The Australian "Brumby" Research Unit.

especially for horse owners to ask advice, from farriers or from other owners, all welcome, also please post details of lost or stolen horses here
PNB
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Location: Wilts, Berks, Ox, Hants, Avon.

The Australian "Brumby" Research Unit.

Postby PNB » Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:31 am

Jamie,

May be you would like to follow this BARE FOOT RESEARCH!!
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Networking project.

The Australian Brumby Research Unit

To Peter N Baker

Press officer United Kingdom Horse Shoers Assoc.

Hi Peter N Baker

Just a confirmation email to let you know you are now listed on the data base for information and networking and to check that we have recorded your details correctly and that the email address you entered is correct.

There has been a great response and growing interest in the research and information will be forwarded to you as it becomes available.

The first release of information from the UQ Wild Horse Research Unit is now available on the web site just in case you missed it, and the November 2008 Monthly Newsletters.

Thanks you for joining the Resource Database.

Warren Bolton
Web Site Manager
14 December 2008
Ref # WHdb3

Posted, PNB.

jaimep
Posts: 121
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:20 pm
Location: 50 miles of Chesterfield, mid Wales, Cornwall, jaimeexup@hotmail.com

Postby jaimep » Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:29 pm

Thank you Peter.

PNB
Posts: 2239
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2002 6:59 am
Location: Wilts, Berks, Ox, Hants, Avon.

Postby PNB » Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:18 am

The Australian Brumby Research Unit

NEWSLETTERS


November 2008


PREVIOUS ISSUES

October 2008

Web Membership

Welcome to all of the new registered members (over 50) who have signed up over the last month to receive web updates and mail outs. We are building quite a community of interested and like-minded individuals and businesses who are wanting to share the knowledge and experiences that the project is accumulating.

The research team is gathering a lot of data on foot type, nutritional analysis and DNA profile of brumbies. Unfortunately, as most of this data is being used for publication in scientific research journals, it is bound by copyright and can't be released through sources such as the web site. However, small snippets of information can be released from time to time and as articles are published we will provide links to the appropriate journal.


Nutritional analysis
We just had the first few of the brumby stomach contents analysed. The analysis costs $150 per sample and we are looking for a $6,000 sponsor to process the next 40 samples.

We have 10 samples from each of 4 regions in Australia including dry inland desert, wet Gulf savannah, dry Gulf and improved pasture in an extensive cattle grazing area in central Queensland. The protein content of the feed ranged from 4 % in the coastal Gulf country to 14 % in central Queensland winter.

We need to run all of the samples through analysis before making any conclusions, but it is safe to say that feral horses are capable of doing well in some pretty poor country. Any ideas for sponsorship for this project would be most welcome.

Equitana
The Australian Brumby Research Unit attended Equitana with the release of its small pictorial pamphlet showcasing photos of brumbies around Australia with a brief summary of brumby lifestyle and how the research is being conducted. Marg Richardson, a key team member and Tasmanian hoof care provider, coordinated the design and distribution of the booklets.

We would like to thank Marg for her endless enthusiasm and support for the project. Also a big thankyou to Richmond Concepts and Print of Devonport Tasmania for their sponsorship in printing the booklet. Thanks also to Colin Arnold for helping with this project.

Thanks must go to the many stallholders for hosting and promoting the booklet: The Australian Horse Industry Council (who also displayed posters and freeze dried hooves), Equine Veterinarians Australia, Easycare Downunder/The Barefoot Blacksmith, Natural Horse World, Australian Equine Barefoot Movement, Carole Dixon, Victorian Brumby Association and in particular the Australian Hoof Care Association who displayed posters, freeze dried hooves, the booklet and provided passes for the four days of Equitana. There was a large amount of interest and we now have 500 of the booklets around Australia promoting the research.

There are still booklets available at a cost of $5 each plus postage.

November research
We visited the Snowy Mountains to organise our research activities there in early 2009. We are working with NSW Parks to dart and track brumbies for short term activity and leaving some GPS collars on over the winter to find out where the horses go in the snow. There were plenty of horses seen in the high country and they appear very capable.

We were fortunate to have a collar on a brumby in rocky Gulf country prior to and during the first storm of the season. It had been very dry until then, and horses were feeding within 10 km of the permanent water hole. However, the GPS shows that the mare band left for the dry high country a couple of days before the storm to access good feed further away from water.

Following the storm the high country was scattered with shallow rock pools. As we drove in over the high country, the manure piles migrated higher up each day, showing that horses had left the permanent water hole and headed for the good feed which had previously been out of range.

We picked up a GPS collar from a stallion in a mare band last week in central Queensland. He had been travelling 20 km/day in a path around permanent water. His mileage consisted only of grazing travel and patrols around his mares within a 500 hectare zone, with no long treks. Stallions appear to cover many more miles than the mares that they defend.


December will be a quiet month as Chris and Brian make up for lost time with their families. However, January to March will be very busy with trips planned to the Snowy Mountains and Alice Springs desert. The brumby swap between soft and hard terrain starts early in the year. This will be challenging work involving capturing and quietening horses and trucking them off to a new location. Sponsorship is available to GPS track these horses at $1,000 per horse.

We will keep you posted.




Funding Needs
We have a new stock of freeze dried brumby feet from the central Australia rocky desert and enquiries can be made through the web site. We are also looking to market into the USA Canada and Europe our range of frozen hoofs and we are accumulating hundreds of great photos that can be converted into poster material. If you have contact in any of these localities, please forward our link to them, so if they have an interest they can get in contact with us

The need for funding of this work is continual. You can do your bit to help fund this program by sending a link to this site to anyone you feel may have an interest in the research, purchase of products, sponsorship or doantions.

Christmas cheers to all



Brian Hampson
Postgraduate PhD scholar
School of Veterinary Sciences
The University of Queensland

Phone: 041 772 1102 Email:

PNB
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Postby PNB » Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:24 am

The Australian Brumby Research Unit

NEWSLETTERS


December 2008

PREVIOUS ISSUES

October 2008

November 2008

There was only 1 trip to the bush in December, as fortunately a lot of the country is getting some much needed rain. Most of the Brumby habitats in Australia are pretty isolated and we quickly get cut off and stranded if there is a fall of a few inches or more. We went back out to the high country in central Queensland in early December to retrieve 2 movement sensored video cameras we had hidden 3 months earlier at a spring called "Hell Hole".

The spring is a small water hole (2 metres round) that trickles down through a narrow gorge from a soak in the mountains above. The site has significance to the local Aborigines so they keep it fenced to keep the stock out of the pretty gorge area. However, the horses knock down the fences as soon as they are put up to access the water.

There is a dam near by, but the Brumbies seem to prefer a natural water hole. The cameras gave us some fascinating footage of horse bands watering, with the odd stallion fight and lead mares exerting their authority. This footage will be compiled one day to produce a nice little documentary of feral horse behavior.

If any readers have an interest in compiling such a film, let me know. I have hundreds of 30 second video footage of feral horses at water and passing by tracks.

While we were in the area we came across a band stallion we had collared 4 months ago. We had been unable to locate him and assumed that his collar had been damaged. We were able to dart him and retrieve the collar. He had damaged the VHF beacon antenna, probably while fighting with other stallions to protect his ownership of his 4 mares and I consequently had been unable to get a fix on his position.

This GPS unit revealed that this stallion was the "king of the mountain" and had a small home range in the best area of feed on top of a high plateau, with a natural spring fed water hole in the centre (see attached figures). This is the first time we have seen a Brumby band stick to such a small home range. However, he still managed to average 19.2 km per day for the time he had his GPS collar active. Not bad for a horse living in a relatively small home range.

What we are finding with the GPS units is that there is a huge range of travel between individuals and between bands of horses. There appears to be a well entrenched hierarchical system of feeding grounds. The big mare bands get the good tucker and the lowly young bachelor colts have to travel further out from water for feed. This of course affects the wear on their feet.

Incidentally, we just got the first of the dietary analysis back from the lab and the area occupied by the stallion mentioned above produced 14% protein in the horses diet. The horses are of course fat and the foaling rate this year (they all seemed to foal in early November- lots of foals on the hidden video footage) appears to be close to 100%.

I hope people have enjoyed these small bits of information. Please remember that we need funding to continue and we are specifically trying to raise $6,000 at the moment to run the rest of the nutrition analysis samples.

More at the end of January.







A satellite image of the plateau which is the home
range of Stallion and mare band mentioned in the article.
The picture overlaid with the GPS fixes (black) for the first 7
days of the Stallions movements while wearing the collar. This horse travelled 19.2 km/day.



Brian Hampson
Postgraduate PhD scholar
School of Veterinary Sciences
The University of Queensland

Phone: 041 772 1102 Email:

PNB
Posts: 2239
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2002 6:59 am
Location: Wilts, Berks, Ox, Hants, Avon.

Postby PNB » Sat Mar 07, 2009 7:33 pm

The Australian Brumby Research Unit

NEWSLETTERS


February 2009

PREVIOUS ISSUES

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008




The photograph above is of a typical brumby band (1 stallion, 3 mares, 2 foals and 2 yearlings) and was taken on the desert fringe in western Queensland, Australia by the Team on our recent trip into this region.


