Jackie Parry – author

Horseback Adventure

6 Comments

Freedom, horse gear, hard work, and a journey that will stay with you forever

‘You don’t need all that gear, look what motorcyclists take.’ I was shown two small panniers, not much bigger than handbags, hooked on the back of a bike.

This is one of the comments I’ve received on the equipment we carried when we trekked in the Australian bush with five horse; it’s all listed out in the back of the book A Standard Journey, or you can see it all here: via pictures.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mid journey, this was after we had whittled down the equipment even more – bare necessities here!

Bike vs Horse
For a start, if you are camping out with your motorbike and you need something, you can hop on your bike and speed off at 80 km to the nearest shops. You can’t do that on a horse that’s just trekked for six to eight hours carrying your world possessions and you!

Secondly, bikes don’t need feeding, grooming, first aid, rugs, boots, saddles, saddle blankets, fencing, electric fence equipment, water buckets, nose bags… and on it goes.

We'd just unloaded here - next job (once the horses were taken care of) was to sort our gear and pitch the tent

We’d just unloaded here – next job (once the horses were taken care of) was to sort our gear and pitch the tent

Personal equipment
I’d say fifty percent of the equipment comprised saddles (riding and pack – five in total) saddle blankets, halters and reins. You can’t get very far without any of this.

We were throwing out the hard panniers and buying back-packs - the saddle is in the camp shop - they are big and heavy

We were throwing out the hard panniers and buying back-packs – the saddle is in the camp shop – they are big and heavy

Forty percent of the gear would be for the horses, the fencing, water buckets, rugs, food, grooming kit, first aid kit…. etc

Our camp - second tent phase! The grey lump near the horses is all the horse gear

Our camp – second tent phase! The grey lump near the horses is all the horse gear

That leaves ten percent for Noel and I. That’s five percent each for clothes, food, cooking gear, first aid kit, tent and… well that was pretty much it!

First set up with hard panniers

First set up with hard panniers

Second, and much improved, set up, with back-packs

Second, and much improved, set up, with back-packs

Compromises
We made comprises and worked harder than we ever did in our entire lives. But there were great rewards, we had one mobile phone for emergencies and ninety percent of the time that had no signal. We had no internet, no car to run, no office to sit in. What we had was nature, freedom and five of the most incredible horses you will ever read about.

Freedom

Freedom

Take a look at our photo album of our trip and if you’d like to read the story, here’s the link. You can read an excerpt first if you want…. then the reviews.

Charity
I donate fifty percent of profits to horse charities, here’s a website on  A Helping Hand for Horses.

oh and BTW, I’ve just reduced the ebook price.

What are you waiting for?

What they are saying

‘A hauntingly beautiful book.’

‘This will stick with readers for a long time’

‘The journey was not all they had expected’

‘The trail presented obstacles at every turn’

‘The journey itself makes for incredibly engaging & interesting reading’

‘The details of the trip are fascinating’

‘I couldn’t put it down’

‘The horses are as real and vividly drawn as the humans in this book.’

‘The moments when the horses get “naughty” are hilarious’

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Author: jackieandnoel

Author and Traveller

6 thoughts on “Horseback Adventure

  1. Life is what we make it and your life is filled with exciting adventures. This is very informative in a “We want to go” way.

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  2. Have to give you and Noel credit – you don’t bother with the “easy” way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Auntie Jackie,
    You crack me up my lovely. I love your stories.

    Them there is fightin words.

    I think a challenge has been issued and I accept.

    Bike vs Horses

    My favourite subjects, travelling and doing it light and Bike vs Horse is particularly an interesting one.
    Having ridden motorcycles and toured on them for 35 years (ish) I’ve become quite adept at figuring out what you actually need to take on a trip. That and operating Jeff’s Touring Gear which sold Ultra light touring and camping gear gave me a right proper insight into the world of travelling light by any means. No longer operating. (a side note : By Any Means A DVD by Charlie Borman a must have and watch series, fantastic)
    What people think they need and what you actually need to take are two vastly different concepts in ideals and will do most sane peoples head in. This does depend on where you’re going of course.
    Desert vs coast trips, but really only the amount of water changes and a satellite phone gets packed, more fuel, the rest of the gear stays the same no matter where you go.

