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View Full Version : New Aussie Saddle! I've got questions.



sublimequine
Nov. 14, 2007, 12:13 AM
Does anyone use english leathers with their Aussie saddle? Do you use the regular kind, or the Wintec kind where the buckle's on the bottom, by the stirrup iron?

I just got a new Aussie saddle (OMG I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! :D:D:D), and I'm thinking of switching out the western fenders for regular english leathers.

Also, does anyone have experience with how puffy the flocking is with new Aussie saddles? It ALMOST seems like my Aussie is slightly too narrow, but I swear it's just the flocking is just so.. puffy! Will it settle over time, or should I consider getting a saddler to remove some of the flocking?

If the saddle ever needs work by a saddler, who would be a better bet, a western saddler or english saddler? :confused:

Mersy
Nov. 14, 2007, 02:58 AM
My first aussie saddle had english style leathers. The buckle was located about midway between the stirrup iron and the attach point on the saddle.
And yes your flocking will pack down some, conforming to your horse. I wouldn't have any removed until you have put some hours on it (go with a english saddler for adjustments). If your tree is to narrow you horse will let you know.
Who is the manufacturer of your saddle?

sublimequine
Nov. 14, 2007, 10:38 AM
My first aussie saddle had english style leathers. The buckle was located about midway between the stirrup iron and the attach point on the saddle.
And yes your flocking will pack down some, conforming to your horse. I wouldn't have any removed until you have put some hours on it (go with a english saddler for adjustments). If your tree is to narrow you horse will let you know.
Who is the manufacturer of your saddle?

That's what I was thinking, I don't THINK it's too narrow, because she was acting just like she does in her english saddle, which I know fits her. We'll see after some more time and some more strenuous rides. :)

The manufacturer is Sydney Saddleworks, bought it through Frontier Equestrian. :yes:

spookhorse
Nov. 14, 2007, 11:31 AM
Does anyone use english leathers with their Aussie saddle? Do you use the regular kind, or the Wintec kind where the buckle's on the bottom, by the stirrup iron?

I have some wide-ish english style leathers on one of my saddles, the buckle is down by the stirrup and is covered by a sleeve of leather (don't know what it's called offhand)


Also, does anyone have experience with how puffy the flocking is with new Aussie saddles? It ALMOST seems like my Aussie is slightly too narrow, but I swear it's just the flocking is just so.. puffy! Will it settle over time, or should I consider getting a saddler to remove some of the flocking?

Oh it will settle over time, and start fitting your horse like a glove :) If you haven't already, you need to look into maintenance like "awling" which you need to do when it starts to settle too much.


If the saddle ever needs work by a saddler, who would be a better bet, a western saddler or english saddler? :confused:

Neither, get someone who knows aussies! They are their own breed apart :yes:

sublimequine
Nov. 14, 2007, 12:35 PM
I have some wide-ish english style leathers on one of my saddles, the buckle is down by the stirrup and is covered by a sleeve of leather (don't know what it's called offhand)



Oh it will settle over time, and start fitting your horse like a glove :) If you haven't already, you need to look into maintenance like "awling" which you need to do when it starts to settle too much.



Neither, get someone who knows aussies! They are their own breed apart :yes:

This is probably a stupid question, but how long will it take before the flocking starts settling and forming to my horse? I don't weigh very much, so I don't really help out much in the 'squishing' process. :lol:

spookhorse
Nov. 14, 2007, 12:47 PM
This is probably a stupid question, but how long will it take before the flocking starts settling and forming to my horse? I don't weigh very much, so I don't really help out much in the 'squishing' process. :lol:

Probably not too long, couple of weeks maybe? Depending on how much you ride and how much the horse sweats. The saddles are designed to not use a saddle pad (or nothing more than a thin towel) so that the process of the horse sweating and moving conforms the saddle flaps and flocking to the horse's back.

sublimequine
Nov. 14, 2007, 12:55 PM
Probably not too long, couple of weeks maybe? Depending on how much you ride and how much the horse sweats. The saddles are designed to not use a saddle pad (or nothing more than a thin towel) so that the process of the horse sweating and moving conforms the saddle flaps and flocking to the horse's back.