This desert fringe country is currently under 3 feet of water from floods draining from torrential wet season rains falling a 1000 km to the north, in the Gulf of Carpentaria. The water will eventually drain into Lake Eyre, as it does generally every 10 years or so.When the water subsides the desert landscape will be transformed into lush pasture.

Our team has recently been out to film the country before and during the flood becuase this country is reported to produce severe laminitis in the feral horses which graze it. We will be back again to this country soon, to capture the contrast of the rich vegetation and dart and capture some lame horses as part of a documentary we are making on this naturally occurring laminitis.



The chronic laminitic foot shown in the inset was taken from a feral horse in the country pictured above...

As the foot shows, laminitis does occur in the "natural horse".

The foot appears to respond to the environment in which the horse inhabits. The effect of the environment on the horse's foot is the focus of the next few months work and full information on our findings to be featured in our June Newsletter.


In 3 weeks time we plan to capture our first 3 brumby mares in soft substrate country in western Queensland and transporting them to the stony substrate desert of central Australia. They will wear GPS collars proudly provided by sponsors- Marianne Albretsen of Europe, the Footloose Syndicate, and Cavello Boots.

Capturing and taming feral horses for transport and release won't be easy, but by the time the March Newsletter is out, it will be done.

We are monitoring the change in hoof type, hoof growth and wear rates and distance travelled in 2 consecutive 3 month periods in their new feral environment. This study will be repeated in July and we need another 3 sponsors for these GPS collars, so if you know of anyone interested please contact us now.

Wish us luck and we will report on how it goes in the April Newsletter.

Cheers, Brian, Chris and the team.



Brian Hampson
Postgraduate PhD scholar
School of Veterinary Sciences
The University of Queensland

Phone: 041 772 1102 Email:

PNB.

PNB
Posts: 2239
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2002 6:59 am
Location: Wilts, Berks, Ox, Hants, Avon.

Log on if you want the Pictures!!

Postby PNB » Sun Apr 19, 2009 12:34 pm

The Australian Brumby Research Unit

NEWSLETTERS





March 2009
Footloose Syndicate launches their mare into the desert

PREVIOUS ISSUES

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

February 2009


Australian Brumby Research Unit sponsors, The "FOOTLOOSE" syndicate from Tasmania
[ Rob De Soza-Carol Ferguson -Cathryn White.]
This group of horse enthusiasts sponsored the first brumby to take part in the soft to hard substrate swap experiment, launched in early April 2008.

The research team used our well developed bush and brumby skills to dart and tranquilise the paint mare in soft sandy country in Central Queensland

.Along with another mature aged mare, the horses were handled, taught to lead and float load within a day then floated back to the Vet School at The University of Queensland.

The mares feet were radiographed and photographed and marked to measure the hoof wall growth rate during their next period of release into the rocky desert of Central Australia.




The mares were released carrying GPS collars to monitor travel and position for a 3 month period. They will be recaptured and reassessed in early July. This research will give valuable insite into the effect of environment and substrate on horse’s feet.

The Team really got to love the Footloose paint mare during the time we had with her. She became so quiet and affectionate and in the end didn’t want to be released.



Marg and Adam Richardson Starting the 15km walk out into the rocky desert to release the mares at the spring fed water hole following our 3,500 km trip from Central Queensland to the desert in Central Australia The desert presents some pretty extreme country in this area. The yearly rainfall is about 125mm and feed appears sparse but is of good quality and most mares with foals are doing well at the moment

Footloose tied to our release tree at the waterhole with Brian (just visible in the tree) with the release mechanism and waited until a mare band approached.

Their stallion took an interest in Footloose, and while we darted and captured a mare from his desert band, the stallion took our mare away.

We saw her again in good health watering 4 days later.



The Cavallo boots sponsored mare
Cavallo Boots have sponsored the GPS collar for “Priscilla, Queen of the desert”. Priscilla is a 12 year bay mare captured by the research team in the Central Australian desert. She is off rocky substrate country and will be released into soft sandy country in Central Queensland, 3,500 km from home. Priscilla and her little mate Alice are currently at the Vet School, The University of Queensland, being prepped for their release.


Priscilla joins up with Adam Richardson, team Veterinarian and horse handler. Marg Richardson with her little mate Alice share a tender moment. Both brumby mares became lovely and quiet.

All 6 brumbies captured impressed with thier quietness and traveled well drinking and eating everything during the long 3 day trips from the desert to the coastal strip. Chris Pollitt doesn’t miss a thing with his high definition movie camera.
Chris is excelling in his new role as a wildlife documentary film maker.
The little mare Alice is hobbled for the initial handling after being darted. The boys had her leading within 30 mins of capture and loaded her on the float that afternoon.


Alex Connelley- Final year Vet student
[Researching the sole thickness of the brumby] Australian Brumby Research Unit team member Alex Connelley observing some of 25 horses we saw water in 10 minutes at a dam in the desert we stopped at.
Dr Don Walsh- visiting Vet from the USA.
Don has learnt to make a pretty decent damper, as well as other delicacies on the camp fire. Making up the 6 person team necessary to carry out the demanding scientific operation across 3,500 km of Australia.


The Australian Brumby Research Unit will present a one day Information session In May 2009 on treatment of laminitis and the latest brumby research. Full details will be emailed to people registered to recieve updates from this site or by clicking on this link

Brian Hampson
Postgraduate PhD scholar
School of Veterinary Sciences
The University of Queensland

Phone: 041 772 1102 Email:

PNB
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Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2002 6:59 am
Location: Wilts, Berks, Ox, Hants, Avon.

April news letter.

Postby PNB » Thu May 21, 2009 5:42 am

The Australian Brumby Research Unit

NEWSLETTERS





April 2009
SEMINAR: NUTRITIONAL STUDY: BRUMBY SWAP: UP COMIMG

PREVIOUS ISSUES

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

February 2009

March 2009
SEMINAR
The highlight of the last months work has been the Pollitt/Hampson seminars in Melbourne and Tasmania. There were 50-60 attendants at each seminar consisting of an even number of vets, farriers, hoof trimmers and horse lovers. Chris Pollitt stunned the crowd with his use of 3-D CT scan imagery to reveal the inner workings of the equine hoof in detail not previously presented.

Brian's Brumby work was presented for the first time and delighted the audience with its fresh approach and detailed analysis of horse movement and the brumby foot. Feedback from the participants suggested we need to extend the 1 day seminars to allow more high definition movie footage of wild horses and wild horse research.

Marg Richardson gave a presentation on the non-scientific side of the brumby bush trips with a funny and delightful dialogue and slide show. She also left the audience wanting more. It looks as though we may be taking the show further abroad to New Zealand and the USA in October.

We look forward to visiting more locations within Australia and overseas in 2010. Enquiries regarding seminars can be made to Marg

The team was able to meet up with Carol Ferguson, Jean Koek, and Greg Giles (Cavallo) while down south. These people have made significant contributions to the brumby research and we were able to extend our gratitude in person. We would also like to thank all those who attended the seminars and contributed financially to the brumby research.

NUTRITIONAL STUDY
As I wrtite this newletter the nutritional analysis results of the stomach contents of 50 brumbies from 4 different locations in Australia are just comimg throught . It has taken a few months to raise the money to have these samples professionally analysed but it was well worth the wait.

Full coverage of the analysis will be in next month Newsletter.



BRUMBY SWAP
The 2 desert mares were released in soft country in central Queensland on 28th April. We had the mares in captivity for less than 2 weeks but their feet had already begun to change as a result of the low mileage and soft ground during this time.
It appeared that their hoof walls had a very fast growth rate but we will confirm this when recapturing them in July/August. All mares have had their hoof walls branded in 5 locations to allow us to record growth and wear rates.
We look forward to analyzing GPS movement and behaviour (eg. watering frequency) data and comparing hoof morphology from repeat photographs and radiographs.

This is the type of data we will be concentrating on in the next 12 months of the project.



UP COMIMG
The brumby research is not always exciting and adventurous. I am spending the majority of the next 4 weeks stuck in front of the computer using digital software to measure hoof shape and form from the hundreds of calibrated photographs and radiographs taken over the last few months. It is catch up time.

The work is tedious but the spreadsheets at the end of each week are well worth the desk time.

Catch you in early June.

Cheers,

Brian



Brian Hampson
Postgraduate PhD scholar
School of Veterinary Sciences
The University of Queensland

Phone:(+614 1 772 1102 International 041 772 1102 Australia or Email:

Gay
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:24 pm
Location: Miners Rest, Victoria, Oz

Postby Gay » Sat May 23, 2009 7:26 am

:lol: I'm in Oz, have the research site bookmarked but get the updates here as I always forget to check on what's going on :grin: ironic isn't it?
They're doing some super work which will hopefully be of benefit to all.
Much appreciated the Equicast vids via Youtube Peter & it was interesting to hear the voice belonging to the name. I was born in Yorks. but your accent doesn't sound familiar? Yes, I successfully applied the EQ which resulted in yet another 2nd placing :roll: on much improved feet :thumbsup:

PNB
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Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2002 6:59 am
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Well done, Paul Tapner.

