Australian Saddle --> Pros/cons?
   

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Australian Saddle --> Pros/cons?

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  • How do you ride in an australian saddle?
  • Aussie saddle or western saddle

 
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    07-17-2009, 09:50 PM
  #1
Green Broke
Australian Saddle --> Pros/cons?

I never really thought to try the lil Aussie covered in 2 inches of dust hidden in the back of my dark tack room.
I remember when we had sent in the mold of the horse who used it's withers a LONG time ago, to fit the saddle to him customed. He was pretty narrow, so I never thought to try it on my plump 'sofa'.

I had brought out Sunny to have my grandmother who has ridden her whole life, really critique is conformation. I told her to be as mean as possible. She said he looked pretty good, but had a shortish neck which we all agreed on. I was totally not offended--we'd always known it was short.
So she was looking at his back and ran her finger nails down the sides of his back bone and he flinched really bad. His whole back actually sunk a good few inches. So I put my saddle on his back without a pad to let her see how it fit, and she said that it was very possible that it was resting on him wrong.
I was very shocked it didn't fit him. We had actually carted my horse to a tack store and tried all kinds of different saddles just so we could be sure we found the right one. It was only a barrel/reining saddle because it fit him the best and was relatively comfy.

Anyways--back to the original....um--idea.

So we were looking at some other random saddles in the tack room hoping maybe to find one we could experiment with on fitting them to him.

That brings us back to the Aussie. I rode it on him without a pad because I wanted to see how it fit as accuratly as I could. My grandmother said it fit him very well and I just so happened to REALLY like it! It is so safe and secure feeling. I'm thinking about maybe starting to use if for a bit to see if it helps him gait a little better (as some of you already probably know--his gait has been bad lately, so I think that the sore back is probably the problem!). I never thought to think of discomfort because I was always confident that it fit him well..I guess not o.O

So--on that note. Do any of you ride Australian? Any pros/cons? Do you like it/hate it? Anything I should know about them?

I've heard they are good for trail riding and hacking. Which is what I do ;)

I'm pretty excited right now, he he :)
     
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    07-17-2009, 09:53 PM
  #2
Green Broke
We don't, currently, but I have been eyeballing one myself of late so I will definitely be following the thread.................thanks for bringing it up!
     
    07-17-2009, 10:46 PM
  #3
Weanling
When I had a different horse, I rode him in an aussie saddle. It was great for a hack for sure. He had high withers and it cleared them easily. I felt super secure and the seat was deep and comfy.

I am actually keeping my eye out for another one, I sold mine with the horse.
But if you are going to get an aussie, make sure to get a higher quality one, Syd Hill if you can afford it. Don't fall for the cheap Indian leather ones. Oh, and if you can get one with the fleece bottom like a western saddle, go for it. The panels like english saddles are ok too but I like the fleece better. :)
     
    07-17-2009, 10:49 PM
  #4
Green Broke
^^ The one we have is a good $600-700 saddle.. So it is probably a good quality. It has held up great. It dosen't have fleece, though. More like...Felt? I really can't describe it..
I will get back to you on it's brand. I want to say Bushrider??? Maybe not.
     
    07-17-2009, 11:37 PM
  #5
Foal
I ride in a poley saddle (that's what they're called...the name comes from the panels that stick up in the front that hold you in = poleys). What's nice about a poley saddle is that the Australians actually designed the entire saddle with a purpose, taking the best of English and the best of Western and a little of their own. I did a lot of research on these when I got mine. I figured that, just like an english saddle, there must be a proper way to ride this thing. So, I didn't want to just plop it on my horse and ride western...I decided to learn to ride "Australian"...not surprisingly, there is actually an Australian method of equitation that goes with this saddle!! It takes a little getting used to, and sometimes you can hear/see the snobs "criticize" your equitation...but what do they know about riding Australian? Lol

The underpad should be really thick and in a better made saddle it's flocked with a material that actually gets heated up by your horse's body heat and then it molds itself to the horse's back for a great fit. The only thing is that you do still have to make sure the tree is appropriate for your horse. The tree is about how and where the weight is distributed, so it's important that it not be too narrow or too wide, just like any other saddle.

English riders usually have no problem adjusting to the seat because a poley saddle is a forward-seat saddle, just like English. Western riders try to sit like they do in a western saddle and often find the saddle to be uncomfortable...because they're sitting in it wrong. If you don't sit like you sit in an english saddle, it'll actually get more difficult to ride as the horse goes faster. The faster the horse goes, the more the saddle is designed to pitch your forward. At a full gallop, you should almost be half standing and leaning forward. In Australia, they still use horses to wrangle, but the terrain isn't quite the same as the open flats of the American cattle west. So, riding involves tops speeds in an unforgiving environment and terrain. Getting up off the horse's "drive axle" (his rear end) and up over his shoulders (as opposed to sitting erect in a backward seat) makes much more sense and is a lot safer when you have to go up and down hills at those speeds. Think about the jockeys...how they ride to get their horse to go as fast as possible. The poley saddle is actually designed to "help" you get into your sort-of two-point position. If you try to sit back in it, it won't be very comfortable.

