Meghan0717

Riding In An Australian Saddle And Horse Boots/wraps On The Trail.

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Okay First Question: After riding western all my life I have discovered an Australian saddle. I love the saddle but I dont know much about them. The one I have I bought used off a lady that didnt really know anything about them either. The only gripe that I have with the saddle is I always feel like I am tipping a little too far forward. Im not used to having my legs pulled to more of a strait up and down position rather than the more angled position I rode with in my western saddle. Im a bigger girl (220) and Im wondering if I need a bigger saddle or if there are different positions on the rolls available. I dont feel tight in the seat.

Also I was wondering if anyone had used the tush cushion for the Aussie saddle and how you liked them. I really need more cushioning in the front.

Also I am wondering about the position of the saddle on the horse. I just put the girth in the same area I had it in for my western saddle. And how do I know if its fitting my horse right?

Thanks so much for taking your time to read my question and hopefully you have some input.:)

Next Question: Horse boots or wraps (not the hoof boots).

We have just started trail riding on a regular basis and Im wondering if my horses need leg protection. We ride anywhere from beginner trails to more experienced trails. Pretty steep hills, creeks, rocky type areas and such. Im worried that if we do use them they will do more harm than good. Expecially during the wet season when everythings muddy and boggy. And also in the summer. I live in Georgia and it gets pretty hot and humid here Im worried they would be too hot for the horses. So any input would be nice but I am more looking for opinions from people who trail ride often and in similar conditions.

Thanks so much for taking your time to read my questions and am looking forward to your input.

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No info about an Australian saddle....Regarding boots/wraps, I do not use either while trail riding. IMO you can cause more harm then good. Especially, if you are trail riding in a hot/humid climate, sandy conditions and/or riding thru water. I think the opportunity for chaffing (boots) or tension changes (wraps) is too great so I avoid them. Additionally, I do not think boots/wraps provide any leg support but they do provide protection from a leg brushing agaisnt each other so I do use wraps while riding in my dressage arena.

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I had a cheapie australian saddle, and like most cheap saddles, it wasn't that great. I don't like the poleys - I felt too trapped in the saddle.

I don't like anything on their legs on the trail - I think they are likely to do more harm than good.

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A good trail horse should be able to take care of his legs. I mean look at the mustangs as they run across the west. Unless you have a Clutz, you don't need leg protection for trail riding.

Wild-Horses.jpg

I ride as rough of country as anybody, My horses occassionally get Rock Bites on their pasturns. But I've never in a lot years and miles of riding every had a serious injury.

Rocky-Trail-4.gif

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I have an aussie, and have ridden in several of them. I actually like poleys. Remember Aussies do not have saddle horns. They were not used in Australia, but are an American thing. The poleys are for security for rough terrain, and rough rides. I think your forward feeling comes from not being used to having your legs under you. I am not sure what you mean by angled. If you rode with your legs angled out in front of you, this position will be a different feel. I would suggest you go the following website and check out their saddle fit pages. www.downunderweb.com. You may find some other info at other Aussie sites.

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Meghan;

You may have been used to a "rocking chair" position with yiour past western saddle.

Some of us get that from never learning to keep our legs in line with our shoulders, and sitting deep in the saddle. If you sit deep, and stay balanced, your legs should be in a line from your shoulder to your heels with just a slight bend in the knee. That way all your cues are with the lower leg/heel.

We ride almost exclusively trails, and have found using leg boots don't work, as they collect sticks,and sand/gravel/burrs.

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You might not have the saddle that fits your horse right, you should not feel tilted foward.. you should feel comfy... a properly fitted saddle, to both horse a rider makes a huge difference.. that downunder sight will also have information on how you can send the saddle in and have it fitted for your horse.. also an aussie is 2 inches to 3 inches bigger than a western measurement.. if you ride a 15 inch western, you want a 17-18 inch aussie.. you measure straight accross form the pommel to the cantle, the 2 points that will touch the ruler, this is your seat measurement on an aussie. if it is too small for you, then you will feel pinched and uncomfortable. the down under sight will also have more information on seat size as well. I have an 18 inch aussie, and it fit me last year, but since the weight loss, it is a liuttle big for me, and doesnt feel as secure.. danred it.. dont htink I will find another aussie of the same quality as mine to trade for.. ugh.

