Mt Goomboorian, Cattle Mustering

Screen Shot 2017-09-04 at 2.58.56 PM

The adverts were amazing, mustering cattle, camp drafting, (suitable for all riding levels, even beginners (that’s still me!!!!))  stunning views –  Southern Queensland, mid winter, escape from Melbourne cold, improve my riding skills – who could refuse.    So before I knew it, I was a paid up ‘member’ of the June intake of camp draft novices. thanks to globetrotting.com.au

A flight into Queensland, for those who are wondering where I was going (as was I), the attached map will give a rough idea.   We all met at Maroochydore airport; Maroochydore is, apparently derived from  ‘murukutchi-dha’ in the language of the Brisbane River Aboriginal people, and it literally means ‘the place of the red bills’ (i.e. the black swans).

There were 11 of us, mostly groups although John was a brave solitary traveller, actually doubly brave as he was also the only male – he became our Knight in Shiny Armour on his white steed and I knew Margaret from our ride in Margaret River last year.   Introductions duly made, we left in a bus for Gympie. (The name probably derived from an aboriginal word for the local stinging shrub).

australia-radar-map-random-2-show-me-the-of

Two hours on the bus, including a most important bottle shop stop,  saw us arrive at the base of Mount Gomboorian, our home for the next 3 days.    After a brief introduction to our horses, how they are trained, which saddles we would use etc.  we were loaded into vehicles for the ‘ascent’ up the Mountain.   I think these two photos sum up the exhilaration of the angle of ascent !   Some of us felt the need for head protection as we bumped and bounced and tried to hang on!!!!

34322939_1962316970454065_1650106905906905088_n

34334485_1961585247193904_5158767893051080704_n

img_0484

34343727_1962316783787417_7535009337551355904_n

Words again do not do justice to the views, across to Fraser Island, Noosa and back inland ‘forever’.    Perhaps these will help you.

img_0683
Whichever way you looked
img_0681
the views took your
img_0679
breath away….

Our tents were more than comfortable …….

img_0502
My little red bag – stayed outside – not a good shape for opening in a tent – note to self 🙂 🙂
img_0499
Margaret and I were as snug as could be in our home from home

and the food always appetising – Sean our trusty chef excelled at every meal.

img_0936

img_0741

img_0716
Dinner
img_0503
Men in the kitchen
img_0506
Women round the table
img_0512
Mud Crab – delicious
img_0511
If challenging for some 🙂
img_0513
and absorbing for others 🙂

img_0723

img_0720

img_0727

But it was our horses that really ‘sold’ us.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I had T Rex – small (hence the name) and young with a distinctly ‘mulish’ look about him.   Be that as it may, for the first time I could reach the saddle of my horse without standing on a Huge log or rock or mounting block.   He was not,  at least to a novice eye (i.e. my eye)  a good looking horse and I was asked more than once if I was on a donkey!!!!   That question though was always from a ‘non horsey person’.

DSCF7204
Our horses

Never, however be fooled by looks – I am sure your mother told you that once.   This little hang dog mule of mine had the spunk of a champion camp draft horse and when you asked him to go, he could move like a bullet.   So the donkey statement never came from anyone who saw him actually move 🙂

Our first day was spent out riding through countryside, getting to know our horses, their quirks, their likes, and dislikes (more about that later).   T Rex likes eating and since his face is level with the bush most of the time, he spent a great deal of time chewing and I spent a great deal of time stopping him.   I did, in the end, convince  him to stop – win for me.

DSCF7232
Steep climbs
DSCF7231
and drops with
DSCF7229
amazing views
DSCF7234
whichever way we looked
DSCF7161
No words, just views
DSCF7151
and light dancing through the trees
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
And skies so blue
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
it looks like someone painted it

Where are we?

By now you will know that I am curious about how places get their names and we rode through some Weethefeekaarwe Bush.   This Weethefeekaarwe Bush consisted of  grass and scrub taller tha us on horseback so that we could hear one another but not always see one another.    The name rolled off Andrew’s tongue with such ease and emphasis on odd syllabi it took me a while to work out – he had no idea where we were or what it was called – I will leave you to work out the name for yourself 🙂

DSCF7189
keeping heads well up
DSCF7205
to see above the grass
DSCF7192
ducking and diving
DSCN8052
through this

Weethefeekaarwe Bush – none of us knew where the . we were 🙂

Lunch at the Silky Oak was a treat.

Made extra special by a drink in the pub like nowhere else in the world!!!

IMG_0157

IMG_0156

IMG_0149

IMG_0147

img_0566
Me and my ‘mule’ T Rex
34400294_1962456773773418_7544284418211315712_n
Helen and her steed

After drinks and food we collected our transport parked outside waiting patiently and ambled home through such lovely countryside.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
the companionship of riding together
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
friends made along the way
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
alone, but not alone
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
my hang dog ‘mule’ T Rex
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
ever changing
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
So sure footed
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
regardless of the depth
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
and of course always a drink
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
so special
DSCN8111
Did I mention my T Rex tripped in a hole, at which point I thought I was going to go over his head.  Except a fox popped out of the hole which pushed T Rex up again and we both survived.   Could not believe what I saw!!!!!!
DSCN8089
But left me grinning from ear to ear for a while….
DSCN8084
and T Rex watching his feet more carefully for a while

Night Time Visitor

But it wasn’t all riding, we had a lovely visitor one evening, only 15 years old and by the light of the moon and headlights of a vehicle, she gave us a whip cracking demonstration.   For posterity sake, I have included it even though it is not a first class video.   The show was.   And I had a ‘crack’ at it – It is a lot easier to hit oneself and cry out than it is to hit the ground and make the whip cry!!!!!

