Or how we got ourselves into this mess....
It all started when the University of Queensland shut down its Large Animal Farm at Pinjara Hills. we attended the Vet School Clearance sale, mostly we kept our hands in our pockets (there were some big names there and we were poor students). But in a side corral one of the last lots was a scrawny weanling gelding called .
He was an ugly little thing having lost his two front teeth at some time. Being born horse fools we bought him. He was quiet and loving in nature and an intelligent but stubborn horse to train. We sent him to Craig Shepard who got as sour on him as he on Craig during the process, sending him home for a period of time to "think it over". But in the end they made it up and evetually he came back to us to work.
Well, we have NEVER had a better horse. Still an "individual" at times, he would end up being the best cow horse we have ever owned.
If you tried to be overly directive he would get resentful BUT if you just sat on Toby and didn't try to dictate to him you didn't need to do anything - just sit there and he would intuitively know where you wanted the cows to go and he would go ALL day. In return he would NEVER let your bottom leave the saddle, getting under you and protecting you from coming off.
Talk about making you look good.......
Toby has taught us that partnership can be better than dominance and sent us down the road to natural horsemanship.
One of my favourite stories about Toby is the ruckus we heard at the farm one night. We got up to see what all the "Mooing" was about - Toby had mustered all the cattle into the yards by himself by moonlight.
Last time we left the yard gates open - I can tell you!
Toby passed on in 2019 and Stephen is trying to breed a replacement using the same bloodlines - Things got a bit out of hand (as they always do with horses!) Now we have a paddock full of affectionate, quiet, fun loving, kooky Toby relatives - a treasure and a headache!