Shereen Walsh with her brumby Toolara, which she is giving herself 12 months to break in.
Shereen Walsh with her brumby Toolara, which she is giving herself 12 months to break in. Renee Pilcher

Brumbies get second chance at life

A HORSE is a horse, of course, of course – that is unless the horse is a brumby.

Brumbies run wild and some have met horrible deaths when they collided with vehicles on roads that front the state forest.

Enter Anne Warmbrunn and Terry Wilson who formed the South East Queensland Brumby Association. They take brumbies trapped by the Forestry Department, train them and find them good homes.

Kandanga woman Shereen Walsh is one of the new owners of the trapped brumbies.

“I found out about the brumbies from an article in The Gympie Times and then I got on the SEQBA website,” Shereen said yesterday.

“I rang them (Anne and Terry) 12 months ago but they did not have a brumby tall enough for me to ride.

“They rang me when they got this last lot in. I went out and had a look and picked Toolara (named after the forest from which she was trapped) for her height and she is a nice looking horse.

“Anne and Terry are doing a really good job and they are lovely people.”

Shereen has had Toolara for two weeks now and it is her experience with horses and her natural horsemanship training that enabled her take the brumby and not wait for her to be broken in.

Training horses is something Shereen has been doing professionally since she was 17 years old and has been riding horses since the age of five.

However, to break in a brumby is, for Shereen, “the ultimate challenge”.

She said it takes about three weeks to break in a “normal horse” but she is giving herself 12 months to train Toolara.

“I spend about half an hour in the morning and at night. If you put too much pressure on them, they will turn away from you. She is letting me touch her but you have to earn their trust.”

Toolara was trapped with two other mares – one which had a foal at foot – and it is possible that Toolara is pregnant.

On the one hand it would be “wonderful to have the foal” but that could come at a cost.

“As soon as a foal is born you put your hands all over them and imprint them.

“I expect Toolara would go back to her natural instincts and not let me anywhere near the foal which would mean I was back to square one with her.”

The positive thing is that all the hard work of breaking in a brumby is rewarded because “once you bond with them, they are very, very loyal horses”.

To find out more about the SEQBA, please phone Anne or Terry on 5485 3369 or visit www.seqbrumby.com

Gympie Times


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