New Program for 2008-2009 June 2008

We are enthused about introducing our exciting program for next season, November 2008 through to April 2009. We have made quite a few changes this year, mostly in response to prompting from our customers.
We are re-introducing our famous Seven day ride in February 2009, a great opportunity to enjoy the best of the Bogongs, both Mount Fainter and Mount Bogong in the one trip. Of course we are still offering the choice of a five-day Mount Bogong packhorse adventure and our three, four and five day Mount Fainter packhorse adventures.
In association with master horseman Wayne Banney, we have expanded the Natural Horsemanship ride/clinic program to three rides, one starting in early December. These popular clinics combine our renowned packhorse tours with an opportunity to improve riding and horsemanship skills in a working environment. Although we have a fantastic team of horses, bred and trained here at Tawonga, you can bring your own horse along.
New for this coming season we have introduced two fun and informative clinics designed for young travellers and Aussies- our five-day Australian Horsemanship and bush skills course. Designed for backpackers, especially those with some horse experience in their home country, who are keen to learn the Australian way of riding and using horses especially in a bush setting. Participants will learn all about safe riding, handling and management of horse stock, preparing for overnight and longer camping trips with horses, planning for and using packhorses, the horse camp, cooking with fire, basic hoof care, saddle repairs and maintenance and a swag of other skills and hints. The program is based at the homestead yards with three days out in the bush. What a great way to start your Australian adventure and set yourself up for work and travel all over the Australian horse world.
Inevitably the economic realities of the modern world have forced us to a review of our prices. The increases come into effect from July 1st 2008, so if you can commit with a booking and deposit for a ride over the 2008-2009 season, by June 30th 2008, we will honour our current pricing.

Special Horse for Sale Aug 2007

We have a very special young horse for sale at the moment. A pretty 4yo Palamino mare, she is registered Qarab, QH and Palamino.
Friendly, intelligent and with a touch of spunk, this well trained young horse has potential in many disciplines. Easy to shoe, float load and handle, she has done lots of yard and halter work, Trail rides, pack horse trip and is willing and attentive under saddle. She will go on to reward a demanding owner.
Please call and discuss Sheza Pretty Legend if you are interested. Kath Baird 03 5754 4849.
The mare is currently in Tonimbuk, West Gippsland, and you can arrange to veiw her by calling Kath’s sister Jo Dobinson on 03 5629 8584

In the Studio Aug 2007

Steve Baird, now long settled in the High Country has built a life of family, horses and adventure, with his wife Kath and their successful horse tour enterprise Bogong Horseback Adventures. Along the way as expedition leader and guide, both with the horses in the High Country and regularly with another tour company conducting 4WD tours of remote outback Australia Steve has continued his travels through the landscape.
A keeper of travel journals Steve often recorded his impressions of the High Country in poetry and prose. The travel journals have slowly transformed from mostly prose, to drawings, sketches and written observations of the past 5 years.
With an adult family and a use by date for life in the swag, Steve has recognised and awakened his need to paint.You can see some of Steve’s work on his art website www.stevebairdart.com

Cast to the Four Winds Aug 2007

Pleased to report that Clay, currently riding the Pacific Crest Trail in California is working on his film project, a documentary with a working title of “Socks, Jocks and Twenty Bucks” with a focus on horses, wild places, special events, community and volunteer work. Having gained some interest in the project from distributors and broadcasters, Clay is filming the first episode, to use as a pilot for further production. After completing his film school last year Clay has put an enormous amount of work into this project and with the recent purchase of a professional HDV camera there will be no stopping him now. Any readers who wish to contact Clay can do so at mule.media@gmail.com
Also in California with Clay are Bogong Horseback staffers Tom Hutton, Brodie Pownall and Jane Forke. Working the Mule teams with Rock Creek Pack Station in the Sierra Nevada Mountains is a great skill building experience and opportunity to travel the world.
Tom seems to be well accepted over there and his horse skills have seen him in demand for working with young and unstarted stock. We also heard a rumour of an upcoming story in Western Horseman magazine. www.rockcreekpackstation.com
Clay and Jane will both be back this summer to run the rides here at Bogong, with plenty of tales to tell no doubt.
Meanwhile older son Lin is living in London, absorbing life on the Continent, with some local European travel including Morocco, France, Rome and Germany. Clay and Brodie will be meeting him in London in October, and linking up with Emile and Clay’s good friend Shayna should make for a lively camp under the northern stars.

A Visitor from Mongolia Aug 2007

We recently enjoyed a surprise visit from an inspiring young man from Mongolia. You may recall previous stories about Tim Cope the adventurer, and his latest project to ride horses from Mongolia to Hungary, in the footsteps of Genghis Khan. You can read all about Tim’s adventures, from his training program with Bogong Horseback Adventures, to the unfolding tale of his journey across Eurasia at his website.
Early in his travels Tim met up with Gans Baatarsuren, a 29yo local tour guide who helped Tim span the knowledge gap between the continuing traditional semi-nomadic lifestyle of the Mongolians beyond the urban environment of Ulanbator, the country’s main city, and the challenges of the modern adventurer.
Gans is the owner operator of an adventure tour business offering horse riding, four wheel driving, hiking, fishing and kayaking in the environment of the rich natural and cultural heritage across the vast open country of the mountains, deserts and plains of Mongolia.
Having sorted out Tim’s early challenges, and on hearing of Gan’s recent travel to Australia, Tim suggested he visit us here at Bogong Horseback Adventures to “swap notes” on the joys and tribulations of tour operations. We thoroughly enjoyed Gans company and although we didn’t do too much work as such, we did have some big laughs and learnt about his homeland, nomadic lifestyle, horsemanship, and the critical role of horses in the economy and well being of the nomads.
You can read more about Tim’s adventures at www.timcopejourneys.com.

