Clinic churns out new batch of horse whisperers

CLINIC: Letisha McKenzie (back) takes note from 4BP trainer Joe Hughes and his daughter Grace Huges.
CLINIC: Letisha McKenzie (back) takes note from 4BP trainer Joe Hughes and his daughter Grace Huges.

In just three hours Joe Hughes can have a wild horse completely trained and ready to ride.

A “traditionally raised outback fella”, Joe created 4BP Horses as a way to pass on his knowledge to the next generation of horse whisperers.

The latest 4BP Horses clinic has been held in Quorn this week amongst the beautiful backdrop of the Flinders Ranges.

The 4BP method of training is highly regarded in the industry, backed up with over 41,000 likes on Facebook.

“It’s completely unique. We don’t conquer the horse, we don’t try to overpower it or dominate it – we just walk in, say how are you going, basically shake hands and the three hours later we are riding around,” Joe said.

“The link between human and horse isn’t like anything else on earth.”

Over 60 per cent of clinic participants have no prior horse experience.

Many attend the training as a method of therapy to deal with underlying mental health issues.

After wrangling their own wild horse, Joe said participants are filled with renewed self confidence and purpose.

“There’s people who come in on the Monday morning and at least by Tuesday night, Wednesday morning they are completely different. They have got a smile on their face, they’ve got a bounce in their step,” Joe said.

“Some people have told me how they couldn’t get out of bed and if they did, they were just hanging around the house all day and then went back to bed. Now they are sitting out there an hour before the sun comes up waiting to see their horse so they can start talking to it. It’s a fantastic result.”

Joe originally designed the method for his children after a serious accident left him questioning if he would ever walk again.

Following extensive rehab Joe eventually recovered from most of his physical injuries, but he was left with serious depression.

“I smashed myself up really bad. I died on the side of the road, I was brought back and then I had an epiphany laying in hospital,” Joe said.

“I came to the realisation that the important things in life were my wife, my children and horses – in that order.

“I dug my way out of the hole through horses and I thought ‘I’m going to do this for everybody else’, and now we are on the cusp of going to Alice Springs to run suicide prevention programs.”

The horses used in the Quorn clinic are the last of the Anna Creek Station horses.

The highly regarded stock horses from the largest cattle station on earth will be auctioned off to assist with suicide prevention.

The auction will take place on Saturday morning. More information can be found through the 4BP Facebook page.