Aussie Saddles Anyone?
Does anyone here ride in an Aussie saddle? If so, what make? Do you like it?
I used to own one many years ago and liked it well enough. It was from an Australian company (forget the name). My only beef with it was that it was very heavy and didn't fit every horse I rode well. The advantage is that it was great when working with young horses as the seat is very secure.
My husband is looking for another Aussie saddle (he sold his old one many years ago). It doesn't seem they are made like they used to be. Many of the saddles I have looked at that don't break that bank are very cheap and have been modified with western stirrups and a western cinch.
I have an Aussie saddle and I absolutely LOVE it! It's the most comfortable saddle I've ever ridden in. Unfortunately, mine is a no-name brand. It's older (it has a solid seat, as opposed to the suspended seat that most of the manufacturers have gone to recently), but in GREAT shape. I took it in to the local saddle shop recently to have another hole put in one of the leathers (was more involved than I could do on my own) and the owner of the saddle shop was very impressed with the quality of the saddle, especially since it's a no-name brand.
I've heard people give bad reviews of the Australian Stock Saddle Company, but I have a friend who has one of their saddles and she loves it. She's had it for something like seven years and it's in great shape (she oils it maybe once a year, if that).
ETA: My saddle is also very light. I believe it weighs maybe 25lbs, fully rigged (mine has Western rigging...I bought it used and it came that way), which is a good thing for me, because I can't lift anything heavier than that up onto my monster's back (he's 15.3hh and growing like a weed...he'll be 16hh by Christmas) because of a shoulder injury. I know it's lighter than my friend's 28lbs (fully rigged) Circle Y trail saddle.
I am riding in a Kimberly from .. www.downunderweb.com/ good people and they have saddles of all kinds and price ranges. Give em a call or email and let them know what you are looking for.
I have a "Kimberly Synthetic Endurance" from Down Under Saddlery and I love it.
It's amazingly comfortable, very secure, fits my horse well, and it's very light (I think it's only 16 around pounds if I remember correctly).
I have heard that Down Under's leather quality can be sketchy but my synthetic is wonderfully crafted (so they do good stuff with synthetics at least!). I even bought it from the clearance section (it has a little tiny cut in the cantle area which is completely unnoticeable most of the time) and saved like $30 bucks, which I love! haha
Just to address your comment about saddle fit (maybe you're already aware of this), it's really unlikely that a single saddle, of any kind, is going to fit every horse you ride well. That's kinda like asking 5 different people with 5 body types to fit perfectly into a size Medium unisex tshirt. Every horse is built differently and should be saddled as such. :)
I have one made by Australian Stock saddle co. and I LOVE it! Most comfortable saddle I've ever had. My husband recently purchased one made by Down Under, and it is super comfy too. I'm not sure what model it is, but it has a horn and looks to be very well made.
Mine would still be in good shape had I not lent it to a "friend" for a couple of years while I was horseless. It was left lying on the floor in his barn and when I got it back it was completely dried out, moldy, filthy and chewed on by mice and bugs. I have since cleaned it up and revived it and while it is not as pretty as it was it is still very useable.
I recently learned (while shopping for my husband's saddle) that when you're shopping for an Aussie saddle you should make sure you get one that was made in Australia. Some are apparently made in India and they use very poor quality leather.
Don't go for those cheapy ones ($300 +/-). I tried - it was bad. The problem though they are hard to find used (at least where I live).
I had a Toowoomba Aussie Saddle... sold it :) Love the looks of them and thought I would love the saddle. I didn't This was my saddle but with a horn. No I didn't pay that for it. Won it :)
Toowoomba Snowy River Poley
However, I bought mine for $239 and it's of similar or greater quality to other $400+ saddles I've ridden in. I think it depends on the retailer since like Down Under has some nice under $300 saddles but it would be the worst idea ever to buy a $300 saddle off Ebay or something.
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