I would love to get an Australian saddle as I have been told it would put less stress on my knee. However, I am under 5 feet tall and the flaps are so long on all of the ones with the narrower leathers. Suggestions????
I put child-length english leathers (I'm 5'2 with short legs) on mine since the stirrup leathers it came with were barely adjustable. The stirrups barely come past the edge of the flaps but it works just fine.
You can get them with short skirts, tho those are often called half breed.
At the trail co I worked for almost all horses had traditional stock saddles like that pictured & from tall adults to little kids, flap length never seemed an issue. For me I did find that if I was wearing short boots, occasionally the cuff would get under the flap & annoy me - just an excuse to get some western boots!
You can get Aussie saddles with shorter flaps (eg Longreach Endurance) - check out Cariboo Outback Saddlery, Canada (online) as they have a few models like that. And, they are comfortable saddles - I have one and it’s become my go to saddle.
Also, if you’re feeling daring and depending on the underside construction of the flaps, you could take a saddle to a person who does repairs, builds, etc. and have the flaps trimmed off at the bottom to your desired length. That one may or may not limit resale, btw.
A riding friend chopped off the flaps of his Aussie saddle because it interfered with his boots. I wished he hadn't done it, but he was quite happy with it for years. Sadly, he died of cancer. I don't know what happened to his chopped-up saddle.
Also, be aware that Aussie saddles are all different. I love Aussie saddles and own lots of them . . . and have sold even more of them. Some fit certain horses great and others not at all; others fit certain riders and others not at all.