Which Australian Saddles are best for trail riding? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 7 Old 02-26-2013, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Which Australian Saddles are best for trail riding?

I currently use an English saddle on my small, 6 year old Arab. He has a short back & was hard to fit. I have taken dressage lessons in the arena to help me become a better rider (been away from riding for years), but now I want to do trails. I need a light weight saddle & have tried one Aussie & liked the security it provided. Any suggestions on brands/models that would work for my short back horse & his petite rider. THere are so many choices and I don't know where to start! Tks!
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-27-2013, 05:31 PM
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post #3 of 7 Old 02-27-2013, 05:38 PM
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What's your price range?

Kimberly and Down Under make decent, low cost saddles. A lot of people on here have them and love them.

I'm no help when it comes to brands. My Aussie saddle bears no maker's mark, but is high quality (likely done by a high level apprentice, near as we can tell). It's definitely older (~20 years old), but I only paid $150 for it at a tack consignment shop.
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-10-2013, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comments.

I'd like to stay under $500, but for a comfortable saddle for both of us, maybe a little more.
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-10-2013, 02:43 PM
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I have a Kimberly Synthetic Endurance Saddle (about halfway down on this page: Synthetic Horse Saddles | Western and Australian Styles ) and I love it. It's so super comfy for me. I've spent hours in that saddle, the most probably being 4 at a time, and I've never been sore from it.

Next September I will have had it for 2 years and it still looks nearly brand new (plus some dust and horse hair, you know).

The other thing I love about it is that I can really get out of my horse's way but I never feel like I'm sacrificing security. Gah, I could go on for dayssss.

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post #6 of 7 Old 03-10-2013, 02:45 PM
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I use a Kimberley synthetic endurance saddle made by Downunder saddles. I'm well pleased with it - construction is good, it weighs next to nothing and is comfortable for horse and me. I fully plan to get a second one but need to decide between another endurance or their synthetic stock model. As an fyi, the endurance model uses a regular english style girth while the stock model requires a special australian style design because of the overgirth.

For either one of these saddles, the price would be well within your range. If you go to the Downunder site, they have a clearance section and you can frequently get good deals there.

A couple of comments about the synthetic style: I have not had mine long enough to see how many years you can actually get out of them before they wear out. I have still not come to terms with how easy it is to care for - I can't seem to get used to the idea of not having to oil it at any time.
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-10-2013, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! It sounds like downunder is the place to shop. I have a small, short back arabian. I guess I'll call & chat with their saddle fitter & see if they think one of theirs will fit him. I do like the english girth set up, seems the big over girth strap would be uncomfortable to sit on. Happy trails to you!
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