Have you adopted a wild horse? Tell us your experience

by Catherine Russell, almost 4 years ago
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Have you given a wild horse a new home? 

Alex is passionate about wild horses and finding them a new home outside the National Park.

Alex receives wild horses from the National Parks removal program, the only wild horse population control practice in the Snowy Mountains.

The wild horses, where possible, are then rehomed in the region and throughout New South Wales.

THIS DISCUSSION IS NOW CLOSED. IT WAS OPEN FOR MORE THAN 40 DAYS. 


  • enviro about 4 years ago
    As an environmental scientist i see th need to protect our natural assets, to reduce impacts caused by brumbies, such as erosion. However as a horse lover and brumby owner there is a need to develop and implement management plans that include passive trapping and rehoming programs and do not allow the inhumane aerial culls to take place. I have always been a lover of TBs and would never have thought about takling on a wild brumby. But the images, media and research i did regarding aerial culling haunted me and led me to adopt a 6 mth old colt. Now a 2 year old i have to say he is the best horse i have ever own, he shows so much potential. By far more intelligent and sure footed than any other breed. The natural selection process is evident in brumbies and rarely do you see flaws like in domestics breeds (the thoroughbred comes to mind). There is an obligation and due dilligence to all australians to protect our heritage and the brumby is part of this, of course this is not to be at the cost of the environment, so the challange comes in finding a balance. Heritage horses stem from lines that served us when we needed it most and it is important to protect them. After all it is humans that put them in the wild and created the brumby. Good luck to those who are trying to find the balance, its not black and white solution.
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    • InterestedObserver about 4 years ago
      As an environmental scientist I fail to see how any objective person could find aerial culling inhumane. Minutes (worst case) of fear and seconds of pain/suffering during aerial shooting is much more humane than hours (or days?) of fear and suffering for the same result.Personally I find it unconscionable that these horses are contained in trap yards for who knows how many hours, before being loaded onto a truck with most of them transported for many more hours, only to be killed at a knackery. We should know, and act, better than that. That's great that some are rehomed, but unless at least the majority of horses being trapped can be rehomed this activity can not be justified. And even then, the minority that won't be rehomed need to be euthanased as soon as possible to significantly reduce their suffering.
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      • Donna about 4 years ago
        Minutes of fear, pain and suffering is your worst case scenario for aerial culling? Clearly you haven't seen the evidence proving otherwise, either that or you think it's negligible or justified. The reality of aerial culling is that more often than not an animal will suffer tremendously, and yes sometimes even for days before dying. Whether that be a foal dying slowly from lack of milk next to its dead mother or from a mortal wound sustained in the terrifying stampede, or a horse shot incorrectly without follow up walking for days while they slowly bleed out, there is more than enough fear, pain and suffering involved I assure you.An objective person would consider the many variables involved with a process, its benefits and its flaws, but most importantly its proven outcomes or performance before making a decision on its effectiveness and suitability. Objectively speaking, I would much prefer the current program wherein a proportion are killed at a knackery and therefore utilised whilst an increasing number is rehomed each year, than see thousands slaughtered by aerial culling, leaving their bodies to become carrion for the many who would feast, not to mention the distinct possibility of fouling a water catchment servicing three states with something much worse than horse manure.Your comment that trapping cannot be justified unless the majority are rehomed is highly confusing; you're advocating a wholesale aerial slaughter which will see the entirety of the horses killed as opposed to a program that sees a proportion of them rehomed, saying that unless more are rehomed it's unjustifiable?If the program is aimed at reducing numbers in the park, it is effective whether or not they're rehomed as the aim is simply their removal. It's thanks to the hard work of the advocate groups working with NPWS that rehoming is even a possibility, something of a bonus for the horses you could say, but never something intended as part of the design of the program itself.
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        • InterestedObserver about 4 years ago
          I'm advocating management in a humane fashion, as opposed to wholesale slaughter at abatoirs after containment in traps and transport. Short duration fear and suffering is much more humane that longer duration fear and suffering, at least that's how I see it. You're entitled to your opinion but if you think prolonged suffering is better, I'd say your opinion is wrong.If the aerial shooting is carried out correctly, the target should be dead within seconds of being fired upon, even if it takes mulitple shots. To leave wounded or suffering animals shouldn't fit into anyone's idea of humane, regardless of the technique used.I'd rather see the population reduced (most effectively and humanely achieved through aerial shooting) to the point that passive trapping could prevent further population increases, and ALL of those horses trapped could be re-homed. At least then there's a bonus for the every horse being trapped, and if the population is capped by that trapping, there would be no need for future aerial culling. And horse re-homing groups wouldn't be swamped with animals they couldn't afford to look after. Surely you'd be happy with that outcome.Passive trapping is not reducing numbers in the park. The population is still increasing. That's why parks are looking at how they can manage the problem. If passive trapping was working they would just continue doing that. This consultation has got to be costing a fortune - maybe 10 horses could have been trapped and sent to the abbatoir instead of getting the webiste up and running.
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          • Donna about 4 years ago
            "If" and "should" are the type of words we hear often in this process - but I'm sure I'm not the only person who realises that quite often, things don't go the way they "should" go, often because so many "if's" eventuate, despite the many who say they never will. Parks are "looking at how they can manage the problem" because their last 'draft' plan of management is now due for a review, not because of increasing horse numbers.
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            • InterestedObserver about 4 years ago
              Why was the first plan drafted, if not becuase of a problem?I think the question of control techniques required is entirely due to increasing horse numbers that aren't being managed effectively under the old plan.