Postby PNB » Sat May 23, 2009 6:46 pm

Gay.

One of your OZ horses needed an emergency pair of Equitech Hoofcuffs fitted on the Sunday before Badminton [4 Star, 3 day], Micheal's farrier was confronted with a pair of feet severely degraded due to a growth ring reaching the critical nailing on area.

Jamie G, its farrier cast the feet and nailed a pair of side clipped fronts onto the cuffs. I suppose you would have to consider it a success, the horse completed sound into 18th place, this being its first 4 star quite some achievement.

Thanks for your comments, some of us have the cross to bear of being born Hampshire Hoggs.

PNB.

PNB
Posts: 2239
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2002 6:59 am
Location: Wilts, Berks, Ox, Hants, Avon.

May News Letter. Brumby Research.

Postby PNB » Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:46 pm

The Australian Brumby Research Unit

NEWSLETTERS





May 2009
New Zealand's Feral Horse- The Kaimanawa

PREVIOUS ISSUES

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009
Some of you may be familiar with the abstract summary of our recent study of the foot health of the Kaimanawa horse. Well I have just been back to the North Island of New Zealand to view the annual roundup of these horses and thought I would share my experience.
This was the most professional and humane horse roundup I have witnessed anywhere.

The Kaimanawa horses have grown in numbers over the past 100 years or so. They live in a unique and fragile ecosystem in high cold country which is quite wet. The average monthly rainfall is about 100 mm. Kaimanawa horses are small (adult height at the wither is 133-151cm). They are descendants of Welsh and Exmoor ponies feral since the late 1800's mixed with local farm and cavalry horses released by the New Zealand army in the 1940's.
Genetic analysis suggests that they are now more closely related to domestic Thoroughbred and local station hacks


In 1979 the population was estimated to be c.174 and there was a call for protection of this remnant herd. Formal protection was given in 1981 and this resulted in the cessation of culling and capture.

By 1994 the population was approximately 1576 and occupied 700 square kilometres of land consisting of upland plateaux, steep hill country and river basins and valleys. In the 1990's the horses were eating themselves out and it was common to find horses starving.

The fragile ecosystem was also under threat and this prompted government and community lobby groups to get together and work out how to manage the problem. They came up with a plan of removing horses from the ecologically fragile areas and reducing the herd to a sustainable level in the remaining area. They also planned to establish a second herd in a more accessible (to the public) area and to, over time, compare the sustainability of management at the two sites.


The existing site is a military training area and therefore public and management access is severely restrained. Land was not available for the second option however and since 1997 management has focussed on the herd in situ at Waiouru. Three small musters in 1993 & 1994 established the effectiveness of mustering as a management measure and in 1997 the herd was reduced to c. 500 on 200 square km of the military training area and the rest of the training area was cleared of horses. 1067 were removed and most were offered for rehoming.

Since 1997 annual musters have removed the estimated natural increase (16% - 20%) and any stragglers in the areas to be maintained horse free.


In 2009 it was agreed by the groups involved that the herd be further reduced to 300 because mustering and rehoming costs have become excessive and there are some indications that the carrying capacity of the area available to the horses is being exceeded in terms of continuing decline of some natural vegetation values. The reduction to 300 was begun this year and will be completed during the 2010 muster. 230 horses were mustered off at the beginning of June, leaving about 370.

The recent roundup only brought in 1 starving horse and this old mare was crippled with laminitis. Most horses were in good order. Conservationists and government officials report that the country is starting to transform back towards its natural state with native grasses and shrubs competing successfully with introduced pasture and weed species.


This year I witnessed a 3 day operation which mustered 240 horses (10 subsequently released) Helicopters were used to bring individual family bands down from the mountains and valleys into the trap area. The catch team has built a very professional system of yards and holding paddocks which make the job of yarding and sorting horses easy and with minimal stress to the horses. An official from the Kaimanawa Wild Horse Welfare Trust and another from the Kaimanawa Wild Horse Preservation Society were present during the whole operation.
These organisations had successfully found suitable homes this year for about 150 horses- all of the young horses and some of the older mares. (In the end there were fewer suitable horses available for rehoming than requests. People who "missed out" this year will be first in the queue next year). They had the huge task of taking applications from interested people and doing on-site visits to assess their suitability as carers for these horses. They do a lot of educating to assist new horse owners through the task of re-homing the captured horses.

Horses were separating into lots to go to various locations for re-homing by 2 experienced veterinarians operating drafting gaits off the main race. One of these vets has been with the team since it first started reducing Kaimanawa horses to a manageable number and both obviously knew their job. Sorting was done quietly and smoothly. The team of horsemen, to my surprise, were not young over enthusiastic cowboys, but mature livestock handlers who got the job done with calm patience. There was no yelling and no use of electric prodders with this team.
Officials from the New Zealand Government Department of Conservation did all of the planning, over saw the operation and footed the huge bill for the job. They coordinated the job which was clearly aimed at re-homing as many horses as possible to reduce the impact of over population on the horses and the land. These people really did have a heart for the horses and an open ear to all of the competing lobby groups involved.



Horse culling is always a very emotive issue.

Most of the readers of our web site are horse lovers who would like to see horses running free all over the world. However, there needs to be a balance between our interests and those of the native animal and native flora advocates who are correct in stating the devastating impact that horses have on the environment in which they do not belong.

The Kaimanawa situation, however, appears to be ideal.

All interested parties are sitting around the table and have an understanding and respect for each others views, and are working towards a reasonable solution.


Now For The Horses
I spent a few hours in the yards with the older stallions and mares.

These were the horses that would not be re-homed and were later loaded on to trucks and taken to a nearby abattoir for slaughter.

Several of them were quite crippled with arthritis and foot pain.

They got used to me after a while and I was able to move around slowly and take photographs of conformation and feet.

Our team had already studied the feet of 20 mature Kaimanawa horses so the poor foot health of the horses was no surprise. The horses generally are of fairly poor type with few reaching 14 hands.

Conformation is variable with most common limb deformities prominent in the population.

The wet boggy conditions under foot foster bacterial infections and greasy heel and thrush were common. The coronets and perioples were commonly inflamed, some weeping and bleeding.

Hoof conformation was the worst I have seen in any feral horse population. The typical foot was overgrown and dished with a number of laminar rings. Medio-lateral balance was poor and heels were often long and contracted. These were mature aged horses (all horses under 4 years old were re-homed) and many were aged (15-20 years).



They had apparently lived with these deformities and foot conditions all of their lives. This indicates that the environment they are living in is quite tolerant of horses with deformity and lameness.

Water and feed are plentiful so lame horses can still survive. There are no natural predators here.

My conclusion is that this is not "horse country". There is no natural selection in this habitat so there is little pressure to drive sound genetics.

Horses are basically desert fringe dwellers and are designed to travel long distances between feed and water. Natural selection does not tolerate deformity and lameness in the desert fringe environment. Natural predators also contribute to the strengthening of the good genotype.



I followed the older horses to the abattoir and took full thickness hoof samples from the dorsal wall to assess the presence of laminitis by histology. I also took hoof wall blocks which will be analysed for hoof wall moisture content. These results will be published in the near future.

To conclude, I would like to reiterate the professionalism of all of the participants in this unfortunate but necessary operation. It was carried out humanely with great compassion. Special thanks go to the hard working volunteers who rehome the Kaimanawa horses.





Brian Hampson
Postgraduate PhD scholar
School of Veterinary Sciences
The University of Queensland

Phone:(+614 1 772 1102 International 041 772 1102 Australia or Email:

Gay
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:24 pm
Location: Miners Rest, Victoria, Oz

Postby Gay » Sun Jun 14, 2009 5:00 am

Thanks yet again Peter :lol: . I've re-signed for the newsletters in the hope I'm back on their email list!!
Here's the link in case anyone wants a more detailed squizz:
http://www.wildhorseresearch.com/
Their aim is actually to "improve the foot health of the domestic horse" rather than being a 'barefoot thing'!
I think the NZ study just goes to show that horses don't do well in an environment they didn't evolve in, which is possibly a fact for any 'flight' or 'preyed upon' species. Pretty trivial piece of insight from me wasn't it? :roll:

"Jamie G, its farrier cast the feet and nailed a pair of side clipped fronts onto the cuffs. I suppose you would have to consider it a success, the horse completed sound into 18th place, this being its first 4 star quite some achievement."
Yes, I'd have to agree with that, JG obviously did a superb 'emergency' patch up job. Unfortunately there's so much pressure these days, to keep these high achievers competing virtually year round that their feet eventually suffer no matter who does the shoeing. I'm sure most farriers would love a chance to correct problems over a few months period whilst the horse is resting but nowadays, pressure demands it just doesn't happen :( . All the more reason to arm oneself with enough foot knowledge to be able to select the most suitable farrier available.

PNB
Posts: 2239
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2002 6:59 am
Location: Wilts, Berks, Ox, Hants, Avon.

