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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2006
    Location
    Southern Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,549

    Default Australian Stock or Western Saddle suggestions for dressage rider on trails?

    Hey everyone! I've got a 3 year old mare and am finally at a boarding place where we can trail ride for hours and hours and hours! Since I'm just starting her under saddle I'm looking for something that is a) More comfortable to ride for hours in then my dressage saddle and b) VERY secure to get through the little kid whoopsy daiseys we are sure to encounter! I was looking at Western saddles and then remembered I used to ride in a stock saddle as a kid and loved it! I've been pouring through posts on here as well as the internet for suggestions but keep finding that alot of stock saddles (and Western) put you in a chair seat. I'm hoping to find a saddle that doesn't compromise my position. I rode her in a western saddle but really felt like I couldn't even feel her under me...like I was just perched on top. I'm hoping maybe an Aussie would give me more of my regular dressage feel without giving up the security I'm looking for. If I could I'd just throw some poleys on my dressage saddle and get a comfy seat cover! LOL

    I found a ton of cheapies on Ebay but I'm not sure if those are any good or not. Any suggestions on which way to head? I ride in a 17.5" dressage and jump saddle. My mare goes in a medium tree. She's only 14hh and 900lbs so I'm also hoping to find something that doesn't weigh a ton. I'm also hoping I can do small jumps in a stock as well? Is this an impossible search? LOL Thanks for any help!
    Please excuse the typos...I'm always on my iPhone and autocorrect is not my friend. Yes I mean mares autocorrect...not mates.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 21, 2005
    Location
    Crestwood, KY
    Posts
    1,440

    Default

    I trail ride in my dressage saddle... and prefer it over most other purpose made trail saddles (though I would love a Tucker...). I changed out the stirrup irons to wide padded endurance stirrups, which made a BIG difference in comfort.

    Most aussies make me feel like I'm in a chair seat, though some of the nicer ones do not. My husband is getting a Longreach Endurance Aussie from Downunder Saddlery. It is lighter weight, no overgirth, and closer contact with a shorter flap than most aussies. It looks like something I might also like...
    http://www.downunderweb.com/store/MI_SAD340.html



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 6, 2000
    Location
    lexington, virginia
    Posts
    470

    Default

    I'm also looking for Western saddle information. I, like, Keg will be taking a baby out on trails, so I'm looking for something more secure than the saddle I use for the hunters.

    Suggestions? I ride in a 17 inch Antares and the baby is 15 hands and about 900 to 1000 pounds.

    He was broke to ride in a Western saddle and when I rode him at the trainer's in that saddle it did feel a lot more secure than my saddle.

    Any suggestions for brands, types, places to find used Western saddles?
    thanks
    jj



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2009
    Location
    south eastern US
    Posts
    2,555

    Default

    I trail ride in a Sensation Hybrid treeless saddle. It puts me in a good balanced position and will accomodate your horse's changing shape. It has dressage type flaps and knee rolls but with a western type hornless pommel. http://i833.photobucket.com/albums/z...5/IMG_5468.jpg
    http://www.freedomtreeless.com/G3HT.html (the banner at the top of the webpage is me on my bay horse)
    This is hands down the most comfortable saddle I've ever ridden in. I've also found it to be very secure and stable.
    "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 5, 2009
    Location
    Southern Colorado
    Posts
    296

    Default

    I like my Big Horn Western cordura for kicking around on the trails. It's light enough to not be a pain to lift and I find it very secure and well made for a leather/cordura saddle. Plus fitting has never been a problem. Ebay is your friend for any used western saddles.

    I have tried and resold every Australian I have ever had, including a Syd Hill. Just don't care for the chair seat feeling. Good luck!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 19, 2009
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,287

    Default

    Hmmmm.... I occasionally ride in my husband's Aussie (from Down Under, but not the endurance model) and I don't think it puts me in a chair seat at all, maybe compared to a dressage saddle but not as much as my AP. I personally find the style a bit restricting even though the saddle itself is too large for me.
    I also kind of like a chair seat, it's actually a bit easier on my legs for some reason, so I will be of no help with your saddle selection



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2006
    Location
    Southern Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,549

    Default

    LOL Oldpony! Well the only reason I am really interested in maintaining my dressage seat is so that I can 1) School lightly in it and be using the same cues/weight as I would in my regular dressage and 2) Not have to fight back and forth for position every time I switch saddles. I'm currently looking at the Kimberly Synthetic Stock and the Kimberly Synthetic Endurance. Anyone have any opinions on these?? I ride in a 17.5" dressage...should I go smaller with a 17" or larger with an 18"? Pony has a shorter back FWIW. Thanks! So frustrating not being able to just go to a store and sit in the them!
    Please excuse the typos...I'm always on my iPhone and autocorrect is not my friend. Yes I mean mares autocorrect...not mates.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 15, 2005
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    1,578

    Default

    Aussie saddles will fit tighter so go bigger by 1 or 1 1/2 inches. If you feel cramped, the seat is too small.

    I had a Down Under and didn't like it, hated every Syd Hill I've tried, love my two Jackaroos from The Australian Stock Saddle Company.
    ~ Shannon Hayden ~



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 7, 2009
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    1,363

    Default

    I'd suggest trying a couple of different styles to see what feels the most comfortable for you. A lot depends on the trails you ride as well.

