So my mom is finally interested in riding her horse, Legacy and is wanting to get a saddle. I'm thinking an Australian saddle might be best for her but since I have never ridden in one myself I'd like to get some opinions. She doesn't like the bulk and has trouble with lifting the weight of a western saddle, but (even tho she's never ridden in one) she feels English saddles are too insecure, and she also likes the false sense of security a horn gives her.She also has trouble with her knees and hips and I've heard Australian saddles give you more freedom to find a comfortable position. My mom and I are both roughly the same size, I'm 5'4 and she's 5'6 and we are both around 130lbs so from what I've read a 17" Aussie saddle would fit us both.
Now for the questions, do you need a special pad for an Australian saddle? Or can you use an english or western pad(if so which)? Do they accommodate horses with a slight sway back well or do they sell Australian sway back pads?
Are there any particular brands that are better then others, I've been browsing downunderweb.com and I've seen some I like. I know my mom doesn't want to spend a lot on this saddle, she was looking at the kimberly synthetic saddle and probably doesn't want to go over 3-400.
I found a saddle on e-bay made by outback saddle co. Only 199 and it looks pretty nice, but I don't know enough about saddle quality to be a good judge. Does anyone have experience with that brand? I think that's all my questions for now