Ah, okay. I'm using a super-thin Dressage pad right now, I'm assuming that would be okay? I'd like to keep the underside of the saddle clean if at all possible.

Auventera Two
Nov. 14, 2007, 03:52 PM
Yay, so glad you love your new saddle!! That's good news! I wondered how you would like it :)

I have a flocking question for the experts - why do Aussie saddles seem so densely flocked? I tried two different ones for my Arab and that flocking was rock hard and packed so tight, I was afraid of back soreness. Obviously - if I'd like the aussie style enough to buy one of them, I'd have had the flocking redone. But I couldn't get used to the big thigh wingie things. I had some really nasty bruises.

sublimequine
Nov. 14, 2007, 04:10 PM
Yay, so glad you love your new saddle!! That's good news! I wondered how you would like it :)

I have a flocking question for the experts - why do Aussie saddles seem so densely flocked? I tried two different ones for my Arab and that flocking was rock hard and packed so tight, I was afraid of back soreness. Obviously - if I'd like the aussie style enough to buy one of them, I'd have had the flocking redone. But I couldn't get used to the big thigh wingie things. I had some really nasty bruises.

Yeah, I am really really happy with my purchase. $300 is a lot of money to me (I'm poor :lol: ), but for a saddle you worry about quality at that price. But it is REALLY a nice saddle. The leather is soft, granted a bit stiff from being new and not broken in yet, but really not bad at all.

Mine is super-densely flocked as well, but not hard at all. It's like a gigantic sponge on the bottom. :lol:

The thigh things are called kneepads (I think!), and I actually kinda like having em. Added security, and I'm basically using it as a western saddle, so I don't post or get up into a 2-point anyways.

sublimequine
Nov. 14, 2007, 11:56 PM
Here's some photos! Tell me what you think about the fit. It also fits quite a bit closer to her back when I'm actually in the saddle, which I was surprised at because I'm not real heavy.

http://img206.imageshack.us/img206/3651/joyaussienr7.jpg

http://img108.imageshack.us/img108/1630/joyaussiesaddlewx7.jpg

http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/6092/joyaussiegulletfs3.jpg

I need to get a new girth. It's actually too long! I've never had that happen before, she's usually such a fatty. :lol:

spookhorse
Nov. 15, 2007, 12:22 AM
Ah, okay. I'm using a super-thin Dressage pad right now, I'm assuming that would be okay? I'd like to keep the underside of the saddle clean if at all possible.

It's probably okay, but if you get any slippage while riding, lose that pad and go to a thin saddle towel (like what they use on racehorses)

I used to use a saddle towel, but my mare has no withers and it just worked it's way out the back as she gaited along so I quit using it :lol: Yes, I have to do a little more cleaning on the panels, but it's better than Belle spooking from the towel flying off her butt! They also make sheepskin pads which fit an aussie and have slits to run the bottom panels through, but they are pretty expensive so...

spookhorse
Nov. 15, 2007, 12:31 AM
Yay, so glad you love your new saddle!! That's good news! I wondered how you would like it :)

I have a flocking question for the experts - why do Aussie saddles seem so densely flocked? I tried two different ones for my Arab and that flocking was rock hard and packed so tight, I was afraid of back soreness. Obviously - if I'd like the aussie style enough to buy one of them, I'd have had the flocking redone. But I couldn't get used to the big thigh wingie things. I had some really nasty bruises.

If you tried used saddles, then they were tight probably because the owner was not awling the saddle panels on a regular basis. When they get tight and hard and the saddle is coming down too far on the horse's withers, it's past time to awl. I do it a couple times a year and it's tedious, but I sit there with a good show on the tv and take care of it when I'm doing a deep clean on my tack.

