Take a look at Australian saddles and tack, and you’ll immediately notice that they offer a unique appearance. Lighter and more compact than comparably sized leather western saddles, “Aussie” saddles are comfortable for horses to wear, even on long rides. Here are more reasons it’s worth getting to know Australian saddles and tack.
A Quick History
When British settlers arrived in Australia in 1788, they brought horses and tack along with them. How else could they have gotten around? Soon enough, they realized that Australia’s challenging terrain was no match for English saddles, which were fine for the rolling hills and valleys of England, but completely unsuitable for the harsh environment found “down under.”
Over time, they modified their saddles to provide comfort and safety when riding over rough terrain, and because they used their gear primarily for handling livestock, they called the new designs Australian stock saddles.
An efficient double girthing system with attached billet straps provide leverage and help prevent the saddle from slipping. In the event of a broken billet strap, the overgirth offers an extra measure of safety by preventing what might normally be a tremendous disaster!
This security, plus the comfort that has evolved along with it, makes Australian saddles and tack extremely popular. It evolved not just for looks, but like the Western saddle, it has been designed to accommodate the needs of the rider while keeping the horse comfortable and ensuring that his back stays healthy.
Most Australian saddles are designed to be as comfortable for the riders who use them as they are for the horses that wear them! Most well-made Aussie saddles feature a suspended seat that gives in the same way a hammock does, translating to added comfort. The seat is designed to provide balance, and the leathers are easy to turn, making this type of saddle easy on your knees.
Australian saddles are fitted with special components called “poleys,” which are located on the pommel and which combine with the deep seat to provide a secure fit for the rider. Stirrup bars allow the leathers to slide off in the event the rider comes off the horse with a foot entangled.
Much like a dressage saddle, an Australian saddle offers close contact between rider and horse via lightweight leathers, flaps, and rigging. This allows for easier communication with smaller movements, and allows the rider to maintain control with far less effort.
Great for Trails!
Australian saddles and tack are great for trail riding! Not only because of their lightweight, comfortable design, but because they are fitted with loads of D-rings and attachment points for saddlebags, canteens, and other essentials that help you stay happy and safe during a day spent exploring nature with your equine friend.
As with other types of saddles, it’s vital that you ensure that you choose Australian saddles and tack that fit you and your horse. Be sure to take measurements, and feel free to get in touch with our knowledgeable staff for expert help with fitting. Once your saddle arrives, it will need some time to break in, after which it may very well become the most comfortable one you’ve ever enjoyed!