One of your connections, maybe??

Postby PNB » Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:23 pm

Gay,

Do you ever catch up with Peter W, overseeing/overarching farrier, Racing Club Victoria. He together with an English farrier was my guest at Sir Percy's Derby Meeting. I know he lost his "Silk Top Hat" when his home burnt down. That's the last news I had of him.

I can replace the HAT.

My e/mail, pnbaker@tiscali.co.uk , would much appreciate a rain check!!

PNB.

Gay
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:24 pm
Location: Miners Rest, Victoria, Oz

Postby Gay » Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:28 pm

The only one I know of is Peter Stafford, Farriers Supervisor of Victoria Racing (name change!). I've only met him once when he was checking plates at the races & I just 'happened' to be using tips :) . He didn't appear overly impressed & struck me as a grumpy old git BUT it could've had something to do with the fact I was a small part of a failed 'option to race barefoot' submission which was put together by a Canberra vet who got it passed for endurance :lol: .
I can understand where 'they're coming from' with the safety & horses' foot health factor but don't think 'they' realise how few, if in fact any (bar me) actually would race bare were it allowed. I'm not one of the 'zealot' types with the motto "they can all work bare, any discipline, surface, environment etc. given time". Simple fact is, they can't!! Mine work on manicured surfaces & live in grassy paddocks most of the time & whilst it does get too wet (bit similar to England) a lot of the time, I've found thru' a lot of experimenting, that they're all (mine I mean) sounder without shoes than they ever were with, having spent 35 yrs riding/training shod ones. One of ours presently couldn't handle even a slightly damp track whilst shod but now bare, even gets thru' heavy if need be, they're just that bit more surefooted & seem to recover quicker from a slip than the shod guys. Now it DOES sound like I'm preaching but I'm only saying what's working for me & mine!!! Don't worry, the odd clients' horses have had to be shod as there's no way they could go straight into work with feet they arrive with!
In case anyone's wondering what 'style' of trim, I guess it's closest to the La Pierre one inasmuch that they definitely need some wall height/thickness all around for both comfort & traction.
I'll give Peter a bell for you & see if it is in fact he, who stayed with you & pass on your email addy if it is. Cheers for now.

PNB
Posts: 2239
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2002 6:59 am
Location: Wilts, Berks, Ox, Hants, Avon.

Peter Strafford.

Postby PNB » Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:12 am

Gay,

That is my man!! I only heard his name once!! Memory failure!!

Please give him my email,

Regards PNB.

Gay
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:24 pm
Location: Miners Rest, Victoria, Oz

Postby Gay » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:23 am

I've just put the 'phone down having spoken to him for far too long ( :cry: $$$$$$) :lol: . He was totally 'on side' once I'd made mention of your name, how we've met in cyberspace & my reasons for checking out sites such as this (foot health etc). Think he's said he's intending a visit next year but anyway, here's his addy rhonddahunt at bigpond.com & you can catch up again, it was bugging him that he'd forgotten your brothers' name!! I'll send your addy to him now. Cheers.

PNB
Posts: 2239
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2002 6:59 am
Location: Wilts, Berks, Ox, Hants, Avon.

Ref: My Brother.

Postby PNB » Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:27 am

Gay,

Cheers. "Jerry".

PNB.

PNB
Posts: 2239
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2002 6:59 am
Location: Wilts, Berks, Ox, Hants, Avon.

Postby PNB » Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:02 pm

The Australian Brumby Research Unit

NEWSLETTERS





June 2009
NUTRITIONAL STUDY





PREVIOUS ISSUES

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009
Specimens are still away being analysed in more depth for water soluble carbohydrate content, but the basic nutritional results are back.

The graph below shows a broad range of protein concentration between the 5 different feral horse environments.




NOTES:

The habitats are all in Australia and range from the tropical coast to the central Australia desert.
Protein content was correlated well to body score condition which is no surprise.
The paper is being written at the moment and will be distributed when completed.

KAIMANAWA HORSE STUDY

The lamellae histology of the Kaimanawa horses is still being analysed but from gross appearance there were at least 2 of the 50 horses showing signs of laminitis.

The photo adjoining shows 1 of these horses; a middle age mare that was quite lame.

I will give a more detailed case study of this mare in the months to follow.

There has been some confusion in interpretation of the Kaimanawa scientific paper abstract which was released with the last newsletter.

The conclusions section states "Contrary to popular belief, the feral horse foot type should not ideally be used as a model for the domestic horse foot."


This statement when read outside of the entire text of the paper is perhaps misleading. We do not suggest that ALL feral horse feet are not good representatives of healthy feet, but that the Kaimanawa feral horse population, specifically, have suboptimal foot health and should not be viewed as ideal models. This statement is discussed in detail in the academic paper now relased which has been accepted for publication with the Australian Veterinary Journal.



ONGOING RESEARCH

Within the next month the team will have swapped a total of 12 brumbies between soft and hard substrate habitats and will have retrieved the first 2 mares to determine the effect of the new environment on their foot form, sole and hoof wall depth, and hoof wall growth rate. We will also have our first long term GPS tracking results back which will be interesting in terms of daily travel, watering frequencies and habitat use. I look forward to conveying those results.

Please don't be afraid to email questions and comments about any of this work.

We are developing some great contacts and learning from people who have approached us through the web site.



Brian Hampson
Postgraduate PhD scholar
School of Veterinary Sciences
The University of Queensland

Phone:(+614 1 772 1102 International 041 772 1102 Australia or Email:

PNB
Posts: 2239
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2002 6:59 am
Location: Wilts, Berks, Ox, Hants, Avon.

Postby PNB » Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:08 pm

Anyone following this project.

For :- Details of reports now published, follow the link at "The Australian Brumby Research Unit", Web site, July news letter!!

PNB.

Gay
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:24 pm
Location: Miners Rest, Victoria, Oz

Postby Gay » Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:19 pm

There'll be another newsletter out shortly as they've just returned from their latest trip. A member of a local forum accompanied them & posted an interesting (I thought anyway :roll: ) & thought provoking discussion with a member of the 'crew':

"Marg Richardson wrote:
> We were fortunate again to spend the night at Don Walsh's flat at the Queensland Uni the final night we stayed in Brisbane and we discussed many things over tea and early the next morning. One thing he threw into the equation was something that I have never thought about and thought I would share with you guys.
> How much impact does hormones in domestic horses affect their hooves? Given that wild horses are living natural cycles, the mares are always in foal/suckling, the stallions are always working at either looking after and serving or trying to gain mares. How much does the mare constantly cycling every three weeks affect her feet - when in nature this would never happen. How much does the sedentary lifestyle of the gelding and the lack of hormones affect the gelding?
> Don thought this was a great study idea too - for scientist specialists in that field and felt it a very valid thing in hoof health. He talked about the idea of doing comparitive studies on this.
> So many things to think about outside the square. I just love talking to Don and listening to his fair and reasonable discussions. He too is a barefoot advocate and I urge everyone to check out his website for his foundation that is very actively raising money for laminitis research. http://www.animalhealthfoundation.com/
> cheers
> Marg

PNB
Posts: 2239
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2002 6:59 am
Location: Wilts, Berks, Ox, Hants, Avon.

Postby PNB » Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:02 am

The Australian Brumby Research Unit

NEWSLETTERS





July 2009


PREVIOUS ISSUES

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

The team has had a really busy few months getting the 12 brumby mares swapped between hard and soft substrate country. While releasing the last 4 mares in the desert we caught up with Christine/Footloose, the first coastal mare to be released in the desert.

It was good to find her and bring her back home. She had obviously had a hard 3 months in the desert and had lost a fair bit of condition. She is home with me now putting weight back on again.

On the next trip back East we picked up our first desert mare, Alice, to be swapped to the soft country.

I have the official hoof growth and wear rates from Christine/Footloose (soft to hard country) and Alice (hard to soft country).





AAdam and Marg
Backbone of the ABRU


There will be 5 more pairs of horses recaptured in early October and the study will be complete. The figures from the first pair are interesting:

Christine's growth rate was twice that of Alice. Christine's wear rate was more than 3x that of Alice and exceeded her growth rate. At that rate of wear she would have run out of hoof in the next few months.





Christine before Christine on sand Christine 3 months on rock After 3 months on rock



Christine's sole depth slightly reduced (wear exceeded growth) and her hoof wall depth/thickness did not change proximally but reduced slightly distally (due to rolling wear).
Alice did not change her feet much. They are still looking robust, just a little longer. Christine's feet, however, had totally transformed from long splayed feet to stout hard feet. They look great but the data tells us they were in a state of imbalance, with wear exceeding growth

Christine/Footloose is a brumby, bred and raised in rough bush land. However, she was not coping with the change in substrate and the change of environment, including diet.



Brian, Morgan and Number 4





Brian, Morgan and Number 4


Seeing the condition that Christine/Footloose was in following 3 months in the new environment makes us relieved that we didn't put domestic horses into this environment as was initially planned.

The University Animal Ethics Committee, in their wisdom, rejected the submission, deciding in favour of the brumby swap option.