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              • Donna about 4 years ago
                I believe it was in response to the failed GFRNP cull of 2000. Had that been considered 'successful' in any way, I'm sure we wouldn't be here having this discussion today - aerial culling would be used instead of any type of real management. Thankfully, the horror of that catastrophe forced some to see reason and ban it and in turn, forced NPWS to instigate their management plan. So one is left to wonder aren't they, at the reasoning behind zero management prior to 2000, if indeed the damage was even a factor.
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                • InterestedObserver about 4 years ago
                  From what I've read/heard, the trapping program in Guy Fawkes seems to be working quite well now, with low numbers of horses being removed (and more importantly needing to be removed to keep the population in check) and many of these are able to be rehomed (sorry, haven't seen figures on that, it's just the impression I have. Maybe I should use the word 'most'? Pllease advise if you've got more info on the rehoming rate!).That;s a great outcome and one we should be working toward for kozzie.However, would the situation in Guy Fawkes be the case if not for the cull in 2000? 600 horses removed in quick time means about 54 (minimum, maybe 120 given 'compensatory reproduction') per year that don't have to be removed and rehomed.
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                  • Donna about 4 years ago
                    I guess the answer to that question depends on whether you believe they actually shot 600 horses or simply used that number to justify the excessive amount of ammunition used for the ones who were.
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                    • InterestedObserver about 4 years ago
                      All I can go on is the number reported. the amount of ammunition isn't really important, actually, no it is. If they had only used 600 bullets to shoot 600 horses that would be a concern. More bullets (at least two per animal, but if it takes 10 or 15 to ensure the target is killed quickly that's better than leaving it injured) would ensure a more humane outcome
      • HVBA Vice President about 4 years ago
        I think that the point about being euthanased as soon as possible is an important one. On site euthanasia of passively trapped animals that cannot be rehomed would be ideal for me. If this is not possible then the use of local abattoirs would be an improvement on sending them to SA. I really think this is where the conversation needs to be heading. It seems crazy to stop passive trapping when there has been such an investment in infrastructure and knowledge into this method and even though some think its not working, the predicted increase in population (which was based on no management) did not happen, so I think it was at least doing something. We should be looking to improve the humaneness and effectiveness of a program that is basically good, rather than trying to rewrite the entire management plan. If this type of management could be coupled with some fertility control and fencing, possibly some ground shooting in exceptional circumstances, some tourist options to provide extra funding and a serious (possibly community run) Brumby research program that gives information on where to implement each type of management approach and the impact that management is having on the location it has been implemented, then I think we could reach the targets that we MUST set.
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        • InterestedObserver about 4 years ago
          A population increase has still been estimated, despite the controls. I'm wondering if it's possible to increase the effectiveness of the passive trapping program - surely they are trapping in all the 'easy' locations - easy for access and easy to catch a lot of horses. Once you move into harder areas the cost is only going to go up. Increased cost per horse trapped, increased time to get to the traps, and then transport the horses to abbatoirs. I don't think it's just a matter of doing more trapping in more places. You'd probably need more staff to check the additional traps so it's going to cost a lot more.Fertility controls and passive trapping are only going to manage the population if the current population can be greatly reduced. It's not appealing, but a one-off cull which leaves a population able to be effectively and cost-effectivley managed by fertility control and passive trapping would be ideal. And the re-homing groups having the capacity to re-home every animal that is removed would be a bonus (it would probably take a lot of economic stress of these groups too!).Failing to effectively manage the popualtion will only see a larger number culled in the future.
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          • HVBA Vice President about 4 years ago
            Actually from what I've calculated from the recent count, you can't actually say that there has been an increase. The error is too large and overlaps too much. I'm fairly sure that you can't say 4237+/-1076 and 6000+/-2000 are significantly different. In fact because we are talking about SE I'm pretty sure (not 100% because its been a while since I did stats at uni) that because the error overlaps, we can say that the difference between them is NOT statistically significant. Meaning well done NSW parks GOLD STAR ! You have effectively stopped the population growth by implementing a humane management plan in 2009, after the last count was done (and the projections made based on no management). Lets just improve the humaneness of that effective management plan, which already has so much of the infrastructure required for it built so should start going down in cost from now, rather than trying to re-invent the wheel.
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            • InterestedObserver about 4 years ago
              You could equally say that the population has increased from 3161 to 8000 in that time, based on the confidence intervals, despite 2000 horses being removed.However it's probably best to use the estimate (including CI) provided by the experts, which is about an 7.5% increase per year (including management). That is not effectively stopping the population growth.
  • mistygal01 over 4 years ago
    I do not own my own brumby yet, but the search is currently on and I'm looking for the right horse to come home with me - but it has to be a brumby! My main problem is that there are not ENOUGH brumbies coming out of the parks otherwise I would doubtless already have one in my paddock already. As it is the two brumby rehoming places near where I live should have some new horses coming in soon with the spring flush and I'm hopeful that 'my' brumby will be among them!I find brumbies to be the best of the best of horses. They are hardy, loyal, tough, excellent doers, and will create the bonds I am looking for so much easily, due I imagine to their upbringing by other horses in a proper herd environment away from significant human interaction. For someone who mainly likes to ride through the bush, what more perfect horse could you ask for, while at the same time actively participating in conservation of our Parks and wilderness areas, than to provide a home for a brumby! The market is already flooded with enough 'waste' domestic horses that should probably never have been bred. Sadly they mostly end up going to the doggers, as harsh as it is that is the reality of it, but our brumbies are part of our heritage and history as a nation and surely they deserve to be protected and preserved for their unique bloodlines, which often go directly back to famous stallions that any 'purebred' breeder would give their right arm for from a domestic horse. Numbers in the Park should be managed, yes, but we should definitely be finding homes for as many of these horses as we can. We owe it to them.
