Mustering the cool cows

Host: Noreena Downs Station
Written by Kate Paull – Owner, Noreena Downs Station.

A typical mustering day on Noreena will be an early wake up say 4.30 to 5.15am approx, then breakfast.

After breakfast we will travel out to where we have left our bikes overnight at a holding paddock (holds cattle a day or two, so they don’t have to walk so far in one day) or start at the homestead with our bikes. Each bike is checked over and oil checked then off we go to muster the hopefully fat happy cows and check out more of Noreena’s scenery. This is one the joys of  the Pilbara country, a lovely peek at some of the Pilbara’s glory (go onto youtube and check out Niffy’s video called ‘THE SPORT THAT PRODUCES FOOD’, don’t forget to check out part two as well) anyways I’ve got sidetracked . . . why does this not surprise me.


Once we get to our destination safely and possibly shivering our booties off (can be a extremely cold ride out) we hold up at the bore and a couple of riders go out under the chopper to be utilised by the chopper pilot. Once the mob is together then we either head off to another bore, head for cattle yards or a holding paddock.


Holding up and walking cattle along requires everyone’s full attention as sometimes one or several cattle may try a flat run like Usain Bolt in order to run away. Some cattle may just drift further and further out from the mob hoping they disappear unnoticed. Cattle have a great sense of humour and mischievous . . . game on for us suckers.



Mob positions are:

Lead: front of mob, controls direction and speed (walking pace)

Tail: rear of mob, keep the cattle moving, ‘pushing up the rear’

Wings: right and left hand sides of mob, riding up and down to stop escapee artist and cattle feeding out

Lead points: right and left top wings, to help lead person out and control ratbags