Bullarabs and Brumbies
Story told by Mike Hodgens and Brian Cook Here's a quick insight to brumby catching - first you need a top riding horse — one that has ability -disc brakes – power steering and can jump. Needs to stay level headed and look after itself and most important the rider . Catchers use a catching rope (lasso) and once the horse is roped a halter is placed on and horse tied to a tree. Back around 1975 Wally Webb (now deceased) of ORBOST near the SNOWY RIVER, rang mike to gain info on the bullarab dogs that mike was advertising. He was always trying to think of easier ways to catch horses while trying not to kill himself. After several calls Wally purchased a dog ,,his name was HULK . HULK proved himself in no time and a bitch was ordered her name was Woody and these 2 dogs made brumby catching a joke as they would each catch their own horse and made the job very very easy.The arabs were worked with 2 loud mouth kelpies that never shut up ,making the job easy if a horse was caught out of site – made it very easy to find. I remember Wally threating these 2 kelpies often in camp as they would bark at any movement . He used to yell ,,,ill tape your mouths up if yas dont stop , you 2 bastards . This stopped them for awhile ,,,he never ever did but there was times I reckon it came close. A litter was born from the mating of Hulk and Woody and I got 1 a bitch who was BESS and a mate of mine got a dog called STRIP. Both these dogs followed in their parents footsteps becoming top brumby dogs. All these dogs at several times through- out their lives used to catch pigs as well and did this with ease . Stories of these dogs are still told today amongst the brumby catchers for those who have heard the song that slim dusty sang ,,,looking forward ,looking back . Well looking back at these great dogs brings fond memories. The forward part never happened as we didnt have the foresight to continue on breeding them which is something I regret very much now. This story is a tribute to a mate – a horseman and a real good bloke and to the Bullarab dogs that were bred by Mike Hodgens.
Great story Brian and well told. I'd like to read any particular accounts if you can remember any. It has surprised the hell out of me what has been coming back to me. I remembered about Wally and the horses. It was the only time I was asked to supply dogs to catch horses. Once an idiot asked me about using dogs to catch crocidiles. I told him to ring Superman – he might have something for him.
Copyright © 2009 Mike Hodgens
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