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Hi
I m a novice rider in 60s looking for a comfortable secure saddle for my 14.3 quarter horse. I heard Aussie saddles were great and secure but looking for suggestions on some good quality comfy and secure saddles. Thank you for any help. Also horn or no horn?:runninghorse2:
 

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We have both a horned and no horn version of the Aussie. While I love my western style horned version and for comfort would take it over husband's cheap English style I would prefer no horn. For be his no horn with the comfort of a well made saddle. It is the poleys (sp) that give you the security as well as shape and depth of the seat. It could be you would find the same in a good trail saddle English style.
 

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I was mighty fond of this one learning to ride on a spooky horse:


DownUnder model. The stuffing eventually (7 years) got hard and I can't find anyone to re-flock it, which can be an issue in some places with an English saddle too. LOVED the poleys. They kept me alive during my first year of riding. Maybe the first 3-4. The horn was OK by me. Switched to western since they don't need stuffing.
 

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Since it appears Downunder Saddle Supply is permanently closed, your choices for Australian saddles in the US are going to be largely limited to very expensive ones (Syd Hill, James Saddlery, etc.) and cheap Indian/Pakistani/Asian-made junk (Australian Outrider/Tough-1, and other no-name brands). Avoid anything in the $500 or under range new-- it's cheap junk that won't fit you or your horse.

If you can find a store that still has some Kimberly brand, or find a used one, those are not terribly high-end but tend to be decent enough to work, fit the horse, and let you know if you like riding that style of saddle.

Mine has no horn. The horn on an Aussie saddle is kind of redundant... if the saddle fits you and the horse, you shouldn't need it as the poleys and deep seat keep you in place, and it's not built into the tree like a western saddle, so it's no good for ponying another horse, dragging a log, etc. IMO, a horn on an Australian saddle serves only to catch your shirt/coat/bra when you dismount. If you want a horn, go with a western saddle.
 

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I liked the horn on mine, although I mainly used it as a handle to lift it off the rack. The Australian saddle style is also a hit or miss proposition. I really liked mine but my wife and daughter HATE them. Good memories for me:




Mia seriously considering spooking over a moving van ahead, and me getting seriously prepared for a 180 turn and run-away. This time, though, she toughed it out:


I hated when she bolted on pavement.....but with help from the saddle, I knew I'd go where she went.
 

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I was mighty fond of this one learning to ride on a spooky horse:


DownUnder model. The stuffing eventually (7 years) got hard and I can't find anyone to re-flock it, which can be an issue in some places with an English saddle too. LOVED the poleys. They kept me alive during my first year of riding. Maybe the first 3-4. The horn was OK by me. Switched to western since they don't need stuffing.

Did you know you can use an awl to fix that and move the stuffing around to make it fit different horses differently? I watched the Down Under guy on youtube do it. Your awl needs to be really sharp though so you punch through the cloth without breaking threads.


AH HA. Found it.



 
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Would it be ok if i ask how much you weigh? I have a 14.2 morgan and I get scared that weigh too much. It would be nice if I could get some direction....... of how much you weigh......i am sorry if this makes you uncomfortable with no pressure to answer.


About the saddle; I like a horn
 

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Would it be ok if i ask how much you weigh?...
Not sure who you are asking, but for me....I weighed 180-185 when I rode Mia in the Aussie-style saddle. Down to 150 now, but Mia never showed any signs I was making her tired or sore. Her energy always exceeded mine! She was 900 lbs. My current horse was 800 when I got him...may be up to 900 by now. Mia was 15.3 and Bandit is 15.0 hands. Bandit:



 

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Not sure who you are asking, but for me....I weighed 180-185 when I rode Mia in the Aussie-style saddle. Down to 150 now, but Mia never showed any signs I was making her tired or sore. Her energy always exceeded mine! She was 900 lbs. My current horse was 800 when I got him...may be up to 900 by now. Mia was 15.3 and Bandit is 15.0 hands. Bandit:



You think I'm ok 138 ilbs on a 14.2 handed
 

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Not sure who you are asking, but for me....I weighed 180-185 when I rode Mia in the Aussie-style saddle. Down to 150 now, but Mia never showed any signs I was making her tired or sore. Her energy always exceeded mine! She was 900 lbs. My current horse was 800 when I got him...may be up to 900 by now. Mia was 15.3 and Bandit is 15.0 hands. Bandit:



You think I'm ok 138 ilbs on a 14.2 handed
 

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I suspect 138 lbs is pretty safe bet on most any horse. It depends on a variety of things - what sort of riding one does, saddle type, saddle FIT (always important, regardless of who is in the saddle), balance, the horse's physical condition. But it would be tough to be real hard on a horse at 140 lbs.
 

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Just want to let you know there is no "one" kind of Australian saddle. There are many shapes and sizes. Some are extremely comfortable to ride in. Others are torture. Each saddle needs to be tried before you will know if you like it or not. You can ride in one and hate it and ride in a different one and love it.
 

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Many people seem to like the Wintec Stock saddle (their Australian-type model).

My husband has their "endurance" saddle which is a dressage-type saddle with extra D-rings and pretty aggressive thigh blocks. The faux suede is really grippy, too, and the combination makes for quite a secure seat.
 

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I did a lot of research when I went looking for a lighter weight trail saddle. I settled on CTK because they’re not mass produced and very well made. I also wanted something that had double rigging and could be cinched up with my western girth. Had to be lightweight and comfortable. There is one dealer in the U.S. I believe, and you can have a custom one made for you although there are some for sale on the website. I found a used one through Craigslist and was so excited, also bought a wool sheepskin pad for under it and switched out the stirrups for the easy turn ones.
I’ve been considering selling it because I’ve never really felt it fit my mare good, she’s a super lean QH. It fits my daughters stockier QH gelding but she’s not wanting to give up her western saddle. I find I’m riding more in my older western saddle just because it feels like a better fit, but I truly love the CTK and would encourage anyone to check out their website. I’ve posted a few pictures, it’s a very good looking, comfortable saddle but unfortunately it’s not really a great fit for my horse.
 

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