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Making the most of my Volunteering Leave with the Snowy Brumbies


Laure Salou


October 13, 2023

Making the most of my Volunteering Leave with the Snowy Brumbies

A few months ago I got the chance to spend my volunteering leave with the Snowy Brumby Horsemanship crew. I work at Zip fully remotely as a Lead Product Designer from my home in Dalgety, NSW so this was a great opportunity to use my leave entitlements while immersing myself in the local community.

Claire Rogerson, at the Snowy Brumby Horsemanship, has created a beautiful and safe space for Brumbies to find refuge. She has regenerated her previously cleared property, by planting trees and uses Brumbies’ manure to regenerate the pasture.

What’s happening with wild Brumbies?

It’s not a widely known fact, but the Australian government wants to reduce the number of Brumbies running wild in Kosciuszko National Park as the animals impact dozens of threatened native species. It’s quite sad to see so many beautiful animals - as many as 90% - being killed, but unfortunately there’s no other options given the lack of safe properties where they can be relocated to.

Brumbies have strong social bonds and are used to being in herds with other horses of similar ages, so in order to optimise their welfare it often means relocating them as a group or ‘mob’ of Brumbies at the same time, which makes it even more difficult.

What did my day look like?

During my day volunteering, I did a lot of Brumby training, which is important as the horses need to get used to humans and feel like they can trust us. This is even more critical if the Brumbies need any additional care, or are chosen to be gelded.

Training involves patting the horses, brushing their manes, and making efforts to get eye contact, with the aim of getting them to slowly warm to us. These Brumbies are used to living in the wild of the National Parks and have never seen humans before. They’re really only used to harsh conditions, and being attacked by wild cats and dogs.

I made a close connection with a Brumby called Twisty - who you can see in the photo above. He is a young foal and wasn't letting anyone approach him a few months ago. He literally followed me all day and kept blowing warm air on me, which helped as it was about -5C!

Beyond the training, there was a lot of manure raking and we also stocked up a full shed of straw hay bales with three other amazing women.

Donate and help save Brumbies

If you want to contribute to saving Brumbies and help them being relocated in places like Snowy Brumby Horsemanship you can donate below

Snowy Brumby Horsemanship Incorporated BSB 062655 ACC 1018 7278

Country charities aren't embracing technology yet for donations, so bank account it is!) or if you’d like to know more you can follow them on Facebook.

This experience was incredible and helped me get closer to my community, take a break from the working week, and above all I’ve been able to discover a new passion. Since then, I’ve gone one step further and we now have Brumbies living with us at our own property!

I’m thankful Zip enabled me to find additional meaning in my career through our volunteering policy. There are so many great opportunities out there to make the most of your volunteering leave, get started today!

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