If you are getting hit by the thigh located "wings" (they are called "poleys") then the saddles you are trying are too small seat-wise for you. You should have a couple inches of parallel clearance between your thighs and the poleys. When you rise in your saddle, you may get some contact, but unless it is sudden due to an unexpected jolt, spook, or fall, you shouldn't be getting enough hard contact for bruising! If you feel cramped in the saddle, go bigger :)

This is about how you should fit in an aussie:
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n174/spookhorse01/Buddy/100_4778.jpg

spookhorse
Nov. 15, 2007, 12:35 AM
Here's some photos! Tell me what you think about the fit. It also fits quite a bit closer to her back when I'm actually in the saddle, which I was surprised at because I'm not real heavy.

http://img206.imageshack.us/img206/3651/joyaussienr7.jpg

http://img108.imageshack.us/img108/1630/joyaussiesaddlewx7.jpg

http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/6092/joyaussiegulletfs3.jpg

I need to get a new girth. It's actually too long! I've never had that happen before, she's usually such a fatty. :lol:

Pretty nice :)

Looks like you need to pull it up on her withers a touch more, it's sitting a little far back. Probably why it's going down on her withers more than you expect.

Here is Belle in her saddle:
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n174/spookhorse01/Belle/100_3804.jpg

sublimequine
Nov. 15, 2007, 02:40 AM
If you tried used saddles, then they were tight probably because the owner was not awling the saddle panels on a regular basis. When they get tight and hard and the saddle is coming down too far on the horse's withers, it's past time to awl. I do it a couple times a year and it's tedious, but I sit there with a good show on the tv and take care of it when I'm doing a deep clean on my tack.

If you are getting hit by the thigh located "wings" (they are called "poleys") then the saddles you are trying are too small seat-wise for you. You should have a couple inches of parallel clearance between your thighs and the poleys. When you rise in your saddle, you may get some contact, but unless it is sudden due to an unexpected jolt, spook, or fall, you shouldn't be getting enough hard contact for bruising! If you feel cramped in the saddle, go bigger :)

This is about how you should fit in an aussie:
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n174/spookhorse01/Buddy/100_4778.jpg

Call me stupid, but what is awling? What does it do? Should I be awling my new saddle? :confused:

And I see now, both of the folks who posted pics of their horses in their aussies, your guys' saddles are much further forward on the horse than I had Joy's. I get so paranoid about giving her shoulders room, I have a habit of putting the saddle TOO far back. I do the same with my english saddle.

Do you guys think it will fit, after seeing it on her, and the gullet?

AND I'm glad to report, I rode in it again tonight, and was able to post flawlessly! The poleys were in the PERFECT position. Gave me security, but don't get in the way when I post. I swear, this saddle was custom-designed for my boney butt. :lol:

Auventera Two
Nov. 15, 2007, 10:39 AM
Ohh good, what good news that you had another good ride in it! You're right, it's probably just what you needed. :) Thanks for the info spookhorse. Aussie saddles have always been a bit of a mystery to me! :lol:

sublimequine
Nov. 15, 2007, 11:12 AM
Ohh good, what good news that you had another good ride in it! You're right, it's probably just what you needed. :) Thanks for the info spookhorse. Aussie saddles have always been a bit of a mystery to me! :lol:

I'm still learning about it myself. It took me like 30 minutes to figure out how to get the stirrups adjusted to my length. :lol:

spookhorse
Nov. 15, 2007, 11:51 AM
Call me stupid, but what is awling? What does it do? Should I be awling my new saddle? :confused:

And I see now, both of the folks who posted pics of their horses in their aussies, your guys' saddles are much further forward on the horse than I had Joy's. I get so paranoid about giving her shoulders room, I have a habit of putting the saddle TOO far back. I do the same with my english saddle.

Do you guys think it will fit, after seeing it on her, and the gullet?