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    • Alex over 4 years ago
      I was just wondering where you live???. I always have brumbies for adoption should you be interested. Facebook site is brumbiesrus
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    • peter_mcc over 4 years ago
      I find it interesting that you say "there are not ENOUGH brumbies coming out of the parks" when it has been reported that only 37% of the ones removed are able to be rehomed. I'm not sure what is "wrong" with the rest - is it that nobody wants them or that they aren't suitable?
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      • HVBA Vice President over 4 years ago
        Mostly the issue is that rehoming organisations are swamped and can't take them all, although we try. We need time to train horses and move them on to new homes so sometimes we can't take the horses even if the rangers have just trapped a large number and we really want to. This is something that could possibly be improved with a little extra cooperation, possibly by creation of a website/facebook group or something where organisations could easily hear about when there are horses available or could easily communicate when they have space free. A minimum holding time could be set so people could have time to get to the park to pick them up etc. The HVBA has actually never had any issue picking up horses when we want to, we just call and organise a time to meet with the rangers, but I've heard of others having issues and I think these are often due to everyone being so busy that its hard to organise. If we had one place where we could go to find out when trappings were occuring, how many horses where there etc we might be able to get more rehomed. Very occasionally there might be a horse that is unsuitable but most are just the excess that we can't take. As a side note, we do not pick our horses, it is heart braking to have to choose who lives and who dies (literally), so we ask for a quanity, sex ratio and age, then the wonderful man running the program puts aside what we need. He treats the horses so well and it is such a shame that he gets constant harassment when he does such an amazing and difficult job.
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        • peter_mcc over 4 years ago
          that makes a bit more sense. It is sad to hear that the man running the program gets hassled by people - I'm sure that isn't part of his job description!
      • Mountain Man about 4 years ago
        There is nothing wrong with the rest of the brumbies Peter. The problem is that there are too many horses being removed at once for the market. NPWS need to be educated on the fact that a large cull or removal of horses will only make the numbers increase faster... If they were removed less frequently and in smaller targeted numbers the population would stablise at the lower level. But that conversation is not for this particular forum.
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        • InterestedObserver about 4 years ago
          Sorry, I may be interpreting this wrong so I have to ask, how does removing less horses, less often, result in a smaller population?Would the same approach work with other pest and weed species? Could save everyone a lot of money...
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          • Mountain Man about 4 years ago
            Research tells us that “compensatory reproduction” in wild horses (as well as some other species) is an important adaptive response to various population pressures such as a massive cull or other natural occurrences (like 2003 fires) that removes many horses in a short time by whatever methods. (Kirkpatrick, Turner, Downer, et al.) Nature abhors a vacuum and follows the principle of compensatory reproduction or reproductive ‘compensation‘: suddenly and randomly removing animals from the environment not only creates more resources available for the survivors, who will then increasingly reproduce particularly with optimum seasons, but the disruption of their social structure also increases breeding by younger and immature horses; breeding at 18 months to 2 years instead of the more usual 3-4 years of age. This is a survival instinct. A bit like the baby boom after the war really.For over 160 years our community managed the brumby numbers bringing out small numbers at a time. It is only in recent years that this was prohibited and now since the 2003 fires that brumbies are now targeted. Of course the numbers have increased since the fires because 60% of them were killed. (This is the same for deer numbers which have exploded tenfold since the fires.) Now after good seasons the brumbies have only got back to the pre fire population. The difference now is that the post fire bush has now thickened up so much that it has pushed them and concentrated them into new areas which makes it seem like there are more brumbies but that is not the case as demonstrated in the last NPWS count. Our community had it under control, we should be permitted to do so again including keeping Alpine areas horse free.As for weeds, brumbies can only eat what is already there and weeds in general are not on their menu.
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            • InterestedObserver about 4 years ago
              So in fact we need to remove many more horses, to compensate for compensatory reproduction. And once many more horses than we are currently able to remove have been removed, the reduction of a small number of horses each year will maintain a smaller population as was done historically.That makes more sense, to me anyway. Thanks for that clarification.How do we reduce the current population to a level that can be maintained by the removal of a small number each year? (That would mean most if not all could be rehomed too - better than being transported to the abbatoir!!!)How is the deer population managed? How was it managed until recently?
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              • Mountain Man about 4 years ago
                Actually no we do not need to remove "many more horses to compensate for compensatory reproduction" as you smartly suggest.Before the fires the population was estimated to be about 5200 which was taken during and after one of the mountains severist droughts (hence the worst fires in history to follow in 2002/3) where the natural population and its growth would have been at its lowest due to the bad conditions over several years. The current population count done before winter this year was estimated to be around 6000 +/- BUT additionally this count also included another large wilderness area (Byadbo) that was not included in the first count and so the number should be higher. There are also no population estimates prior to 2001, so considering that the horses have been here for 170 years there is really nothing to base figures on. Of course there is an increase since the fires because half of them were killed and we have only started counting in any case in the last 13 years of that 170! From what I have heard from the old fellows who used to manage the horses in the 60s and 70s and early 80s they say that there were many more horses prior to the big drought of the 80s which then nearly wiped them out. This is called nature. Since the fires we have had extraordinary good seasons in the mountains with a lot of rain and growth (and a lot of thick scrub). This will change again and I think that this population will probably stabilise itself to be sustainable with horses being removed here and there in the future. Yes you are correct, this way the brumbies are more easily rehomed which is much preferred by all to the abbatoir.The local horse riders have offered on numerous occasions to remove the brumbies from Alpine Areas including the immediate sub-alpine feeder areas but are not permitted to do so. Dont you think that strange? They must not be too overly concerned?In regards to deer and pigs, they were rarely ever seen in the southern end of the park at least before the fires but now they are in plague proportions. You will have to ask NPWS about their management.
