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  1. #1

    Default Aussie Saddle & Thoroughbred Troubles

    My trainer and I are scratching our heads. I bought a new Aussie saddle for trail riding with my high-withered thoroughbred. The saddle seems to fit him perfectly, but he has been nothing but unhappy since I started riding in it. My usually laid back cupcake has come unglued once, and been just NQR a second time while out riding.

    Today, the dang thing slipped (we THOUGHT we had it on tight), and I fell off. We re-positioned, re-tightened, and whilst on the downhill, it slipped again (and I fell off again). My horse acted like he did NOT want that saddle on his back! (who could blame him?)

    Any ideas? My trainer is perplexed, because he acts like the saddle does not fit, but for the life of both us, it certainly APPEARS to fit.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    295

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    I have pants that appear to fit too; till I sit down, then I'm mighty unhappy. But to look at me it sure looks like they fit well!
    Only dead fish go with the flow.

    http://tommybluefoot.blogspot.com/



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2007
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    9,230

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    The appearance is clearly deceiving. The saddle does not fit.

    Return it. Try a different size. Or maybe a different style.

    G.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 31, 2006
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    Any recommendations on a good style trail saddle for a very high, narrow-withered thoroughbred?



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
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    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get
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    Not sure it will work for you, but I have trailridden for years in my dressage saddle. It's an oldie w/o the huge thighblocks or kneerolls the modern ones have.
    Rides have included some steep up & downhill trails (Brown Cty, IN "A" trails)
    The horse ridden had withers, not sharkfin, but not mutton-backed either.

    FWIW I have ridden in a friend's Aussie (on one of her horses that it was fitted to) and hated the way it felt to me.
    Too blocked-in and wide in the seat, plus the stirrups torqued my knees so painfully I could only get comfortable by dropping them.
    After the 2nd hour I was begging the ride to stop.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 25, 2009
    Posts
    150

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    I ride mine in a western saddle with semi-qtr bars. Get a saddle fitter out to check fit on prospective saddles.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2009
    Location
    Texas Upper Gulf Coast
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    375

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    I have an Aussie saddle and find it slips also but I do love the way it rides. I can't ride in western stirrups - they KILL my knees.

    What kind is it and where did you purchase it? There seems to be something really wrong if he is that unhappy!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by King's Ransom View Post
    Any recommendations on a good style trail saddle for a very high, narrow-withered thoroughbred?
    I ride Stubben Scout (developed in the late '40s for the Belgian Army and Police). Take a look at a McClellan (not my personal favorite but may work for you). Pick a U.S. maker, like Tom Smith or Doug Kidd. Stay away from the cheap imports. The British UP (Universal Pattern) has it roots in a design from 1797 when that TB conformation was more common. The more modern interpretation of the UP is the Trooper saddle. A Buena Vista or Plantation saddle might work. Steele makes a very high quality product.

    There are lots of choices out there.

    G.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 31, 2006
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    Thanks for the recommendations, I am now on the hunt ... and convinced it's a saddle problem. I had a cupcake, now I have a nervous nellie, and the change started with the new saddle ... so ...

    For what it's worth, I LOVE the way the saddle fits ME. It is sooo comfortable, except the part where I am on the ground!

    AlfalfaGirl -- I bought it from DownUnder. I am going to call them today and talk to them.

    Guilherm, thanks for the recommendations. I hadn't wanted to spend a lot on a new saddle, because I'm just a pleasure rider. But, falling off on the trail is no PLEASURE, and certainly one visit to the emergency room would far exceed the cost of even the most expensive of saddles!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2009
    Location
    Texas Upper Gulf Coast
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    That is where I got mine so give them a call. Possibly something wrong with that particular saddle. I have found them to be VERY helpful. I have two saddles from them.

    Good luck and I hope that things work out for you. I will be looking for saddles for my new boy as soon as he fills out and gets in shape. I can't say that I am looking forward to it!



  11. #11
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    Aug. 31, 2006
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    While we are on the subject, I have another quick question. I have been riding Cooper in this saddle, for about 2 weeks. If the saddle has made his back sore, approximately how long would it take for that to go away? If we switch back to the Stubben (which is a borrowed saddle, but I can still use it for awhile), is it likely he will still be sore for awhile even in that?



  12. #12
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    Aug. 25, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by King's Ransom View Post
    Guilherm, thanks for the recommendations. I hadn't wanted to spend a lot on a new saddle, because I'm just a pleasure rider. But, falling off on the trail is no PLEASURE, and certainly one visit to the emergency room would far exceed the cost of even the most expensive of saddles!
    A wise way of viewing the problem.

