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Community & Business

18 January, 2023

Saving horses to save people

The wild Australian Brumby is seen by many as a threat to the native environment, especially in the Snowy Mountains but horse trainer Joe Hughes has not only helped to solve the problem but in the process has saved the lives of people suffering the effects of trauma.

At an East Greenmount property, Joe Hughes is harnessing the power of horses to help people.

Joe and his wife Miranda have recently bought Lauralla Lodge, a 152 acre horse property on the New England Highway just south of Toowoomba where he now uses his unique 4BP horse training methods (4 Brumby Protection) to transform wild brumbies for a life working with people.

Joe grew up on a cattle property in the semi desert region of South Australia where be began mustering cattle from horseback when only 6 years of age.

By the age of 12 years he had already begun to develop his non-aggressive methods of training horses.

Joe developed his 4BP training program and began rescuing brumbies not only from the Snowy Mountains but from all over Australia.

In 2018 he took on the challenge of training 70 wild brumbies to accept a rider in 70 days for an ABC documentary  program but Joe in typical modest manner claims that there were in fact only 66 horses.

After the purchase of the Lauralla property last year, it is now undergoing a major renovation to allow Joe to provide a useful facility for the local horse community while carrying on his work with brumbies and people suffering from trauma.

These improvements include a massive undercover arena under construction by Allora Engineering, that is close to completion and will allow horse training to continue regardless of weather conditions.      

Saving Brumbies is only part of the Joe Hughes story because along the way he has found that horses have the ability to heal people suffering the effects of trauma.

Working with people suffering from PTSD and other forms of trauma such as schizophrenia and sexual and childhood abuse, Joe incorporates his clients into the training program of the brumbies with success stories that can only be described as extraordinary.

The life of Joe Hughes and his family is already an extraordinary one but the Lauralla property may yet prove to be a place where the Hughes family achieves even greater success.

For more information, contact Joe Hughes via email at


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