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                • InterestedObserver about 4 years ago
                  So the old fellows' control program in the 60;s-80;s didn't work? And the current horse plan says their controls are inhumane?Sounds like a two good reasons not to return to those techniques.The damage from horses in the 80's isn't a patch on what's evident now, so I'd suggest the population was quite a bit smalller.I thought the Byadbo area was surveyed previously because there weren't horses there. So the population is moving into new areas? That's a problem that needs to be managed.NP's do poison foxes and pigs, and aerially shoot pigs and deer - it seems crazy to ignore some pests while shooting others. Or should we rely on 'nature' to manage the foxes, pigs, deer and blackberries too?
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                  • Themba about 4 years ago
                    Wow, you really seem to be keen on being as obnoxious as you can to people on the forums. Perhaps if you weren't quite so rude to people they would take your comments a little more seriously.
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                    • InterestedObserver about 4 years ago
                      I'm sorry if questioning people's contradictory comments is seen as obnoxious.I wish people would take the horse impacts a little more seriously.
  • GCNaturalHorsemanship over 4 years ago
    There are several Brumby groups doing wonderful work to help re-home these wild horses, I personally am involved with the Victorian Brumby Association, and have taken on many Brumbies through this wonderful organisation. I train these Brumbies to be quality all round riding horses which are ideal for riders of all levels but particularly for children to have fun and be safe on. I am passionate about Brumbies, and having worked with many Brumbies and also many domestic horses I have found the Brumbies to generally be more sensible and relaxed than many domestic horses, they are very trainable and they take to life as a ridden horse very easily. I have trained Brumbies ranging in age from foals to older horses, including one that was passively trapped as a 10 year old stallion- he is one of the calmest horses I have trained and was ridden by beginners within weeks of his first ever ride- this shows that all of these Brumbies are capable of being trained and re-homed given the chance with appropriately experienced organisations and trainers. I had the great opportunity of presenting an education session on Brumbies at Equitana Sydney 2013. My partner and I took two of our Brumbies up to Sydney from Geelong, Victoria, to present at Equitana which provides a large audience of people from a huge variety of disciplines and interests in the equestrian world. We took two geldings, the horse caught at 10 years old from the Bogong high plains (now 13 years old) and one of our young Kosi Long plain caught geldings (now 4 years old). Both horses had minimal exposure to such events with crowds, indoor arenas, stables and loud speakers etc and both horses took everything in their stride showing the calm nature of these Brumbies. I have many hours of video footage (which can be found on Youtube) of the Brumbies I have trained in a huge range of situations, including competition, which shows how versatile and talented these wild horses are and certainly puts silence to those who claim that Brumbies, and particularly older Brumbies, are un-trainable. I have successfully re-homed many Brumbies to homes around Victoria and thank the Victorian Brumby Association for the wonderful work that they do which allows this. I feel it is very important to support these organisations who take Brumbies from the passive trapping programs as these organisations are upholding humane management and treatment and do an excellent job at homing Brumbies to suitable homes whilst also educating the public about all the issues associated with wild horses in Australia. I encourage anyone who is interested in owning a Brumby to support the Brumby organisations which deal with passively trapped Brumbies as this is the most humane method of management and results in a much happier and safer horse to deal with compared to Brumbies caught through other methods (of which I have also worked with). I also have a strong interest in environmental sustainability, being a qualified Outdoor and Environmental education teacher and having been involved in many programs in a range of wonderful natural environments that our country has to offer, including those where Brumbies are found. I agree that wild horse populations need to be managed to protect and preserve the natural environment however I do feel that the Brumbies hold significant cultural value also, and as such humane management (not eradication) is important. Georgia Bates, G.C. Natural Horsemanship.
    Hide Replies (6)
    • Catherine Russell over 4 years ago
      Thanks Georgia. It is good to hear success stories from the rehoming programs.
    • Judy over 4 years ago
      It is totally unacceptable to shoot these horses, it is cruel, the animals are terrified and often don't die with the first shot. It is horrific to shoot these poor creatures from a helicopter, frequently leaving them to die in pain. Georgia's article shows there is a better way. Perhaps even the male horses could be gelded by a vet and let back into their environment where they simply wouldn't breed. Yes the environment is most important but cruelty to animals cannot be justified. Judy
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      • Catherine Russell over 4 years ago
        Thanks Judy. It is good to hear the wide range of views and potential options for the management of wild horses in the National Park. The current and only management approach to wild horses under the existing management plan is removing them from the National Park and rehoming them, where possible, with the help of organisations like BrumbiesRUS. You can view the existing plan at http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/nature/KNPHorseManagementPlanFinal08.pdf
      • icefest over 4 years ago
        When aerial culling results in the least suffering, a 0% wounding rate and even the RSPCA supports it then perhaps its neither cruel, unnacceptable nor unjustifiable.http://www.tophorse.com.au/vets-declare-brumby-aerial-culling-humane__aerial_culling__Nhttp://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-13/animal-welfare-horse-culling/4873726http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11161675
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        • Wild Horse Tours over 4 years ago
          The RSPCA kills a lot of domestic animals every day due to over-breeding, does this make it a humane and acceptable form of management? No, instead it is the distinct lack of preventative management that creates the problem in the first place
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          • InterestedObserver about 4 years ago
            It's not the RSPCA's fault that people do the wrong thing. They are simply applying the most humane option available once the problem is identified. The over-breeding is the problem. This needs to be managed equally for domestic species and feral species. Implementation of effective management of feral horses will reduce the need for lethal control of more horses in the future.Let's leave the discussion of what's effective to the deot of Ag, and people like the Invasive animals research centre.Let's leave the discussion of what's humane or not to the RSPCA.Let's leave the discussion of population dynamics and survey estimates to the biologists and statisticians.Let's let national parks get on with the job of looking after OUR parks, and managing pest species as guided by these experts.