AND I'm glad to report, I rode in it again tonight, and was able to post flawlessly! The poleys were in the PERFECT position. Gave me security, but don't get in the way when I post. I swear, this saddle was custom-designed for my boney butt. :lol:

I worry about shoulders too, esp as both my horses are gaited, but neither horse has an issue with gaiting in my saddles and neither saddle is "gaited" specific. But I find that if the saddle is too far back, that I start to get attitude from the horses that the saddle is not in the right place!

Awling is regular maintenance on the panels. When the panels start to get hard and the saddle is coming down on the withers, then it's time to hit it :) Like I said, I do it every six months or so when I do a deep cleaning.

Okay, how to explain the process?

Tool: I use a small hand awl (http://img.epinions.com/images/opti/e0/aa/Stanley_Wood_Handle_Scratch_Awl_69_007A_Shop_Tools-resized200.jpg) which is made to punch holes in leather. You could also use an ice pick which has the point ground down to rounded.

First I sit on the floor with my back to the couch and have the saddle with its gullet on the floor and its seat towards my chest.

I then start at the top of one of the panels (which is the saddles rear) and insert the awl through the wool fabric, which you'll notice is a fairly loose weave. You just kind of use a turning hand motion to twist the awl's tip in a small circle while keeping the awl's handle relatively in the same place. To move the awl's handle a lot would eventually start to loosen up your wool fabric. Do this about every inch to inch and a half.

Basically I just go across the first panel in a row and work my way down to the front by going back and forth to hit all parts of the panel. Then go to the other panel and repeat the process until all part of the panels are done.

Like I said, it's pretty tedious and you may even want to wear some leather gloves if you have soft hands cause I have gotten a blister or two from it if I've left the awling too long and my panels are really hard. BUT if you love an aussie saddle (like I do!) then it's just part and parcel of maintenance and in keeping yourself and your horse happy with the fit. And really, english saddles do need to be re-flocked occasionally and you have to send those in and pay someone to do it... at least you can awl an aussie yourself ;)

And I felt the same way when I got my first aussie :) (which is Belle's saddle that I showed) I'd tried aussies before which I didn't like but the difference I believe in those vs the one I bought and loved was a) size- the ones I tried squished me into the poleys and b) quality- I tried some of those knock-offs which are never built right.

A decent quality (though not neccessarily horribly expensive) aussie is worth every penny!

Auventera Two
Nov. 15, 2007, 12:45 PM
So why do you have to do this awling on an aussie saddle? English saddles don't have this done. Obviously they don't have felted wool panels like the aussies do, but I'm thinking there's some deeper reason. lol

sublimequine
Nov. 15, 2007, 02:03 PM
Well I tried scooting the saddle up today.. did the whole "put it up too high, then let it scoot back into the spot it wants to stop" thing, and it ended up being like 3 inches further up than how I had it before. :eek:

It fits quite a bit better now that it's in the right spot. I feel like a real dunce, though! :lol:

We had a really nice ride. Rode outside, with the wind howling and the grasses blowing, she was being kinda silly and spooky, we had a few prance sessions, but I sure felt glued in with my poleys. :D:D:D

As I mentioned, I need to replace the girth. Any suggestions? Neoprene, leather, fleece-lined? Do they have ones with elastic ends like on english girths?

Huntertwo
Nov. 15, 2007, 10:29 PM
Here's some photos! Tell me what you think about the fit. It also fits quite a bit closer to her back when I'm actually in the saddle, which I was surprised at because I'm not real heavy.

http://img206.imageshack.us/img206/3651/joyaussienr7.jpg

http://img108.imageshack.us/img108/1630/joyaussiesaddlewx7.jpg

http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/6092/joyaussiegulletfs3.jpg

I need to get a new girth. It's actually too long! I've never had that happen before, she's usually such a fatty. :lol:

Your girl is toooo cute and love your barn also. Love the nice wide aisle. Is her mane roached? Ohhh that saddle is so tempting and I'm so broke..;)

spookhorse
Nov. 16, 2007, 12:36 AM
So why do you have to do this awling on an aussie saddle? English saddles don't have this done. Obviously they don't have felted wool panels like the aussies do, but I'm thinking there's some deeper reason. lol

I remember reading somewhere that the saddles were designed so that the owner could do regular maintenance on their saddle since historically in the outback, finding a saddle maker to reflock saddles could be hard. Aussie saddles are working saddles designed for maximum comfort for both horse and rider, to be used in the rugged outback conditions, and they might not see a town for 6 months or more.

