So why would you think a road trip across Australia with your horse could be a great discussion topic! In many many ways……
From Qld to Tamworth to Broken Hill, the Nullabor to Perth WA
Having horses in your life brings you so many great experiences, a best friend forever and an amazing sense of freedom. Horse life from child hood, teenager years with a companion at your side you have so much responsibility and love for, friends in different towns and states from team competition that you have for life and a sport you can enjoy with all ages forever.
I really want to express just how much fun my sport of polocrosse is and what this meant when I did an 8 day road trip with my Dad from QLD to Perth WA.
We were bound for the 2008 WA Polocrosse Nationals held every 2 years in Australia. With myself selected to play for QLD and my Dad selected to play for NSW. A little bit of rivalry. And my goodness what camp would we set up in when we arrive? Respect your parents came into play of which my Dad deserves incredible respect in life, and Dad deserved to be in the company of his mates while I was quite happy to walk the mile between camps to my team. OK, sometimes I jumped in the car. I have many friends still in NSW that I have known through my junior playing years, so this was great to chat about old times and do some important spying on the opposition game tactics.
PREPARE – Food, tyres, water, first aid, clothes, food, horse feed, petrol stops etc etc
- Your horse has to be very fit and healthy for such a road trip
- You have to get along with your travelling partner and develop a routine of roles such as making a good coffee while driving and not spilling a drop….or burning yourself! Unpacking at stops, packing, unpacking, packing and when we finally arrived at our destination we were quite puffed so when it came to setting up the awning this was a big challenge and I think our gear was spread out everywhere for at least a day until we had the energy to organise our camp. A cold drink sitting on our feed buckets was very enjoyable.
- You have to stop often approx. every 5-7hrs to give your horses a break
- Stop overnight and make sure they get some light exercise. This cannot be under estimated as we were preparing to play at the Perth Nationals our horses were on high grain high energy diets, lowered for the trip but still required ready for competition. Without careful attention to diet and sufficient exercise this would result on your horse tying up during a game…..not good.
- Assist them with B vitamins and electrolytes to reduce stress, keep their appetite up and support their wellbeing. Lucky also my Dad is a horse acupuncturist so this came in very handy if they were a bit muscle sore.
- There were also many state rules and regulations to vaccinate for liver fluke months prior to the trip, stop at a vet on the way and not take horse feed over the border, ration the days so no wastage and ensure your selected horse feed was available after quarantine checks
Our stopover at a racetrack at Ceduna, just beautiful. And after this stop was the great australian bite, riding out in camel country to the headlands.
The best part of my life growing up and to this day has been to share my horse sport with my family. Dad is now 66, still playing polocrosse, still mustering his cattle and it’s a lifestyle that keeps us grounded and enjoying life to the max. I think Dad and I will definitely live past 100 and we will still be playing polocrosse together for many years and hopefully one day Dad will even get the joy to play on the field with his grandchildren Jackson & Keira.
I would love to hear what you would like to get out of your life with a horse or any travelling/sporting tips feel free to ask or share.