Australian saddle rigging question
Okay, so I'm interested in purchasing an Australian stock saddle for trail riding because I find western saddles INCREDIBLY uncomfortable. I found one in a nearby city that I like, but it doesn't come with a girth (not that I saw, at least). So, my question is this...do I need to purchase an Australian girth or would an English girth work (I know they both have a two buckle system)? If an English girth would work, my trainer has a nice neoprene one we could borrow, which would be awesome.
Also, could I use an English AP saddle pad instead of an Australian pad? They look like they're about the same size, to be honest. I bought one when I thought we had an English saddle we would be using (belongs to our trainer, but it doesn't fit Aires...at all).
Another question I didn't think about last night...
The saddle I'm looking at has a horn and I'd really prefer no horn, but the price is right, so I can deal. That being said, would it be possible to cut the horn off and put a concho or something over where it was to hide the fact that it was removed? I know that horns on Aussie saddles are largely useless anyway and are there more as a "security blanket" thing for those who prefer horns like Western saddles have (face it, there's absolutely no way you're going to be able to wrap a rope with a 200lbs steer attached to it around the horn on most Aussie saddles and have it NOT break! lol).
I have seen a lot of different padding under aussies from AP (which is a touch small) to western, and even a few use a braided rug meant for the floor folded under it because it fits better than a western pad. I think as long as your horse is comfortable and protected from the saddle, you can use what is available to you.
About half the people here use english girths, the other put a converter on theirs to use a western girth. Again, as long as the horse is comfortable and it isn't causing an issue, I don't see the difference. To my knowledge they are always used with an english girth, but I am very ignorant where it comes to aussie saddles except by what I see other people use.
As for cutting the horn, not sure what that would do besides possibly bring the value down if you were to resell it. The main thing is to make sure that the tree is the right size for your horse and that it will fit properly.
The girth depends on the width of the billets. My aussie takes a normal english girth. I've seen some that wont, though.
For an under pad, its best to buy one that is designed for an Aussie. They are expensive but the downfall of an Aussie is that it has a tendency to 'roll' a bit. Anti-slip pads work best.
I wouldn't cut the horn off. Yeah, they aren't great and they aren't functional for anything more than a hand rest or somewhere to hang your horn bag but cutting it off would really decrease the value. Get the saddle, try it out, if you really can't stand the horn, sell it and buy one without a horn.
Aussie Shaped Saddle Pads
There are some decent deals on Aussie pads here...
My Outback saddle is in the tack room waiting on a new girth (English) and saddle pad (Australian). I'll let you know how it works out in a couple of days.
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