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The Late Great Adam Stewart Dec 2009

A tribute by Kath Baird
I first met Adam when he walked out to my place to ask if he could help with the horses. He was just a kid, around 14 years old. He knew everything about horses, of course! He was pretty wild, had a HOT seat and stirred up every horse he ever rode! Just the other week we were laughing about old times and I scorned him, as to just how many of my horses he and all the ‘saved teenagers’ at our place, had galloped into the ground. Some of my prized horses were never the same, those kids drove me CRAZY!
My mum Eleanor, was running a trail riding business on our family property in West Gippsland, Tonimbuk. She always need a hand after losing my dad, so I suggested Adam could work for her. It was the beginning of a long loyal friendship between them. They looked after one another for many years. I will always be grateful to Adam for his care of my beautiful Mum.
Adam went from jeans to jodhpurs, from riding horses like the wind, to educating them the discipline of dressage with his kind soft hands, and his HOT seat! Adam was fearless, a great story teller, funny, kind, complicated, loyal, and delightfully eccentric.
We will miss you Adam, when we ride the High Country with horse tail clouds above us, we know your riding with us.
We will remember you.

Barter for the Willing Dec 2009

BHA have been planning to build a riders lounge and accommodation buildings here on the property. Steve, Kath Lin and Clay have finalised plans and have been patiently awaiting council approval. We have had many positive comments about the proposed plans and are eager to get building.
So we are calling upon skilled tradespeople interested in bartering a trip on the High Plains for work on our project. Please get in touch to discuss the possibilities.

No Place Like Home Dec 2009

By Clay Baird
Over the last 10 years I have been riding horses in California, partying in Spain, dancing in South America, stranded by a hurricane in Mexico, climbing ancient temples in Peru and most recently riding a bicycle across Cuba. People tell me how fortunate I am to lead such an adventurous life abroad, during my travels people are amazed by what I do at home in Australia! “What an amazing life you have, to ride horses in the Australian mountains!”. People I have met in my travels are always curious about my life back home, my back yard! The beauty of the Alpine National Park, the stories of the brumbies cantering across the High Plains, the extraordinary kangaroo, and the fact that we eat them! People I speak to around the world relish the descriptions I give of Bogong Horseback and the adventures we offer.
On my return journey from Cuba this year, the air in Melbourne had a sweetness about it. As I progressed closer to the Kiewa Valley the smell grew stronger, it was the smell of good rain and green grass, with the sun setting on the Bogong High Plains, it brought a tear to my eye. I thought of all the people I have met on my journeys who may never see this incredible place. My sadness was overcome by knowing that I will spend the rest of this summer and many summers to come in these very mountains, with wonderful people sharing all that the Bogong High Plains has to offer.
So to all the Bogong dreamers out there, I look forward to taking you on an adventure through my favorite place on earth.

2009 Victorian Tourism Award Winner Dec 2009

Last month Bogong Horseback Adventures won the 2009 Victorian Tourism Awards in the Adventure Tour Operator category, sponsored by Parks Victoria. We were joined by some good friends at the gala dinner, the cheer when we won was a testament to a fantastic evening.

Horseman Wayne Banney is due in the next couple of days ready to join the first pack trip this Monday 14th December. The horses are looking great after a rainy spring, everything is green and growing. Our farrier Bob is booked to get the mob shod and we have an eclectic crowd of staff ready to tie a swag on their nag and get up the bush. Interested in joining one our tours this year?

January is still available! Perfect time of year to ride over the High Plains, sipping a cuppa billy tea at lunch amongst the wild flowers and snow grass, get into camp with plenty of light and warmth in the day to jump in the creek for a swim! So pack your bags, throw in your togs and riding boots, and come join us in the beautiful High Country.

We Plan Alpine Jul 2009

As part of the review of the Alpine Management plan, our riders can offer feedback through this site We Plan Alpine. Within this site is a link to a map where individuals can nominate special places, areas of significance or concern this is an important document to register your support of continued horse access in the future. The survey will close soon so if you are interested please take a look now, please note: The ‘access code’ input script is a little tedious, be persistent and you will get through.

Surf to Saddle Jul 2009

Sean McAnulty met Clay at film school in Melbourne a few years ago and have been great mates ever since. Sean, a keen surfer and surf film maker came up to the High Country last season to join B.H.A. and learn the horse riding skills he would need when embarking their planned adventure. Sean and Clay are filming their first pilot of ‘Socks Jocks and Twenty Bucks’ so their bags are packed and their wallets a little on the lean side but their enthusiasm is infectious. First stop Rock Creek Pack Station to join Packing School and film their adventures with the team of talented packers and crew in the High Sierras then off to South America – Ecuador and Cuba -you can follow their adventures on Clay’s blog.