Cattle

There is something very peaceful about ‘mustering’ cattle.

That is, until something goes wrong.

Now you do realise we are all novices, some of us even novice riders, never mind jackaroos.   So we were not mustering 2 000 cattle 100 miles; rather about 70 cows, a few miles.   Still, it Was mustering.   Instructions were given, we were allocated our places and so began the task of gathering them all together so we could get them out of the gate and onto the road.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

DSCN8203

DSCF7273

DSCF7274

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

P6060008.jpg

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0198.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

img_0768

We ‘plodded’ along with cars patiently waiting behind and in front of us – this is the country after all – or should I say thank goodness as they did not seem to be at all agitated despite having to wait for an awfully long time while we herded the cattle from A to B.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0218.
every patient cars
DCIM100GOPROGOPR0200.
well behaved cattle……
DCIM100GOPROGOPR0204.
with a crack crew behind them
DCIM100GOPROGOPR0210.
keeping them in line
DCIM100GOPROGOPR0207.
even the tiny calf at the back who kept lagging
DSCF7306
while the cars continued to wait patiently (we hope patiently)
DCIM100GOPROGOPR0216.
The traffic 🙂

And just when you think all is going well, a cow finds a hole in the fence and runs through, which means all the others follow.   And there they are, in a field with another herd of cows.   Which means we have to sort the two herds out and then take ours back on the road.

That deserves a whole blog – suffice to say, we did a lot of watching while the experts (being the Rainbow Beach Ride team) did the work of separating the two herds.  And the rest of us?   Stood and watched and munched on fruit we had brought with us.

img_0755
them watching us
img_0776
watching them (well some watching them 🙂 )
img_0753
T Rex – not a dinosaur
img_0754
nose to nose with them
img_0751
Debbie pondering
img_0747
and enjoying her fruit salad
img_0775
but not sharing 😦

Once the herds were separated (thankfully there was an old dip pen we could use to do this; we had to begin again.    Herding them into a group to continue to point B.    Back on track and thinking again we had this all under control, a dog ran out of an open gate (what farmer leaves a gate open – I ask with tears in my eyes).   This was no kelpie used to sheep and cattle, but a mean spirited dog that ran wild amongst the cows – dispersing them again this way and that.   And I must tell you, when 70 peaceful cattle suddenly swing around and face little you on your horse and you are not sure what is going to happen, your stomach tightens and you concentrate on your breathing.   I heard a few choice words around me and hoped our talk about forming a wall was being adhered to by the others or I would be alone in the melee.   To be truthful I cannot remember how we turned the around, but settle them we did.    With the young owner of the dog apparently oblivious to the chaos he had just created.

And on we went.   Of course there are no photographs – we were far too busy 🙂

There was a lunch at a lovely homestead where we chatted about the happenings of the  morning and I have no doubt the horses had their own conversations – if only I could understand their language!!!!!

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0181.
lunch break 🙂

DSCN8096

DSCF7288

DSCF7289

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

34534755_1963455503673545_7468783982683881472_n

The cows were sprayed by some while others ‘played’ with their horses and the next day saw us mustering them back to A.

You would think we had this under our belt by now, wouldn’t you – I mean what could go wrong?   We knew where the hole in the fence was.  We knew where the ugly dog lived.

And then the surprise.

An open gate saw some horses run up to us.  No problem, the cows are used to horses so they don’t spook.    Shetland ponies, though, are quite a different proposition.   Two little ponies followed the horses, proud as punch they looked as they trotted up to us.   They could almost pass under some of our horses bellies, but that didn’t matter, Rosie next to me baulked and bolted into the ‘gutter’ which mean my lovely T Rex felt the need to follow.   All I remember is ‘hang on with your legs’ – my thighs have never worked so hard, my reins less so, but we all stayed on our feet so to speak and while we recovered, the rest of the team stopped the cows from running all over the place – Again!!!!!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

DSCF8017.jpg

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

DSCN8231

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

P6064033.jpg

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Them ponies 😦  created ‘chaos’

And that was us mustering……

Done and Dusted – experts, clearly.

So time to move on to greater challenges.

Camp Drafting

P.S.  Photos kindly taken by Rainbow Beach Rides, “Jackaroo team”, myself, and Globetrotting.com.au

Author: leepowrie

A 60+ about to enter the Brave New World of Blogging and inviting you to join me for the ride 😂

4 thoughts on “Mt Goomboorian, Cattle Mustering”

  1. Nice set Lee. Great memento of your riding adventure.
    That unusual place name …. thats an old Indian tribe (F Troop style). ….. must have migrated to Australia at some point in history!!

    Like

  2. Great photos Lee thanks for sharing. WE love reading about your journey from beginner rider to expert. Next stop…x

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s