Manufacturer: Martin Saddlery
Model: Clinton Anderson Downunder Horsemanship Aussie Saddle
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: This saddle came to me as a "last resort". Having been an English rider all my life, and being happy with the fit of my 17.5 Albion and Keifer, when I went to find a western saddle to do some cattle working/natural horsemanship clinics, I was dumbstruck as to the horrendous fit that the western saddles afforded my horse! In my search for a western saddle that was "off the rack", rather than spending big bucks on custom, I literally went through about a dozen saddles, trying to find a tree with enough flare in the front of the bars, and short enough to fit my wide, short coupled QH/TB...AND be comfortable for me. Finally I was resigned to the fact that I needed to bite the bullet and get custom. When I inquired at a particular saddlery with an outstanding reputation for custom western saddle fit, I learned that they had a 4 year waiting list. So, I had my name put on the list, and continued my search. When I called back that same saddlery to order a set of reins, I spoke with the very cordial, knowledgeable and informative owner, and told her that I still as yet could not find a saddle to fit my wide gelding. I believe she understood my frustration and she then said, "Try the Clinton Anderson saddle." So, trusting this person, I thought, what do I have to loose?..., it just might get me by. (Of course even though I had seen the saddle on Clinton's web site and in his catalogue, I hadn't given it a chance.) I called Clinton Anderson's toll free number, and spoke with an extremely pleasant and knowledgeable young woman who answered all of my questions with patience. (by this time I had become somewhat of a saddle fit expert...at least for my horse) The one or two questions she could not answer, she immediately searched them out for me. After all my saddle fit questions were satisfied , I decided right there on the spot to purchase one. With Clinton Anderson's one week, one ride trial period I decided the only thing I had to loose was another shipping charge ! I got an unbelievable deal on the saddle, since I joined Clinton's club, the membership discount was applied and it came to about $1405.00 for the model with the horn, plus the shipping charge. The sales person informed me that she could ship it out that very day, which was a Tuesday, and to my astonishment, it arrived 2 days later on Thursday!
Likes: This might take awhile...I like the overall look of the saddle which is soooo much better than the pictures in the catalogue and on the web site. ( I will inform Clinton's people to get some better pictures!) The saddle is a rich dark brown, and the quality and feel of the leather is second to none. The oh so comfortable padded seat is made from a "bomber jacket" like material that is velvety/ buttery soft. The pre/ turned leather covered stirrups are extremely comfortable for me. AND I could actually adjust the stirrups short enough for me. (I have a 29" inseam) The fit for me is spot on. I bought the 15", since I was informed that the seats run slightly large and to go with a smaller size. The weight of about 27 1/2 pounds makes it easy for me to handle. The conchos have the dee rings with the latigos attached. At first I thought that I would not like the pommel shape, but it is very attractive, not obtrusive at all. It came with a matching soft rear cinch, and cinch hobble. I was glad that it did not come with a front cinch coz' I had also purchased many of them and did not need another. (besides, my horse seems to like the wider softer cinches) The front cinch latigo is of great quality and has a round bevel that is easy to cinch with. The rigging is in a comfortable position for the horse, and is easy for me to get the latigo through. The off billet is a double thickness piece of leather with holes that is soft and easy to buckle. The rear cinch billets are of equally good quality. The wool on the undersurface is of a premium thick quality. The horn is not too big, not too small and is just at the right height. The barb wire tooling is tastefully done and covers the saddle all over, even on the back of the cantle, on the Cheyenne roll ( which is a perfect height), on the pommel and one the top of the horn, as well as on the fenders and skirts and jockeys. When riding it puts me in a superb position. I can post, I can sit to the canter, and cal feel the horse under me. It does not feel like I am sitting on a hunk of leather and some where below me is a horse. Now for the most important part: IT FITS MY HORSE!!!! The angle and length of the bars are perfect. The gullet width is wide enough! It does not interfere with his shoulders, and it does not hit his hip. It does not roll when doing circles, and I don't feel like I am trying to adjust it to the right or left!! I have taken him out on trail and it does not move front or back or sideways. The sweat pattern when I take it off of him is all even. When I palpate him, he is not back sore!! I will be keeping this saddle for a long time. Even after I get a custom!!
Quality: The quality of this saddle for the relatively low price is unbelievable. I have seen "off the rack" saddles (have tried saddles) that were twice this much, and not nearly as nice quality. Not to mention that this saddle fits both my horse and myself!
Summary: Do yourself a favor and purchase this saddle if you are looking for an all around western type saddle that is comfortable for the rider and the horse.....and that is beautiful while doing so! For you English riders out there, like me, who are dabbling in some fun western activities, you will not be dissatisfied with the ride and comfort of this saddle for you and your horse!! Buy one, while you are waiting the 4 to 5 years for the custom, you just might fall in love with it like I have. You'll keep it and use both. I know I will!
Author: English rider wanting a well fitting /comfortable western saddle!
Usefulness Rating: 4.7 out of 5.
70 reader(s) voted.
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