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EQ Life September magazine: The joy of growing up with a brumby

Alena and Coolie

Alena Duncan riding Kiandra brumby Coolie at Pony Club

© Angie Duncan


The Joy of growing up with a brumby

By Amanda Young

Brumbies are proving to be ideal first horses for country kids starting out at Pony Club. Once broken in, their inherent good nature, size and loyalty make them safe and economical mounts for beginners.

Brumbies are not native to Australia, and they are considered by some to be a destructive feral species. However, the Brumby’s place in Australian folklore and social history is indisputable. Immortalised in artwork, poems, songs, and Elyne Mitchell’s Silver Brumby books, the Brumby also has ancestral ties to horses that served in the Boer War and both World Wars.

Brumbies descend from escaped, imported horses dating back to early European settlement. The Brumby’s ancestors, a range of breeds including Arabians, Thoroughbreds and Draught horses, were resilient animals, tough enough to survive the long and treacherous sea voyage to Australia. They quickly adapted to the harsh Australian climate and conditions and the wild horse population grew. Today, wild brumbies can be found in every Australian state and territory except Tasmania.

The management of Brumbies, and their place in the Australian environment, is a controversial topic that polarises public and political opinion. As discussions focus on whether Brumby populations should be reduced through culling, sterilisation or removal and rehoming, the question arises: If removed from the environment they have adapted to, what kind of future would a Brumby best suit?

The process of trapping and retraining Brumbies is not new – it’s a practice some savvy Australian horsemen and women have undertaken for generations. Many Brumbies have successfully adapted to domesticated lives as ridden horses, working horses and even pets, however, one avenue in particular where Brumbies have excelled is as trustworthy Pony Club mounts!

Read the full article in the September issue of Equestrian Life magazine here.

 

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