Manufacturer: The Australian Stock Saddle Co
Model: Bronco Poley w/ Horn
Category: All Purpose Saddles
Purchase: I recently purchased my new Bronco Poley saddle for $595 direct from the Australian Stock Saddle Co. I recently bought a horse for myself to use for team penning, and ranch sorting, as well as trail riding. Due to distance, I was unable to visit his stable personally when evaluating if he would be a good horse for me or not; but did my best to get as many pictures and videos as possible. When my horse arrived I discovered that he is very compact and built like a tank. I found my old western ranch style saddle was just too big for him. I began my search for a good saddle to fit a short backed mutton withered horse to fill our need. I found many custom saddle makers offerings that would cost me thousands of dollars that either I don't have, or don't wish to pay. Then I came across the Bronco Poley. I had a number of conversations with Mr. Colin Dangaard of the Australian Stock Saddle Co. He highly recommended that I try his Bronco Poley. Using his instruction, I sent the wither tracings for them to check against their saddle. If needed, the Aussie Stock Saddle Co. can adjust their saddles to fit your horse. The extra charge is a minor $150. Mr. Dangaard checked my tracings against his Bronco Poley and found that no modifications were needed. As a bonus for me, he happened to have a Bronco Poley with horn in my size and in all black, which is rare as they are normally a rich dark oil color with black seat and poleys. The black Bronco Poley saddle looks outstanding on my bay horse.
Likes: My saddle arrived very well packed for shipping. I removed it from it's shipping materials with a feeling of a kid at Christmas. I buffed down the saddle with a clean cloth and found the leather is very soft and pliable. Having given the folks at the Australian Stock Saddle company all of the measurements for my horse and myself, I was happy to see that there was really no need to adjust anything once I saddled my horse. The girth system and stirrup length was all exactly where it should be.
Dislikes: I have to think hard about what I don't like about this saddle, as I really like everything about it. Any minor changes I could offer would only add to the cost and offer no improvements to the functionality of this saddle.
Quality: The saddle weighs about 25lbs fully rigged. The skirting and fenders are a nice quality of leather that is very soft and pliable. The seat is a fine grained leather and has a very luxurious soft texture with a nice cushion underneath. Footman loops and Dees for using either an Aussie breastplate or a western breastcollar exist, providing plenty of options. If one needs it, there is also a crupper ring built into the back as well. The rigging is a 7/8 In-Skirt D style with a rear D. The saddle could be set up in a standard front cinch w/buckstrap or centerfire rigging. Given my needs and my horse's measurements, Mr. Dangaard felt it best to centerfire rig the girth system using his Tackaberry cinch rigging. This is very convenient and easy to use. The saddle hardware is an antique brass color, again with ample loops for attaching bags and accessories for the trail. The horn is optional and sets at a good height. While it is not there for roping purposes, it does provide one, who has spent years in a western saddle, that feeling of comfort to have something there to grab onto if needed. The tree is a fiberglass tree and the stirrup leathers go over the bars in the same manner that most western saddles do. There are ample number of holes in the stirrup leathers for adjustment in height. A blevins type buckle system is used for adjustment. The fender/stirrup leathers are also reinforced with a nylon web strap backing. For the money, this is a high quality, well built hybrid Aussie/Western saddle. Measurements are done using Australian style measurement so add about 2" to your western saddle seat length.
Summary: I took my new saddle and horse out and tested it, in the ranch sorting ring, spending the day moving cows. I had a feeling of having close contact to my horse, and could feel him better through the soft leather fenders, than those of any saddle that I have ever ridden in with any other horse. The 17" seat is a perfect fit for me and the poleys offer a nice sense of security. Through some quick turns I found myself well seated and right with my quick little cow horse. The minimal rounded skirting gives my short backed horse ample room in the hips offering more flexibility. The angle of the bars are a perfect match for the shape of his back. After our workout, I found the sweat pattern to be even even and normal in shape. I have placed this review in the "All Purpose Saddle" type context as I feel it is really an all purpose saddle. Given its weight and dimensions it could be used for endurance. Given its strength and security, it can be used for campdrafting, team penning or ranch sorting. Given its hardware and weight, it will make a great trail saddle. If one decides to buy one of these saddles, bear in mind, once you own one, you will need to answer a lot of "what is that?" and "why do you have that?" type of questions from those who may be either lesser informed or more narrow of mind when it comes to equestrian gear. I have to grin at the brass plate mounted on the cantle. It reads "Bronco Poley perfected in Australia". I see that as an honest and true statement. I highly recommend The Australian Stock Saddle Co. Bronco Poley saddle and the outstanding services of Mr. Colin Dangaard and his crew. They care highly about both your horse and you and making sure you both ride safe and sound.
Author: Bill Edwards
Usefulness Rating: 3 out of 5.
9 reader(s) voted.
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