Host: Blina Station
Written by – Connie Gray, Station Hand, Blina Station.
Our horse plant is an integral part of the operations at Blina, as we do not use buggies, bikes, or toyotas when handling our cattle. In total we have about 70 in our plant, with quite a few young ‘colts’ (young and newly broken in horses) coming up through the ranks. It is imperative for the crew to have a sound knowledge and experience with horses in order to safely and effectively carry out their role at Blina.
All of the crew are expected to care for their horses hooves, as well as shoe their own plant. All are involved in general upkeep and maintenance of the plant.
We have one stallion and approximately 14 brood mares situated on Ellendale Station. Twice a year the brood mares are brought in and their feet are filed, overall condition checked, and weanlings are taken off and recorded.
The Weanlings are taken back to Blina homestead where they are handled (taught to face up, take the halter, lead, feet picked up etc). They are then put out to paddock to be broken in the following year.
All of the stock crew are expected to take on a ‘breaker’ – (a young, unridden horse) and break them in. Once they have been broken in, they are then taken out on short rides during the muster to get them used to working cattle. These certainly make for some very interesting and sometimes funny, sometimes stressful rides!!!!
Drafting the Horse Plant
Now we are coming to the end of the season and the cattle work is coming to a close, all of our plant are brought in, unshod, drenched, and then bushed. I think all of our ponies kick up their heels when they feel their bare feet in the ‘bush’ paddock!!! They certainly deserve a good spell after all the hard work they do with us.
T-Bone and ‘Bruiser’.