Hunter Valley Brumby Association
Below are some questions regarding the Brumbies that we commonly get asked when out and about or in various meetings. If there is something that you are wondering that has not been answered here, please feel free to Contact Us and we will try our best to answer your questions.
Australia's wild horses are descendants of the first horses that came to Australia on the First Fleet. Initially only seven horses survived the journey. These mares and stallions were sufficiently hardy to survive the voyage and their progeny, as well as more horses brought to the country, further evolved in the 1800’s. After the introduction of the combustion engine, many horses either escaped or were turned loose. Natural selection and survival of the fittest enabled the horses to endure the intense heat as well as the cold and snowy conditions of various regions in this diverse country.
You can find out more about the history of Brumbies, where they are found today and the traits of each region in the book Brumby, A celebration of Australia's wild horses. Just go to the HVBA Shop tab to order your copy today (SOLD OUT)!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why own a Brumby?
Like most people when you were younger, you dreamed of owning a horse. Your dream horse was beautiful and your best friend, always there for you as you ride up the mountains or splashing in the water on the beach... Sadly for many horse owners, the truth is far from this dream. Domestic horses can cost thousands of dollars to buy, then comes all of the food, shoes, rugs, medicines and it just keeps going. Then there is the big catch - if the horse is so good, then why is it for sale? Sometimes the horse you have bought has been passed through many owners and has developed more and more people problems with each home. For many kind-hearted people it can be an expensive and dangerous nightmare that ends with a horse that can be unpredictable and down right rude. Due to the many myths and misconceptions about Brumbies, many people have never considered owning one - but slowly people are realising how different they are to domestic horses - in the best possible ways.
When you adopt a Brumby you are buying a horse that has come from the wild - born into proper social structured herds and have been raised and disciplined by their own kind. You are starting off with a clean slate - a horse that has never been mishandled by Man or taught terrible habits. Their social skills really set them apart from domestic horses. They are very respectful to people, gentle and social. Brumbies are very loyal, love to spend time with you and can be very playful!
Brumbies are incredibly tough and hardy animals, if they can survive in the snow and deserts, they will do just fine in your paddocks. We promote them as bringing the fun back into owning a horse rather than constantly putting your hand in your pocket! Brumbies require only the basic of maintenance (feet trimming, worming and teeth) and generally do not need rugs or shoes. They are also very healthy animals, they very rarely fall ill or become lame and (with appropriate care) quickly recover when they do.
Brumbies are very easily trained to any discipline, they are highly intelligent and learn very quickly and thrive on positive leadership. Whether you enjoy dressage, campdrafting, show jumping, pony club and everything in between, a Brumby can do it all! And of course you cannot get a better horse for trail riding in the bush than one that has been born there.
One of the most incredible aspects of owning a Brumby is the bond that they have with their owner - Brumbies are generally a one person horse. It is an incredibly special friendship and one that is rarely achieved with domestic horses. A Brumby quickly looks to you to become their herd leader and to offer encouragement and confidence. Once the trust is formed between you and your Brumby you will have a very faithful friend who will love nothing more than just being around you or exploring new trails. Due to this bond, Brumbies do not cope well with being shuffled from home to home - they have already suffered the trauma of losing their home, family and everything they have known, so we try incredibly hard to find forever homes for our Brumbies.
Are Brumbies safe for kids?
Brumbies have wonderful, sensible, gentle and calm temperaments and make great horses for kids and adults alike. We receive great feedback from our adoptees that they trust their Brumby with their children much more than their domestic horses who can be rude and pushy. (As with all animals, children do need supervision by an experienced adult). Brumbies make great pony clubbers and sporting horses due to their never say die attitude and desire to please. Brumbies are also fantastic for adults that don't have a lot of experience or parents getting back into horses now that the kids are in school. Attending a natural horsemanship club in your area to increase your skills and get your Brumby out and about is a great way to learn with a younger Brumby.
Are Brumbies diseased or inbred?
Free ranging horses living in the wild look after themselves very well.They know what they need in terms of nutrition and will forage for it instinctively - sticks and thorny bushes are used to break off molar caps and cut gums during teething. They eat a lot of plants that domestic horses wouldn't touch, because they know what is good for them. Brumbies will also dig for minerals. Brumbies from Guy Fawkes National Park were D.N.A tested and showed less inbreeding than is found most domestic horse breeds. Australia has the largest wild horse population on earth and therefore there is no pressure to inbreed. Mares are very loyal to their stallions, and fillies will remain with their mothers until they reach maturity and are taken by other stallions. Colts are cast from their herd when they become sexually mature and band together in bachelor herds until they are strong enough to try to steal some mares of their own.
How big are Brumbies and what colors are they?
Brumbies come in all sizes and colors and the average height is somewhere between 13 to 15 hands high. Brumbies from the mountains have very strong, stocky bodies. They are very sure footed and have excellent conformation - anything inferior died out long ago, including "hot headed" horses who didnt conserve their energy. We are often told by show judges how beautiful they are, very well conformed with amazing transitions and how calm they are in the show ring.
We don’t ride and have little experience but we have the land. Would we be suitable Brumby owners ?
Tree-changers who have always wanted to sit on the verandah and admire a couple of horses in the paddock make great Brumby owners! Brumbies make great companion horses and are low maintenance, they don’t need rugs or stables. A good, well fenced, grassed paddock with fresh water, shade trees for protection from the weather and regular health, farrier and worm checks is all that is needed. Some supplementary hay throughout the winter months may be necessary. Your Brumby will need some handling by you though and we can certainly provide handling training for you - and of course they love hanging out and talking to you! Please contact us and ask if we have any Brumbies that might be suitable.