Saturday, January 10, 2009

Aussie A.B. Banjo Paterson shares his cowboy wisdom:

"The man that holds his own is good enough"

In his fascinating article, Riding with Colin, on pages 71 - 73 in "Cowboys & Indians" for April 2006, Mr. William C. Reynolds talks about the Australian cowboys and in particular their saddles. This is a typical, free - wheeling extraction.

"Back in 1982, actor Tom Burlinson played the young Jim Craig in The Man from Snowy River, a 'Western' set in the outback of Victoria, Australia.

"The film was based on a book of poems by the same name, published in 1895 by Australian writer A.B. Banjo Paterson.

"There in the outback of Australia, wild men chased wild horses, or brumbies, through and over terrain that most would consider impossible to ride.

"Upon first glance, it looks as though our hero is riding an English saddle; it turns out Jim was riding something unique and endemic to the Australian outback -- the Australian stock saddle.

"Those English saddles didn't function well in the rough, hilly terrain of the Australian outback -- no rider support in the front.

"So the new owners [escaped convicts sent out from England, who promptly stole their new masters' horses and galloped off for the wild outback country!] would sew on what today would be called a bucking - roll -- sort of a hand - built pommel in the front of the saddle to support the legs and lower thighs.

"This way riders could take on more tortuous terrain -- especially handy if the authorities were chasing them.

"The [new Australian] saddle caught on because of its ability to keep the rider securely in the saddle."

Mr. Colin Dangaard explains R & D involved ...

"[Mr. Colin Dangaard] says, Put simply, there is no saddle more comfortable for the trail horse, and the rider, than an Australian stock saddle. It evolved over two centuries into bush - perfect. The pattern belongs to nobody and to everyone. The R & D was done by countless outback riders who depended on the saddle for their very life and livelihood....

"[On hearing all this] Banjo, I know would be proud."

Note: This is what we're told, To learn more about Colin Dangaard and his Australian stock saddles, visit


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