  • Bettina Kappen about 4 years ago
    I am lucky to have had the opportunity to have homed two brumbies from the VBA. These horses are "unique" to Australia, they are, in my eyes part of Australia like the roo, kola, wombat etc: they are part of this, harsh and unique country we call Australia. I do understand that there needs to be some management of them to stay in the wild, but "aerial cull" is not the answer. I thought that we all learnt a lesson by the aerial cull that happened, all those years ago in NSW. There needs to be a different answer!. The passive trapping is working and why is there no fertility control in place. I love my brumbies, I do not want too see them destroyed and removed from the wild were they have fun free for generations!.
  • Grant over 4 years ago
    Great to see the other side of the debate. I think the Anglocentric perspective presented here that introduced Brumby "myths" are more significant than the Aboriginal stories about Kangaroos & Wombats, emus, possums and other native animals & plants speaks volumes about the problem.... Effectively precluding 40,000 years of culture and evolution as not relevant creates a boggy social and environmental management situation. It is great however to see that people are prepared to make an effort to deal with the problem working together.
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    • Mountain Man about 4 years ago
      I find it offensive that some anti brumby people automatically think that because we love the brumbies in the Snowy Mountains means that we dont have the same committment to our natural or indigenous heritage. It is in fact quite the opposite. I dont see how defending brumbies is somehow ignoring 40,000 years of culture and its merely provoking a ridiculous argument. For our families to have lived in the mountains (including the area now National Park) for several generations, through the extreme climate and conditions that the mountains have to offer, just demonstrates the profound attachment that many of us have with our mountain environment. That includes the flora and fauna. I think its outrageous that we must defend one or the other. In 2003 when the mountains were burning, was a very distressing time and not merely because of the threat to our neighbouring properties but because we knew of the devastation and the holocaust that was happening in the mountains. I could paint a pretty distressing picture for you of what it was like, but I hope to never have to experience that again in my lifetime. We were here fighting the good fight,for our mountains inside and outside the park - where were the city centric tree huggers and anti brumby personnel?
  • HVBA Vice President about 4 years ago
    Just wanted to say thankyou to everyone for their stories, including those in the "your stories and pictures" section. It brings tears of joy to read about the second chance these Brumbies have been given and how deeply they have touched your lives. I only hope that the outcome of this new management plan will allow more brumbies a chance at a new life, instead of a painful, terrifying death.
  • emk1993 about 4 years ago
    I still remember the time that I was introduced to the story "the silver brumby" they mesmerised me and made me feel a sense of pride to live in a country where these spectacular horses have successfully bred to suit the harshest of conditions that Australia throws at them. These horses come from stock that trace back to the horses used to fight for our country all those years ago, these same horses are immortalised and remembered every Anzac day as being hero's, so to hear that government are planning to eradicate these precious horses is beyond me. I am very new to this breed, I was lucky enough to purchase a beautiful little Kosciuszko filly at the Australian brumby challenge earlier this year, VBA Gem. And a Gem she is, she regularly has me in fits of laughter from the mischief she gets herself into, if I am doing something you can bet your bottom dollar that gem will be assisting me. She is by far the most intelligent horse I have ever owned, for the first few weeks of me owning her I noticed that occasionally she would nip at me some days but others she wouldnt, it took me a good week to realise that she only nipped at me when I wore my red hooded jacket, the reason being for the first two weeks when wearing this jumper I had treats in my pocket. She has formed herself a little herd with a few jersey calves that I have raised, and regularly rounds them up and plays chase around the paddock with them, she rathers the calves company Because she knows that she can be the lead mare amongst them where as she is promptly put in her place with my domestic horses. I made the decision to purchase a brumby for the versatility that these little guys offer, they are great allrounders and I look forward to my journey with my little black brumby in the future. Look I could go on and on boring everyone with my story's of my precious little Gem but the bottom line is that by eradicating these horses it is not only removing a part of our history but it is not going to fix the issue of natural destruction, without the horses who will eat down all the excess grass which in turn will create larger and more destructive fire seasons, and also how will the environment react to such a change without the horses, it has adapted to fit these animals for many years. I believe that management is of course the key as with everything, and assisting the available rescue organisations in the rehabilitation of them will be a start
  • youngconservationist about 4 years ago
    "There are not as many myths about a kangaroo". Really? I find this hard to digest. Even if we forgot (which appears you have) the 60,000 years of aboriginal history in Australia, in which countless stories about native animals have been told, modern Australians are brought up on many stories about native animals - Skippy, Dot and the Kangaroo, Blinky bill, Wombat stew, the list goes on and on. Brumbies barely rate a mention. If I brought tourists up to the high country and they saw horses but no kangaroos or wombats they would be deeply disappointed. You can see horses in farmland all over the world, and indeed past countless horse paddocks as you drive to the high country. National Parks are not set up so a particular special interest groups can enjoy what just they value. National Parks protect natural heritage. Horses need to be removed and left to roam farms all over the rest of the planet. This is the legal obligation of National Parks.
  • Wollemi Brumby Have about 4 years ago
    Kate, I have 3 brumbies of my own and am about to pick up 5 more that I will be looking to rehome. We think the brumby is the best little horse any family could have. Our kids have riding abilities of differing levels and our brums sure take all the cuddling and smooching in their stride. I believe that the brumby should be left where they are and the management of them looked at from a positive angle rather that putting band aides on the issue and it rearing its ugly head every few years. Its 2014 cant we come up with something that protects the brumby as well as ALL interested parties. If anyone is interested I have a group on facebook called REHOMED BRUMBIES WHERE ARE THEY NOW? there are some really great stories of our little mates who have been saved from a fate that we wished we could all have sorted by now.
