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Australian saddles

This is a discussion on Australian saddles within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category
  • Gullet width australian saddle
  • 16.5" syd hill sizing western equivalent

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    07-03-2012, 02:04 PM
  #11
Trained
They are a lot heavier than English saddles. Mine weigh every bit as much as my Circle Y western.

Here is a 17" Aussie-style DownUnder on our 13 hand BLM mustang. While it looks a lot bigger than my English saddles, it certainly isn't any bigger than a western. In fact, we use it with Cowboy because we can't find a western saddle short enough for his back...compare it to the bottom picture using the Circle Y:



     
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    07-03-2012, 02:24 PM
  #12
Weanling
I should have taken some pictures of her in it before I packed it up to send back. I think it would have worked ok, but it just looked weird to me. And I was really hoping it would be lighter (one of the reasons I decided to try an aussie in the first place was I had heard they were lighter than Westerns) than it was. Since my mare is quite small and I'm not I don't want her to carry any more weight than necessary.

I think if I had tried it when I had my big old QH/Percheron gelding it would have looked and worked ok, but it just wasn't what I had wanted for my current horse. I thought I'd done enough research to know what I was getting but I guess not.
     
    07-03-2012, 02:51 PM
  #13
Trained
The Aussie saddles are advertised as being light, but they are heavier than the synthetic western saddles, and about the same as the average western trail saddle. Only the really heavy duty western saddles are noticeably heavier than my DownUnder leather saddles at maybe 30+ pounds.

I like them, but they aren't for everybody. My daughter tried one once and has refused to use it ever since.
     
    07-03-2012, 07:35 PM
  #14
Yearling
I'm not sure which stock saddles are so heavy. My Syd Hill Bushmaster weighs just over 20 lbs with everything attached if I use endurance stirups. I've never owned a Western saddle that was that light.
I won't claim that stock saddles are my all time favorite. Hard for any mass produced style of saddle to compete with a custom made saddle done to your spec's. But they are a good saddle and a comfortable ride. Great for working with horses that are just being trained, because they facilitate being able to stay in the saddle if the horse spooks or get's squirrelly. I'll take them over my former Western saddles and wish I'd had them during my cattle working youth. I'd shorten the flaps though. A lot of leather (and weight) that not's needed.
I also wonder about these smaller women needing a 17" stock saddle. I'm 5' 9", weigh about 165 (still working off 10 more lbs of of cookout weight ) and ride a 16.5" seat stock saddle.
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    07-03-2012, 08:11 PM
  #15
Weanling
Yours looks right, it looks like it fits the horse without completely dominating it - maybe it's just because my horse is so small? I have heard that price makes a big difference, that a Syd Hill or Toowoomba will feel more compact than the more economical Kimberly line (which is what I had).

I'm sure there are some great Aussies out there, just personally my experiment with trying one out was a flop.
     
    07-03-2012, 08:55 PM
  #16
Trained
Mine (Down Under Master Campdraft Deluxe) supposedly weighs 19 lbs without fittings. Most of the Syd Hill saddles weigh 19-21 lbs without fittings.

Either my 1" English stirrup straps are made of lead, or that is pretty optimistic. My Circle Y weighs 26 lbs, and I honestly can't feel any difference carrying them on my shoulder. A number of the DownUnder saddles are advertised at 25 lbs without fittings. A lot of western trail saddles come in under 30 lbs with stirrups.

I really like Australian saddles, but they have a very different feel from western saddles - more English, but also with long double flaps of leather and a fairly heavy & bulky cinch/girth.
     
    07-03-2012, 09:24 PM
  #17
Yearling
About 22 lbs with endurance stirrups (which I need to get back as some point ). Over 24 lbs with those brass monsters that came with it. I could put on nylon stirrup straps and drop another lb if I wanted.
My issues with the stock saddle (traditional Australian style):
1. I'm not a fan of the non Western cinches, but I have broken down and bought the addapters yet.
2. I perfer a rear cinch ring, because I perfer to rig my cinch from front and rear (they have lot's of different names for it today that we didn't have 40 years ago )
3. They don't give as much surface contact as my Troopers.
4. The outside and underside flaps are way larger then they need to be, so that's a lot of extra weight I could do without. I mine was a a Syd Hill and I might want to sell it one day I'd cut about 18" off from the bottom. I could make it way about 18 lbs with some judicious alterations

That being said, they are great to use when training a horse. I find them to be very comfortable. Pretty easy to make changes to (e.g. Stirrup straps, cut away excess flap) I'm a fan of surcingles (most distance riders or working riders should be), and stock saddle are amoung the few designed for their use.

