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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi!
Just wondering what you guys think of this saddle. It's cheap but has good reviews. Is this one of those cheapy made saddles?? I have a limited budget but need something good.

Any advice is appreciated!

http://www.statelinetack.com/item/down-under-kimberley-synthetic-australian-saddle/AKA25/
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Now ST, be nice.
I have this saddle, but unfortunately I can't tell you much about it because I use my leather Aussie. However I also did a lot of research on this saddle (from lots of sources) and most people are really happy with them. Not all synthetic Aussie saddles rate well though.

When I ordered mine I called the Down Under company and talked at length with them because I have a hard too fit horse. They are terrific where customer service is concerned and very honest in their opinions about this particular saddle. If you tell them what you are looking for or need, they will let you know if this saddle will work for you and your horses. Or they may recommend a different one based on your needs. Quite a few of their saddles come in Synthetic, not just this one.
Even if you get your saddle through Stateline or one of the other places they sell them, they will help you.

We have a member here named Wallaby and she has the synthetic one as well and can tell you about it.
 

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DownUnder's warranties, at least when sold by them, run as follows:

"All new saddles sold by Down Under Saddle Supply Inc. are covered by the following product warranties. The warranty covers the saddle tree against breakage under normal riding conditions to the original purchaser for the following periods: Big Timber Western saddles - 2 years, Exmoor English saddles - 2 years, Kimberley Synthetic Saddles, Kimberley Stock, Kimberley Poley, and Kimberley Light Rider - 2 years, Kimberley trailmaster, and Kimberley Superior saddles - 5 years, Down Under Collection - 10 years.

Syd Hill saddles are covered by a 10 year tree warranty issued by the manufacturer, Syd Hill & Sons. Toowoomba saddles are covered by a 10 year tree warranty issued by Toowoomba Saddlery.

The above warranty does not cover any other part of the saddle including the saddle horn, kneepads, stirrup bars, crupper bar, stitching and decorative trim, it only covers the saddle tree itself. The saddle tree is the most integral part of the saddle; it is the frame upon which the saddle is built. All shipping charges incurred under the warranty are the responsibility of the purchaser."

Terms of Sale | Down Under Saddle Supply

I've seen a lot of positive comments by people who own their synthetic saddles. Personally, I would prefer to save up for one of their higher grade Kimberley saddles, or a bit more than that for their clearance "DownUnder" models. I own two of the DownUnder saddles with the 10 year warranty on the tree and have been happy with them.

A lot depends on your expectations. No $300 new saddle will be the same quality as a new $900 saddle...but that doesn't mean it will fall apart or be unrideable. I have an Abetta that ran around $370 new...and it is a solid little saddle. In fact, I'd say it is an excellent $370 saddle.

Also, new Australian style saddles run more for a given level of quality than a western or English saddle. You can often find them selling at a big discount used...they are a style of saddle that people either love or hate. I really like them, but my wife and daughter hate them - same saddle on the same horse. :?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the input guys, I appreciate it!

One thing I've really been wanting to know...can you ride comfortably with your legs under you in this type of saddle? I've not ridden in one but want the contact if English but stability / anchor of western...i just don't know if I will like the chair seat style..
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Aussie saddle stirrups attach like english saddle stirrups so you are able to adjust your seat and position a little more than western.
 

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quin, One thing that I will mention is that you are sitting higher on the horse with all the padding in an Auzzie. That might take a little getting used to for you. My wife had to go through that adjustment going from a McClellan to an Auzzie, but she loves her Down Under Kimberly Poly
 

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Like Lockwood said, I have that saddle and I love it. Literally could not love it more.
For my purposes, living in a wetter climate and often riding in the rain, synthetic is mandatory. So I love that about it. Unlike many synthetic western saddles I've experienced [Abetta, BigHorn, etc] this one doesn't have that synthetic "feel" to it. I don't know, it feels WAY more quality than it is. :)
I've spent many hours in mine and man, I still love it. Love it as much, or more, as the day I pulled it out of the box! :D

I haven't found mine to ride "higher" than a western saddle. It's probably higher than an english saddle, but I feel pretty close to my mare while riding. It might be the difference between having an overgirth and not [like the link, my saddle doesn't have an overgirth], I'm not sure.
I would say this saddle is definitely more "english-y" than anything. It's like riding in a deep-seat, super secure, dressage saddle.
I haven't had an issue with getting my legs under me. However, I do tend towards more of a chair-seat anyway. But I do FEEL like my leg is under me in this saddle. It might be a little forward of a "proper" english seat, but I'm able to post properly, 2-point without working tooo hard, and my leg contact isn't hindered at all.

I really wanted something english-y since I prefer riding in an english saddle, but also wanted something more secure for trail riding - this fit the bill absolutely perfectly.


A little tip is that you might want to consider ordering off DownUnder's website. I was able to get that exact saddle for under $250, plus shipping, by buying from their "seconds" section. The only thing "wrong" with my saddle is that it has a small, factory-accident, nearly invisible, cut in the back of the cantle. It doesn't affect me/my horse at all, but the saddle was WAY discounted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You guys are awesome! Thanks for all the info and tips! I think I'm going to give it a test run, but, will make sure I can return it if it doesn't work for me. ( heading over to down under site now...) :)
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I have the same saddle as Wallaby (actually, I saw hers first and then decided to buy one) - I echo her comments. Honestly, I would like to get a second Aussie and as it stands now I would get the same saddle (likely in black as the other one is brown). I suppose the downside of it would be how long will it actually last given it's not leather and that I cannot answer as I've not had it that long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just wanted to give a quick update - I went to down under's website as advised, and boy am I glad I did! There are some awesome saddles in the clearance section at really good prices! :happydance:
I ordered the saddle, got it in today, and it looks more expensive than it was. Of course the test will be when I give it try (probably in a week or so...thanks old man winter... ).
Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for the tips and help! :)
 

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When you look at the warranties keep in mind that Syd Hill retired couple of years back and is not in the commercial saddle business anymore (he could be doing it on the side I suppose, but you never know) so I wouldn't rely too much on having a 10 year warranty on a Syd Hill that you buy today even if it's new (well old, but never been sold).
 
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