Australian Stockman Saddle

07 May

Went walking in Loch Ard forests with my daughter Lorraine and her golden retriever Lady Bella on Sunday morning. It was a funny old day – sunshine mingling with snow and hail-showers. Bella amused herself while we filled a couple of poly bags with fallen fir cones to kickstart the logburner when we got back to the house after our walk —

Being a holiday weekend there were a few people out walking – cycling and some riding over the many trails that wind their way round lochs and hills in this lovely area —

Then we found the clearing in the forest where the horse transporters were parked and were introduced to Red —

Isn’t he a beauty! I asked the guy who was busy tacking him up what breed he is. There were no easy answers from this chap and I was invited to guess. Well I got part Arab right away but the other half of his parentage eluded me. Turns out he is part Arab – part American Paint as in the ponies ridden by the native Indians. The slight markings on his belly give the game away —

Being the nosy type I asked the question ‘Where is the saddle from?’ and that started another guessing game. I was reasonably certain it would be from South America but it is in fact an Australian Stockmans saddle and my new friend does a lot of riding ‘down under’. Leathers are ridden longer than ‘long’ and coupled with the hackamore type bridle (no bit) and his easy neck-reining style the whole set up was made for a full day in the saddle on a quick horse with fantastic staying power —

After another short guessing game we established that the horse on the right is an American Quarterhorse bred through another American breed – an Appaloosa. These guys certainly looked the business and reminded me of my time in Northern Nigeria where the Al Haji King in his enormous mud palace in the nearby village would send over a different horse for me to ride through the bush on my occasional days off work. The saddles were comfy out there too with high sections front and rear that kept even a horse riding numpty like me in place when the going got rough 🙂

There was even time for my glamour girls – Lady Bella and Rainnie to pose amongst the pines and blaeberries before our walk was over —

Well not quite over – year old Bella found a ten month old Springer spaniel to race against —

and that little contest ended honours even —

They would have played all day but Rainnie intervened —

and we all went our respective ways —

after a lovely few hours in Loch Ard Forest —

Australian Stockman

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Posted by on May 7, 2012 in out and about


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