Beast of Burden

This collection features working animals and photos from the past.

Notes: in the foreground an eighteen bullock team pulls a heavy dray laden with bags of wheat. The bullocky's whip is not visible but is there, a saddle horse is hitched to the back of the wagon. In the distance a second wagon follows with a similar load and team.

The places in the team have traditional names: at the front of the team are the leaders, a well-trained, trusted, steady and intelligent pair; next come the body bullocks or mickies which may contain a pair of replacement leaders in case anything happens to the leaders, as well as younger bullocks in training; the second last pair are the piners, calm animals who pin or steady the rear of the team; followed by the polers, strong animals who take the weight of the wagon pole and will be the first to be injured, including strangulation or a broken neck, if the wagon lurches on a steep incline.

To see more of our digital collection, see our Flickr Collection.

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