This should be a warning to anyone considering letting their old faithful horse let loose to run with the brumbies/mustangs in retirement.

It appears (at least from our first recapture) that some horses may not cope well with such a drastic change in environment.

The research team will be back in the desert in September/October to collect the remaining 5 mares in the swap program.

We have shortened the duration of the desert swap from 12 to 8 weeks to reduce the chance that the mares will deteriorate during their stay.

During the next visit we will be giving the traditional landowners, the Aboriginal men, a brumby starting clinic, and will be teaching them to muster cattle on their own brumby horses.




Pony rides in the desert (day 8 post capture




Chris and his camera- wait to see the movie!


These men are keen to get back into the horseman/cattlemen lifestyle of previous generations and we are delighted to assist them. We need donations of jeans, saddles, bridles, halters, hats and any other gear or money that can help these guys get back in the saddle

We have already had one great sponsor from Ruth Davies of Redback Boots, an Australian work boot manufacturer, who has sent us a pair of work/riding boots for each of the 10 men doing the brumby starting clinic. It is great to see an Australian company, established in 1989, gets behind the efforts of the Aboriginal people to assist putting their lives back together. Thanks to Ruth and the team at Redback Boots.

If anyone has any sponsorship ideas or pledges please contact Brian .





4 mares head off to the desert


The Aboriginal people of central Australia have been really great to the Brumby Team, allowing us access to their land, their horses and acting as great guides in this extreme land.

A feature of the last field trip was to ride a brumby into the desert while leading another. This was to show the Aboriginal stockmen how quiet and trainable the horses are as well as having a saddle horse handy if needed. We chose a 2 year old paint mare from central Queensland who is part of the swap program.

"Morgan" was handled and ridden on day 2 after darting and capture, ridden outside on day 3 and by day 8 was cantering through the desert on a loose rein leading another central Queensland brumby mare through their new temporary home range.

Our veterinarian, Adam Richardson and I are the main horse handlers, particularly for the initial rough work in the 30 minutes following darting and capture. Adam is a great horseman, equally as good with the rough horses as he is with the quiet work in getting day 1 brumbies on the horse float for their first time.



Desert water hole






Magdalena, ABRU Masters student, and Blondie-day 1


Adam has most of the brumbies leading on a loose rein within 30 minutes of capture. We then walk them out of the desert for 4-5 hours to the nearest road. Generally by the time we get to the road he has the horses quiet and trusting enough to float load within 5-10 minutes. Adam's wife Marg is also a great horsewoman and has no trouble leading a newly caught brumby out of the desert. Without this great couple from Tasmania the capture and release study may not have been possible.





The next newsletter may be a way off yet. Following a busy trip to the desert in Sept/October to recapture the last mares,

I am heading for the USA for a lecture.

I will try to get the results of the swap program out before then but I can't promise anything.

There are currently freeze dried desert brumby feet available for purchase.

Profits are a direct donation to the ongoing research.




Disagreement over mares



Brian Hampson
Postgraduate PhD scholar
School of Veterinary Sciences
The University of Queensland

Phone:(+614 1 772 1102 International 041 772 1102 Australia or Email:

PNB
Posts: 2239
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2002 6:59 am
Location: Wilts, Berks, Ox, Hants, Avon.

Upcoming Event

Postby PNB » Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:27 am

Hi Folks, The Australian Brumby Alliance is now circulating its Fertility Control Seminar details/Registration form for 24 Nov 2009, and asks if you could circulate the info as widely as you feel you can






To Peter N Baker WHi 220





Hi Peter N





The Australian Brumby Alliance is planning a Fertility Control Seminar for 24 Nov 2009, and The Brumby Research Unit has agreed to support this Seminar by alerting all our registered contacts to this upcoming event





Details of the flier and Registration Form are now on our web site and queries can be address directly to Jill Pickering email pickjill@optusnet.com.au, or phone 03 9428-4709.




Regards





Brian Hampson

PNB
Posts: 2239
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2002 6:59 am
Location: Wilts, Berks, Ox, Hants, Avon.

Postby PNB » Mon Nov 09, 2009 4:14 pm

The Australian Brumby Research Unit

NEWSLETTERS





November 2009 Christine- the "brumby swap study" mare
PREVIOUS ISSUES
October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009
The Newsletter details the GPS detail of the mare Christine released into the desert country and retrieved after nearly 4 months (see July Newsletter for full details of the program).

Christine spent 116 days in the desert and travelled a total of 1002 km, averaging 8.6 km/day. She had some big days where she travelled up to 30.8 km and several days around 20 km. The longest period without water was an amazing 7 days spent in the better feed country in the NE corner. (See map below).

Christine spent many days conserving energy and feeding slowly and would only move along at about 2 km/day. Her GPS track indicates, she spent a great deal of time hanging near the water at the spring.

This was not a good survival strategy as there is no feed within several km of the water and it is a high horse traffic area. She would have been alone during these periods and would have been pestered by colts and stallions constantly.

It appears from her travel that she was disoriented and hung on the water for comfort.

Her daily travel declined over time which we interpret as paralleling her decline in condition. The poor health of Christine and the other mares released in the desert has prompted us to further investigate the reasons for the deterioration in health with relocation.

This study will be conducted by Magdalena, our new team member, over the next 2 years.


GPS Map




Liberated Horsemanship- Gateway Clinic and USA Seminar
In October I attended a natural hoof care clinic conducted by Liberated Horsemanship in the USA.

This was a great experience for me. I learnt a great deal about caring for horses and their feet from this team of knowledgeable and very experienced horse people. We traded a great deal of information during the 1 week course. I came home and re-trimmed all of my horses (all 15 of them!) and felt confident that I was doing the best thing for them. I would encourage people to attend this clinic, or one similar, no matter what level of experience or knowledge they have.

Several of Liberated Horsemanship's field instructors attended the seminar to assist with students learning but also to continue their own education. This is an organisation that has the welfare of the horse as its main priority. The financial commitment they made to take me to the States is proof of their commitment to scientific advancement and continuing education in equine care.

During the USA visit I gave a 6 hour presentation of the teams work in St Louis.

Liberated Horsemanship fully sponsored my trip to the USA for this purpose and I am greatly appreciative to Bruce Nock and his team for allowing me the opportunity to travel there and speak.

Reviews of this seminar can be found on their web site .


Last desert trip
Chris Pollitt, Rohan Maclean and myself travelled to the desert in early October to continue the brumby swap study and to get some movie footage of new born foals traversing the rough desert country.

After observing this foal being born 4 hours earlier Chris saw the foal attacked by a challenging stallion. The mare was run off to join his band, leaving the foal behind.



Tough country for a 1 day old foal in the rocky desert.


Also while we were there we did a brumby horse starting clinic for the local Aboriginal men. This went really well and we had the 2 desert mares ridden at the end of the first day.





After capture - Rohan teaching a mare to lead

The other has been lead and taught to tie to a tree


3 days later.

David, one of the Ukaka men who attended the horse handling - clinic

sitting on a very relaxed mare's back



New Zealand Seminars

Chris Pollitt and myself will be conducting 1 day seminars in

Christchurch on the 30th January 2010 and
Auckland on the 31st January 2010.
Email Thorsten Kaiser or phone 03 6690310 for more information. OR Register Online

Chris and I are happy to do some traveling next year when we can fit it in, so if an organisation can rally a crowd of at least 50 participants we will put on a 1 day seminar. Just Email me for enquiries.



Desert Brumby Movie
Chris Pollitt spent the majority of the last month editing the first of the Brumby movie series titled "The Desert Brumby".

This movie is 35 minutes of educational dialogue accompanying some incredible footage and desert scenery. The movie will be launched in the USA later this week and will be on sale for Christmas to raise research funds for next year. More about the movie in December.

December work
We will be travelling to the soft sandy country in central Queensland to recapture the stony desert mares released there several months ago to observe the effect of soft substrate on the hard rocky foot type. I will report on this in late December.
Until then,
Cheers,
Brian

PS. Please don't hesitate to email me to discus any issues relating to our research. I am supplying minimal detail in these newsletters and I don't want people to misinterpret our results. Constructive discussion is always very welcome.




Brian Hampson
Postgraduate PhD scholar
School of Veterinary Sciences
The University of Queensland

Phone:(+614 1 772 1102 International 041 772 1102 Australia or Email:

PNB
Posts: 2239
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2002 6:59 am
Location: Wilts, Berks, Ox, Hants, Avon.

Postby PNB » Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:34 pm

The Australian Brumby Research Unit

NEWSLETTERS



December 2009 THE DESERT BRUMBY DVD
PREVIOUS ISSUES
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
Nov 2009
The big news this month is the commercial release of our first research documentary on DVD "The Desert Brumby".

Following a limited pre-viewing of the DVD over the past 2 months we are now releasing the DVD to the general public.

You can now view a promo on our site or You Tube. Copies of the DVD can be purchased from our site or persons residing in the USA can purchase the DVD locally, online from Hoof Watch web site.

