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poppy1356 09-12-2012 09:24 PM

Aussie Saddle Help Please
 
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So I got an Aussie saddle yesterday and I know nothing of it. It seems to be quite old with some heavy duty hardware. It needs to be oiled pretty bad. Other than that it seems to be in great condition. But please tell me if it looks like it fits and if I have it in the right spot. Also if you can tell the manufactorer please tell. I could not find a makers mark anywhere but since it seems old if it was on a brass plate or something of the sort it may have come off.

I forgot to take a picture of the underside but it is flocking covered with a blue felt type stuff. Pictures below. I did my best, I couldn't cinch it up as the cinch that came with it is to big.

So that leads to another question, where do I find a cinch for it? My regular dressage girth the buckles are too small, picture attached for that too.

poppy1356 09-12-2012 09:26 PM

The back picture looks like it's sitting crooked but don't worry that is her standing funny and my inability to take a straight picture lol.

Chevaux 09-12-2012 09:48 PM

Re girth -- I think if you went to the Downunder Saddle Company (they're online) you will find a nice selection of Aussie girths. Also (and please remember I'm a newbie to Aussie saddles as well) I see it appears to have an overgirth and I thought they used a special girthing system that doesn't necessarily use regular dressage girths (although some styles don't use an overgirth and so can). I'd like to know more on that for sure.

Re fit on your horse -- To me, it doesn't look too bad. Have you sat in it?

Re brand -- I don't think it is one of the Downunder company saddles. There is a company called 'Australian Saddles' or something like that. Perhaps it is one of theirs. I say this because I've never seen blue flocking used on their saddles. From what I can recall the Downunder company has a better reputation than the Australian one. I'm hoping others on the Forum can advise on that.

What are you plans for the saddle? Overall, it doesn't look that bad and would probably work out nicely for a trail saddle (after suitable testing of course).

poppy1356 09-12-2012 10:03 PM

Thanks. It seems pretty old and weighs a ton, or well I think it does since I'm used to a synthetic dressage saddle. From what I've read you can fit them to either western rigging or English. The stirrups are on a really thick metal stirrup bar like English. The flocking seems even, no lumps, not hard but not squishy either. It fits me perfectly.

I plan on just trail riding but we do all day trail rides. I have my dressage for arena work.
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bsms 09-12-2012 11:18 PM

It looks too forward to me. Can't see the shoulder very well though so I may be blowing smoke up your butt.

poppy1356 09-12-2012 11:31 PM

Well it's sitting just a tad more forward than my dressage saddle sits.

What do you think of the saddle? You know alot about Aussie saddles.

Cacowgirl 09-13-2012 12:17 AM

There are converter kits available so that non-aussie girths could be used. also I highly recomend pads on the stirrup bars-it really helps.

Koolio 09-13-2012 12:20 AM

Look up Cariboo Outback Saddles and click on the link "horse saddle fitting" on the right side of the main page. They have provided a good guide with visuals of how to measure and fit an Aussie saddle. They also sell girths, saddle pads, Aussie bridles, etc.

Chances are that if your saddle doesn't have any clear markings, it is a relatively inexpensive Australian saddle, one of the "knock off" brands. This doesn't mean it isn't a decent saddle, just that it probably didn't cost a fortune new and probably wasn't made in Australia. The Australian made, genuine, nice quality saddles will start at about $3000 or more USD. The leather will be supple and the stitching and flocking of a very high quality. The hardware and fittings are also much higher quality than the cheaper saddles. The "no name" brands can be purchased for as little as $250 and up. While the leather isn't as supple and the quality not as good, a well oiled, older saddle will still work very well and be quite comfortable and very serviceable.

poppy1356 09-13-2012 06:55 AM

Thank you both. I might put different stirrups on anyway since it has the normal English stirrup bar.

I know it wasn't made in Australia as most in the us aren't. But I've ridden in a cheap no name English saddle and the leather feels different. Not cheap just old and needs conditioning. The seat isn't really hard leather and there's no cracking anywhere.

We will see if I even like it when I'm riding or if Lizzy dear likes it. She will tell me right away if it doesn't fit as she bucks then.
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Koolio 09-13-2012 10:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by poppy1356 (Post 1681610)
Thank you both. I might put different stirrups on anyway since it has the normal English stirrup bar.

I know it wasn't made in Australia as most in the us aren't. But I've ridden in a cheap no name English saddle and the leather feels different. Not cheap just old and needs conditioning. The seat isn't really hard leather and there's no cracking anywhere.

We will see if I even like it when I'm riding or if Lizzy dear likes it. She will tell me right away if it doesn't fit as she bucks then.
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I have not found the less expensive Aussie saddles to feel as stiff and hard as the cheaper English saddles. There seems to be something as to how the leather is shaped in the seat and sides that makes them seem softer and more comfortable. Maybe it's the larger, unbroken surfaces of leather, I don't know. The leather isnt tanned as well and so it will not absorb oil as well and may become quite dry over time. An older saddle that has been well cared for will still feel quite nice.

As for your horses comfort, after you have ridden look for any pressure marks or areas that sweat more under the saddle. The saddle should distribute the weight fairly evenly along the contact points. If anything, watch for fit in the shoulder. Some Aussie saddles can seem to fit a bit narrower and limit shoulder movement a bit.

Aussie stirrups are different than English stirrups. They should be heavier and larger with 4 bars across the bottom. They are quite comfortable and encourage a proper riding position. I wouldn't recommend switching to an English or a western stirrup. In the Aussie saddle, you tend to ride with a deeper seat and straighter legs with the toes a little farther forward. You should be able to slide your flattened hand down your thigh so that it fits comfortably between your thigh and the poleys. It shouldn't be snug and there shouldn't be a ton or room either. The spacing between the top and bottom of the pokey and your thigh should also be fairly even if your leg is in the correct position.


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