I love my aussie, I have a poley, My mom has a poley with a horn.. yes they do make them with horns now.. though I dont like a horn.. My Mom does.

I myself cant ride a western cause I cant keep my feet in right without killing my knees on the stirrups.. and I love to ride english, though honestly have no clue why, just feels right to me.. anyway, I like the aussie for the security it does provide me.. I am a good balanced rider, but on steep places, I really dont like fighting my possition..

this is my old aussie, at least 60-65 years old. it was so worn out the paddin gunderside was giving up the ghost.. but it was my first aussie, and I loved it while it fit me and my horses. once it no longer fit danny, i let a friends have and use it.

IMGP0511.jpg

IMGP0519.jpg

this is my current aussie, I love how comfy it is, though I really need to get a thinner pad for it.. Aussies were orriginally designed like the flat sadle, little to no pad, but I do ride mine with one as i want to protect the saddle itself... so therefor should not sit so high off his back.. but since it is not a square pad, I am happy wiht it.. I found barrel saddle pads work best with the aussie, unless you get one from their sight, and I tell you now, they still to the old way of thinking ont he pads, not much thickness to them at all..just to keep the saddle clean.

Picture156-1.jpg

Picture150-1.jpg

the pommel and cantle should sit level with each other, if one his high, then you mgiht have issues.. also make sure the saddle is sitting where it should, too far back, and feel foward, too far foward and end up sitting rocking chair, with sore shouldered horse..

set saddle kinda high on withers,a nd rock back gently till it sort of settles, see how it sits (with out saddle pad) run your hand under the pannels, see if they are touching front to back, if there is too much contact in the middle and not enough ont he ends, too wide, if it it touching on the ends and floating in the middle, too narrow. also horses back shape has a lot to do with saddle fit.. is why is best to send even used saddles in for fittings.

this is me riding it, is basically brand new, so pannels havent settled a lot yet wither. (pannels will conform to horses back over use, therefor fitting the most ridden horse to that saddle precisely.. will adjust some as the horses grow as well..) my friend however does not know how to take a side shot picture.. UGH

Picture133.jpg

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I had a mid-grade aussie saddle for about a year. Not cheap end but not top of the line either. I liked the saddle, but never felt truly comfortable with the position it put me in. I keep thinking if I would have bought a better saddle maybe my experience would have been different?

When I used it on my morab I never once was comfortale. I would much rather ride bareback vs with that saddle on him. With my larger paint it (I) rode better. I used it a few times with her, but still never liked it as much as I do my western trail saddle. I sold it off for what I paid for it and keep on the lookout for a higher end model to maybe try out and see if I have a different experience.

I don't use boots/wraps unless I'm using hoof boots. Then I have them on to help with the rubbing issues we have occasionally had. They are more hassle than help otherwise and I'm pretty certain my horses would prefer that I keep them in the trailer than put them on one of them.

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Thank you all so much for your comments you were all a bunch of help. I didnt expect so much feedback so I am delighted:)

First off thank you Rosie for welcoming me and Hope your getting along in your new state. Ga is such a good one. I love it here.

KatyB thats and Awesome pic with the deer. And also I like the security of the Aussie saddle. But I know what your talking about when you say trapped. I guess everbodys different when it comes to that:)

Utah your hitting some seriously experienced trail I havent done any like that but Maybe one day!

Wiz, Thanks for the site. I guess what I meant by angled was in my western saddle my thys were more angled because I had shorter stirrups. I have thick thys so with the (poleys?) My legs dont really have much of a bend to them. Does that make sense or am I just making it worse:)

Thanks siseley Im going to get my husband to take some pics of me so i can be sure iv got the right position.

Kitten-Kat. Thanks so much for taking the time to explain things to me. Thats the most I'v learned about these saddles. As soon as I can Im going to put my saddle on my horse and do all those things you mentioned. I have no idea if my saddle is cheap or not I would assume it is because I got it at such a good price. It has an emblem with an Kangaroo stamped into the leather and it just says The Australian stock saddle. It looks just like the one that you showed me for fit(which by the way was VERY helpful)

I dont know what all the different names for the saddle mean but mine has a horn. Im used to one having ridden western but Im thinking if I ever by another one I might get it without the horn.

