Not so long ago there was several people including myself asking for something to be done for the Brumbies who we as a nation decided to cull.
There was no discussion on whether we could retrain or make a sanctuary for these Australian legends. These animals are iconic in our history you just have here the first few sentences of a Man from Snowy River:
“There was movement at the station, for the word has passed around that the colt from old Regret had got away”
Whatever the case maybe we can not let this happen, these horses in Barmah have been there for 160 years, it is what our legends are made of and worst still it is leading to cruel and inhumane happenings. One such story is about a little colt now called Louie.
He was found in a dense part of the area where these horses run free. He was alone and very thin. What happened to his mother is unknown, did she abandon her foal? Was she slaughtered? It will remain a mystery but what we do know is he was found very thin and to be honest it was just before a huge amount of bad weather so they likelihood he would have survived was slim.
He was found by a member of the Barmah Brumby Preservation Group who was able to stabilize him until a foster could be found. This foster had to be dedicated, understand a brumby and be able to teach him all he needs to know to be a horse. This is not an easy feet with this horses, once united with the right person they are a friend for life who will do everything you ask, be bold, be courageous and be loyal, like no other.
One such person who could give this little colt the start he need was Annmarie who had previously had lots of experience with brumbies. I was lucky to ride Annmarie’s brumby Toby who was amazing and was so given in lots of way. Annmarie was involved in Toby’s education and she brought out the best in him. The little foal they found was unnamed but that changed quickly for at the same time Annmarie’s father had a scare with his health and they knew then with a hint from him that this colt had to be called Louie after her dad.
Julie and Annmarie liaised and there was no issue in handing over this precious cargo to Annmarie. Julie had given him a stable foundation, teaching him to feed more during the day rather than at night. Annmarie made the trek to Picola North from Melbourne South East which was a 600 km return trip – true dedication for all.
Louie’s journey is just beginning, having met him in the flesh he is a special soul and some would say he had been on this earth before. Hearts in their throat Annmarie and the others work hard to gain Louie’s trust and build up the strength he needs. Louie has made giant steps with now eating feed as well as reducing his milk in take to 500ml 4 times a day. He is learning to trust again human and horses, I mean his past shows both can not be trusted. He is filling out and showing us what he can be.
Julie may have handed over Louie to Annmarie, but her work has not stopped either. Fencing for the sanctuary like what they have over in the United States is going ahead and they have just recently finished over 4km of fencing. This sanctuary will preserve a unique breed of horse to which has impacted our heritage and will assure that Louie’s fight to survive is not in vain.
Annmarie has asked for donations and support to go to the following organizations:
The Barmah Brumby Preservation Group
The Barmah Brumby Hay Angels
Mountain Brumby Sanctuary