[Ended] EOI - Brumby Clinic (Part 1)
The mob hugged the back fenceline, jogging the length of it until the lead mare decided they’d come quite close enough to the watchers at the gate, before wheeling around and turning back again. They were a sorry looking lot, well-fed to be sure, but the mud kept their winter coats caked on, thick and wiry. They were also fewer in number than when they’d started, not the whole mob had been tricked by the capture paddock and a handful of mares and their foals had been cut off. Not even the dynamic brother duo’s best efforts had been able to retrieve them on horseback, they’d simply escaped into the bush. The remaining horses, especially their stallion, had been an anxious, lathered wreck ever since.
“Well at least they travelled alright,” said Leo, standing up straight from his perch against the fence. The stallion’s ear flicked in his direction at the movement, and Leo put his hands up in apology, which only earned him a snort and another flurry of activity.*
Margarite made a tutting noise and he tipped his hat and fell silent. The elderly woman narrowed her eyes and the remaining staff held their breath. “Well you’re certainly not keeping them all,” she said.
“Of course not,” said Eli, “You’d need to get another pair of us at least to ride them all.”
“You’re not gentling them all either.”
Eli and Leo pulled a face simultaneously, but Margarite was unmoved. “If you want to start gentling brumbies speak to Harrison about breeding more colts for us to sell to cover the costs. You’ll need to find them homes.”
“Unhandled?” said Eli, frowning. “That’s a bit of an ask.”
Margarite was already turning to march back to the ute. “I didn’t say unhandled.”
Clambering up to the cabin with surprising dexterity for her age, she gave the gummy door a good slam to make sure it closed.
“How’d they take it?” asked Max, keying the ignition.
“How many are you going to let them keep?”
“Two. If they’re lucky.”
Max whistled as he turned down the track heading for the homestead. “There’s a couple of nice ones in there. Sure you don’t want more.”
A glance over at his grandmother’s face was answer enough.
“So I’m in charge of selling seven freshly caught brumbies,” Max said. “We can’t just give them away. That’s asking for trouble.”
“I know,” said Margarite. “You’re a clever boy. You’ll think of something.”
Moondara Park Brumby Clinic
This is the first part of a roleplay process to adopt one of our captured brumby mob (some shown here). Successful applicants will also be required to, as part of the adoption process, participate in a flexible roleplay thread requiring a minimum of 3 training images of the horse with your rider and a short narrative element about the gentling clinic. There will be the opportunity for more robust roleplay of scenarios as people prefer. Please do not commit to this if you will not have time in February to complete these roleplay images.
This section will help determine the most suitable candidates for the horses. Applicants will be matched based on preferred discipline, experience and personality, to best suit their horse. For the sake of realism here, you will not be applying for specific horses. Because of limited numbers, not everyone who posts here will be able to get a brumby this time, however there will be more opportunities for brumby adoptions in future. Interest in this adoption will also assist in determining how many horses should be in adoptions in future.
About the adoption:
- If successful, your staff member will be matched with one of seven brumbies.
- Ages and genders vary from yearlings to fifteen years, and there is a mix of mares and geldings. Geldings all come with 5 straws, to use if you so desire.
- Brumbies are suited to a wide range of disciplines, including many cow and western pursuits, endurance, and olympic disciplines. The herd we have spans all of these suitabilities, with different horses more suited to some than others.
- All horses come with files and profiles. The files will be given to you on the success of your application for use in the rest of the roleplay adoption process, however the profile will be leased to you until the completion of the secondary phase.
- All stables who participate and complete the challenge will be eligible for direct brumby adoption imports in future, so if you want more than one this is the gateway horse.
Expressions of interests can be posted below, addressed to Margarite Lawrence (Owner, Moondara Park) or Max Lawrence (Manager, Moondara Park). Please include the following with your application:
- The name of your staff member who would like to attend the clinic. They will ideally become the permanent rider for the horse they are paired with.
- Some background around your stable’s operation, namely experience with young, untrained or rescued horses, as well as preferred disciplines and any other relevant information.
