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  1. #1
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    Default Australian tack experts...

    Just a few questions I'm hoping you guys can help me with.

    1. What is the purpose for the one billet strap going over the seat of the saddle and down through the slots on the flap? Why not billets like a regular english saddle?

    2. My aussie seems to fit my Arab fine but I'm concerned about the area directly under the twist, or crotch area. The seat is so deep, and scooped that it seems like there is much more/firmer contact there than say under the pommel or the cantle. If you look at pics of ANY aussie saddle, this deep bowl type seat seems to put the very center of the saddle in firm contact with the back. Do you get pressure sores there? I'm just not accustomed to THAT deep of a seat I guess.

    3. What are the BEST aussie online tack stores out there? I have a couple things I'd like to buy, and while I know of a couple stores, it seems that there are surprisingly few tack stores that carry a wide range of aussie items.

    4. Please tell me again about the awling and how you can move the flocking around yourself without taking it to a saddle fitter. I thought someone said this was possible?? I might be mistaken on that.

    Thanks so much!



  2. #2
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    I don't have time to post now because I have a class soon; but I will post here later!
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!



  3. #3
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    The reason for the overgirth is to allow you to cinch the saddle more tightly and efficiently drastically lessening the risk of slippage. And, if a billet strap were to break, the overgirth would provide added safety.. Important when riding rough terrain.

    I have an Aussie saddle with with stuffed panel. I prefer them that way. It has molded to my horses back. I have no problems with the twist bothering my horse's back. The pressure is distributed by the serge covered panels.

    Hubby likes the Australian Stock Saddle company. I prefer Down under saddle supply.

    The Australian Saddle company has directions for readjusting your panels on their site and also in their catalog. Me I am not touching that job. It is easier just to take it to the Amish and they handle it.

    The Australian saddle company offer fleece panel saddle so you don't have to worry about it.
    Last edited by CoopsZippo; Apr. 3, 2008 at 05:55 PM. Reason: spelling



  4. #4
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    1. What is the purpose for the one billet strap going over the seat of the saddle and down through the slots on the flap? Why not billets like a regular english saddle? As Coops said, that's called the overgirth. And it makes the saddle more secure over varied terrain, which is what the Aussie was originally designed for. I've definitely noticed a difference in stability with this with my girl, it keeps the saddle from wiggling around too much.

    2. My aussie seems to fit my Arab fine but I'm concerned about the area directly under the twist, or crotch area. The seat is so deep, and scooped that it seems like there is much more/firmer contact there than say under the pommel or the cantle. If you look at pics of ANY aussie saddle, this deep bowl type seat seems to put the very center of the saddle in firm contact with the back. Do you get pressure sores there? I'm just not accustomed to THAT deep of a seat I guess. The super-deep seat is also a product of why the Aussie was created; for riding through rough terrain. I haven't had any problem with pressure right under my seat with my aussie saddle, because the flocking and serge really help distribute the weight well.

    3. What are the BEST aussie online tack stores out there? I have a couple things I'd like to buy, and while I know of a couple stores, it seems that there are surprisingly few tack stores that carry a wide range of aussie items. Like Coops said, Down Under Saddlery and Australian Stock Company. I'm partial to Down Under myself.

    4. Please tell me again about the awling and how you can move the flocking around yourself without taking it to a saddle fitter. I thought someone said this was possible?? I might be mistaken on that. The awling I'm still learning about myself, so I can't help much here. BUT, I did find a saddler that will work on my Aussie if the need ever arises. Smith-Worthington works on Aussies. Unfortunately the tree in mine is non-adjustable, but the flocking can be adjusted if needed. Actually though, I think flocking adjustments in Aussies are a lot less needed than in English saddles. The saddle WILL shift and conform to your horse's back over time. I've heard riding without a saddle pad speeds up this process, but I can't bring myself to do that.. my beloved saddle would get dirty!
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!



  5. #5
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    Thanks I knew you guys would be really helpful! But can you explain further what a "serge" is? My brain isn't functioning on that one.

    I rode again in it last night and I notice that the horse does ok in it but I don't have the big free swinging, happy to go forward attitude that I do in the treeless. There was some grumpy ears and head twisting on transitions. Definitely a different feel than she's used to.

    That's ok as I only plan to use it on the days she's particularly wild and wooly - just for a little extra security. I still plan to use the Bandos for most of our rides.



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auventera Two View Post
    Thanks I knew you guys would be really helpful! But can you explain further what a "serge" is? My brain isn't functioning on that one.

    I rode again in it last night and I notice that the horse does ok in it but I don't have the big free swinging, happy to go forward attitude that I do in the treeless. There was some grumpy ears and head twisting on transitions. Definitely a different feel than she's used to.

    That's ok as I only plan to use it on the days she's particularly wild and wooly - just for a little extra security. I still plan to use the Bandos for most of our rides.
    Everyone's already answered the initial questions pretty much as I have

    "Serge" is the wool fabric which covers the panels under the saddle.