The DVD attracted a great deal of attention from those who purchased the introductory edition copies. It will be a great teaching resource as well as being fascinating viewing for horse people.

If you support this research the please send this link to all your friends or anyone that may be interested asking them to do the same. All proceeds from the sales of the DVD go back into the Brumby research.



INTERNATIONAL WILD EQUID CONFERENCE
The ABRU have finalised the academic and supporting activities program for the June 2010 desert conference.

The conference is a must for serious wild horse enthusiasts and will be a mix of knowledge exchange, hands-on wild horse experience and fun in the central Australian desert.

We are hosting the conference in the centre of the team's main brumby research location and intend sharing our knowledge, skills and experiences with conference participants.

This will be a truly international experience with speakers and participants from all over the world. It is set in a great location in the heart of the Australian desert in the middle of winter.

It may get down as low as zero degrees at night but the days will be a lovely 25 degrees Celsius, perfect for desert walking and wild horse and camel watching.

Full details on registration for those interested. - Number are limited so don't delay if you want to participate in this conference.

NEW ZEALAND SEMINARS
Chris and I are currently busy in New Zealand with seminars in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland

For information on these seminars email me or phone 041 772 1102


TEMPE DOWNS CLINICS AND FURTHER RESEARCH
We have more desert brumby research in March 2010 and have the pleasure of Geoff Goodson, a farrier and horseman from the USA, coming out for 4 weeks to assist with research.

Geoff will also assist me with horse and cattle mustering clinics for the indigenous men on Tempe Downs, while we are in the area.

The Aboriginal people have greatly assisted our research by kindly providing access to their land and allowing us to work with their stock (some 20,000 feral horses). We are more than happy to give back to them byway of improving their working skills.

Any donations to help the indigenous desert people are always most welcome.



ACADEMIC PAPERS
I have been hard at work writing papers towards my PhD, some of which we have already been uploaded to the this site.
1. Distances travelled by feral horses in 'outback' Australia.
2. Sole depth and palmar surface weight bearing characteristics of the Equine foot.
3. Variation in the primary epidermal lamellar density between the hooves of Australian feral and domestic horse fetuses.

I will be giving seminars in Scandinavia, England and Scotland in May 2010 and North America and Canada in August 2010.

Please contact me if you have an interest about specific dates and or presentation locations.

Best wishes to all for 2010.



Brian Hampson
Postgraduate PhD scholar
School of Veterinary Sciences
The University of Queensland

Phone:(+614 1 772 1102 International 041 772 1102 Australia or Email:

PNB
Posts: 2239
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2002 6:59 am
Location: Wilts, Berks, Ox, Hants, Avon.

Postby PNB » Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:40 am

The Australian Brumby Research Unit

NEWSLETTERS





November 2009 Christine- the "brumby swap study" mare
PREVIOUS ISSUES
October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009
The Newsletter details the GPS detail of the mare Christine released into the desert country and retrieved after nearly 4 months (see July Newsletter for full details of the program).

Christine spent 116 days in the desert and travelled a total of 1002 km, averaging 8.6 km/day. She had some big days where she travelled up to 30.8 km and several days around 20 km. The longest period without water was an amazing 7 days spent in the better feed country in the NE corner. (See map below).

Christine spent many days conserving energy and feeding slowly and would only move along at about 2 km/day. Her GPS track indicates, she spent a great deal of time hanging near the water at the spring.

This was not a good survival strategy as there is no feed within several km of the water and it is a high horse traffic area. She would have been alone during these periods and would have been pestered by colts and stallions constantly.

It appears from her travel that she was disoriented and hung on the water for comfort.

Her daily travel declined over time which we interpret as paralleling her decline in condition. The poor health of Christine and the other mares released in the desert has prompted us to further investigate the reasons for the deterioration in health with relocation.

This study will be conducted by Magdalena, our new team member, over the next 2 years.


GPS Map




Liberated Horsemanship- Gateway Clinic and USA Seminar
In October I attended a natural hoof care clinic conducted by Liberated Horsemanship in the USA.

This was a great experience for me. I learnt a great deal about caring for horses and their feet from this team of knowledgeable and very experienced horse people. We traded a great deal of information during the 1 week course. I came home and re-trimmed all of my horses (all 15 of them!) and felt confident that I was doing the best thing for them. I would encourage people to attend this clinic, or one similar, no matter what level of experience or knowledge they have.

Several of Liberated Horsemanship's field instructors attended the seminar to assist with students learning but also to continue their own education. This is an organisation that has the welfare of the horse as its main priority. The financial commitment they made to take me to the States is proof of their commitment to scientific advancement and continuing education in equine care.

During the USA visit I gave a 6 hour presentation of the teams work in St Louis.

Liberated Horsemanship fully sponsored my trip to the USA for this purpose and I am greatly appreciative to Bruce Nock and his team for allowing me the opportunity to travel there and speak.

Reviews of this seminar can be found on their web site .


Last desert trip
Chris Pollitt, Rohan Maclean and myself travelled to the desert in early October to continue the brumby swap study and to get some movie footage of new born foals traversing the rough desert country.

After observing this foal being born 4 hours earlier Chris saw the foal attacked by a challenging stallion. The mare was run off to join his band, leaving the foal behind.



Tough country for a 1 day old foal in the rocky desert.


Also while we were there we did a brumby horse starting clinic for the local Aboriginal men. This went really well and we had the 2 desert mares ridden at the end of the first day.





After capture - Rohan teaching a mare to lead

The other has been lead and taught to tie to a tree


3 days later.

David, one of the Ukaka men who attended the horse handling - clinic

sitting on a very relaxed mare's back



New Zealand Seminars

Chris Pollitt and myself will be conducting 1 day seminars in

Christchurch on the 30th January 2010 and
Auckland on the 31st January 2010.
Email Thorsten Kaiser or phone New Zealand +64.3 6690310 for more information. OR Register Online

Chris and I are happy to do some traveling next year when we can fit it in, so if an organisation can rally a crowd of at least 50 participants we will put on a 1 day seminar. Just Email me for enquiries.



Desert Brumby Movie
Chris Pollitt spent the majority of the last month editing the first of the Brumby movie series titled "The Desert Brumby".

This movie is 35 minutes of educational dialogue accompanying some incredible footage and desert scenery. The movie will be launched in the USA later this week and will be on sale for Christmas to raise research funds for next year. More about the movie in December.

December work
We will be travelling to the soft sandy country in central Queensland to recapture the stony desert mares released there several months ago to observe the effect of soft substrate on the hard rocky foot type. I will report on this in late December.
Until then,
Cheers,
Brian

PS. Please don't hesitate to email me to discus any issues relating to our research. I am supplying minimal detail in these newsletters and I don't want people to misinterpret our results. Constructive discussion is always very welcome.




Brian Hampson
Postgraduate PhD scholar
School of Veterinary Sciences
The University of Queensland

Phone:(+614 1 772 1102 International 041 772 1102 Australia or Email:

jaimep
Posts: 121
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:20 pm
Location: 50 miles of Chesterfield, mid Wales, Cornwall, jaimeexup@hotmail.com

Postby jaimep » Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:04 am

Brian is giving a presentation at Aberdeen Scotland on 1st May if anyone is interested.

as follows:-

Brian Hampson
Australian Brumby Research Unit
School of Veterinary Science
The University of Queensland


ONE DAY SEMINAR - SATURDAY 1st MAY 2010 at SAC, ABERDEEN CAMPUS, CRAIBSTONE ESTATE, ABERDEEN

Tickets £50 from dawn@barefootworks.co.uk
Mobile 07796 116571

• Wild horses worldwide

• Background on brumbies in Australia

• Domestic and wild horse movement through GPS studies

• The brumby foot- morphology and radiography

• The brumby footprint though pressure plate loading studies

• Foot pathology in feral horses

• Sole depth and its relation to weight bearing

• Brumby nutrition in wilderness environments

• Hoof moisture content in wet and dry habitats

• The effect of environment on horses feet

• Hoof wall architecture - the lamellae and outer hoof wall

• What it all means for equine husbandry and foot care


Hosted by:

WWW.BAREFOOTWORKS.CO.UK

Day starts at 9.00 and will finish at 5.00pm (or whenever the questions finish!) tea/coffee and lunch included in ticket price.

PNB
Posts: 2239
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2002 6:59 am
Location: Wilts, Berks, Ox, Hants, Avon.