- A brief overview of your rider and their strengths and weaknesses. Please also include things like general size considerations, as some of the brumbies are bigger (or smaller) than others.
- A photo (or a couple) of your facilities (to assess suitability for brumbies, such as strong fencing and large spaces.)
- Ideally, an application should be written in character as a roleplay response (as would be seen in a letter or email.)
POST RESPONSES BELOW, DON’T ACTUALLY SEND THEM TO THAT EMAIL (IT’S FAKE.)
End date: January 21
Dear Margarite Lawrence,
I write to you in expression to your brumby clinic held at Moondara Park in February.
My name is Hailey Carnval, i am extremly intereted in participating within your program for this wonderful
breed. Im 21 years of age and have been riding horses since the age of 3 and traning horses since the age of 16. Im approx
150cm in height so horses size is no issue for me, wether it be a big or relativley smaller type. I compete in Eventing
but have over the years done western and endurance. I am a patient and humane person who will only train with kindness
and love and put 100% effot into everything i do with a horse to make sure they have the kindest experience learning
everything about human connection.
Our property is located in Australia, 1000 acres full of lush grass and wide open paddocks, all horses have 24/7
access to pasture as well as fresh water, With 9 indoor stables and 8 outdoor stables there is plenty of room for sick/cold
horses that need an area to rest, we also have an indoor sand arena, outdoor sand arena and a sand round pen.
We have worked with numerous breeds of horses ALL with somewhat totally different personalities from eachother, the last
horse that came to us for traning was named Storm, his owner was having serious issues with him undersaddle and on the ground
from biting, striking, kicking even trying to flip himself over whilst tied up, he had a huge scar under his eye from his
past, we think strom was abused as a young chap, we soon got him to trust us and what a sweet boy he turned out to be,
lots of ground work and treats won his heart both Storm and his owner went home very happy.
I think participating in this clinc will help me become a stronger trainer and teach me more of what there is to learn
and better me as a person and also give me the biggest and most amazing oppurtunity to build a forever friendship with one
noble steed and future superstar.
Thankyou for taking the time to read my letter and i hope to participate in this wondeful event
To Margarite and Max Lawrence,
I am interested in participating in the Brumby gentling clinic you are holding. My name is Lachlan Matthews, and I work as a rider/trainer for the endurance stable Absaroka in the United States. You might be wondering how I managed to hear about this halfway across the globe, my mum actually saw your bulletin at Hurstbridge and dropped me a line.
I grew up on a ranch outside Victoria. As a kid I mostly just did trail rides, and as I got older got more into cow sports. At Absaroka, we’re pretty exclusively an endurance stable, but we do train dressage to improve how our horses carry themselves. The stable itself doesn’t have much experience with feral/wild horses, but our staff has a good range of experience. The owner/manager, Maxine Spencer used to work at an endurance stable that trained a good amount of foals. Brooke Gubler used to volunteer at a rescue right when they recovered a herd from a hoarding situation. Most of those horses were feral from birth, and Brooke and the others managed to get them adoptable. Personally, I’m a bit lacking. I have backed relatively older horses (around 5 or 6) because we believe it’s best for an endurance horse not to have any weight on them until they finish growing. Other than that, my experience has been with fairly tame horses, even if some are a bit cheeky. I do have family in Victoria though, my uncle has a good amount of experience gentling Brumbies, and now that he’s retired, he’d be more than willing to help me out.
Because we are an endurance stable, that’s ideally the kind of horse I’d want. You know, big feet for their body, good, easy, ground-covering strides. I’d prefer a younger horse, but because we don’t back until 5 or so, yearlings aren’t ideal. Four to six would be best, but I wouldn’t say no to younger or older. As for height, around 15 hands is what all our Arabians and part-breds are, so it’s what I’m used to. But, erhm, I’m not a tall man (158 cm) so shorter is alright.
