Roger left the house at 6.30am with Robert to go and find some of the 80 or so horses which were to be mustered. He was going to be on a motorbike or quad, not horseback and left the homestead yard on the 2 wheeler. We arrived at the horse yard about 9am after completing the feeding, rugging, fly nets etc. Genine and Agnes were in the truck with the horse trailer and Mack and I were in the Ute behind except that I wasn’t behind the wheel! I’ve never been driven by a 10 year old before! He actually managed remarkably well despite the steering lock not working properly!
Genine went out to meet the guys on Storm, whilst Agnes, Mack and I waited and waited. After about an hour we could hear the sound of bike engines but could see no-one. Then 3 beautiful black horses came trotting by but in the wrong paddock, so didn’t come up to the open gates. A while later 4 other horses came up to fence beside the gate but went away again. After another hour we heard thundering hooves and saw the dust rise between the trees as 10 horses were driven in by Genine on Storm and Josh (ranch hand) on a motorbike. They were just getting penned as 4 more horses were driven up with Roger and Warren on quads behind them. These guys didn’t want to go through the gate and ran from side to side, at one point one of them leapt over the fence but the other 3 resisted the urge!
They all headed back to the left as Roger turned to try to ensure that they didn’t get past on the inside of the picket and barbed wire fence. Genine started yelling at him on the 2 way radio from the paddock to pull up and I thought she was trying to ensure that the horses didn’t get past him. Almost at the last moment I realised that he was heading straight for the fence. He hit the post full on and flew off, over the fence in a forward somersault, landing on top of shoulders, several yards ahead of the now upturned bike. I had been photographing the action but had stopped at Genine’s shouting, now a burst into a run, still stunned at what I’d seen. Fortunately, fairly quickly he sat himself up much to my extreme relief, so I almost stopped and everyone went past me!
On reaching him he was still conscious and making sense although his left hand was a bit of mess but still working. His shirt was in shreds along the left sleeve and up the back, the bike was upside down (only needing a new tyre in the end) and the fence post almost flattened. He had given his head quite a crack as well but thank goodness for good helmets! We were going to head back to the house by car but as we started off he felt faint, probably shock? So Agnes, who hadn’t driven prior to coming to Australia went over to bring it back across the country and nearly took the bottom off it.
I drove him back to house, chattering all the way to keep him talking and fed him strong sweet tea when we got back. Ice pack was duly applied to the back of his hand and the outside of his elbow which had also taken a nasty blow. We used up almost a whole tube of antiseptic covering all the scrapes and scratches along his forearm which I thought might have been dripped blood but turned out to be the full cut. Whilst it was nasty, we couldn’t help but realise what a lucky escape he had had, particularly when Genine had only been telling us the previous day about her Father-in-law getting his throat ripped from ear to ear, with glands hanging out, doing something similar (and he’s an outbacker so Roger felt a little comforted).
He was on rest for the remainder of the day and was given a seat to watch Robert and Genine being farriers in afternoon. It was quite a surprise to see how much the stallion enjoyed having his toenails cut, as in seriously enjoyed it!!!
In the evening we were joined by a couple who would be out during the night hunting dingos. We had seen one the previous day when we’d been out on the ride but there were plenty more. They had brought a very acceptable tray of Canadian Club and we enjoyed pizzas made in the outside pizza oven whilst we sat around the fire pit gazing at the night sky. A lovely end to a rather traumatic day!