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Duration: 5 days
Trip code: AUJJ
Live the cowboy life rising horses on an authentic Aussie outback ranch! Become a Jackaroo (or Jillaroo!) of all trades and muster up your best cowboy impression, as you enjoy a real Australian adventure in the outback and learn some ranch-based skills on this 5 day horsemanship and outback ranch experience. Lassoing a chance to gain (or improve on) your riding skills, you’ll become a rugged outback rider in no time – no matter what your level of experience – and can really take the bit between your teeth as you learn the basics of horsemanship and ranch work: such as calf wrestling, whip cracking, lassoing, mustering and more, with the chance to find yourself real ranch work after your stay!
Lasting a total of five days, your time on the ranch will be short and sweet and completely wild and unforgettable!
As you’ll be picked up from the Tamworth YHA and taken to the ranch at 9am on a Monday, we recommend that you arrive in Tamworth on the Sunday at the latest, and consider staying in the hostel for a few nights beforehand/ over the weekend. If you would like to arrange a stay at the hostel we can help do this for you.
After you’re met by our ranch partners, you’ll be taken to the ranch to begin Day 1 of your trip! During your stay you’ll want to bring clothes which you don’t mind getting dirty. If you’re not sure if you have anything suitable don’t worry too much, as on when the trip begins on Monday mornings you’ll have a chance to visit a second hand store and grab some ranch rags on the way to the farm.
If you don’t have your own boots you may have the chance to borrow some from the ranch (all the best cowboys get someone to wear their boots in for them!). You should know however that there are no size guarantees, and that they may not smell quite the same as fresh store-bought boots!
Day 1 - Monday
After a 9am pickup from Tamworth YHA in Tamworth, New South Wales, you’ll be taken to the ranch via a quick stop at a second-hand clothes store, so you can grab yourself some work clothes should you need them.
Arriving at the ranch, you’ll have a quick introduction over a cup of tea before taking your first cowboy steps: getting straight into a grooming and saddling up lesson.
After lunch, you’ll have your first lesson in Natural Horsemanship and will take your first proper ride: trekking with the group for two and a half hours. As this trek includes a few handy lessons on bush survival and local bush tucker, you’ll be well on your way to overcoming the outback by Day 2!
Day 2 - Tuesday
As you can’t continue your ranch experience without your ride, you’ll first need to catch yourself a horse and saddle up using the skills you learnt on Day 1! Taking a two hour Natural Horsemanship lesson, your bond with your horse will only improve during the morning, after which you’ll have a barefoot trimming lesson, and will lasso yourself a cracking time with a whip-cracking and lasso class.
After lunch you’ll get to play a few Natural Horsemanship games with your horse, before mustering sheep on horseback, and working on your trotting and cantering skills. Barrelling into a horseback barrel race in the afternoon, your afternoon will take on a more sheepish structure, where you’ll have a talk on sheep health and husbandry, and take a lesson on sheep shearing.
Day 3 - Wednesday
Day 3 will begin with another two hour natural horsemanship lesson, and by now you and your horse should be getting along like old friends. Working on pasture improvement before lunch, your afternoon will be spent on more work-based activities around the ranch, such as fence and yard building, which often involves tree felling.
Day 4 - Thursday
Catching your horse and saddling up, on Day 4 you’ll play a few natural horsemanship games in the morning before moving your horseback mustering skills onto bigger game, mustering, yarding and drafting cattle (rather than sheep). In the afternoon, after a picnic lunch, the bovine theme will continue with a talk on cattle breeding and husbandry, and you’ll join in with a lasso competition before wrestling, branding and marking some calves. As you may be pretty tired from a day of cow-based chaos, your last activity of the day will be watching a demonstration on the use of working dogs.
Day 5 - Friday
With the week racing by, your last day will begin with a morning of maintenance, as you learn how to maintain saddlery. Catching and saddling your horse for the last time, you’ll play a few Natural Horsemanship games, before taking a ride – in the summer this will be to the swimming hole where you can take your horse for a bit of a splash around! Horsing around with a few horseback games, your day will end with a little more riding as you go for a last trot and canter before returning to the Tamworth YHA at around 6pm.