A Big Thank You Jul 2009

Last season we had a wonderful evolving crew of helpers and we have put a few photos up, but big thank-you to:
Eeske who stuck with us for the whole season always smiling and positive, her ability around horses outstanding, and the care of our guests on all the rides she was on was fantastic.
Johanna and Yvette who saved the day during winter when Clay was working on an Australian feature film called Van Diemans Land the movie. He had to leave B.H.A. temporarily. The girls were on the first leg of their trip, stayed for 6 weeks during last winter and ran the trail rides perfectly, the most capable, delightful young women. I loved their company, and we had lots of fun while Steve was working with Diamantina touring company.
Eeske, Johanna and Yvette are from Germany and their riding skills in dressage, fantastic, even Shannonvale (alfa mare extraordinaire) was preforming in the arena!
Johanna and Yvette forced themselves away to travel Oz but returned in December when they both booked on the first Natural/horsemanship ride in December!
We miss them!
A big thank you also to…
Luca, a strong hardworking, charming, young Italian.
Nina, also a strong German girl. Nina it was a pleasure working for you! (Nina’s a great organizer) Nina also suffered great homesickness but she soon became happy here and I bet she doesn’t forget her 20th birthday in a hurry! Her mother’s secret phone call from Germany, with the request of a cream pie in Nina’s face ( Apparently a family tradition) was a hard call, we don’t do cream cakes usually!
Eugene and her sister Hermine, beautiful French sisters and great riders, especially Hermine, it was a pleasure to watch her riding Eskdale. I wish they could have stayed longer!
Michael a very funny sweet man we laughed a lot around our kitchen table!
Sophie, from Switzerland who worked so hard in the heat of summer on the fencing and was always there with a helping hand.
Anna also from Germany, came on a 1/2 day ride early last summer and when she finished working as an au pair came back to B.H.A. late in the season to help out and ride.
Stephanie, from Montreal Canada who bravely arrived, having had no horse experience, is now riding on all the trail rides as a very important trail leader (2nd in charge) and even feeding the stallion with great confidence! She is still with us and intends to continue her travels in August.
Bro, Josh and Sean our strapping Aussie Horsemen and camp chefs who worked with Lin and Clay on the pack trips throughout the summer, all are fantastic young men and can they cook!
Cousin Loc, who has taken every opportunity possible to get up to Spring Spur to lend a hand. We wish him all the best in his year 12 studies and look forward to his help this coming season.
Lin, Clay, Steve and Kath welcome you all back anytime in the future!
The young people that have shared our lives here at Bogong Horseback over the years would be aware of the challenges it brings Steve and Kath, sharing their home constantly but they are grateful to have had them in their lives. Exciting changes to this arrangement are progressing with the development of the ‘Riders Lounge’ and accommodation project, complete with commercial kitchen facilities, will render Steve and Kath ‘empty nesters’ at last, albeit even if they all move next door!

The Big BHA Family Jul 2009

When the boys (Lin and Clay) were little they used to say ‘the world comes to us doesn’t it mum” and its very true, the young people that have blessed us with their help over the years, stories and experiences that could fill a book!
The “staff” at BHA, are usually young travelers. We offer a trainee ship at B.H.A, working with our Australian Stock horses. Riding the High Country with B.H.A is a great way to learn about our Australian way of life, its rich cultural history and the modern methods used today. More of a horsemanship/life clinic than just volunteer work, learning new skills from campfire cooking, training young horses, leather working and repairs, all in a shared living/working environment that involves hard work but is rewarded with great food, fun times and lots of horse riding.
We haven’t really kept the staff pages up to date on the web site. So if you have worked with us here at B.H.A. and you have a favorite photo of yourself for the staff page please send us one with the year you were here and we will up date our history!

New Blood Jul 2009

This past summer we were getting ready for a new arrival. A new electric fence was constructed, and within hours of completion there was a young colt investigating his new territory! Ashlar stud Simply Red is his registered name but in keeping with our tradition of naming our horses after places in the area, we decided to call him ‘Red Robin’ after the Red Robin gold mine on the West Kiewa. A studbook Australian Stock Horse with respectable pedigree – Red Oak, Destiny and Liberty lines. Soon Red Robin will woo a mare or two, but first he has some growing to do. His education however is well under way as Lin and Red have spent the past 2 weeks working with Barry Chambers, a talented horse trainer on his property near Corryong.
Feathertop and Mitta are in foal to Ashlar Stud’s Future Direction and Barwidgee and they are due to foal in the spring, so some new bloodlines are on the way!

Moving Forward July 2009

Our busy summer may be over, but there is plenty of things to keep us occupied. We have a few projects on the drawing board this year, our biggest is a new riders lounge and accommodation facility. Steve has not forgotten his building knowledge and architectural talents, he has been busy drawing up draft plans for council. We have all enjoyed being involved in the design process and are eager to keep moving forward.
We plan to incorporate recycled materials with new sustainable building products/technologies along with passive solar design to complete a green, sustainable infrastructure balanced with our existing buildings and landscape. We hope to complete the project by early next year! Below is a sneak peak of our design.
We have also built a timber round yard complete with landscaped viewing areas. This is a great improved work area for starting our young horses. We plan to host weekend horsemanship clinics on the property in the near future!