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.|
|George Alford and his trotter 'Alarm Bells' at Brighton, Victoria c1920. |
Photo from Museum Victoria No. MM002081.