Program 2007-2008 Aug 2007

The dates are set, the packsaddles ready to come out of their winter storage, our butcher has his smokehouse fired up, the vegetable garden is getting prepared, as all falls in place for the coming season of packhorse adventures into our wonderful backyard, the peaks and plains of the Victorian High Country.
The program is a continuation of the success of the past few seasons, with a mix of straight out adventure rides and a few “mobile clinics” on natural horsemanship and bush riding and camping skills. Both programs offer similar experiences in the same spectacular landscape.
The adventures focusing on our traditional packhorse journeys, travelling the High Country in a time honoured fashion, combining great food, fantastic horses, friendly staff and memorable times. We have Mount Bogong rides and Mount Fainter rides, both offering different but rewarding riding country. On the Fainter side you can expect traditional huts and yards, sweeping open high plains and often encounters with brumbies. The Bogong rides offer spectacular landscapes, rugged remote tracks and soaring ridges and spurs.
The Natural Horsemanship rides include the added dimension of having master horseman Wayne Banney on the ride, available to you to advise and teach you on the finer points of your riding and the behaviour of your horse. Offered in a true working environment, these clinics can put up a few challenges not usually experienced in a “yard” environment.
To book on one of these rides you need to contact our office and check on availability. You can then secure your booking with a $300 deposit. Numbers on the tours are limited, and some dates book out early.

Land of Plenty Aug 2007

With a wet and mild May, we witnessed a rapid transformation of our local landscape. The dry, dusty paddocks turned green and put on a spurt of growth that you would normally only expect in spring. The past few months have witnessed a big snow dump on the tops and consequently the springs and creeks are slowly coming back to life.
We have a long way to go before we can declare the long, dry, hot period of the past 5 years over, but the signs are encouraging. Next on the wish list is a normal spring with a good harvest and a shed full of hay.
We are pleased with the way our horse stock has come through the drought years and all are looking good for this time of year. We will be rolling the last of our 2005 harvest out of the shed over the next few weeks, then spring is just around the corner.
We hope that those amoungst our readers who are on a farm, that you too have enjoyed something of a recovery and that any crops sown will be successful.
Thanks to John and Nadine at “Lilydale” via Howlong and Kath’s sister Jo for taking on a few of our horses over the big dry.
The High Country will benefit from this winter’s snow. Springs and bogs will be recharged, snow patch plant communities will recover with a return of long lasting snow drifts in those sheltered south facing gullies and our camps will be revitalized.

Horse for Sale Dec 2006

We have a very special young horse for sale at the moment. A pretty 4yo Palamino mare, she is registered Qarab, QH and Palamino.
Friendly, intelligent and with a touch of spunk, this well trained young horse has potential in many disciplines. Easy to shoe, float load and handle, she has done lots of yard and halter work and will go on to reward a demanding owner.
Please call and discuss Sheza Pretty Legend if you are interested. 03 5754 4849.

Cathi “Longfella” Dec 2006

Way back in the late eighties we had the pleasure of taking on Cathi “Longfella” as a camp hand and horse tailer, and Cathi along with her boyfriend of the time Rob the buffalo catcher, proved to be most handy and appreciated around home and camp. Working in the Nortern Territory during the dry, and down south with us during the wet, long, tall, blonde Cathi became a good friend, and we have followed her adventures in life since she moved on from Bogong Horseback Adventures.
Now married into a Native American Family and living in Wyoming USA, Cathi Soldier Wolf has maintained a love for horses and wide open spaces.

We have fond memories of Cathi, and could not have imagined back then of the life journey she would take. Kath visited her in Wyoming in 1998 and was priveledged to join her Northern Arapaho community at a Pow Wow, an exciting and special weekend of festival, dance and spectacular horsemanship.

What did Happen with the Recent Bushfires Dec 2006

With a long dry spring and early summer, the threat of bushfire rising from the drought dried forest was a real threat that eventuated with a series of lightening strikes in early December that ignited fires across the “western” half of the Alpine National Park. That is country to the west of the Great Alpine Road. Eventually encompassing areas from Mount Buffalo to Mount Buller, The King Valley to Dargo, the fire ground now covers over 800,000 hectares.
Then the spectre of bushfire returned to the Bogongs with the “outbreak” of the Tawonga Gap fire on about the 10th December 2006. The fire, believed to be have been deliberately lit, spread rapidly from it’s source on the Tawonga Gap Road to engulf much of the forested hill country to the West and South of the townships of Tawonga, Tawonga South and Mount Beauty.

Fires blaze above the town lights, veiwed from our home verandah
Tawonga South and Simmonds Creek were particularly threatened and the fire was held off from private property by a concerted and determined effort by CFA volunteers, DSE staff fire fighters, heavy machinery and aircraft support.
As the threat to the upper Kiewa valley receded the fires spread south over Big Hill, Mount Fainter, Pretty Valley and into the head of the Bundarra River.
Click on the map below to open a map of the fire ground, and Alpine National Park Closures.