Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sepia Saturday: Horseriding for pleasure

The above scene must have been such a typical one a century ago in Australia. By law the land selected by the farmers in the late 1800s had to be cleared of its natural vegetation, had to be ploughed and planted to pasture or crop, fences and dams had to be constructed and homes built. For the most part the farmers were  were happy to comply with the regulations because they had families and stock to feed, and they needed a roof over their heads. A number of my farmer ancestors would have felt very much at home in this scene. But of course we know now that the environment suffered enormously. Just look at the picture above - tree stumps and stark eucalypts that have been ring-barked prior to felling.

While many farming families owned horses for transportation to church, school and shopping, and as work animals, one of my husband's families truly enjoyed their horses. The Alfords knew a good horse when they saw one and were called on to act as judges at rural shows. They rode for enjoyment and they bred fine horses for work and for pleasure (including trotters).

Ralph Alford on 'Splinter' and Dick holding 'Old Dan'.
Thomas Alford at 'Myall Marsh' Mologa, 1903.
Thomas Alford with his granddaughter Mary on 'Cob' at 'Myall Marsh' Mologa.
Mary Alford
George Alford and his trotter 'Alarm Bells' at Brighton, Victoria c1920.
Photo from Museum Victoria No. MM002081.
If you want to read and see what other Sepians have posted for this theme trot on over to Sepia Saturday.


  1. I can't imagine wearing a white shirt, vest, tie, etc., when riding in a sulky! Or maybe this was just for "show."

    1. Great set of pictures, but my favorite just has to be the one of Thomas Alford. What a dandy man he was!

  2. It's great that you have photographs of your ancestors in action.

  3. I love the second photo. What character beams out from the photo - both man and horse. And look at Cobb's coat! All gorgeous and warm. Lovely horse.

  4. What a lot of horse photos you have. I think I'll take the sulky.

  5. I can totally relate to your words as they could be from my own family history.

    A lovely collection of family photos.

    No helmets in those days!

  6. Mary looks so small on that big horse, but seems very much at home.

  7. A grand array of men and horses - and little girls!

  8. It's great that you have the horses' names too.

  9. My favorite is the picture of little Mary on the big horse.

  10. Once again, so many similarities in our families and posts - one day we'll find a link!
    The farmers sure dressed smarter in those days didn't they? My Dad never wore a tie or even a suit jacket out in the paddock.


I love to read your comments. Thankyou for your interest.



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