I’ve attached a few pictures of our facility. The first is our mare Caddyshack against the fence. She’s 15 hands even. I thought the fence was a bit overkill when I first got here, but Maxine’s told me that our other mare Monaco has led a few escape missions. Max decided we needed to shore up our defences. In the back there you can see the turn-out shelters. The horses go in there when it’s raining or windy out. Next are general pictures of our turn-out pens. We have larger pastures, but they don’t get much use. Our horses get enough exercise in training that they wouldn’t use the whole thing anyway. It is still an option if the brumby needs it. Last is a picture of what the inside of the stall looks like. They’re 12’ by 12’ and have the standard accoutrements. None have stall toys because our horses are either training or turned out except at night, so we haven’t run into stall boredom problems.
I am looking forward to this if I am accepted. I’ve been feeling homesick lately and it would be nice to have a little reminder of home around. I wouldn’t mind seeing my folks either.
Dear Margarite Lawrence,
Hello, I hope this letter finds you well. My name is Morgan Bates, I am one of the rider and trainers at Sliding K Ranch located in Wyoming. My manger was recently on Honeymoon in Aus. when he heard about your gentling clinic. So I am writing you today to give you some information not only about myself but about Sliding K Ranch and it’s practices as well as how we do some things around here in
hopes that you will allow me to take part in such an experiance.
To begin, I am 22 years old and have been riding from before I could walk. My main role here on the ranch is the mustangs. Treyvor’s great great great grand father soul purpose of the ranch was to be a activty mustang santuary and breeding facility. I came here when I was in my teens and never left. I am the primary handler of all new mustangs we either adopt or are asked by several foundations, such
as SWAT in Colorado, to come rescue injured mustangs and either release them into our pastures if we deem them no longer able to live on free range, train for showing or ranch work, or simply hired to train mustangs for those that are having a harder time doing so themselves. We don’t use the term “breaking” here. In fact, should anyone step out of line with our training program and policies they’re asked to leave
the ranch immediately. I ride a hardy mustang named Mave, she might as well be a draft crossed with a quarter horse. I am 5 foot 7.
How the horses are handled and trained here is my faviorte part of the day. No horse is started with a trainer or handler until we see how they do with their stable mates, pasture mates, and how they are personallity wise. They live in quarentee basically until we have buddies assigned to them for in the barn and on pasture. Then we begin by seeing what type of equipment they tolerate best. One all the hard line
work is taken care of the fun starts. I work with the horses first for their first month with us. Mostly I sit in an arena with them and let them come to me. Once I learn how they act around me, I start on the gentling process which is as followed:• Hands on petting grooming, no harness/halters
• Introducing the halter slowly, all halters start off padded for the first few weeks of halter training.
• Lead training
• Bridle (again fleece has been added to all our training bridles for the horses safety)
• Saddle training normally takes some time to introduce as we start with a saddle blanket and bag of sand, then move up to more and more weight before adding a human to their back.
The facility all "To Be Gentled" horses arrive at is the grand-daddy of all stables. It has six stalls, we don't want to over-load ourselves with training/gentling horses so they all gain the most attention possible to not cause stress and fear. The stalls are large enough that should a horse suddenly get spooked they have room to move around without getting hurt. We use top bedding to provide comfort, along with the best of the best floor matting. Feed wise, each horse is provided a diet made just for them. We grow our own alfalfa and typically alto 8l the treats such as carrots and apples are grown right here on the ranch. Pastures are all bordered with a six foot high fence, though should a horse decide they're a champion jumper we have a fence that's closer to 7 foot just in case! All pastures are run through weekly to make sure there's nothing growing that should not be or anything that could harm the horses. There is no pasture smaller then 10 acres. There are run in sheds and trees to provide cover. A stream runs through several of the pastures and a small lake in one of the others. Once a horse completes all training/gentling we move them to the full facility to begin their showing careers. All horses are also paired with their personal care taker and rider! All riders are under my supervision, these will be the horses partner their entire time at the ranch. This means unless the rider chooses to leave or retire..everything they do will be done together!