    I looked into Aussie saddles a few times - there was one from Australian Stock Saddle company I really liked (the "Buckaroo," I think), but never got around to getting one.

    Currently, I ride in a Tucker Cheyenne trail saddle. I love it - but my one regret is that it's a Western style (with horn). It's a very comfortable, well-made saddle BUT if I need to duck low to get beneath a tree limb, or get up out of the saddle during a long climb, that horn just gets in the way.

    Actually, the only real use I've found for the saddle horn is something to hold my bridle while I'm tacking/untacking at the trailer.
    Please copy and paste this to your signature if you know someone, or have been affected by someone who needs a smack upside the head. Lets raise awareness.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 2, 2006
    Location
    Dallas, NC
    Posts
    2,362

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JollyBadger View Post
    Actually, the only real use I've found for the saddle horn is something to hold my bridle while I'm tacking/untacking at the trailer.
    Also to hold your horn bags!!
    I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

    Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 26, 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Trail Saddle

    I am a dressage rider who wanted a western saddle for the rugged canyon country where I now board my horse. I did some research and settled on the Cashel Trail saddle:

    http://www.statelinetack.com/item/ca...addle/E000875/

    One of the best purchases I have ever made! It is lightweight as far as Western saddles go, I loved the simplicity of the design, and the minimal round skirt still lets me feel my horse. While it does place my leg farther forward than my dressage saddle, I feel well-balanced and last weekend went on a 3+ hour trail ride with not a single sore spot the next day.

    I really love this saddle and have to remind myself that it's only for the trails



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep. 21, 2005
    Location
    Crestwood, KY
    Posts
    1,440

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by corolara View Post
    I am a dressage rider who wanted a western saddle for the rugged canyon country where I now board my horse. I did some research and settled on the Cashel Trail saddle:

    http://www.statelinetack.com/item/ca...addle/E000875/

    One of the best purchases I have ever made! It is lightweight as far as Western saddles go, I loved the simplicity of the design, and the minimal round skirt still lets me feel my horse. While it does place my leg farther forward than my dressage saddle, I feel well-balanced and last weekend went on a 3+ hour trail ride with not a single sore spot the next day.

    I really love this saddle and have to remind myself that it's only for the trails
    Thanks for the info. I recently saw this one, and really liked the looks of it for trails/obstacle course stuff/etc. How is the quality/leather/fit?



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug. 6, 2000
    Location
    lexington, virginia
    Posts
    470

    Default

    any thoughts on the abetta serenity endurance saddle?



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2007
    Location
    SE PA
    Posts
    1,526

    Default

    You could also try a synthetic dressage saddle that has the suede-like material -- it gives you a lot of security for unexpected movements I'm a fan of Thorowgood myself...

    http://thorowgood.com/T4-Dressage.html
    RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep. 26, 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOtherHorse View Post
    Thanks for the info. I recently saw this one, and really liked the looks of it for trails/obstacle course stuff/etc. How is the quality/leather/fit?
    Quality is gorgeous - as I understand it, although they have the Cashel name they are made by Martin. The leather is beautiful, smooth and flawless. There is one strange thing about the fit - the flocking on the underside of the saddle seems to make it sit off of my horse's back a little at the cantle, but he is very narrow and older so he doesn't have a very strong topline, and it may also smoosh (technical term, ha!) down as I ride in it more - I have only had it a few months. There is also an option without a horn.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 26, 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BigHorseLittleHorse View Post
    You could also try a synthetic dressage saddle that has the suede-like material -- it gives you a lot of security for unexpected movements I'm a fan of Thorowgood myself...

    http://thorowgood.com/T4-Dressage.html
    Oh, how I miss my old Thorowgood!



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2007
    Location
    SE PA
    Posts
    1,526

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by corolara View Post
    Oh, how I miss my old Thorowgood!
    I have the endurance model, and I love it! When I was catch-riding while my horse was laid up, I couldn't wait to get back to it.
    RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2002
    Location
    Joppa, Md------USA
    Posts
    381

    Default

    I also have the Thorowgood endurance model and an all purpose. Love both. They have saved me from some big spooks and are great going up steep hills



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep. 26, 2011
    Location
    WNC
    Posts
    1,096

    Default

    I use a Tucker Equitation Endurance, which has western type tree, no horn but a nice high pommel that would make you feel secure plus very comfy seat. Uses English-style girth and has free-hanging English leathers so you can avoid the chair-seat, plus the leathers can be placed above or under the flap (no pinching!). Very nice quality leather and weighs about 22 lbs. I use mine for competitive trail and LD endurance. FYI, Tucker also makes an endurance model with fixed western-type fenders and cinch, so be sure you're looking at the "Equitation" model. I'd also look for the "classic" style rather than the new "Gen II" style which has more bulk under the leg, I think. They're not cheap but they do hold their value well for re-sale and people jump on used ones when they can find them.
    It's just grass and water till it hits the ground.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2006
    Location
    Southern Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,549

    Default

    Great advice!! I'm gonna start trying to find somewhere to sit in these! Another question...are the endurance saddles without the poleys or the swell as secure for naughty 3 year old antics? I have a very secure balanced seat but am having knee surgery and want alllllllll the security I can get while I'm coming back!
    Please excuse the typos...I'm always on my iPhone and autocorrect is not my friend. Yes I mean mares autocorrect...not mates.



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