  • Jindygal over 4 years ago
    Can’t agree more that brumby-running is a sport that is cruel and stressful to the wild horses.Rehoming the wild horses, admirable though it is, is only ever a part-solution. If we ever got wild horse numbers down to 1000 thoughout the Australian Alps, then rehoming 200 a year would keep the population stable. But with possibly 30 000 throughout the Alps, other cost-effective solutions are urgently needed as well. Solutions like gelding are romantic, but would be massively expensive and logistically impossible beyond a token few. The intact blokes would really say yippee.If you do some sums, and ignore the professional estimate that the feral horse population is growing at over 20% per year, and just suppose it is only 10%, then from a base number of 13 800 estimated in the Australian Alps in 2012, you would have had to remove nearly 1 380 in 2013 just to keep the population stable. Keep up the work in re-homing horses, better that than nothing at all to reduce numbers.
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    • Mountain Man about 4 years ago
      Jindy Gal? I would be very interested to learn where you arrive at the population level at 30 000? Also interested in hearing of your experience and expertise of brumby running to qualify how it is cruel and stressful??
  • Robyn over 4 years ago
    Yes I have rehomed a brumby when he was 5 months old, he is now rising 6 in November.I have enjoyed watching him grow & turn into the most pleasant horse I have ever ridden.We have been back down to the Snowy Mountains for the last two years & looking forward to riding back there this summer season.I have seen many Brumbies that have been rehomed & seen how much they are loved.
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    • Admin Commented Jenny.Bhatai over 4 years ago
      Hi Robyn, thanks for letting us know about your positive experience rehoming a brumby.
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      • Robyn over 4 years ago
        If we get rid of all the Brumbies, what ware going to show our future generation where they roamed the country side. I love showing friends the wide open space on which to ride & come across mobs of wild Brumbies.
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        • AOAC over 4 years ago
          We will hopefully be able to show them the wide variety of plants and animals that are unique to this wonderful country! :)
        • peter_mcc over 4 years ago
          If we don't get rid of all the horses what are we going to show our future generations when they come to the KNP to see a beautiful wilderness? I love showing my friends the wide open spaces and clear streams which will all be gone if something isn't done about the horses.There are two sides to the story!
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          • Mountain Man about 4 years ago
            The brumbies have been living in the beautiful wilderness for over 170 years now..can anyone name a plant or animal that is now extinct because of brumbies? NO It was still good enough to be declared wilderness in the first place only 20 years ago.
    • Mbidgee over 4 years ago
      If someone had spent enough money to buy a good horse, would they be any less loved ? Do people love a 'brumby' feral horse because they have got it at low cost ? What is this special trait in feral horses that have been tamed and broken that cannot be found in a horse born in a paddock or a stall? They are probably good because they are the best 200 out of the 1000+ horses` that are trapped each year.........maybe the people who take on a horse to be rehomed should contribute to the cost of trapping those 1,000+ horses.
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      • HVBA Vice President over 4 years ago
        Firstly the people who take the brumbies on and train them up ready to be rehomed make a loss on every single brumby they rescue. We take whatever is available in the yards at the time we are going down (including a stallion that had lost an eye in a fight). They are not the best 200 from 1000, all brumbies are just the best. The other 800 would also be amazing, unfortunately we will never know because they are slaughtered instead. Secondly Mbidgee, It is obvious from your comment that you have never worked with a brumby. This is a shame because you are really missing out on something special. I do not yet personally own a brumby, but I have owned horses my whole life (including a free ex-race horse with impeccable (Sir Tristram) breeding that once cost its owners $140000 to buy) and I will never buy another horse that isn't a Brumby. I live in town at the moment so owning a horse is impractical, but as soon as I can I will be purchasing a Brumby of my own because I have had the pleasure of working with them for over three years now and have seen first hand how wonderful they are. What is the special trait? Let me try to explain. They are never pushy or rude, they understand personal space and body language and are respectful and never silly. When you let them out into a new paddock they move with caution, checking out their surroundings before calmly settling on a place to eat, never flying around in a crazed gallop like a domestic will. They learn quickly and once they understand what you are asking they will do it every time.They try so hard to please you from the day they step out of the park and even when they are scared if you show them that something new (say a rubbish bin) is ok, by touching it they will have a go at touching it too. They are so gentle with children, understanding that, like foals, they are small and breakable and you must be careful around them. They have grown up in true family groups, so they understand that everyone has a place and are very willing to accept that you are the leader. They are incredibly social animals always happy to meet new horses, and very vocal, calling out to each other, and to you as soon as they see you. But the biggest difference is that while I loved my (past) domestic horses, they did not love me. They liked me, they enjoyed our rides, they would come up to me in the paddock, but having seen the bond brumbies create with their owners I now know my domestic horses did not love me. A Brumby will whinny on seeing you, they will run at top speed to you and nuzzle in to your chest then follow you around trying to "help" with everything that you do. They actually want to be around you and will choose to come and graze right next to the fence near to the house if you are sitting on the veranda just to be near you. One of the main reasons that people who own brumbies love them so much is because the brumbies love them back. Brumbies are incredibly special horses to work with and I cannot wait to own my own. Unfortunately people who have never worked with them wonder what all the fuss is about, but whenever someone works with a brumby for the first time, we ask them what they think. Their answer is always the same "they are just so different aren't they, I can't put my finger on it but they are different". If you would like to experience this for yourself, you are welcome to contact the HVBA or your local rescue organisation, we are always looking for volunteers and you never know, you might find yourself as in love with these horses as we are.