My reason for applying is my lovely mustang is getting older, she's nearing 23 and has done me well in the reining world. Reining was always my passion but I am wanting to venture into the world of Endurance with a new mount. Building a bond with a horse from the ground up is how I like to keep my personal horses. I have one other horse but she's a simple range mutt as local's call her and is used for easy trail riding due to a knee injury as a foal she's unable to compete but still my wonderful baby. I do hope we are considered for the clinc. I have included several photos of our home and facilities along with this letter.Sincerely,
Wild Horse Trainer & Handler
Sliding K Ranch
Subject: EOI - Brumby Clinic
Dear Max Lawrence,
My name is Octavia Ryland, owner of Birdie Bee Farm, located in New South Wales, Australia. I have some experience in gentling mustangs. While I do not have the most experience in this, I’m always looking to gain more skill and time with horses who may not trust humans just yet. I find it very rewarding to gain the trust of an equine. I have hired a couple of trainers with more breaking experience, and they would be more than happy to assist in the process, should they be needed.
I am 20 years old, and currently looking for a permanent Endurance mount. I believe, being in Australia, a Brumby would be the perfect mount. I’ve been riding since I was 3 years old, and competing since I was 7. I’m a tiny 5’2” (approx. 157cm) so shorter horses are just fine. I have more experience riding larger equines in the three main english disciplines.
Our facilities include 2 barns (14 and and 6 stalls) several acres of open pastures (each with run-ins) and several single turnouts. While parts of our facility are still being built, we can assure our Brumby would receive top quality care. Attached, you will find a couple of shots of our barn and main barn stalls.
We will keep strick documentation of the genteling and training process, including photos of training, confirmation photos every step of the way. A feeding schedule, along with a table of turnout times, feeding times, etc.
If chosen to receive a Brumby, I will provide a full folder and charts to you so you can also track the progress, should you want it.
Hope to hear back soon,
Dear Max and Margarite Lawrence,
I am writing this letter in response to your Brumby Clinic. I suppose I should start off by telling you a little bit about myself. My name is Hera Faye and I am 26 years old. However, don't let my younger age fool you. I've been around horses my whole life. I've tamed a few wild horses as well as a few horses that have just been left to pasture most of their lives and virtually untouched. I stand at a mere 5'5" and weigh only 130lbs so a smaller horse would be no problem for me. I have trained and handled a few drafts as well so i'm capable of riding a larger horse as well. However, I do tend to have a problem with extremely laid back horses. Something with a little more up and go would be a lot easier for me to work with. If i'm chosen to get one of the brumbies he/she will compete in Reining and Cutting. As well as being spoiled beyond belief.
I haven't been at the Black Hawk Ranch long, I've only been here for a few months, but it is a large facility with lots of caring and attentive riders/staff members. There are also quite a few horses around with tons of different personalities so, the Brumby is sure to find at least one friend in our stock barn (whether it be a horse, human, or maybe even a cow!).
If I receive one of these lovely horses i'll be sure to send updates often so you can keep up on their progress with us! Hope this reaches you without trouble.
Black Hawk Ranch Rider and Trainer
Thanks a ton to Rachel Deacon for taking these pictures for me. My facilities are currently being built by her so she took pictures of the stock area for me and added a few horses to make it more lively!
Dear Magarite Lawrence/Max Lawrence
My name is Katherine Holland, and I'm writing to you in interest of your brumby clinic next month. Im 19 years old and currently am a working student at sport yard in Scotland called Windchase, where I have the great fortune to work and learn from some of the countries top international event riders. I help care for, train and compete a small team of horses at various local and affiliated events around the country. I currently compete at BE 90 but aspire to one day reach international levels on a horse of my own.
I've been riding since I was very young and have a keen interest in training young and problem horses, something that I discovered through working at a local rescue and help develop today through assisting in the training and backing of the yards youngstock. I've worked with horses of all shapes, sizes and temperments, and while my employers like to have a fairly 'german' approach to training I am very much interested in more 'natural' ways and am currently training one of my 'usual' horses to ride bitless - i'm hoping it will catch on!.