    Consider that the cost of material for a Western saddle right now will run from $600-$700. Add a tree, labor, etc. and you've got some idea of why a new one has a straspheric price.

    The military saddles (Macs, UPs, Armeesattel, etc.) tend to be pretty spare and will be cheaper. They are also fairly common, used. A Mac can be rebuilt to new specs for a relatively modest sum. For most modern horse these saddles can be a problem as they were all designed more than a century ago when horse conformation was somewhat different (a lot thinner). If you've got a thin horse then you might find that one of these works for you.

    On a personal note we've done business with these folks and were very satisfied:

    http://www.usedsaddles.com/

    G.

    Edited to add: Just a quick Google found this:

    http://www.globalpampas.com.ar/shop/...rias.asp?id=65

    I don't know if these saddles are made/sold in the U.S. or not. Argentine leather work tends to be pretty good.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 5, 2009
    Location
    Southern Colorado
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    293

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    I also ride a shark finned Tb. Currently I am using an Abetta flex tree saddle and a Tuffy sway back pad with a cutback area. He is not sway backed but it does give enough protection for his back and is level (as opposed to cutback and built up pads, which I personally loathe) As a previous person mentioned, semi QH bars on a western saddle might work.

    I had a used Syd Hill that fit him fairly well but twisted my knees some. It seems the higher end Aussies fit these type horses better. English saddles fit really well and a dressage style might be worth looking into. That's my next move too.

    His back may be sore but there are ways to check for that.



  14. #14
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    Jan. 8, 2006
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    B.C. Canada
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    I have several horses and several aussies. Aussie saddles are quite a bit harder to fit, I have found. quite often they 'look' fine and.. no. Even a well fitting aussie can have slippage on steep hills as any saddle, but it shouldn't be so extreme that you end up eating dirt.

    I have one rather high withered horse - that none of my aussies fit well,same issue - they look like they should. had a saddle fitter come in, ended up the saddle needed to be reflocked, it fit fine, but the flocking sucked so bad that it wasn't molding well to his back. Haven't had any trouble since that I can recall.
    Quote Originally Posted by ExJumper View Post
    Sometimes I'm thrown off, sometimes I'm bucked off, sometimes I simply fall off, and sometimes I go down with the ship. All of these are valid ways to part company with your horse.



  15. #15
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    Aug. 31, 2006
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    I called and talked to the folks at Down Under. They told me to go out this evening and saddle him up, without a pad. Take a full side profile photo and one angle to show the front chamber and email it to them. Then, we will talk about what to do next.

    In the meantime, I think I am going to go back to borrowing the Stubben and perhaps stay off the trails, at least the ones with steep, slippery hills and water crossings!

    And, as a complete aside, my 54-year-old bones do not "take" to unscheduled trail dismounts! Ugh! I HURT today!



  16. #16
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    Mar. 26, 2007
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    SE PA
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    Thorowgood makes high-wither dressage and AP synthetic saddles, and their prices are quite reasonable.
    RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2009
    Location
    Texas Upper Gulf Coast
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    375

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    glad to hear they are helping. Hope they can help you resolve the issue quickly.

    I find that my Aussie saddles slip a bunch when mounting from the ground. Not so much when mounting from a block. That is frustrating because I do love riding in them



  18. #18
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    Oct. 25, 2008
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    Which saddle from DownUnder? I have a great Aussie that fits my horse and is comfortable for my knees and rear-end, but it spreads my hips out too wide. It's a problem I've always had with saddles, so I'm not faulting this one. I'm saving for another Aussie that hopefully has a narrower seat.

    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by King's Ransom View Post

    AlfalfaGirl -- I bought it from DownUnder. I am going to call them today and talk to them.

    Guilherm, thanks for the recommendations. I hadn't wanted to spend a lot on a new saddle, because I'm just a pleasure rider. But, falling off on the trail is no PLEASURE, and certainly one visit to the emergency room would far exceed the cost of even the most expensive of saddles!



  19. #19
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    Aug. 31, 2006
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    I have a Kimberley synthetic stock saddle. I love everything about this saddle -- it's lightweight, it's comfy comfy (for me), it's attractive, and it's durable.

    Like I told them at DownUnder, this is the most comfortable saddle I have ever ridden in, except for the part where I was on the ground!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2009
    Location
    Texas Upper Gulf Coast
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    I have an 18" Down Under Wizzard Poley with a horn and a 19" Kimberly Stock saddle without a horn. LOVE the one without the horn...I never ride in the Wizzard Poley anymore - I rode in it for 4 months and got the Stock on a drastic reduction sale and haven't been in the WP since! I want to sell the 18" because it is never rode in and is like brand new. LOL too lazy to even list it!



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