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Many riders are unfamiliar with Australian stock saddles and are therefore hesitant to look into them. In the simplest explanation: an Australian stock saddle is an oversized dressage saddle. The Australian stock saddle can be a mix between Western and English styles. The stirrups are in the dressage position and like the dressage saddle they are free hanging. Like the English saddle, the Australian stock saddle is a forward seat (unlike the rear-reading Western seat).
When using the Australian saddle, at the walk the rider should sit in the rear of the saddle, keeping their legs forward, and the heels tucked down (this will assist in spreading the weight of the rider further down the leg, making for a more comfortable ride). Not only does this provide more comfort but also it is safer. This way, if a horse stops short or steps in a hole you will be a lot less likely to take a spill forward.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|