Another thing that Americans don't realize (and have trouble with) is what to do with their feet. Yes, it's a forward-seat saddle, but your feet don't go underneath you. They actually go slightly in front of you. So, your body is set more forward, AND your feet are in front of you at the same time. You're also supposed to put 25% of your weight in your stirrups as you ride. If you try not to do this (and completely sit as you would a conventional saddle), the saddle will kind of push you forward at the trot, which you're supposed to post. The reason you stand in the stirrups a little and have your feet out in front of you has a purpose, too. Again, it's because of the terrain. If the horse stumbles or goes down, your feet in front of you are in a perfect position to catch you so you don't get hurt. You're already poised to basically "step" out of the saddle if that happens.

The reason that poley saddles are the way that they are is because being a cowboy in Australia is actually one of THE most dangerous occupations in the country (if not THE most dangerous). The reason is because farms are massive...hundreds of acres a piece. There's not much grazing land for the cattle, so the cattle are allowed to wander. Where the grass is, there are no people. If your farm is fortunate to have an airstrip, if you get hurt, there might be hope for you. But you still have a long flight to a hospital. If there's no airstrip nearby, it'll be days before a doctor can get to you and you'll be dead in the mean time. It's not the snakes or the crocodiles or the dingo or whatever...it's the same risks that we have here - riding is inherently dangerous, and accidents happen there just like here...except there's no help when they happen.

Anyways, didn't mean to write you a book. Have fun in your saddle! =D
     
    07-18-2009, 11:07 AM
  #6
Green Broke
^^ Thank you! I was noticing when I was riding it that it throws you kind of forward...Interesting. I changed the whole sturrip and fenders to regular english ones because there was no longer any room to punch more holes in the fenders, so as soon as I can I will order new fenders/sturrips.

The saddle brand is a Stockman and the model is 'Bushrider'.

The pad we bought for it IS Australian but is very thin, which kind of worries me because you said it should be thick...Is it ok to use? Can you use a regular old western pad with it? English?

Is it built for the rider's comfort MORE than the horse or same of opposite or what?

Thank you by the way! I like knowing the whole forward seat/western seat information. So you should sit more English, correct?
     
    07-18-2009, 04:16 PM
  #7
Showing
I'd love to try expensive aussie. I've heard lots of nice things about them - comfy, light, durable, and usually a good fit for the horse.

I tried the cheap one ($300 new) as aussie are not common in my area, and it wasn't a good fit for my horse, so I returned it back.
     
    07-18-2009, 07:53 PM
  #8
Green Broke
^^ Oh, good. Glad you returned it and got your money back!
     
    07-18-2009, 10:41 PM
  #9
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunny06    
^^ Thank you! I was noticing when I was riding it that it throws you kind of forward...Interesting. I changed the whole sturrip and fenders to regular english ones because there was no longer any room to punch more holes in the fenders, so as soon as I can I will order new fenders/sturrips.

The saddle brand is a Stockman and the model is 'Bushrider'.

The pad we bought for it IS Australian but is very thin, which kind of worries me because you said it should be thick...Is it ok to use? Can you use a regular old western pad with it? English?

Is it built for the rider's comfort MORE than the horse or same of opposite or what?

Thank you by the way! I like knowing the whole forward seat/western seat information. So you should sit more English, correct?
They're designed with the comfort of both horse and rider in mind because they do have to ride long distances for hours through brutal territory.

I have something like a Stockman Bush rider, so it has a has a yellow underpad that's attached to the saddle, where the padding/flocking would be on an English saddle. That's actually a built in pad, but I still use a regular pad underneath. But they do make them thin like western saddles. Depending on how thick or thin the underside of your saddle is, if it's even as thin as an english saddle, you'd probably want to use an english type pad. They do make special pads for australian saddles - they're fleece just like the english ones. The only difference is that the side panels are way longer to accommodate the long fenders. They also make them that have pockets built in and everything. I use a Roma pad or a dressage pad (cuz it has the Pink Panther on it and hot pink flames) A western pad might be too thick. If the pad and the underpad together are really thick, then the saddle will kind of teeter on the horse's back...too much separation between the horse and the saddle. If the underside is more like a western saddle, then you'd use a western pad.

You should sit in it more like english, but remember to allow your feet to be forward and support some of your weight. If you're not sitting exactly right, I'm sure the overgirth will let you know. Lol
     
    07-19-2009, 02:11 PM
  #10
Green Broke
^^ Yeah, the underside is very much english style, and flocking is NOT fleece, rather more felt? I can't describe it..

So I should continue to use the thin pad?
     

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