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Programs and events

Spirited: Australia's Horse Story

Programs and events

Join us in celebrating the importance of horses in Australian life as we present these programs and events as part of the Spirited exhibition.

Coming up

School holiday activities

Discovery Space: Carts, carriages and carousels
Weekdays 12 to 23 January 2015. Sessions: 10–11am; 11am–12pm; 12–1pm

Children can make their own hobbyhorse or horsedrawn toy cart, inspired by the toys on show in the Spirited exhibition, and the wonderful variety of horsedrawn vehicles at the Museum.

Kids can also add their mark to a magical horsedrawn sulky carriage that has a history of transporting children to school.

Adults free, children $3 (free for Museum Friends full members only)
Book and pay for your ticket on the day at the Information Desk
The Hall

More on Discovery Space

The Boggy Creek Show in association with Spirited

Thursday 15 January and Thursday 22 January, 6.30pm
Friday 16 January and Friday 23 January, 6.30pm
Saturday 17 January, 2pm and 6.30pm and Saturday 24 January, 2pm and 6.30pm

A man and a horse.
Tim O' Brien shows off some of the techniques used to train horses for movie appearances. Photo: Heidi Pritchard.

Experience a lifetime of bush knowledge in an iconic horseman show direct from the Snowy Mountains, with fourth-generation cattleman Tim O’Brien. The award-winning Boggy Creek Show captures the spirit of Australia’s outback. You’ll learn about mountain cattlemen traditions, horsemanship, movie horse training, whip cracking and much more.

Come along and enjoy bush poetry and bush games for the kids. Pegasus and Heavy Horse Heaven will provide a sausage BBQ and  drinks for sale, with all proceeds going to rescuing horses in need throughout the ACT and surrounds.

Buy tickets online through the Eventbrite website, or at the door.
Cost: $20 adults; $5 children; $45 families (2 adults and up to 4 children).
Entry includes a free ticket to the Spirited exhibition
Friends special offer: Friends $15 (full membership only); children under 16 free if accompanied by a Friend with full membership.
The show will be held outdoors on the grassed area at the loop amphitheatre.

More on the Boggy Creek Show

A 'Spirited' Australia Day

Monday 26 January 2015, 10am to 3pm

Jonathon Mettes, Snags, Baz and Marianne Mettes
Jonathon Mettes, Snags, Baz and Marianne Mettes.

Inspired by the exhibition Spirited, this event celebrates Australia Day and all things horse-related with country music, bootscooting, horse rides, craft and much more. Highlights of the day include the Baz ‘n’ Snags puppet show, X-Factor star Caitlyn Shadbolt and celebrated country musician Warren H Williams.

Free entry; costs apply to some activities
Hall and Amphitheatre

More on the 'Spirited' Australia Day festival

Past programs

Spirited lecture series

Download the audio and transcript for this series here.

14 November 2014


Professor Paul McGreevy

International Society for Equitation Science co-founder Paul McGreevy discusses his approach to how horses think and learn, as well as his work as a scientific adviser in the development of the exhibition Spirited: Australia's Horse Story.

16 October 2014


Jennifer Wilson, Karen Hood and Tammy Ven Dange

Curator Jennifer Wilson on the history of horse health and welfare in Australia in conversation with Karen Hood, president of the Heavy Horse Heaven rescue organisation and Tammy Ven Dange, chief executive officer of the RSPCA in Canberra.

18 September 2014


Martha Sear

Senior curator Martha Sear shares behind the scenes about the two years' work in the making of the National Museum exhibition Spirited: Australia's Horse Story.

Spirited exclusive dinner

13 November 2014

A special after-hours viewing of our Spirited exhibition with curator-led talks by Dr Martha Sear and Dr Nicole McLennan and a three-course dinner in our waterfront cafe. Museum Friends received a free Spirited souvenir book.

School holiday activities

Weekdays 30 September to 10 October 2014, 10am to 1pm

Discovery Space: Horse toys

Children have always loved horse toys. Inspired by the large metal horse sculptures and small bush toys in the Spirited exhibition, children used wire and other materials to make a miniature horse to take home.

If you didn't make it to the Museum, download our free activity sheet and create your own horse toy at home.

Big Spirit sculpture

Working with sculptors Andy Townsend and Suzie Bleach, children helped to create a dynamic life-size horse sculpture. Similar to their large sculptural work Adrift in the Museum's Main Hall, this horse evolved over the course of the program as children stuffed, lashed, bound and tied a range of materials to its framework.