Australian Stock saddle featuring all fittings to attached saddle bags, breast collars etc. In Australia long hours in the saddle and rough terrain meant that saddles needed to be comfortable for both horse and rider, sturdy enough to withstand rough use and functional. Australian riders used saddles primarily for tending to livestock, which is where the Australian stock saddle gets its name. Two features are unique to the Australian stock saddle: poleys and the double girthing system. Poleys are knee pads, sometimes up to six inches deep, situated on the outer flap of the saddle parallel to the rider's thigh. They provide extra security for the rider, preventing him from being thrown forward if his horse suddenly stops, stumbles or spooks. The double girthing system adds extra protection against the saddle falling. In addition to the billet straps which the girth attaches to, the Australian stock saddle has an overgirth that runs across the top of the saddle and also buckles to the regular girth, providing security in case a billet strap breaks. The saddle is lighter and more compact than a Western saddle, which is more comfortable for the horse and provides a closer contact between rider and horse for more control.