11.06.12 - After driving for miles along a dirt road, we arrived at Leconfield Jackaroo and Jillaroo School in Tamworth NSW, and upon arrival were given a cup of tea and a rundown of the week's program. The horses were already saddled up for us, and we went on a beautiful trail ride that looked over Tim Skerrets' 1800 acre property. We tried all the local bush tucker, and one example of this was by rolling up stinging nettle it no longer stings and doesn't taste too bad! All our meals are cooked on the fire and all products come straight from Leconfield. There are so many great people from all over the world, who describe Australia as "either on fire, or under water!"
12.06.12 – Breakfast was served at 6.30am, and shortly after we caught and saddled the horses. We left them tied up and headed over to the round yard to watch Tim bond with a wild Brumby, and we learnt Parelli's natural style of breaking in a horse. After wards we had a go at shoeing a horse, did some lassoing practice and learnt a few different whip cracks before having some lunch. After lunch we got on the horses and mustered the sheep, followed by some barrel racing. To finish off the day we watched some rams be castrated; Tims farmhand Justin did it with his teeth! Then we were asked if we wanted a turn.... The New Zealand guy put his hand up, and the rest of us had a go at shearing one instead!!!
13.06.12 – We spend the morning learning some more advanced horsemanship. We then headed out the paddock to learn some pasture improvement, and learnt the different types of weeds in the NSW area. The main weed we were looking for was Turnip Weed. After a cup of tea and some lunch, we did some tree felling and fence building. After stripping the bark off a whole tree and turning it into 8ft lengths we felt pretty worn out so we spent the evening relaxing by the fire.
14.06.12- at 6:30am we had breakfast and made our lunch. We then got on our horses and headed 6km up a mountain and mustered all Tims cattle into his cattle yards. We ate our lunch up there and separated the calves from the heifers. We used the calves to have a lassoing competition, and did some steer wrestling. We branded one, and cut the top of his ear (as it had to be done in NSW.) We let the cows out and watched a working dog demonstration where Tims well trained dogs got the cattle back into the yards faster than the 12 of us on horseback did! We then let them out again and took them back to their paddock and headed back down the mountain home into the sunset.
15.06.12 – On the final day we did some horsemanship with our horses, and did some more barrel racing. We mustered some cattle and went for a fast paced ride. We all got our references and a list of jobs we could apply for in the future. We said our goodbyes to those who had to travel a long way home, and the rest of us got on the bus for a fun night out on the town!
I spent a few days with a friend in Tamworth, before heading home to a very cold Tasmania!
It was such a fantastic opportunity and I would like to thank Amanda, and the Rural Youth for giving me this opportunity and helping me along the way! I learnt so much from this trip and am hoping to head up to work at the school with Tim sometime in the future!