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Brumby chasers 1900 - DON JOHNSON's Blog

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Brumby chasers 1900


Blog Posted:6/20/2011 11:56:00 PM
HOW IT WAS DONE IN THE AUSTRALIAN BUSH ABOUT 1900 OR SO …
Not recommended in the modern world! Don Johnson
To throw a Brumby horse, that you might want for a saddle
pony. First you catch him by the tail, like throwing a bullock and wait for his weight to shift to the front legs. Now jerk quickly and
down the horse goes. Then with the assistance of a mate you put your gear on him, so he is saddled and bridled on the ground. Now with a rope halter on him with a rope lead so your mate can help you to move this unbroken horse. Perhaps he'll pass the rope lead under his own
horses neck to help hold the Brumby horse. With the extra
leverage using the saddle horse's neck. ( Later if necessary he
ties the two horses together.) You let the horse up and the other rider is mounted too, holding the Brumby very firmly,by the lead rope
leading your horse. So you ride together all day and ride the
horse home straight out of the scrub now an ex Brumby. This is
probably the quickest way to break in a horse. Another way to get
your Brumby horse, is for two horsemen to gallop along either
side of the Brumby. One man to put a stirrup leather around his neck with many holes in it. You tighten it up and buckle it on. You can choke him down and he'll fall a few times, and then while he is down you can put the bridle on. While he is out of wind, give him a bit of air and as he gets half up, you put the saddle on. You get on him and if he is awful bad, you choke him down again to teach good habits
early. You can't steer the Brumby yet, because he isn't mouthed,
but the other man can, he can haze him or shepherd him home,
another old time bush method. For holding Brumbies that would run away from the mob we used soft wet green hide strips, (fresh bullock hide). We sidelined them front to back leg at the fetlock this slowed them down. The Green hide had one small slit in each end of it about the right length eighteen inches back from the ends.While the horse was down, you pulled up the back leg to the front one. Then put the
hide around his fetlock and through the slit then back again half
hitched, do it front and back and he is sidelined. The old timers
used to tie the cattle down, or tie their back legs together and
they'd get up but they could only stand about. Cattle they sulk
and they fret so it's no good long term. Some would hook a beast
up by the horns to a tree, but they'd sulk also. Usually you
could let them go with the mob, and put the pups onto them if
they stick their noses out of the mob, that was one answer.
Once they get used to moving with the mob, herd instinct takes
over and they become part or the herd. We sometimes yarded up to
a hundred Brumbies and put each through the crush and side lined
them with wet Green hide strips. Releasing them into the open to
get the feel of the sideline as we did them. So you would wind up
with the mob standing around sidelined. They're not used to being
sidelined, but they can't run away either, they stay together. We
would have a man in the lead, one on each side and a fellow
behind. Then you can dog them in the general direction you are
going. If one knocks up and can't go on any longer it may be
because they get frustrated and sore and start sulking and wont
move. You use a shear blade strapped to a stick about six foot
long with the blade very sharp. You ride up to this knocked up
horse and cut the sideline in the center, and he will trot over
into the mob. Eventually you may have to cut all of the sidelines the mob tires out. Using this method it was possible to move a mob of
freshly yarded Brumbies to where you might want them. The
sideline soon tired out the Brumby and he was now drivable.
Without its help you may lose the mob or have a wild chase to
hold them. When we traveled with the Brumbies we probably could
go a few miles before cutting any sidelines and a few miles more
before some others were ready. After twenty miles no sidelines
and the horses are fairly civilized.
Rough treatment for rough times.
A bushman watched the sun always and knew if he was heading north, east, etc by the sight of the sun in the northern sky, remembered his moves and always knew which direction was home, subconsciously.
So he was never lost! Nor will you be if you remember to watch!
Don Johnson






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  1. Date: 6/22/2011 6:34:00 PM
    I think I led most of my life sub consciously. I never get lost either. My wife tells me where to go. Quite a blog. Vince

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  1. Date: 6/21/2011 7:14:00 PM
    Yes Chris, hopefully I'm still a horseman, Country people watch the sun so they wont get lost in the horse paddock, a few acres only. The embarrasment , hey. Never got to Adeliade mate, but came past the turn off on 77 coming from Perth back to the eastern states, hundreds of miles of dead straight bitumen the Nullabor plain. You want solitude its there. Our cattle dogs,(aussie shepherd) blue heelers, love eating snakes, sometimes they are bit by brownie and die. You could live on snake in this country like our Aboriginies did, tastes like wild duck:)

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  1. Date: 6/21/2011 10:06:00 AM
    Ah, so you are a horseman, eh. Interesting blog here. Yeah, I always know where to head to according to the sun....and wot time it is(roughly :D). You ever get to Adelaide? Is it nice there? I know someone who lives there now, and they say how enjoyable it is, except for the many snakes that come into the yard.

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  1. Date: 6/21/2011 8:18:00 AM
    thanks for sharing, don! whatta journey .. huggs:)

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  1. Date: 6/21/2011 7:24:00 AM
    interesting piece of history Don

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  1. Date: 6/21/2011 5:29:00 AM
    a magnificent write on your blog today DON.. reading it again so as not to miss any poignant pieces luv..

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