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corinowalk 09-02-2010 09:48 PM

Australian saddles
So I have been looking for a draft sized saddle for Rosie for FOREVER. Since her owner is unwilling to kick in anything towards this (she thinks a saddle with SQHB fits her GREAT!) I am on my own. I need to keep it under $200...the cheaper the better. I bought her a craptastic synthetic saddle on craigslist that was supposed to be for a draft...its only an 8" gullet...not wide enough. Not to mention its horribly uncomfortable for me. I can only imagine how bad it sucks for her. I sold it on ebay this week. Hence me looking...yet again...for something to fit this beastie! So heres what I am finding.

Lots of cheap-o aussies on ebay, horseclicks and tacktrader. Lots and lots. I know the leather is crap and that it probably isn't the best...however anything would fit her better than the crap she is riding in now.

A few used Aussies that are draft size (one company offers custom fitting for DIRT CHEAP) and used. I believe they are kimberly series.

Treeless (ebay style, not bob marshal style!). I am just not comfortable with this on a trail ride. When I was younger, it wouldnt even matter. I would ride her bareback and backwards. I am no longer 'younger'. I have heard that these slip *almost* as much as a traditional bareback pad. I can only imagine not only slipping and falling off one of these and not even being able to get back on. Shes 16.3. I need a bit of stability.

The king series draft saddles look really nice. And they are either really nice and no one wants to sell or they are super craptastic and they fall apart before a resale can be attempted.

My old saddleseat saddle fits her better than anything else we have. Once she is down to a reasonable size, it will fit her like a glove. The only problem with that is it is a saddle seat saddle. No d rings, no cantle...essentially just a nice flat piece of leather. It will work for ring work...but Im not so sure about the trails.

So I am for sure leaning aussie now. Please don't think that I am clueless that something I can pick up for $150 including shipping on ebay isnt junk. I know its junk. I just need a bridge between here and there. If I had the money or thought I would be buying Rosie...I would invest in a good saddle for her. As it is, I am a guest at this farm. They are my friends but I am still a guest. At any time they can tell me to stop riding her and I have to listen. I would much rather be stuck with a crappy saddle that didn't set me back much than an expensive saddle that I cannot sell.

So, after my are my questions.

What do you think of Aussies in general.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of them.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a saddle that wont cost me a kidney that will fit a draft horse.

And finally...the kimberly saddles are offering a few saddles on clearance. They are synthetic. They are factory seconds. They say that there is no structural difference. They are just a little less pleasing to the eye. They are also dirt cheap. Check em out and let me know what you think. This place takes wither tracings...even on factory seconds. It may just be worth it...maybe. Oh and OMG I just noticed if you buy this month its free shipping. I could get away with a semicustom saddle for $140. Holy cow.

SidMit 09-02-2010 10:16 PM

I have an Aussie saddle for my draft cross. It is one of the Kimberly series and I love it! I love Aussie saddles though. I picked mine up through Outback saddlery. The cool thing about that company is you can send them a wither tracing and they will tell you if the saddle will fit or not. I really like that. Good luck in your search!

corinowalk 09-02-2010 10:22 PM

Im starting to think that for the $140 (out the door) its gonna cost gonna get a semi-custom saddle for Rosie. I've ridden aussies years ago but they were always on loan. I liked them...Im just unsure!

Eolith 09-03-2010 01:31 AM

I've got a used aussie that I picked up for $140 or thereabouts. It isn't my favorite saddle ever... but I like how supportive it is with the deep seat and poleys. You ain't coming out! That's almost my problem. It would be a fantastic trail saddle but I don't do many trails, and I need something that allows a little freer movement in the arena.

I believe that mine is one of the Outback Kimberlys as well. The leather isn't super amazing, but it's decent considering the price. I haven't had any issues with it cracking and so on... it's just not as buttery soft as really nice leather.

Solon 09-03-2010 01:37 AM

For a full draft your going to need to get it custom. I spoke with a couple of the aussie companies that make them and they will do custom but even what they call the wide tree just isn't wide enough for the bigger horses.

I ended up just getting an english saddle with a 10" gullet.

corinowalk 09-03-2010 08:49 AM

Eolith: Thats encouraging! I just need a trail saddle. For ring work, ill ride her english. But on trail she can be a little flighty. Id rather have a bit more leather between us!

Solon: I have come to the same conclusion. My saddleseat saddle is a 10" gullet and it fits her reasonably well. Its just not secure enough for trail. Since it looks like I can get her a semi-custom (mail in wither tracings, they adjust a wide tree for you) for $140 I think its my best and honestly my only option.

Im still in total shock that you can get a decent saddle (nothing SUPER nice) custom fitted for $140 and that INCLUDES shipping. I think I would be a fool to pass it up. If I get it and hate it, they give full refunds. If I get it and love it but stop riding Rosie...atleast I can leave it for her owner...should she ever decide to ride her again.

ozarkmama 09-03-2010 12:09 PM

I have an Aussie saddle and love it. I got it on Ebay for $200 but I was going to get one off the website you have posted. I would go for it.

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