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 :lol:
Here's all I know...17 inch should fit you well. I'm 5'6 and about 130.
I had to get rid of my Aussie, because even though I loved it, it didn't fit my horse :(
And it was heavy...Heavier than my western I have now.
And there are a lot of crappy knock offs to avoid. Aussie saddle co has a lot of knockoffs... Those people are sneaky!
I'm pretty sure Kimberly is made by a reputable company
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Kimberly is the lowest on the quality scale I'd go. I haven't heard any real complaints about the low end Kimberly, and lot of good things about the upper end.
IIRC, the Abetta western saddle I used to own was lighter than my Aussie-style saddles, although they are all leather. My Circle Y may be heavier, but not by a significant amount.
No special pad is required.
Thank you both for your replies. My mom was browsing through the downunderweb catalog and she really likes one of the more expensive saddles in there(it's in the $1,000 range). She asked me how much difference there would be between that saddle and the much cheaper Kimberly saddle.
So lets say how much difference is there between this one Kimberley Economy Outback with Horn
and this one http://www.downunderweb.com/store/MI_SAD351.html
I'm not sure if that is the exact saddle she was looking at, but it's in the same price range so I assume it would be similar quality.
The Kimberly line normally has a 2 year warranty on the tree IIRC, while the DownUnder line has a 10 year warranty. The leather would probably be somewhat thinner and stiffer on the less expensive line, although I don't own one to compare.
They are also different styles. One is more English style with more padding, while the other is more western style with a different shaped tree. DownUnder recommends the first for horses with taller withers, and the second for those with small withers.
You can email DownUnder and ask them to compare different models and they will give you a reasonable answer. I asked them about two very similar saddles at about the same price, and they said one felt more like an English saddle than the other, although outwardly they looked the same.
I have the Kimberly synthetic endurance style aussie and absolutely love it, but thinking of selling it only because I want to go back to a western saddle for awhile. It's a wide and fits my TWH mare very nicely. Very, very comfy saddle. I have no complaints whatsoever :)
LOVED my aussie saddle. It was a kimberly I believe....but it was sooooo comfortable. It was like riding in a recliner. It was also custom fit for my high withered, narrow shouldered mare perfectly by sending them a wither tracing. The only thing I hated was the side panels where I felt like I couldn't feel the horse. But there are versions without that too. The more expensive ones I can imagine would have a better grade leather maybe that would be more supple. Still loved mine though.
Interesting ... I hate stock saddles they always seem to sit weird on the horse. And they are heavy! But in saying that I loooove my swinging fender which is a hybrid of the aus stock saddle and the western saddle its super comfy and light. :) but thats just all me. Kimberly is a good brand too btw :)
This is my fender
I thought I'd try and Aussie saddle, and I actually don't like it. I ordered one from Horse.com (the Kimberly Outback - same one as Down Under, it was just cheaper on Horse.com) - on my little 14.2 h Arab x, it looked absolutely ridiculously huge. It was a lot heavier than I thought it would be, easily just as heavy as my Western.
I know a lot of people have Aussies and love them and so maybe it was just the brand? It did feel comfortable the one time I sat in it, but I'm returning it. I'm switching over to an Abetta trail saddle (this one) and I'm hoping that will be a good fit for my mare and I.
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