I have been lucky enough to loan some fantastic horses and ponies over the years but I have never officially owned my own horse, so if I were lucky enough to attend your clinic and 'pass the test' as it were, this would be my very first horse. I know that I would love any horse regardless of its size or gender, but I know that ideally I would prefer one that I could take Eventing with me. I'm not afraid of a bad temperament either. Now your probably wondering why a brumby of all breeds? Well I grew up on a small island called Mull (more like Dull!) alongside my four brothers and as a child their was a lot of time for imagination. I'd fallen in love with the romance and wildness of the mustangs in my fathers Western films, and one christmas my parents got me a collection of books about a particular silver stallion name Thowra... It also probably helps that I'm in Australia next month visiting family.
I've attached a few quick pictures of the yard, though we are a bit snowed under at the moment, so i've managed to find some slightly older ones from earlier in the year. I've been told that the stable was originally a coach yard, but it's been renovated over the decades and we've never had a problem (unless squaky doors count!).
Dear Magarite and Max Lawrence,
My name is Carlie Baker, this email is about your upcoming brumby gentling clinic. I'm 26 years old, and I've been studying equine health for the past few years, I have worked with and around veterinarians and horses, (many) horses. I have also been riding with Rocky Mountain Estate for almost 5 years, I compete in Eventing, Dressage, and some Show Jumping. I own two horses, both of them I raised and trained myself, one of them is named RME After Math. After Math has been with me the longest, we are competing in high levels of eventing and he has become quite successful giving himself many titles to his name. When I first got him he was a broke down, neglected, and almost starving to death yearling, if I hadn't bought him he would've been sent to the slaughterhouse. I gave him a couple years to grow, become a horse, and learn to trust people, when I finally started his training he was very flighty and tried to find a way out of almost everything, I tried my best with all different kinds of training methods but nothing worked and he got worse and worse by the day. Finally I stopped and read through books on training young horses 'naturally' and I found liberty training, I got so excited because I felt deeply that this method would be it and it was! After Math was a completely different horse, he learned to react to the slightest aids and we began communicating better together. Before getting into eventing we were coached by excellent classical dressage horsemen and that really opened up the gate for the both of us. As our journey kept going I started getting excellent opportunity's to help train young horses and ride green beans in their first competitions, I got to compete in a show jumping Grand Prix, many dressage Grand Prix's, and many high level Events which is/was crazy. As everything kept going on a little black colt was born I got the privilege to raise him, and he is now advancing in dressage competitions. If I receive a brumby I will start in the round pen getting the brumby used to the human touch and having a halter on, and then from there we’ll begin liberty training, and then of course from there I’ll introduce riding to the brumby.
I now live in Italy, I still ride with Rocky Mountain Estate, but I am now raising and rescuing horses to compete in English disciplines. Now that After Math is slowly going to be retired soon I am looking for a new Eventing or Dressage prospect, I'm approximately 5'7" so I fit most horses. I've had experience with all types of horses, lazy, hot headed, and spunky. And now you're probably wondering why I'm interested in a brumby seeing as though I mainly ride Warmbloods. The truth is, I'm so intrigued by wild horses, I remember one time seeing a herd of wild horses grazing peacefully in a valley when I was 7, it was a surreal experience and the memory of them is still so vivid, so getting the chance to have a brumby be my partner seems magical.
If I'm lucky enough to be chosen I will make sure to write about and photograph our gentling and training processes, I will take weekly conformation photo's to see how he or she's muscle and weight progresses. And I'll attach a copy of what they are being fed and their daily schedules.
Below I've attached photographs of the facilities, we have one 5 stall barn with 3 horses currently. The barn is very open and airy, the barn actually used to be a broodmare barn so the stalls are big and extra soft. The horses are turned out all day in big grass pastures and have a run in shelter to hide from the hot afternoon sun. Italy has some excellent trails and fields to keep our eventers in shape or just for lovely casual trail rides.
Thank you for such a wonderful opportunity,
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Thank you to everyone who entered! Stay tuned for horse assignments being released around the beginning of February!