I've owned traditional style aussie saddles for early 9 years and can tell you that they can compress a lot if you don't awl them, then the saddle will become uncomfortable for the horse as it starts pressing down on their back and withers. An awling when needed puts the saddle right back to where it should be :)

spookhorse
Nov. 16, 2007, 12:41 AM
Well I tried scooting the saddle up today.. did the whole "put it up too high, then let it scoot back into the spot it wants to stop" thing, and it ended up being like 3 inches further up than how I had it before. :eek:

It fits quite a bit better now that it's in the right spot. I feel like a real dunce, though! :lol:

We had a really nice ride. Rode outside, with the wind howling and the grasses blowing, she was being kinda silly and spooky, we had a few prance sessions, but I sure felt glued in with my poleys. :D:D:D

As I mentioned, I need to replace the girth. Any suggestions? Neoprene, leather, fleece-lined? Do they have ones with elastic ends like on english girths?

You can tell when you hit that sweet spot with the saddle! I totally dig my aussies for their security and comfort :yes:

As for girths, I have a web and leather one and a neoprene one. Either one works fine, but I think I have more slippage with the neoprene. Buddy certainly seems to sweat a lot under it, but he's a sweater whereas Belle is not so much. I've not run across any girths with elastic ends, personally.

sublimequine
Nov. 16, 2007, 02:45 AM
Your girl is toooo cute and love your barn also. Love the nice wide aisle. Is her mane roached? Ohhh that saddle is so tempting and I'm so broke..;)

Oh, thanks so much! She's my baby, gotta love that big wide blaze. And yep, her mane is roached, I usually roach it through the winter, although I might not let it grow out come spring, I'm getting pretty dang good at contouring the roaching to make her neck look better! :lol:

Yeah, I love my boarding barn. It was really designed nicely. The only complaint I have about the really wide aisles is you can't have crossties. Ah well, as you can see from the photo, it gave me a chance to teach her how to groundtie properly. :D

If you wanna know more about the saddle, let me know. I've got hardly anything left in my checking account now so I know the broke thing very well. But dangit, it was a good buy. :winkgrin:

sublimequine
Nov. 16, 2007, 02:48 AM
You can tell when you hit that sweet spot with the saddle! I totally dig my aussies for their security and comfort :yes:

As for girths, I have a web and leather one and a neoprene one. Either one works fine, but I think I have more slippage with the neoprene. Buddy certainly seems to sweat a lot under it, but he's a sweater whereas Belle is not so much. I've not run across any girths with elastic ends, personally.

I like neoprene in that it's easy to clean and doesn't chafe (at least with her it doesn't), but I like the other materials because in the winter they don't get cold like neoprene can. I'll have to see what I can find. Luckily there's a tack store up by home (in college right now) that's about 40 minutes away, that carries a small amount of Aussie stuff. It's extremely uncommon around here, so I kinda have slim pickings. :no:

sublimequine
Dec. 14, 2007, 01:29 PM
Hope folks don't mind, but I'm bumping up this thread to see if anyone else has input about saddle fit. I have pics posted I think on the 2nd page of what it looks like on her, but I'm still not real sure. I've only ridden in it a handful of times, because I'm a little tentative to ride in it more if it doesn't fit her perfectly. But then folks are saying it will fit perfectly ONCE I ride in it more and it conforms to her back, so I just don't know. :lol:

Also, more pics of other horses in their aussies please! I love to see em! :D

CoopsZippo
Dec. 15, 2007, 02:56 PM
A normal english girth may not fit your saddle due to the width of the leathers. I found out the hard way and I am still using the girth that came with my saddle even though I don't like it til I find someone who sells girths made for my saddle.

