Host: Yarrie Station
Hey I’m Jess, and I am originally from a sheep and grain farm two and a half hours south east of Perth in a small town called Darkan. Working on a cattle station had always been always been a dream of mine. When I finally decided to bite the bullet and ditch the city job and try my hand at mustering, I was lucky enough to end up working at Yarrie Station.
My first day of mustering it was raining (not quiet what I expected in Marble Bar) but that feeling of galloping after mob of mostly clean skins that had just taken off out of the yards with the chopper flying right over your head was amazing!! And from that moment on I was hooked and have loved every minute of it since.
As Yarrie is such a huge property we have camps in certain areas that we set up yards with portable panels to work out of so that the cattle don’t have to be walked such a long distance. The cattle are drafted, and then the cows that are going bush can just be let go again and the sale cattle are then trucked back to the home yards for processing by Kelsie and her best mate Madee. You will be out at any one camp for a week or more depending on how many musters you do into that set of yards. These camps are set up in some of the most scenic spots on Yarrie and you are normally racing someone else to set your swag up in the best spot alongside the creek.
There is so much to learn about cattle handling and I was lucky enough to work alongside Annabelle, Nellie and Kelsie who taught me the skills of low stress stock handling, and learning how to tail weaners. Annabelle also provides a professional to come to Yarrie and do a stock handling course for a week, which is great because us inexperienced ones get to practice the more important roles such as been in the lead and on the point in a situation that is controlled, and there is always someone more experienced to back us up and assist if it all goes pear shaped.
We practised this when we let the weaners out to feed for a couple of hours in a nearby holding paddock. We used two horses and two motorbikes. Communication is a major key to it being successful so we really had to work together and know which roles each one of us were playing. It was really rewarding to see the difference in the weaners after they had been tailed compared to mobs that hadn’t been handled yet. It was lovely to work with quiet happy cows and made putting them through the draft and crush a much easier task compared to a mob straight out of the bush. Working on the crush and calf marking was also another one of the things I really enjoyed.
Although it’s not all about mustering the cattle . . . you also learn a lot of valuable skills such as fencing, vehicle maintenance, fixing tyres, trough maintenance, and the list goes on you’re never short of a job on a station.
And then there are the amazing people that you get to spend every day working alongside. The Yarrie crew are like one big family and are always working hard but at the same time are up for a bit of fun and a joke to make the day go faster. I loved spending time down at the river having a fire doing a spot of fishing and having a few beers! And then there is the awesome gazebo where we can all hang out at after a day’s work.
I loved every minute of station life and would recommend any one that’s willing to get your hands dirty and have fun to give it a go!