Well this was quite an eventful day. We were going fencing, right up to the top and back of the paddock where we had previously looked for elusive cattle. So armed with our coils of wire slung over our heads and one shoulder and my trusty steed acting as pack horse with 3 different sets of fencing pliers in saddle bags, we set off. John had been a little critical of some ‘backpackers’, the ubiquitous term for us lot, (although some people do struggle with referring to ourselves by this even though I am using a backpack) having wrecked the horses by making them walk slowly instead of the purposeful rhythm they are trained to adopt. I ended up in front so was determined not to be accused of the same so set a decent pace assisted by my familiarity with the country. I was also quite chuffed to be the person who spotted the aforementioned escapees, despite having relinquished pole position to John by that time.
When we reached the back fence we commenced our ascent along to the left and soon rose to some giddy heights. As I/Quantum was tool carrier we had to follow John even to less hospitable places than the others, but she performed with the steadiness and steadfastness which is essential for stock horses in this country. We negotiated a basalt bluff rather tentatively, apart from yours truly, bringing up the rear with confidence in my 4 legged carrier. She did however make a huge stumble at one point but immediately righted herself with a vigorous buck to release her back end, which is just as well as some stock horses get shot if they are prone to falling over on difficult terrain!
The fence damage was quite extensive and by 4.30 we had used up all the spare wire and most of the daylight prior to our return journey. As we had eventually set off at 11am, having breakfasted at 7.30, we were pretty hungry, as lunch was back at the yard! By 5pm we were starting our descent but John was continuing around the top boundary to check the condition of the fence further on. He arranged for Roger to trot all the way back to the yard, once we had reached relatively level ground, so he could grab the ute (utility vehicle) and meet him at the far end of the paddock. The remaining 3 of us were to take it steady as Shauna was riding poor old Bungee, who had toiled up the hillside with relative ease, despite her disgust at riding an old horse. She did however, see fit to keep whipping him all the way back even though he was keeping up! hmmm! That was in between comments akin to ‘are we there yet!’
We finally reached the yard paddock and I was able to open and close the gate from my saddle which I was quite pleased about (Roger had managed the same a bit earlier from Star) despite Jamie’s puppy-like eagerness to do everything for everyone. This time I had just managed to get it closed as he hit the ground from his dismount. Heyho.