Monday, March 3, 2008

In the Land of Oz

The vast majority of my equestrian training has occurred in some type of English-style saddle, mostly dressage. Although I have bought Wintec all-purpose saddles for both horses, some research got me intrigued by Australian-style stock saddles. The position of the rider is essentially the same as it would be in a dressage saddle, but the seat is somewhat deeper and secured by poleys along the thighs. They are allegedly more comfortable for trail riding, and more intuitive for new riders. Today I bought a cheap one for Raven on eBay to see how I like it. If things go well the Wintecs might go on the chopping block.


dt said...

I hope you mean "auction block". Seems a shame to turn a saddle into shoelaces or something.

Anonymous said...

What is the leather strap going over the top of the seating area of the saddle for?

dp said...

That's the overgirth. As far as I can tell the Aussie girth is a double-buckle girth with the front buckle attached to a typical billet and the other buckle attached to the overgirth, which wraps all the way around the saddle. I'll find out soon enough (and will take some pictures).

EvenSong said...

Okay, so I've started at the beginning, and am reading throuhg (my grandson wants to know when it's HIS turn to do computer!).
One thing I heard back when I was doing competitive trail was that the Aussie saddles were nice and secure, yes, but also limited your voluntary movement--that is, if you wanted to shift your weight around (on a fifty miler, for instance) you couldn't sdo so very easily.
Maybe I'll find a later post where you discuss your experience. ;-)

dp said...

Welcome to FFF, EvenSong! My apologies to your grandson, and to you if I bore you to tears.

This particular saddle is just too heavy for my liking, so I have barely used it. Some posts down the line (if you can see through the tears) you will see that I found an older model Wintec stock saddle that provides a very comfortable ride at a walk and canter/gallop, but I find it quite uncomfortable at a trot. Still, it is very secure and I like using it on those days when I can tell that Raven is riled up. It's really nice to be able to choose.

Anonymous said...

Heya, I'm reading this from the beginning as well. I'm Australian and learned to ride on Aussie stock saddles. They are a lot more beginner-friendly than English and allow more movement than Western saddles - definitely good for trail riding in my experience.
The stock saddles I used did not generally have an overgirth, but otherwise were very similar!