      • BrumbiesRock about 4 years ago
        I have spent good money on horses, I have 2 PRE Andalusians, I have also rescued STB's which I got for free, some stock horses from the doggers which were cheap and my 4 soon to be 5 Brumbies I have paid for (more that the STB's and stock horses.I love them all but the bond I have with my Brumbies is special, they have been the easiest to train, the most sure footed and the most hardy.I would not swap them for the world and I would never buy or rescue anything else now that I have spent time with them
  • Mountain Man about 4 years ago
    I have had numerous brumbies over the years. The first horse I ever broke in was a brumby from near the Vic border and she was unbelievably responsive. 12 months after I broke her in, I rode her back to the place exactly from where she was caught. I had mixed feelings when we saw a mob of horses and I thought maybe she would want to go with them. My heart stopped when she whinnied at them and then a few seconds later she turned around of her own accord to leave the area and go back to camp. I was relieved that she was happy to be with me. True story... she had a happy life, was always very fat and died at 25 years old. She would not have made 10 years old in the wild. All of the brumbies were more like dogs as they we so easily trained. I believe this is because they have had no history with humans so do not carry any bad memories and are more accepting. All of the brumbies I have been involved with (20+) have been caught by brumby running (Roping) where their education starts at the first touch and they did not have to sit in a yard for days until training started. They are taught to lead from the first few minutes of being caught and are led or driven by the riders horse, just as they are by the other horses in their mob. Every one of these little horses turned into wonderful kids ponies and enjoyed a happy life. 2 of them now are being ridden by a 3 and 5 yr old and both winning ribbons at pony club today.
  • KWebster about 4 years ago
    I adopted a Brumby 2012 and he is without a doubt the best horse I have owned in my 25 years of horse ownership. He is incredibly trainable, has wonderful confirmation and exceptional movement. I am a dressage rider and also own two Warmblood mares who are both for sale as I am keeping the Brumby to do dressage with. He is the same both at home and out at shows or clinics, I do not have to hard feed him if I don't want too - but I am a sucker and he loves his bucket feeds, his feet are great and he hasn't had an off day since I first adopted him. Any time I have anyone come to my property he immediately changes any negative preconception they have about brumbies to the point where the Chiropractor has asked for first option if I ever wish to sell him and my farrier always comments that he wishes all his clients were like Gundagai. I will never get another domesticated horse I will only ever adopt a Brumby although I am hoping Gundagai and I get to live our lives out together and I never need another horse.
  • Sharlone about 4 years ago
    I have adopted 2 this year one for myself & one for my daughter. Brumbies are so wonderful & trustworthy, I would never have another domestic horse again. It was always a dream to own a brumby, but the differences between a brumby vs domestic horse has amazed me. Domestic horses have a tendency to carry on a bit stupid, brumbies on the other hand are always cool calm & collected. I would rather my daughter be around a brumby over a domestic horse any day. They seem to know that this little 2 legged thing is only a baby & are so gentle with her.
  • Julie Cleary over 4 years ago
    We now own 6 beautiful brumbies! So Yes!, we care greatly about their futures! All of ours have come from the Victorian Brumby Association, who are doing a great job of rehoming. Brumbies are the most amazing horses. They are gentle, loving & very intelligent!Our 6 live on 330 acres of natural dry land bush with a 3 km creek frontage. We have had them for 5 years. We have found their impact on the land to be minimal. They have made a few tracks and they stick to those tracks, they drink from the one spot along the creek even though they have access to it all. They are creatures of habit. They don't eat anything to the ground. They trim everything, encouraging new healthy growth. They have also kept a lot of the nuisance weeds under control, therefore allowing the native grasses to flourish.We find that wild pigs do a lot more damage to the land.We have owned this land for 12 years and it is in better condition since having our Brumbies on it!I believe Brumbies have a place in our National Parks. They are part of our heritage.
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    • BrumbiesRock about 4 years ago
      I agree Julie, I also believe brumbies are a part of our heritage and belong in our National Parks. The brumbies were living wild in those areas before they were designated National Parks, it's not as though they moved in after, it is their home.I have 4 brumbies, they are beautiful, loyal and easy to work with. Our bush block looks spectacular, the dams are in excellent condition and our neighbour asked that I put them in his paddock to eat down the grass and weeds to reduce the fire hazard. He says his block has never looked so good and healthy.
  • Mel over 4 years ago
    I have not yet owned a Brumby, but I am sure I will at some stage in my life. I have a passion for these animals but also for the natural environment and I hold a degree in Environmental Science. At this stage I do own horses that have come from other overbreeding and mishandled situations and that is a whole other story unrelated to this issue. I do , however, live near a Brumby sancuary and see first hand the great work this dedicated organisation do to take on the horses taken from the park and rehome them. Personally I obviously love the Brumby, its iconic status, the contribution to our culture. I also have a passion for the bush in its natural state, and want things to remain unchanged. The reality is things never stay the same, humans have impacted the environment for as long as they have existed and never more so than in the last 1000 years. For me the issues are humane management. In short i am concerned for the future of the mountain ecology however I do not believe there is any case for aerial culling. Any argument stating financial reasons for making this an option quite frankly make me ill. There are people out there with the skills to assist with the management of the horses and they have the experience and ideas to bringto the table. Use these people and allow them more involvement with the process and the outcome.
  • Michelle over 4 years ago
    I have not adopted a brumby, however my son who has a disability is starting with Riding for the Disabled in a fortnight, and yes, he will be riding a brumby. We have met this horse and he is delightful, my son (8) was instantly in love. Brumbies are our heritage, there is room for all of us. Please don't shoot them, don't let them suffer. Surely we can slowly make areas where they can live in peace too.
  • Lisa over 4 years ago
    I have only become familiar with the rehoming of brumbies in recent years - a delight after growing up reading the Silver Brumby Series which led me to love the Snowy Mountains. I hope to rehome a brumby myself in the next year or two. Owners consistently report the unique temprament of the brumby and significant bond they have with these horses. What a resource are these hardy animals, and what interesting genetic seed stock they are after so many years living in Australian conditions. I beleive the word is getting out there, and the various groups are doing a great job at raising awareness. I hope they can be managed kindly, skillfully and positively through methods that have worked both here and overseas for wild horses..
