I've always wanted to try out an Australian saddle. I've only ever ridden western, and I'm a very small person. I always feel like my legs are sticking too far out and I just don't feel comfortable in western saddles. I like to feel closer to my horse and be able to hug it more with my legs (No, I don't constantly squeeze). I've sat in two Australian saddles before and they were too big for me. By a lot. The one that was the closest fit was 17". My western saddle(s) are 15", and I was told that a 17" inch Australian saddle would be my size. It's not. I also wanted more of a crossover saddle. A horn, little bit thicker stirrups, etc.
Does anyone know how I might be able to test out a saddle before actually buy it? I've emailed Down Under Saddle Supply once before and they have this 30 day trial where if I'm not satisfied I can send the saddle back. But mainly I want to figure out my size. One challenging thing is that I should be able to fit a 17", but I'm a very skinny person and I'm light boned just like my filly. We're both wiry little rawhide chords. The really hard part is I don't have access to a supply of them, where there are different sizes to sit in. There is an Amish tack store that I go to and he might be able to get some different sizes in, but I'm not sure.
Should I even bother? I'm a trail rider and I want to get into endurance riding next year. My horse is young and pretty small (narrow and lightly boned Arab mix). I'm not sure I want an endurance saddle, but one that I can use for show (when I actually do) and also the trails and endurance. So, I was just thinking the Australian saddle would be great for me since I wanted something smaller and more compact, but also versatile and I wouldn't have to learn a new riding form (English and what-not).
Does anyone have any advice for me?