too. I ride him in an aussie saddle with stuffed panals. No part of the saddle should be directly on the spine.
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post #3 of 5 Old 11-10-2009, 08:49 PM
Green Broke
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I have the same problem... And the flaps are so big I can't make contact with my legs..
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post #4 of 5 Old 11-11-2009, 10:38 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: SW Michigan
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I have this same problem with mine which is why I finally gave up and decided to sell it. I could not get it to sit right, and the sides kind of pancaked out so that my legs were way far away from the sides of my horse. It seemed to me that are made for wide horses with tall withers!

I agree with what everybody has said, no matter what type of saddle, it needs to have proper clearance of the spine and withers.
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post #5 of 5 Old 11-11-2009, 11:36 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
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I have an Aussie saddle that fits my TWH quite well, but I bought it new and sent in a wither tracing. I really like it. Don't give up on Aussie saddles, they're great for trail riding. I think you probably need one like mine with the serge panels since your horse has narrow withers. You can get info on this on Wither tracing and fitment instructions for Aussie Saddles. There's a section on the bottom of the page on serge panel vs. fleece panels.

I believe you can get the saddle adjusted to fit a narrower horse, but I'm not sure how or who would do that. They also have quite a few saddlepads to fix fitment issues on that site. Of course if those options would cost a lot, you might be better off buying a reasonably priced new one and reselling the used one. I have the Kimberly Literider - I checked out the reviews on before buying it because it isn't one of the pricier ones, kinda midrange.

I originally bought a used one, but my horse hated it, it was actually too narrow (she's kinda medium). I returned that, bought the new one and she's great with it. I'm much more comfy riding in that than I am in a western saddle and I feel more secure (I'm not an overly experienced rider).

The customer service people are great at Down Under Saddle Supply. I called them a bunch with questions and you get one free adjustment of the saddle if needed during the first year. I swear they aren't paying me to say this stuff (LOL).

Good Luck!
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