I was having the same problems as you with the western saddle. They were killing my knees. I loved riding bareback when I was younger but that got to wear it was killing my knees too. I love this aussie saddle its a perfect balance for me. You have easy stirrup leathers that dont hurt your knees adn close contact with your horse. Plus I love the knee rolls because they make me feel very secure.

I will let you guys know what I discover about the fit and all. And thanks for all the comments about the leg protection. I was thinking the same thing as most of you but was feeling some pressure that it might be irresponsible not to use them. Now that I know there are other people out there with experience that come to the same conclusions I did I feel more confident with my decision.

Again thank you all I will keep checking back for more comment so if anyone has something to add by all mean do!!!

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checking saddle fit, this does very much apply to the fitting guide of the aussie as for horse fitting

http://equineink.com/2008/06/28/evaluating...t-gullet-width/

this is very useful as well, it explains riding possition, leg length, saddle fit guides, as well as sizing, applying it to pant sizes.. seems pretty accurate. also explains bout the pannels as well.

http://www.downunderweb.com/wither.htm

this is the company associated with your saddle..

http://www.aussiesaddle.com/

I think you will really find this informative

http://www.aussiesaddle.com/saddle_fitting.html

I will try to find some more sights that will best help!

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I think Iv found my problem for sure with the saddle. After looking at you pictures kitten-kat I took some of my own and the cantle looks a good bit higher than the pomel. Is the only fix for this to get it ajdusted or can you get a pad for that?

I cant get my pics to upload after I click upload it waits a few seconds and then says no file chosen. Anybody have any ideas?

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Guest cowpony01

Not to start a ruckess here but I dont' think the term "don't use boots" should be taken as an opinion, not set in stone or the bible. Your horse may or may not be a clutz and can ride in the roughest terrain and you may or may not need them. I prefer to call it a preferrence. It's totally up to you and your horse, and correct fitting boot, some horses chaf some don't, take all the opinions and your own senario and go from there... :winking:

Edited by cowpony01

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Cowpony. Thanks for your input. I agree with you totally. As far as I can see it for my situation I dont feel the need for boots I just wanted to know that there were other people out there that felt the same way:) I dont know alot of horse people personally so hearing others opinions was extremely helpful. But like you say you should take all the opinions and your personal situation and make an educated decision.

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as for your cantle too far up and your pommel to down, means your tree is too wide at the withers, bieng a used saddle, it may have too much of the padding underside worn out, you mgiht send it in with a wither/back treacing and have it re-flocked, aussies and english saddles should have their padding re-flocked every 10 years or so.. depending on usage.

If you cant get it adjusted you might try something like this

http://www.horsetackinternational.com/view...ther-relief.jpg

I found it here for 30 bucks.. not bad

http://www.horsetackinternational.com/lift...addle-pads.html

they have these at the downunderweb.com sight, they are ment for the aussies, and I hear they work pretty good, I am saving to help a friend of mine get the same thing, they are not cheap though, but the price might be worth the comfort for both rider and horse.

http://www.downunderweb.com/store/saddle_pads_fitment.html

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KatyB thats and Awesome pic with the deer. And also I like the security of the Aussie saddle. But I know what your talking about when you say trapped. I guess everbodys different when it comes to that:)

Thanks - that was Jess at three on a solo ride. The deer followed us just about the whole ride.

I thought I would love the poleys, but I didn't, so it's a good thing to try out before you commit. Now, I don't even like riding w/ a horn. That is something that has evolved for me though.

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My first lesson with a horns was when I was 13, in a trainer bra, and the horse reared up, caught the trainer bra with the horn, and braught me down hard on the horn with my strernum.. I have either ridden bareback or begrudgingly with a saddle since.. when I first me the aussie, I was in love.. my old one had a bent tree, or twisted however you look at it, and the padding underside was so worn it didnt fit many horses.. accept a flat backed horse.. LOL fit my belgian wonderfully.. LOL anyway, when I got the new one and it set me upright, and didnt hurt my spine, as much, I learned that day what a propper fitted aussie should feel like.. funny though I dont really ride it much!! LOL my students do.. is a great learning saddle, nothing to hold onto so they have to use their bodies.. :)

but out on trails, when I do use it, we take the hard trails, and man fitted to the horse right, and the human, and you wont find a better saddle for the harder trails..

