Bush schooling

Host: Myroodah Station
Written by Pam Daniell – Manager, Myroodah.

Working with animals on a daily basis in a harsh and remote environment like the Kimberley, can be all the more pleasurable with a few extra skills and training. Life can often be unpredictable when working with our four-legged friends, but the stress and effort can largely be reduced on both man and beast if given the right tools for the job. Spending all day in the saddle during a muster is all the more pleasant if you and your horse are working well together. It is an exhausting day when you spend it battling against the animal underneath you rather than working as a team.

The risk of injury is all the more probable when people are not given the right training for the job. We are fortunate working for the Indigenous Land Corporation, as they are very supportive of the right training for staff working on their Stations. Each year we undertake many of the same training courses because we believe they are so beneficial to the business. Three of these Schools we deem as being very important for our staff are Horsemanship, Low Stress Stockhandling and the all essential Australian First Aid.

We try to undertake the Horsemanship School early in the season as it fits in well with any less experienced horseman we have in the crew who need to get some basics down pat. Our experienced riders get plenty out of the School which incorporates a shoeing component as well. We employ Heath Stewart from Salt River Performance Horses based east of Perth to travel up and deliver a seven day School. He has been coming here for the past three years and he does an excellent job with all our staff.

5.1Participants in the 2014 Horsemanship School with instructor Heath Stewart 2nd from left.

The Low Stress Stockhandling School was undertaken just last week. Jim and Terry Lindsay from Hughenden in north-west Queensland have been delivering these two and three day schools across the north of Australia for the past 23 years. Their mission is to foster an environment of low stress interaction between people and animals, to impart knowledge that promotes a positive attitude towards low stress stockhandling and to show people the economic benefits of a low stress environment. The staff always enjoy this course and it gives them more confidence and understanding of cattle to continue on with their work for the rest of the season.

5.2Myroodah Stockmen during the Low Stress Stockhandling School.

The delivery of a First Aid Course is so important when we live in the environment we do. It is a comfort knowing the staff have training in things like basic life support, snake bite bandaging, wound dressing and generally just a better awareness of the steps to take if ever presented with an emergency situation. Help is not always close at hand in the bush so this type of training is so imperative to the safety of all the staff.

5.3First Aid Course held in late 2013 at Myroodah Station.