    I am not a horse person and never have been. I can’t even pretend to be. I got bitten by one once that was enough. Our neighbours had horses and sometimes I was called in to move a stubborn one or two they were having trouble with so I know mean grumpy horses. They hate me and I hate them.

    Let’s examine or break down what’s been said in your article.

    Jackie – Bike vs Horse.
    “For a start, if you are camping out with your motorbike and you need something, you can hop on your bike and speed off at 80 km to the nearest shops.
    You can’t do that on a horse that’s just trekked for six to eight hours carrying your world possessions and you!
    Secondly, bikes don’t need feeding, grooming, first aid, rugs, boots, saddles, saddle blankets, fencing, electric fence equipment, water buckets, nose bags… and on it goes.”

    Jeff – Do you really need to take all of your worldly possessions with you? NO!
    Yes, you can blast off to the nearest shop and pick up what’s needed, but most people rarely do, as they have already visited the local to pick up any supplies before setting off for the night
    The hard core guys have what they need and after doing 1200 k days they’re not going anywhere believe me or Noel.
    The credit card campers will definitely go for run.
    But no, you defiantly don’t have too if you have packed properly.
    Secondly, bikes need a lot of TLC if you expect to overtake that road train while riding at 180kph and dodging wedge tail eagles that suddenly turn across your path. You have to check your bike over every night to make sure no bolts have come loose, your foot pegs are tight, remove any mud or debris from the frame, are the tires are in good shape and at the correct inflation, check the oil levels, check all moving bearings (wheels, swing arms, head bearings ok, are the cables still working correctly and are not seizing up due to dust or other, no bits of wood jammed anywhere improper? clean the air filter after every long dirt road, are the attachment points still there and not snapped off after the last big off, is the frame ok? How much fuel have you got left? Will it make it to the next fuel stop? ….. and so it goes.

    Jackie – “I’d say fifty percent of the equipment comprised saddles (riding and pack – five in total) saddle blankets, halters and reins. You can’t get very far without any of this”
    I’d say Standard issue for normal riding … yes? Saddles, panniers, blankets. Bikers too have these things. A seat, panniers, blanket, handle bars, tires, wheels, cables, blinkers, headlight, break leavers, break peddle, gear leaver, clutch leaver, rear rack (some bikers use a sheep skin on the seat to make it a much more bearable ride) Can’t get far with any of these either.

    Jeff – Taking off a saddle is part and parcel of owning a horse and some would say the best part of breaking camp is saddling up and moving on out. So I put that bit down to be part and parcel of owning a horse anyway and since it is part and parcel and not packed gear as such should not be regarded as packed gear, as you would have it anyway and should be classified as essential gear and not packed gear.
    As is packing up a bike, warm up that engine in anticipation for the day a head after checking all blinkers and lights work for safety reasons there’s no finer place to be. I’m at peace ahhh in the saddle again.
    The main difference would be time in packing and unpacking and eventual camp set up. Packing rhythms are great once you find it and become second nature after awhile no matter what your method of travel is. But what is time on a journey with a horse. Stop where you want, have a snooze under the shade of a nice tree while the horses rested and grazed, sounds just lovely.

    Jackie – “Forty percent of the gear would be for the horses, the fencing, water buckets, rugs, food, grooming kit, first aid kit…. etc”

    Jeff – MMM difficult, this depends on the trek ahead, which country are you in etc. But in OZ is there really a need for an electric fence which would need a heavy battery for it to operate at a proper discharge? Recharging?
    The BNT pioneers never required any such item or much at all by the looks of them.
    How big is the grooming kit? Will a multipurpose brush do, 1X? Every biker has a first aid kit or should have.
    Water buckets can be the fold up ones, very light and take up not much space, hanky size to 20l in just a fold, fits in a pocket.
    Spare horse shoes and that gear is a must but only carry one hammer (small multipurpose).
    Horse food???? Just……..no!
    The touring motorcyclist can carry tire removing tools spare tubes and sometimes a spare tyre or two + all tools needed for repairs and spare fuel if your two wheel beastie is thirsty but depends on the area you’re riding too or through.

    Bourke and wills took a piano!?!?!? The best laid plans of mice and men hey.