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Saddle horns scare me for just that reason. My friend, Anne, got hung up on the horn during our ride last weekend. Her horse went down on some slick rock, and she jumped off, but her shirt and jacket stayed on the horn. I was able to jump off my horse and get her loose, while her horse stood, shaking and terrified but luckily still. I ride without a horn - to me (and that's a personal observation, not saying it is true for everyone) it is more of a danger than a help. My ten-year-old loves having a horn, even though he has been "racked up" on his 3-4 times. He is ready for a new saddle, and we're discussing it.

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I suppose it has its place working, but trails, I guess if you need something to grab there is a mane, if it is roached, some people just rather a horn.. I just cant bring myself to ride a saddle with a horn on trails.. maybe schooling a hors in arena, but no trails.. :) My brother cant live without one.. and my friend who now with her mare who has scholiosis and the saddles twisted tree is comfy to her, now likes better without the horn, than with.. I was supprised.

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Okay once you click on that link it will bring you to the album with all my pics. Just keep clicking next. There are two of me in the saddle two of just the saddle...i think. and one of the sweat pattern on her back after a long ride. She is standing on level ground in these. Tell me what you think. I think the cantle is high.

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Hi Meghan [smiley Wavey] I don't have any advice for you just wanted to welcome you to the trail riding thread! Hope to see many more pictures of your riding adventures.

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I can only see the one photo.. but it is too wide on the front of the saddle, and is sitting very low on the withers.. I think a wither pad will help, but in the long run, you will need to get the padding adjusted.. you can buy 1/2 inch thick felt and cut it into the shape, and slide it under the padding of the saddle, there is a pocket to help with a custom fit.. it also helpw with worn out padding.. it is a nice saddle looks comfy if it werent rolling your hips so far foward..

do you have a photo bucket account, you could post more pictures that way.

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331-1.jpg

if you look youc an see how this area is dry, that means it might be getting a lot more pressure than the rest of the area around it.. this does show me that the saddle is not fitting this horse, and I am unsure how to make it.. you might have to send it in with the wither tracing and have them adjust it.. me personally I find this would be the better idea

at this time it really does need something to make it fit better, and i feel the aussie people are best suited.. there are a few sights already posted that offer adjustements.

it is sitting very very low on the withers for sure.. at the very least your looking at the correction pad with the adjustable inserts.. what is happening is the wither part of the tree is too wide, and the saddle is rocking on the center causing pinpoint pressure, this will eventually leave those all too familiar white marks often seen on horses backs.. it needs to be adjusted to fit the withers better to alloow it to displace the weight better..

bacause of this, it will not set right on your horse, or allow you to sit correctly without constantly hyperflexing your lower back..

I hope you are able to get the fit you need somehow.

Edited by kitten-kat

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Downunder saddlery does saddle adjusting with wither tracings. I'm not sure how much they charge, i know if you buy a saddle from them they will do it for free i think 2 times.

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Thanks so much that was VERY helpful. Just this evening we went for a ride and I folded a liner pad in half and put it over her withers before I put the regular pad and saddle on. I think it helped a lot. The saddle looked more even and I didnt fell rocked forward like usual. Also (and its neat you mentioned this tonight) I noticed that she had sweat all over instead of her usual dry spot. Hopefully this will work for now but I will keep a close eye on the sweat pattern and make sure she s not sore or getting the white hairs.

I'm glad that you went into detail about the sweat pattern now I will know what all that means. It makes since now that the dry spot would mean lots of pressure.

I am starting a new saddle fund and after all the discussion here I think I'm going to go with the no horn version. Downunder Saddlery seems to have good clearance saddles. Like ones that have been returned and they still do the wither tracing on them. I think my current saddle is better suited for my larger mare. But hopefully it will suffice for a while until I can afford a new one!

Thank you all SO VERY much you've been super helpful. I'm glad I found this website I have thoroughly enjoyed you all!!

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your welcome, you should put the towel on the pad/saddle side though.. that way there is a smooth line on the horses back.. I am sooo glad the small adjustment helped.. I went through so many saddles with Daniel it drove me nuts..

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