Postby PNB » Fri Dec 17, 2010 7:31 am

Newsletter Christmas, 2010
THE AUSTRALIAN BRUMBY Research Unit
Brian’s news
Apologies that this newsletter has been slow in coming. I have been busy
writing my thesis and Chris Pollitt has been busy with ongoing laminitis research and
a long trip out in the desert filming the results of recent record rainfall. Most of
Australia has recorded high rainfall over the past 6 months and the country is looking
good. This is great for the brumbies of course and their population is expected to
increase well above the 1.2 million mark this year. Congradulations to Magdalena
Zabek who has initiated her Masters project looking at the effects of high rainfall on
population growth following a 10 year drought. The Brumby Research Unit will
continue research in 2011 through Magdalena’s project. Also, I have 2 final year
veterinary students from Scotland who will be studying the digital cushion and
collateral cartilages of soft versus hard substrate horses. A German honours student
will be studying feral horse behaviour in the desert group. I also have some research
commencing soon with Debra Taylor and Pete Ramey looking at palmar heel
structure improvements with rehabilitation.
Christine’s foal is a colt and growing well. As soon as he is weaned we will be
taking her back to where she came and releasing her, keeping her foal as a
reminder of her great input into our project.
The PhD is almost finished. I will be selling electronic copies of the thesis for
$50 and hard copies for $100 plus postage. The layout of the thesis is at the end of
this newsletter.
Those of you who went to the desert conference in June will know the Ukaka
community, the local Aboriginal people from the desert country. We are hosting 20 of
the kids aged 6 to 20 at UQ in Brisbane in January as a Christmas treat. They will be
attending all of the theme parks, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Museum, Science
centre, Australia Zoo…….over a 7 day period. This is part of the ongoing fantastic
work that Ian and Lyn Conway do to educate the kids in their community. By the
way, the desert conference will be on again this year and will most likely have a foot
theme with practical as well as lecture work, plus the fun tours through the desert.
Brumby tours are kicking off in February straight after The Functional Hoof
Australian Conference Feb 2-5 www.thefunctionalhoof.com. We will be in the desert
every month with tours in 2011 and have a range of trips to suit everyone. There is a
rumour that Monty Roberts will be out mid year to do one of the “catch a brumby,
break him in and ride him through the desert” tour.
We still have plenty of freeze dried brumby feet for sale as well as the DVD “The
Desert Brumby”.
Magdalena’s corner
Hello everybody,
I am suspecting that the ABRU members are familiar with my involvement with
the research team. Through my photography I used to take you to remote locations
of Australia, and share my photographic memories of wild horses. From 2011 I will
also provide you with information collected through my own research work, as I am
going to spend the next 2 years on studying the feral horse’s population in the semiarid
area of Central Australia. My research project is going to determine the impacts
of recent favourable environmental conditions into the feral horse population growth.
Project description
From 2000 – 2009, there was a severe drought throughout central Australia.
As a result, there was limited food and water available for feral horses, which may
have resulted in a lower population growth. In 2010 the study area received the
largest rainfall in many years and more rain is predicted over the next few months. It
has resulted in increased water and an abundance of vegetation, in locations that
were previously inaccessible for feral horses. We believe that improved conditions
will increase population numbers due to an increase in overall fertility and survival.
In this study, our team will determine the composition of studied feral bands and
investigate the change in population growth by assessing live foals in 2011 and
compare it with the foaling rate of 2010. It is believed that the foaling rate in 2011
which followed favourable conditions will exceed the average annually population
growth, currently estimated around at 20%.
Information from this study will provide valuable information about fluctuations
in numbers of feral horses due to changes in availability of food and water, which is
crucial knowledge when implementing population control methods. The study will
also contribute to the development of better welfare outcomes for feral horses. The
sudden increase in numbers will have an enormous impact on the feral population
when the favourable climatic conditions change because the fragile semi-arid
ecosystem is not able to meet the food and water requirements of feral animals
during periods of less favourable conditions. When resources become scarce due to
drought, feral horses are forced to travel ever increasing distances to obtain
adequate food and water, and, as a result, many die. We believe that the knowledge
may be employed to adjust current management techniques as active management
of feral horses is necessary to reduce suffering and death during periods of drought
in Central Australia.
During my research my time will be spent looking at wild horses through a
camera. I will present the data for you through my photography.
Please refer to my personal website for more information about my art work on
www.magdalenas-art-work.22web.net. All funds collected from the sale of my art
work will directly support my project.
ABRU team wishes you Merry Christmas
and Happy New 2011 Ye

PNB
Posts: 2239
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2002 6:59 am
Location: Wilts, Berks, Ox, Hants, Avon.

Postby PNB » Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:20 am

The Australian Brumby Research Unit



To Peter N Baker
Membership Number
No WHi 220



Hi Peter N



The February 2001 newsletter is now available on the web site



The Newsletter details the very successful first Brumby Safari delivered by the members of the Australian Brumby Research Unit.



All Newsletter can now also be accessed via the Brumby Safari web site as well





Regards

Warren Bolton

Web Site Manager

Saturday, 5 March 2011

PNB
Posts: 2239
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2002 6:59 am
Location: Wilts, Berks, Ox, Hants, Avon.

Postby PNB » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:27 am

To Peter N Baker
Membership Number
No WHi 220



Hi Peter N



Brian thought follower of the Brumby Research activities may also be interested in the experiences, as related, by two recent participants in the Brumby Safari activities.



Enjoy.





Regards

Warren Bolton

Web Site Manager

Friday, 7 October 2011

PNB
Posts: 2239
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2002 6:59 am
Location: Wilts, Berks, Ox, Hants, Avon.

