“Let’s go bush,” said Big Nev, and that sparked a journey for two adventurous city kids spellbound by Banjo Paterson’s poems about horses and men and the Australian outback.
Col Hood’s story lingers affect-ionately on the men who shaped his early life — the horse traders who taught him to pick a good horse, the blacksmiths he ‘struck’ for while he learnt how to shoe them and, above all, the leather worker who became his teacher and mentor and set him on the road to becoming a western saddlemaker of high repute.
The continuing thread through Hood’s yarns is his love of horses. Long Tom, Ginger, Doc, Chiquita, Chet and Missy share the stage with people in power in the saga of his life. The horses get top billing.
Col Hood was first in Australia to build saddles for anyone who wanted to ride western, and his skill as a saddlemaker brought him fame in the world of western horsemanship. He lives near Melbourne.