5th April 2009
“It’s not fair” I hear a whingy whinny from the paddock, “where are the horse stories?”
“There are stories about that collie who is always trying to pull my tail” says Desley, “and those pesky fox terriers” adds Bandit, “and about that bloke who I have to cart around” grumps Cobey. “But what about us?” they neigh. Rocky Springs lives up to its name with plenty of rocks so our horses are often used for mustering the paddocks that we can’t get over with a bike. In an effort to prevent a mutiny next time I need an equine, here, in their own words, are our faithful working horses:
G’Day, I’m Bandit, the boss horse, the good lookin’ one, the racing star. By Spritely Knight out of Khale Gold I can trace my ancestors back to the mighty Heroic so it was only natural that I started my career as a racehorse. Here I am winning by four lengths at Queanbeyan – that’s daylight second:
I won three races out of 28 starts but it should have been so many more – I came second on eight occasions, beaten only by a horse with a longer neck. Then I was retired before my peak. I moped around a paddock for a few years before Mandy and Brian came along. Mandy’s gorgeous isn’t she? Brian I don’t like so much. I got him a good one once when he was trying to shoe me (I HATE being shod): I ripped my leg back and put a nail through his thigh. He swore and muttered something about dog food – whatever that is supposed to mean.
Cobey and Desley really aren’t any competition when it comes to racing and those cows are just so slow. No wonder I don’t go mustering anymore, everyone knows I can go faster than them. Here’s one of my studio shots:
Boys! One’s a prima donna and the other’s a clown. G’Day I’m Desley and I just get the job done without any fuss. I was born in the Northern Territory and spent most of my early life mustering cattle. Then I moved into trail riding and pony club for a while and made my move to Mandy and Brian when I was 17. Since then I’ve been semi-retired. 2000 acres is just a little paddock to muster and Mandy doesn’t weigh much wringing wet so it is all pretty cruisy.
I like it when kids come to visit. Bandit is too fractious and Cobey is too cunning, so I get the kids to myself. That means even shorter rides and more bread. Check out little Skita in this photo – what a sweetie – she’s just hanging on.
And here’s Jack. We have a lovely time together. Jack has been coming to see me, on and off, for about ten years now.
I don’t play favourites. I like everyone equally.
G’Day, I’m Cobey AKA the Black Fiend. Yeah, yeah so Bandit’s the boss and Desley can be a moody mare – those two need to lighten up.
I come with a reputation. I tossed the first bloke who tried to ride me – you should have seen the look on his face as he went sailing through the air. That was so much fun. Then a few years down the track I came to a place called Braeside and met Brian. I tried to dislodge him many times but he’s a stubborn buggar, and every time I bucked I got jabbed in the ribs with the spurs, so the novelty of that wore off after a while.
I dislodged Brian once though. I blew up my belly real good when he was tightening the girth then waited till we were crossing the river – off he went – hahahahahahahahahahaha
I’ve got Mandy bluffed. She won’t ride me. I love to sneak into the garden and wait till she’s watching me. Then I casually walk up to her roses and give them a prune. She goes off her rocker! She yells and chases me around; I buck and snort and aerate the lawn, then eat another rose bud.
There was this one time when I was watching some people working in the cattle yards, and there weren’t even any cows in the yards – boring. So I went over to their ute and had a look in the esky. Yum – sandwiches. I helped myself and then there was another woman yelling and chasing after me. As I said, lighten up.
I like bread. So does Desley. She pinched a whole loaf out of the boot of the car once. Way to go, old girl. Then Brian yelled at her and like a sook she dropped it and ran off. It was left to me to save the day. I ran in, picked up the loaf and galloped into the sunset.
I also like beer, chips and Weet-bix.
Protest upheld. Mutiny avoided.