Postby PNB » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:36 am

CROSSING THE DESERT BRUMBY SAFARI
What brought about our decision to do the
Crossing the Desert Brumby Safari?
As members and supporters of Save the
Brumbies in NSW and SEQ Brumby Association
in Queensland in 2009 we found a link to The
Crossing the Desert Safari on the Australian
Brumby Alliance website. The safari being
conducted in August 2011 by Brian Hampson of
University of Qld Wild Horse Research Unit
seemed like an opportunity to learn so much more
about Brumbies and the research being
undertaken.
Amidst much trepidation of what if’s we, myself
Pauline, husband Ron and friend Lorraine who
arrived at Kings Creek Station three days after us
decided we would face the challenges as they
happened. None of us had ever handled an
untrained horse nor really been to the Outback.
The setting for the Safari was in the Northern
Territory southwest of Alice Springs. The
experience took us further Outback than we could
even imagine the Outback to be.
On the morning of day one Ron and I met the
horses which we were to firstly handle then ride
across the Desert. My horse a chestnut mare had
been captured from the wild only a couple of
months earlier. We introduced ourselves and
started training in the round yard under Brian’s
intuitive and patient guidance.
My expertise was limited to fully trained horses so
when on the first day I received a kick in the thigh
for being in the wrong place at the wrong time it
came as a valuable reminder that this was a wild
horse who had survived through instinctive
behaviour and I needed to respect that. Otherwise
the first day of training went amazingly well.
Ron’s horse a pinto gelding was a cautious
individual but tried hard to deal with what was
being asked of him. As a sailor Ron’s expertise
with horses was even less than mine but he and
the pinto achieved great things in a very short
space of time.
Lorraine’s horse was a lovely grey gelding and
they worked well together to be ready for our
practice ride out on the afternoon of the fourth
day.
Both Lorraine and Ron’s horses had been gelded
only 3 weeks earlier so certainly had a lot of
adjustments to deal with.
Of course we needed some leaders for this Safari
so for their Desert riding horses Brian trained a
lovely but sensitive little palomino Brumby mare
and Kings Creek Station stockman Evan Casey
worked with a beautiful bay Brumby stallion.
After the third day all horses had been handled,
bridled, saddled and ridden in the round yard. On
day four we did our first ride as a group.
The horses also learnt to wear hobbles and carry
them around their neck for use whenever we
stopped during the day and to load onto a float.
So with about a total of one and half hours group
riding time we were ready to head out into the
Desert.
Sadly Ron had to return to Queensland for work
commitments so he wasn’t able to participate in
the ride across the Desert.
What would these newly trained Brumbies do
when we came across herds of Wild Horses? The
first herd of 20 wild horses was encountered at a
waterhole after about an hour of riding on the first
day. Stallions pranced and snorted while pacing
back and forth but kept a distance of about 200
metres away. To our relief, aside from
acknowledging their existence, there was no
indication from our horses that we were about to
join them.
All future encounters were viewed with
wonder….not trepidation…and photos were taken.
Prior to heading out into the Desert our horses
had no real understanding of steering. They were
very responsive to “whoa” which was very
reassuring. By the end of the second day of riding
in the Desert the horses became more aware of
our legs so followed the directional leg pressure
as we weaved our way through the scrub. With no
boundaries in sight we happily ambled along
through the vastness of the desert.
As regular riders Lorraine and I were accustomed
to long days in the saddle however we were totally
unprepared to ride all day with limited water and
food….as do the locals and did the pioneers….
but with some persuasion (whinging from us)
Brian readjusted the itinerary to suit regular stops
for food and drink….and rest.
Although hobbled our horses grazed freely at the
end of each day……
….and stood quietly while tethered at night.
The scenery as we rode along was ever changing
and unbelievably beautiful.
To have had the opportunity to spend more time
with training and getting to know these horses
prior to heading out into the Desert may have
been beneficial to us…but was not necessary for
the horses.
Their willingness to carry us “city slickers” into a
world where they not so long ago had run free and
to do it without any fuss proves that Australian
Brumbies are indeed valuable riding horses.
The journey took us onto Aboriginal Native Land
through places and desert land to which the
normal tourist route will never venture.
Sleeping in swags, preparing meals and cooking
over the campfire were familiar to Lorraine and I.
We even cooked dinner for everyone on two
nights and usually cooked our own breakfasts.
Brian and Evan planned to ride for 60 kilometres
in a day. That sounded more like an endurance
ride than a pleasure to us.
Instead Lorraine and I chose to catch up on a few
chores and enjoy the quiet surrounds of Illara
Rock by ourselves with our horses.
We had a thoroughly enjoyable day…..until
darkness fell. With a wild bull a short distance
down the river looking like it was heading our way,
the strategy was to jump into the 4WD vehicle for
protection. Protecting our horses if any wild
brumbies came by was not paramount in our
minds at the time…..besides they were enjoying
themselves grazing and not at all bothered by the
bull.
Without easy communication to anyone else
finding ourselves alone in the remoteness was
very disconcerting and the uncertainty of it can
only be fully appreciated knowing you have
survived.
We started to breathe easy again when Brian and
Evan finally returned after an 11 hour ride. Even
“wild bulls” wouldn’t have dragged us out there for
that long in the saddle!
During the two nights spent at Illara Rock beside
the River wild horses came down to drink in the
late afternoon and a Silver Stallion visited at night
snorting and prancing in the light of the Full Moon.
These kind of happenings are things that can’t be
staged….and will live in the memory forever.
Leaving camp involved some interesting
moments. Lorraine and I achieved personal goals
by doing a better job of rolling up our swags each
day.
Meanwhile folding the collapsible camp
shower/change room took three of us to fight it
back into the bag from which it had escaped.
Therefore it only escaped for one camp!
There really were two parts to this
Adventure….the horses…..and then everything
else that happened.
We did various 4WD trips into the Desert to see
and count wild horses, saw newly born foals,
walked along creeks to remote waterholes….
raced alongside wild camels….
and climbed cliffs to ventured into caves to see
original Aboriginal Art.
Brian and Evan gave us ongoing commentary
about the lifestyles and coping methods of the
Brumbies, Camels, indigenous people, horse
handling techniques etc and answered endless
questions. This was definitely no ordinary holiday!
On one occasion Brumbies were running at 30 –
35kph beside the vehicle. Without any way of
knowing when they would cross in front of us was
a bit unsettling. However it was all good fun for
Brian….but once was enough for the rest of us.
Everyone pitched in with labour and advice on
how to get a tag along visitor’s vehicle out of a
seemingly impossible situation when it became
bogged in the sandy creek bed. Lots of bush
mechanics skills were employed to right the
situation.
On the same afternoon the 4WD got a flat tyre
from what seemed an insignificant bush beside
the track.
With an increased sense of adventure Lorraine
and I decided to take up the offer of a “Girls Only”
scenic drive to Walker Gorge with international
brumby researcher Svende.
Walker Gorge is a truly beautiful serene place….
….however returning after dark on a seriously
rugged track provided far more adventure than
anticipated. We were ALL so thankful to have
survived some really scary moments on that trip in
the 4WD.
It was a bit sad to think that, with the horses finally
loaded onto the trailer for the trip home, the
Adventure had ended….but a flat tyre on the
trailer proved that it wasn’t all over just yet.
As there was no spare tyre the ingenuity required
to hold up the axle encompassed using a rope
which would hold 10 elephants. This kind of
thought process could only come from those
familiar with solving what seemed an
insurmountable problem. We “city slickers” stood
back and took photos of the moment and realised
these guys just don’t know the meaning of it can’t
be done.
We left home thinking this was going to be a
holiday to remember but this wasn’t a
holiday….this was The Outback where the
Adventure NEVER ends.
Our sincere thanks to Brian and Evan for showing
us that there’s far more to the Outback than we
could ever have imagined...and our eternal
gratitude to the amazing Brumbies who made the
Adventure extra special.
Pauline & Ron (Fawcett)
Lorraine’s (Decker) Perspective:
When I signed up for Brian Hampson’s Crossing
the Desert on Horseback tour I figured that my
past horse riding holidays in Spain, Wales,
Greece, Italy and Crete including stints in the
Snowy Mountains and northern NSW would stand
me in good stead. WRONG!
Nothing could prepare me for this Brumby Safari –
it was truly an adventure of a lifetime and I’ll dine
out for years on the humour, heart pounding
moments and inspiring experiences in this
spectacular part of remote central Australia.
If you’re looking for a ‘dude ranch’ holiday – forget
it – but if you’re enticed by a guarantee of an
equine education you’ll never forget intermingled
with disbelief
e.g. Racing in a 4WD on a rutted dirt track beside
unpredictable wild Brumbies in full flight
and awe inspiring scenes
e.g. A newly born Brumby foal cantering on
wobbly legs behind its mother to safety
then don’t hesitate to sign up if you get the
opportunity.
The first 6 days at Kings Creek Station (some
430km south west of Alice Springs) were in
relative luxury with heated safari tents, spotlessly
clean amenities, three meals a day and great
coffee. This lulled us into a false sense of security
while we were taught to handle our Brumbies. The
next 5 days in the desert were something entirely
different but even then we could hardly claim to be
‘roughing it’ with great camp-oven tucker and
deluxe swags with double mattress inserts, top of
the range sleeping bags and a pillow and for a
touch of opulence…. a mozzie net.
Brian Hampson’s empathy with his Brumbies is
obvious and his handling and breaking techniques
are truly remarkable. He works his magic with the
Brumbies and teaches through hands on
demonstrations and interactive coaching and
somehow he managed to make us look more like
professional horse handlers than scared spitless
amateurs.
It is fascinating to see these wild horses respond
so quickly and execute gait changes from our
voice commands and within three days accept
bridles and bits and saddles not to mention US on
their backs.
Three short rides in the open around the Station,
a float loading lesson and a practice with hobbles
and on day 7 our Brumbies were loaded onto a
six-horse crate trailer and transported one and a
half hours into the desert, unloaded, and saddled
up ready to ride off into the desert!!
But forget what these horses went through, it was
a full-on adrenaline rush for me and from this
point on it was every man (or should I say woman)
for herself as we rode off into another world!
One of MY concerns (topping the list of a hundred
or so) was how our Brumbies would react to the
wild herds we’d encounter.
My contingency plan (I ALWAYS have a
contingency plan) was to eject ASAP at the first
sign of trouble and let ‘em go…… but this was not
a consideration after the first day when we
encounted over 100 Brumbies with plenty of
snorting, stamping and challenging stallions
without a problem.
As to my list of contingency plans, I figured I
simply HAD to have them in place in lieu of any
other alternative, but in reality, I found that She’ll
be alright mate is an outback adage by which I
could and did survive.
Thanks to Brian and Kings Canyon Station’s star
stockman, Evan Casey, I learnt a great deal about
the Brumbies’ behaviour, their survival practices,
general health and exceptional hooves as well as
some tethering skills – to quote Evan ‘If you can’t
tie knots, tie plenty’.
These guys also provided an education in
improvisation and bush mechanic skills which will
be embedded in my memory for ever.
Learning to handle wild Brumbies and conquering
my apprehension of riding them was just one
aspect of this adventure.
Camping out beside delightful creeks and riding
through the endless dry river beds, the isolated
receding red mud water holes, ragged gorges with
their serene pools and the shear rugged vastness
and solitude of the desert were the flip side. The
spectacular sunrises and sunsets of cobalt blue,
violet and rose and brilliant moonlit nights which
highlighted a thrilling close encounter with a lone
silver Brumby stallion and the small Brumby herds
creeping past within 50 metres of our swags, were
other aspects which took my breath away and left
priceless memories.
The most asked question when I relate my
adventure to my wide-eyed and open mouthed
friends is: Would I do it again? Well, I hear that
Brian has an opening for camp cooks.

Gay
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:24 pm
Location: Miners Rest, Victoria, Oz

Postby Gay » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:39 am

Don't you just love it when the copy/pastes do that? :lol: Thanks Peter :grin:

PNB
Posts: 2239
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2002 6:59 am
Location: Wilts, Berks, Ox, Hants, Avon.

Re: The Australian "Brumby" Research Unit.

Postby PNB » Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:33 pm

Australian Brumby Research
NEWSLETTER
June 2011
PREVIOUS ISSUES
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
Nov 2009
Dec 2009
Feb 2010
Mar 2010
Apr 2010
Feb 2011
Jun 2011

Wildhorse Research is pleased to be associated with the launch of the updated Brumby Safaris website – www.brumbysafaris.com and the release of the 2013 tour dates scheduled for the best times of the year with each tour limited to only six places. The 2012 tours catered for a variety of tour guests from special interest groups such as horse lovers, veterinarians, academics and researchers, farriers and trimmers. In 2013, Brumby Safaris will offer private charter tours which proved to be a popular option for groups of more than six people.
Brian Hampson and Chris Pollitt continue to publish and promote feral horse research around the world, and early in the new year the Wildhorse Research website will be upgraded as well to include publishing of all Brian Hampson’s journal papers, seminar presentations and doctoral thesis.
Keep your eye out for the “Year in Review” newsletter which will be coming shortly.
Cheers
Wildhorse Research Team

PNB.


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