We have left our final place, a little earlier than expected but not due to any adverse circumstances on our part. John, our boss, is leaving to find paid work. He was ‘managing’ the ranch for Ray who has gone off for some other work as well, so things aren’t working out there quite as planned. Ray pays John and our costs so we have no further food or fuel and one of the trucks has died so things are a little complicated and we thought it might be a good time to depart. We have had a very interesting time here. John has developed his own way of breaking-in and training horses which he has used for 45 years with a significant degree of success, albeit with some mishaps but perhaps that is just horses for you. We just couldn’t accept wearing flipflops around horses (not to ride in obviously!) in order to make one more aware of one’s foot position! He obviously likes his animals and trains them with tough love, Ray just appears to be tough.
Monday, the chestnut, is a case in point where he wants to allow the horse to use their own brain and personality; Monday has plenty of both, even if he is quite young, reminding us of a certain Freckles at Bodalla. We have left him with Jamie, who is a big help and Shauna, who isn’t! They will be continuing to pack John’s life into the storage garage but as John is fairly incapacitated and she is unable/unwilling to do anything resembling work it will mean that Jamie (who is as thin as a lathe) has a lot of lifting and shifting to do moving furniture, ontop of doing a double shift to compensate for her lack of productivity, which he does to ameliorate the hard time she’ll give him if he doesn’t. Perhaps that is another reason why we were ready to leave, coupled with the fact that she refused to talk to me for the last 2 days as I suggested that she shouldn’t be so wasteful with food when we were running out! i.e. not boiling the limited eggs and then eating only the white and chucking the yolk out to the hens when others would eat the yolk and the snakes or iguanas are eating the eggs before we even get to them! Heyho
There are a few things I wont miss, like the mouse in the bedroom, tucked behind the case and exposed on our final morning or the rather large cockcroach which materialised beside the bed (mattress on the floor, very comfortable and at least we didn’t need to check under the bed for beasties, they’d be in with us!) on our penultimate morning. Also the ants, which would swarm out from between the wall panels of the bedroom during the course of the afternoon. When we started to help clear out the sheds John was very insistent on us being careful when we opened any kind of container to check for snakes, none were revealed but this rat skeleton in an old washing machine tub is fairly illustrative! We were observed, throughout these tasks, by a little kooki which appeared most afternoons and although sitting on a fencepost, not an old gum tree, he did seem to keep a proprietorial eye on all our activities.
We will, as usual, miss our 4-legged friends. John’s very well behaved cattle dogs (apart from Jolti who would get too excited and come around in front of the herd and Roxy, who copied Jolti) but they were good when they were back in the yard. Also the yard paddock horses whose whinnying would wake us in the morning, but not too early.
Omega is the last of that blood line, hence the name and, whilst still in possession of his bits, not for much longer and despite being a good 2 years old is still unsure what to do with them (Pip, our little filly would tell him if she could!) Dallas is one of Ray’s horses, brought back here to finish his training and is lovely and friendly although we are not allowed to pet him when he isn’t working. John was very concerned that we may fall over a sleeping horse when we retired to our cottage at night in the dark. This seemed unlikely as horses sleep standing up don’t they? Not this bunch!