Aussie saddle placement is different that other saddles. Typically, a saddle will find a natural position that is comfortable to horse and rider. This position is behind the withers with enough room to allow unrestricted shoulder movement. An Aussie saddle also tends to fit a bit higher and further forward on a horse then a Western saddle. To find the right position for the saddle, place the saddle up on the withers and, while putting downward pressure on the front of the saddle, move it back on the horse (towards the tail) until it stops. Do this a couple of times and you should see a consistent point at which the saddle seems to fit most naturally. The saddle being placed too far forward or too far back usually results in an uncomfortable and unhappy horse.

sublimequine
Dec. 15, 2007, 11:04 PM
A normal english girth may not fit your saddle due to the width of the leathers. I found out the hard way and I am still using the girth that came with my saddle even though I don't like it til I find someone who sells girths made for my saddle.

Aussie saddle placement is different that other saddles. Typically, a saddle will find a natural position that is comfortable to horse and rider. This position is behind the withers with enough room to allow unrestricted shoulder movement. An Aussie saddle also tends to fit a bit higher and further forward on a horse then a Western saddle. To find the right position for the saddle, place the saddle up on the withers and, while putting downward pressure on the front of the saddle, move it back on the horse (towards the tail) until it stops. Do this a couple of times and you should see a consistent point at which the saddle seems to fit most naturally. The saddle being placed too far forward or too far back usually results in an uncomfortable and unhappy horse.

Yeah, the english girths were a no-go. The buckles were too small. Right now I'm borrowing a friend's, and have a new one on my x-mas list. :)

I think that might be a big part of me being unsure about the fit, is that it just sits so high on her, from being so puffy. I'm actually talking to a saddler right now through emails (Smith Worthington, BEST folks EVER for saddle fit stuff), and am going to try and get some photos of the saddle on the mare tomorrow, then they're gonna let me know if they need to work on it, or if they can't fix it, or if it actually does fit. I'm hoping for the latter. :lol:

I sure hope I can even get OUT to my horse tomorrow.. we're under a heavy snow advisory.. 6-8 inches tonight! :eek:

911Cowgirl
Dec. 15, 2007, 11:22 PM
We use the neoprene girths on our Aussies (we have 6 in all). Try a google search for tack for australian saddles. Another thing that you might want to do to get the leather in soft and supple condition is use olive oil on it. We had our saddle maker turn us on to this tip and it works better and is better for the leather than neatfoot or other oils as it is not mixed with other petrolaum products. Get a small piece of sheepskin and use it.

We use our aussie saddles to work new horses that we have and when we start riding our youngsters.

Suzanna

sublimequine
Dec. 16, 2007, 02:03 AM
We use the neoprene girths on our Aussies (we have 6 in all). Try a google search for tack for australian saddles. Another thing that you might want to do to get the leather in soft and supple condition is use olive oil on it. We had our saddle maker turn us on to this tip and it works better and is better for the leather than neatfoot or other oils as it is not mixed with other petrolaum products. Get a small piece of sheepskin and use it.

We use our aussie saddles to work new horses that we have and when we start riding our youngsters.

Suzanna

Huh, never heard the olive oil thing before. Interesting. :)

Have any pics of yours, or saddle fit tips?! :lol: :D

911Cowgirl
Dec. 16, 2007, 01:03 PM
Fit tips are we have six aussies, two with narrower trees for higher withered horses, for fitting we do what the other posters have said about starting forward and then coming back, no pictures thou. We also use the New Breed pads under them (along with using them under all other saddles) as they work really well. They make the New Breed in English/Aussie style but we use the reg Western style. We use neporene girths because with other types of girths you can pick up burrs and the neoprene has never chafed any horse that we have used it on and we have ridden those Aussie saddles for over 100 mile trail rides with no sores.

Suzanna