I've yet to find the perfect saddle for everything I want but I'm ok with having different ones to meet my different needs. The tough part is keeping horses that are about the same size so I can use the same saddles.
bsms and Failbhe like this.
     
    09-30-2012, 05:37 PM
  #18
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
Mine (Down Under Master Campdraft Deluxe) supposedly weighs 19 lbs without fittings. Most of the Syd Hill saddles weigh 19-21 lbs without fittings.

Either my 1" English stirrup straps are made of lead, or that is pretty optimistic. My Circle Y weighs 26 lbs, and I honestly can't feel any difference carrying them on my shoulder. A number of the DownUnder saddles are advertised at 25 lbs without fittings. A lot of western trail saddles come in under 30 lbs with stirrups.

I really like Australian saddles, but they have a very different feel from western saddles - more English, but also with long double flaps of leather and a fairly heavy & bulky cinch/girth.
Rather then start a new thread, I'll just bring this one back up, My mom is back to wanting to buy a saddle and she is looking at the Down Under Master Campdraft Deluxe, which I see is the one you have. How would this saddle fit a horse with a bit of a sway back and slightly high withers? His sway back is mostly from lack of condition since he's mostly a pasture puff, hoping to change that tho! Do they sell them with shorter fenders?
     
    10-07-2012, 12:23 AM
  #19
Weanling
Old thread, but something no one has mentioned is that the seat measurement on an Aussie saddle is different than on a western saddle. A 15" western seat is equivalent to a 17" Aussie seat. For a good saddle fit for your horse, the most critical measurement is the gullet width. You can get anything from a semi-quarter gullet, measuring about 5.5-6", to a draft gullet, measuring around 7.5". Ask your dealer. They should be able to help you get what you need.

As for getting a saddle that fits you, get what you think is the proper seat length, then sit in it with your feet in the stirrups (best when done on a horse). You should have about 1.5-2" between your thighs and the poleys (the bucking roll thingies). Can get pretty uncomfortable on a long ride if that measurement is too tight.

I like the way an Aussie saddle rides. They are a little narrower than a western saddle, so it's easier on your hips and knees on a long ride. Still, for a pack trip, I'll take a western saddle. More places to tie and hang stuff, although an Aussie saddle with a horn isn't bad. Aussie saddles don't have enough skirt for my taste, particularly behind the cantle. I don't like my saddle bags rubbing on the horse's back behind the saddle.

I like the Syd Hill saddles. Nicely made, a bit pricey.
     
    10-20-2012, 03:58 PM
  #20
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenrie    
Old thread, but something no one has mentioned is that the seat measurement on an Aussie saddle is different than on a western saddle. A 15" western seat is equivalent to a 17" Aussie seat. For a good saddle fit for your horse, the most critical measurement is the gullet width. You can get anything from a semi-quarter gullet, measuring about 5.5-6", to a draft gullet, measuring around 7.5". Ask your dealer. They should be able to help you get what you need.

As for getting a saddle that fits you, get what you think is the proper seat length, then sit in it with your feet in the stirrups (best when done on a horse). You should have about 1.5-2" between your thighs and the poleys (the bucking roll thingies). Can get pretty uncomfortable on a long ride if that measurement is too tight.

I like the way an Aussie saddle rides. They are a little narrower than a western saddle, so it's easier on your hips and knees on a long ride. Still, for a pack trip, I'll take a western saddle. More places to tie and hang stuff, although an Aussie saddle with a horn isn't bad. Aussie saddles don't have enough skirt for my taste, particularly behind the cantle. I don't like my saddle bags rubbing on the horse's back behind the saddle.

I like the Syd Hill saddles. Nicely made, a bit pricey.
I knew the measurements were different then western and english. My mom called the people at down under saddlery and we ended up getting the 16" master camp draft deluxe on clearance for $735(I think) It came yesterday but I haven't seen it yet since I haven't been over to my moms. We faxed in a wither and back tracing so hopefully it fits him. Should be trying it out on monday. Can't wait to see it and ride in it!
     

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