'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 6 September 2013

Review: Brumby

The foreword in this stunning hard cover book really sums up the spirit of its content, as well as the spirit of the wild Australian horse. Written by Gooniyandi Traditional Owner, Pat Fischer, we are reminded that Brumbies do not belong to us. They belong to the land.

'Allow them the vast open spaces, allow them the land to run free, honour them for what they are.'

And the editors of Brumby do just that, with a clear passion inspired by both the origin and future of this true Australian legacy.

It's well known that many a girl (and boy) becomes horse-obsessed in their youth, and when perusing a book like Brumby, it's easy to see why. The majesty and power of these amazing animals has been beautifully-captured in both text and photograph, with imagery provided by a variety of talented photographers.

The book begins by introducing our wild horses and how they came to Australia. Few would know that seven horses survived the tumultuous journey from England on the First Fleet in 1788. The horses were highly-valued for ploughing, construction and carrying mounted police (and bushrangers!), and as more horses continued to arrive, the colony's stock quickly multiplied.

When the combustion engine replaced the need for horses in a vehicular capacity, many were set free into the rolling highlands and bushlands, and of course, only the toughest survived.

Today, over 200 years later, Australia's wild brumby is a combination of breeds that have become their very own classification--an authentic wild breed, officially recognised by the Australian Brumby Horse Register.

Each state also features its own version of local horse, with fascinating stories on their origins and geographical past. The authors also cover the environmental debate on the Brumby, and its future.

The remainder of this book features essays from some of Australia's most experienced horse experts, from professional horse trainers to farmers, amateur photographers (who have captured some truly incredible imagery), writers, editors, farriers, filmmakers and even an animal telepath.

Each story is drenched in equine love, history and personal encounters with this beautiful national treasure, making this a book that will touch the hearts of any reader, but most particularly the young horse lover.

Title: Brumby: A Celebration of Australia's Wild Horses
Editors: Kathryn Massey & Mae Lee Sun
Publisher: Exisle Publishing, $45 RRP
Publication Date: 1 September 2013
Format: Hard cover with dust jacket
ISBN: 9781921966224
For ages: 10+
Type: Information Book, Non-Fiction