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Blog Posted:6/27/2011 3:47:00 PM
As old Drover Don Johnson of Dirranbandi said of horses:
When you as the new man arrived on a station to start work
In the 1930s,you got 'tried out' by the old timers or the boss. They'd say,
" Can you ride boy?" It didn't pay to skite or you would get the worst horses to ride. Bad horses that had been taught to be the master, by some useless man that couldn't ride a hobby horse.
Horses learn very quickly to use their learned bad habits against
you. When asked I'd say "I've been on horses before." That is all.
The new boy usually saddled and mounted some vicious brute,
generally thought to be unrideable, and got tested as an
equestrian. I had ridden horses with my mother as a baby they were my play toys. With a set of gooseneck spurs strapped to your high heeled riding boots. Whenever the horse bucked or fought he got chastised, and when he came your way he was patted on the neck.
Always this show of softness with these calloused brutes had
brought on more buckjumping, so you rode to win to beat the horse into submission. So then you might start the days work to the amazement of the onlookers. These horses that I rode were never ridden again by other men, for some Moorangs had beaten too many men in the past. Only a very determined rider could stay on some of these brutes. It was in the blood you see, my grandmother 'Tuppy' she rode a circus horse when still a teenager.
This horse was a buckjumper in a tent show and it had never been ridden bareback in the show's history. The prize offered was five pounds. Our Tuppy “crippled by Polio” was different she put her bare feet under the
horse's front legs where they joined the horse's body and it
couldn't throw her. She did not get the prize though she'd earned
it. They reneged on paying, the deck was stacked against her, but
she still rode the horse, on the day.