    It does take some horses a few rides to get used to an Aussie. I suggest free lunging her a couple of times to let her get the feel of it. Also, if it's a used saddle, it might need to be awled to fluff the padding back up so it can settle to her back after a few rides.

    Edited to add: I was schooling a TB for a friend and he was giving me trouble in his english saddle. At first he didn't seem to like the Aussie either, but after about 30 minutes or so, his back gave a big *crack* and he became more comfortable immediately. I do believe the english saddle he had priorly been ridden in was not fitting him well and he had back problems because of it which the Aussie helped.

    The other issues with the Bandos that you've mentioned make me wonder if that saddle isn't fitting the horse well. I know you said that it slips on all your horses, but if your mare is acting out when your riding, maybe it's the saddle?
    ~ Shannon Hayden ~



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sublimequine View Post

    4. Please tell me again about the awling and how you can move the flocking around yourself without taking it to a saddle fitter. I thought someone said this was possible?? I might be mistaken on that. The awling I'm still learning about myself, so I can't help much here. BUT, I did find a saddler that will work on my Aussie if the need ever arises. Smith-Worthington works on Aussies. Unfortunately the tree in mine is non-adjustable, but the flocking can be adjusted if needed. Actually though, I think flocking adjustments in Aussies are a lot less needed than in English saddles. The saddle WILL shift and conform to your horse's back over time. I've heard riding without a saddle pad speeds up this process, but I can't bring myself to do that.. my beloved saddle would get dirty!
    Yup, you can speed up the process by going without a saddle pad, actually the saddles are designed to be used without one, or just use a thin saddle towel.

    I used to use a saddle towel on my TBs, but had to give it up once I got gaited horses as the saddle towel would literally work it's way out from under my saddle and I would find it on my horse's butt

    You do need to readjust the padding a bit every 6 months (depending on how much you ride) as eventually the padding will become too compacted and the saddle will ride too far down and cause your horse pain either on the spine or the withers. You can tell when you need to awl as the panels will feel compacted instead of springy to the touch.
    ~ Shannon Hayden ~



  8. #8
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    This horse acts up a bit under saddle no matter what. I've used 5 saddles on her that I can recall. She's just hyper and reactive. Typical baby Arab stuff. But she was definitely grumpy about the aussie. She's never grumpy in the Bandos. Just spooks at something and the saddle slips.

    I have free longed her twice, and twice on the longe line in the aussie. It really wasn't to get her used to the saddle but to get her brain in work mode before I climbed on and took off down the road.

    I'm going to keep it and use it when I need it for a little more security. The aussie really looks like it fits well. When it's girthed up I can easily slide my hand under all the panels, and under the middle of the saddle. There is nothing pinching or rubbing or squeezing. I think she's just a mare in heat in the spring time with an opinion.



  9. #9
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    Make sure you have the saddle position correctly.. They do not get placed like a english or western saddle.



  10. #10
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    Coops - can you elaborate on the saddle positioning. I just bought one for my mom and her short backed TWH.



  11. #11
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    Yes, same question from me. I did place it like I would an english saddle. Maybe I did it wrong??



  12. #12
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    Typically, an Aussie 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. Remember, that an Aussie saddle is designed and built for easier shoulder movement in gaited breeds which makes it more comfortable for "all" breeds.. An Aussie saddle also tends to fit a bit higher and further forward on a horse than your standard Western saddle. To find the optimal 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. Note: A saddle being placed too far forward or too far back usually results in an uncomfortable and unhappy horse
    Hope this helps.



  13. #13
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    Hey, another question. My saddle is 17" but it's huge for me. I use about a 17" english saddle and a 15" western. I found a chart online giving the sizes breakdown and I thought I did it right. Hmmm.



  14. #14
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    Western Size 14" 15" 16" 17" 18"
    English Size 17" 18" 19" 20" 21"
    Aussie Size 16" 17" 18" 19" 20"



  15. #15
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    I'd like to see the source of the quote that Aussies are designed for gaited horses????



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by katarine View Post
    I'd like to see the source of the quote that Aussies are designed for gaited horses????

    http://www.kates.net/

    On her fitting page....



  17. #17
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    huh. Interesting. thanks for posting.



  18. #18
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    FWIW, I use a 17 english saddle and I bought a 17 Aussie. It fits me perfectly. Just enough clearance between my leg and the poleys, enough butt-room, etc.
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by sublimequine View Post
    FWIW, I use a 17 english saddle and I bought a 17 Aussie. It fits me perfectly. Just enough clearance between my leg and the poleys, enough butt-room, etc.
    Interesting. Well, this one is very big. Or maybe I'm just used to a snugger fit with the treeless. It's comfortable though. I'm going to use it this weekend for patrol at a brat fry. Now, why they needed mounted patrol at a brat fry I'm not really sure. Don't want those bunns getting out of control.



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