    Jackie – Compromises
    “We made comprises and worked harder than we ever did in our entire lives. But there were great rewards,
    we had one mobile phone for emergencies and ninety percent of the time that had no signal.
    We had no internet, no car to run, no office to sit in. What we had was nature, freedom and five of the most incredible horses you will ever read about.”

    Jeff – Compromise is the word of the day Jackie, Compromise, Compromise then Compromise some more, twice more in fact and review that again then halve it and review. If whatever items are left weighs over 25kg reject that entire list and start over.

    The best part of any trip is looking for gear, the right gear and this will do most sane peoples head in. You will no longer be the same person you once were. You will have reached enlightenment (bad pun?)

    So what do I take you say? Summer Edition.
    Base weight is 4kg (cover, sleeping, cooking)
    (from a fading memory)
    Bag – An AndyStrapz, Canvas (think 30l not sure) 1x. Fits behind the rider, nice back rest but mainly goes onto the rear rack.
    If it won’t fit in there it’s left out.
    Cover – DD hammock (modded) and DD 3×3 tarp 1x
    Sleeping – Sea to summit sleeping bag Mc 2, mat is a Thermarest NEO AIR all season (just divine, we tested this out on a cold floor and actually warmed up)
    Cooking – Soto gas cooker with canister (goes in the side pocket of the bag), pot 1x light weight tongs knife and fork stainless. tea towel, little bottle of dishwashing liquid.
    Food – Depends, boil and bag or foil cooking for no mess clean up. San Remo Pasta people are heaven sent, San Remo with a bit of Italian sausage melted in or a steak, sausage, ham, fish yum yum boy oh boy.
    Yes you can pack in enough for a week as all is dry, preserved or fresh veggies. Ideas are limitless. One trip I made a curry.
    Water – If you can find a good 5litre wine bag I’ll use that or a 2l plastic coke bottle but that takes up too much room and is a bit of a squeeze to get in sometimes.
    Clothes – besides all the leather bike gear, helmet, boots, t shirt, jeans, socks, wallet already on etc I’ll leave that out as it’s not needed here as I’m wearing them.
    In the bag is 1x t shirt, 1x undies, 1x thick socks (explorer socks are just awesome) 1x jeans.
    Clothes are the heaviest part of my list, sometimes just left out all together. Even for a week, (see Philip Island run XD) you’re still in your bike gear most of the time as it can get cold, at night too and it keeps you toasty and warm.
    Wet weather gear – bottoms only, tucked into the top flap. Because it rains when you don’t expect it hey!!!!
    Tools – only tools that can be used on the bike are taken, nothing more and nothing less! This goes in the side pocket of the bag (very small). Depends on where I’m riding I will take wire and tape.
    Tie downs – AndyStrapz, forgotten the type sorry.
    Map – inside my jacket pocket nice and dry.
    I’ll take a Leatherman Wave just because I can, mmmm say it with me….. Leatherman Wave.
    I can’t ride at the moment so all is mute really. Ill pm you a photo on face book of my old set up I took on a trip.

    Horses for courses and my horse is of the 2 wheel variety every time. Although…. hearing the clip clop of the horses, the wind blowing through the trees, actually getting to see the country’s sights and smells at a pleasant pace, drifting off while looking at the scenery sounds absolute bliss too make no mistake about that. You had a fantastic and a very real adventure to tell as well. It’s hard to do all this blasting along at 8ok on dirt roads haha.
    What can one say but wish I was there OX.

    Final words.
    For whatever your method is, be it car, bike, push bike, horse or motor home or boat. DUAL USE….very important words, can I multipurpose that? This should be in the fore front of every thought, every decision when looking for any gear for any trip!
    Pick a bag (smaller, you can do it) suitable for your trip. If it doesn’t fit in dat bag, it ain’t comin.
    This will not only save valuable weight but space as well thus saving on wear and tear (animal and vehicular) but save on fuel which = $$$$$ back in your pocket for the next mission.
    I’ll shuddup now.

    Can’t wait for your next book mate.
    Love always.
    Jeff Parry.
    Ex Jeff’s Touring Gear Proprietor.

    Like

    • Love it! A very eloquent response Jeff…. and I agree with much of what you say… BUT, there’s nothing better than a good debate on a subject with differing opinions, and different, erm, equipment…. see my latest blog post for my response.

      Like

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