Tribute to Bob

October 25, 2009 – 5:00 am

A tribute to Bob (also known as “Bobby”) – WHSA Registration No. W0070

by his owner and long time companion, Rick Allen

How do you describe the bond between Horse and rider?   You can’t; it’s just there.  Those of you who have that magic moment now, or maybe have done so in the past, know what I am trying to say.

I knew the moment I set eyes on Bob that he was special and that somewhere in the future we would do special things together.   And something special we did, as trekking guide and lead horse, traveling nearly 19,000km commercially together as we introduced people from all around the world, and from many walks of life, to the charm and romance of the Tasmanian bush.

“My philosophy in life is simple – if you have a passion – GO for it! Don’t be afraid to fail. We only live once as we know it, so have a go at it. I would hate to get to whatever age I get to and wonder what it would have been like to have had a crack at something!”

This pretty well sums up what Bob and I did together for nearly 20 years, and when the business came to a halt I still enjoyed the bond we had every time we rode. I feel proud to have introduced Lesley to Bob; as a matter of a fact I proposed to her on Bob while she overcame the fears of non-ridership on Boru. Due to on road business commitments we had to leave Bob and Boru to our wonderful neighbours Deb and Brad to look after in our absence. Only getting about 10 rides a year for the last four years, we are eternally grateful to them for the time and commitment they put into looking after Bob while they got to enjoy Boru.

Even the last time I rode Bob in June this year, the bond was still there, along with the passion and the sheer power when you rode him. It was still the same – as if we were just taking out another trek.

The poem below sums up some of my feelings, but probably the one thing that might explain the bond is this – about 14 years ago, while out on a particularly long and arduous trek, sitting around the campfire one night feeling extremely proud of Bob’s achievements that day, I swore that on his death I would get him tattooed on my arm out of respect……….

My appointment is Thursday 29th October.

The Saddletramp

Bob and the Saddletramp were quite a team –

Riding the ancient trails –

Thru rain and snow and all things foul –

Twelve thousand miles they roamed.

Now a great lead horse is hard to find –

A Waler he had to be!

By god he had tried a few  –

But none stood up to the mighty Bob –

And this, I tell you is true.

“Buckland or bust” Bob and he went –

Looking for that dammed track –

Crossing the Prosser and climbing the cliff –

Bob saved his life, that’s a fact.

From, UK, America and all around, they took them all –

For an hour, a day, or a week –

Slept in a swag, cooked outdoors –

Sore bums, cold beer, they tried it of course –

Even got ‘round to hobbling their horse.

With Duke and Sonny they started –

Then came many more –

They worked hard, day after day, hot and cold –

Put up with people who couldn’t ride –

They all had hearts of gold.

Thru fog n thunder, leeches and flies –

Bob was a marvellous beast, I tell –

As did his Waler ancestors serve their troopers well

With the power and a prance, if asked…

he would have taken that Saddletramp to hell.

RIP Bob, 7th October 2009

A tribute from our mate Lee (in Texas)

A tribute from our mate Lee (in Texas)

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