Be a part of Australia’s premier representative body for Trail Horse Riders.
Ride with confidence when you have an ATHRA club membership.
ATHRA provides members with great value and benefits.
Mc Gauran’s Beach Ride November 24th 2013
Before I start on the Ride Report I would like to say how sorry we are about Brian losing his horse ‘Black Jack’. Black Jack had been with Brian for a good 20 – 25 years. Brian would lend Black Jack out to people who needed a horse for the weekend, or to get their confidence back ... Thanks Brian.
The eager beavers rocked up a day early. Saturday afternoon wasn’t so bad weather wise and Mick and Daniel had already set up a paddock for the horses. Daniel and Joel busily gathered firewood for the beach bonfire. Top job guys. Mick was then bitten by this 8 legged hairy scary spider, called a huntsman. Well the huntsman really got the man. One hour later and Mick was still moaning about the spider bite. Thinking back maybe he had good reason for doing so, as his finger was twice the size than it should have been.
Weather is getting a bit rough now, however the kids and big kids at heart decide they are all going for a bareback ride. All I can say is “big boys should use a saddle” and “don’t ask Joel for a bunk up”, bad news!! Some people just put too much muscle into the bunk up, as was the case for poor Daniel who just kept going, up, up, and over, not even touching the horses back. As you could imagine there was a lot of laughter and it was a little like watching pigs fly accompanied by the squealing.
Brian and Mick cooked Saturday night’s tea, not bad, we had a bit of everything.
Back into the float as the winds picked up, then the skies opened up. We were tough and made it through the night.
Paula made her famous pancakes for breakfast Sunday morning, while Mick and Brian cooked the eggs and bacon and the kids entertained themselves with a blue tongue lizard which they returned to a much safer place – back to its natural habitat.
Horseless muster took place at approximately 9.45 a.m. and 12 riders rode off, with yours truly on a new horse by the name of Harley, who I picked up on the way to the beach. We cruised along the road for awhile and went around a lake called Jack Smiths Lake. By this stage the wind had picked up again and the heaven’s opened the flood gates again. Most of us were prepared for bad weather with our drizabone coats at the ready, but there’s always one isn’t there? One member only had on a thin jumper that he was wearing and no wet weather gear. Jack Smiths Lake was a very interesting place to look around with the strange bushes and plants that grow near the sea. I have no idea what any of these plants were called, but there are heaps on the tracks everywhere. A few sand dunes and winding tracks led us to the beach. Some of the horses were old pros at this and we used these horses to get the nervous one’s closer to the surf – worked really well.
The ocean was frothing at the edge as if it wanted to pull us in, while the waves were rolling in like big barrels at us and we all took it in. Mother nature was licking at our hooves and while I am on this subject of mother nature, nearly every 10-15 metres along the beach there was a dead bird. I notified Parks Victoria and they replied back to me saying that it happens all the time, when the birds migrate and only the strong survive. The birds on the beach were the one’s that just weren’t strong enough to survive the journey.
We started on our way back to the campsite, and came across a message written in the sand on the beach ... ‘not far to go now’. We were all wondering who would have written that in the sand, and were convinced it wasn’t any of the guys back at camp. Turns out Jill had ventured down to the beach to join us for lunch and had written the message in the sand. Nice touch Jill.
Arriving back at the Camp site, Brian was busy cooking our lunch. Thanks again Brian, top job. Erin’s horse Bundy was trying to help out but he wasn’t allowed in the float. You don’t meet too many horses that don’t mind a snag and bread. Bundy is the exception. Thanks to Jill for venturing down to the beach to join us for lunch and who can forget that yummie cake she made.
Although the weather wasn’t that kind to us and we had wind and rain. Would I do it again, YES I would. And by the way, for those of you wondering how Harley went, he was the perfect gentleman.