  • Claire over 4 years ago
    Sunny and Sammy were both caught as foals. Sunny comes from near Tumut and Sammy on the lower Snowy river. Sammy has fear of people, but has now accepted me into her mob. They are free to roam but choose to be near the house lapping up love and attention, and quizzically watching us through the window. Sunny was broken well and loves a ride in the bush. Sammy is scared of ropes and strangers, but with patience not reprimand, she is fast becoming a skillful fast playful, turn on a dime ride. In the morning just on light they watch me wake, and softly whinny as I come into the kitchen for a cup of tea. What a majical way to start a day. Sunny and Sammy thank you for sharing your wildness with me, you have a safe home here for as long as you want.If I can help in any way for others please let me know. Regards Claire. P.S 3 years ago I had never owned a horse, didn't know the front from the back! These two girls have taught me so much.
  • Donna over 4 years ago
    Yes, I own two magnificent brumbies and they're everything people say they are and more! The potential for these horses to be used in therapy, youth programs, riding for the disabled etc is HUGE and untapped. Their nature makes them the perfect 'learner' horse and is a consistent trait found in brumbies across the country, something many including myself believe to be a direct result of their wild existence and inherently 'brumby'. Consistency in temperament is something many stud owners strive years to achieve without always succeeding and having such a large resource of adaptable, hardy, even tempered horses to utilise in many ways is an opportunity that should not be overlooked. My two brumby girls are intelligent, voracious learners who LOVE to be talked to, interacted with and doted on. I have owned other horses in my life of various breeds but none compare to my brumbies, a feeling I've found to be extremely common among fellow brumby owners. There are increasing numbers of shows holding brumby classes, increasing numbers of adoptions via re homing groups and increased interest from the horse community in general due to the many awareness campaigns and advocacy undertaken by the various groups and associations; this to me suggests very strongly the likelihood of brumbies becoming more sought after in future and must be considered before any lethal method of control is used to reduce numbers.
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    • Admin Commented Jenny.Bhatai over 4 years ago
      Thanks for sharing your experiences in relation to rehoming brumbies Donna. As we’ve seen, a number of other brumby horse owners agree with you about the experience of looking after a rehomed brumby.
  • Themba over 4 years ago
    I haven't adopted a wild horse yet but will be adopting two in the next twelve months. I live in the snowy region and have heard many stories from my neighbours about how Brumbies make the best riding horse that is intelligent and quiet enough for a child to ride. One of my neighbours have several Brumbies that their young children safely ride.
  • Wild Horse Tours over 4 years ago
    I personally haven't (yet) rehomed a brumby as my circumstances don't allow it however I do spend a lot of time in the Park observing and photographing wild horses and have been fortunate enough to observe their nature in a variety of situations. In my experience they are intelligent, sensible, curious, fascinating beings. Approached in the correct manner you can get close enough to engage with them (note: I do not encourage this as a general rule unless you have experience with horses and know what signs and signals to be aware of) which is an amazing experience in itself, I hope never to lose the opportunity to observe and engage with horses in the wild
  • JL over 4 years ago
    letting some brumbies live in the Park doesn't mean people don't care for the Aboriginal heritage, environment, fauna and flora. Brumbies have now become an intrinsic part of the Park and are important to people too. I've had brumbies myself, and currently own two that are marvellous horses. Affectionate, easy keepers, loyal and gentle. I've seen many homed that are highly valued and loved. A management plan is needed, so excess can be taken off and found homes. Horses from the free range are hardy and free form most problems domestic horse get, it is a valuable asset to have access to such animals. This can be a fund raiser - 1) as camera herds - people will go there just to see them, and 2) as saleable assets - look how the Chincoteague Fire Brigae (Virginia USA) uses the wild ponies of Chinocteague and Assateague Islands to fund their fire station. They muster the excess wild horses and auction them off. Everyone comes to help, it is an important part of the culture there and lots of fun. Identified breeders are released back on the islands. Wild horses also vitally control pest species such as buffel grass and non-native grasses. Brumbies are a part of the Park and it's important they can remain there, with a good management plan put in place, that is created through consultancy with those locals who are interested in the brumbies, and who have the knowledge. They are beautiful horses, part of the Snowies heritage that is known world-wide, they deserve a good future. You can do it.
  • Sue Lavin over 4 years ago
    I have two brumbies. One I adopted from Hunter Valley Brumby Association and several years later I purchased another from a person who had originally adopted him from Save The Brumbies. I am 52 and have had a lifetime owning, riding and being with domestic horses – thoroughbreds, arabs, quarter horses, warmbloods, etc. These two are equally as good, and more, as any other horse I have had in my life. They are both very intelligent, bright, clever, full of character, engaging and wonderful partners. From reading and talking to others I believe all these are standard brumby traits. They are capable of whatever riding discipline I would like to partake in and could do this competitively. They are sensible and quiet without being slugs, accepting most situations and environments without drama. I would highly recommend adopting through a Brumby Association. They are careful who they match the horses with, they do not adopt them until they are settled in domestic life and have learnt the training basics and the horse come to you well adjusted, well cared for and without the trauma caused by less discriminate means of capture. I have heard the horror stories of some of these captures and of those who run brumbies down and take an ear tip as a trophy. Shame on you all. The Associations do a wonderful job and to have had an opportunity to partner with a brumby through them has been a gift I have had incredible enjoyment from and will always be thankful for. I feel there will always be a brumby in my life from now on. Susan Lavin
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    • nicole over 4 years ago
      Hi Susan, thanks for letting us know about your positive experience. It's important that we hear about the success stories, as they're an important part of this process.