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First Time Packsaddling: A week in Narbethong with Dusty & Tyson

Updated: Jul 20, 2019

Here’s a brief wrap on what was a fabulous, confidence-boosting week learning how to packsaddle! Yes, it’s taken me a while (between work, work, work, laser eye surgery- it’s all been a bit crazy, but this has been towards the top of my ever growing and stressful ‘to do’ list). If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you would have had a few updates.

Dusty and I learning the ropes of packsaddling

When I’d first planned to do a week of packsaddle training back in January, I had no idea Banjo would be on the scene. Jade, my fabulous friend who has gone out of her way to chauffeur my horses around for me, only has room for two horses in her float, so Banjo got to chill out at home (he’s done the whole pack-saddling thing before, so it was more important for us rookies (myself, Dusty & Tyson) to have a go!).

My home for the week

On Good Friday 2019, Dusty and Tyson were floated up by Jade and I drove my little car fully stuffed full of all of my gear (horse riding, packing, camping) and food for a week.

I won’t repeat a blow-by-blow of my days, but let me dot point a few achievements/feelings/musings:

- Tyson is a total legend under packsaddle. He is super chilled out and hardly batted an eyelid

John helping set up Dusty with the packsaddle

- Dusty has a huge amount of heart and really took to being the ‘ridden’ horse on our overnight trip. He also made me very proud of his progress with carrying a packsaddle too 😊

- We survived our first overnight solo packing trip – was just a bit proud of myself and my horses for making it unscathed – and we got to experience our first BNT campsite!

Tyson and Dusty just as we pulled in to Anderson Mill campground on our first overnight packing trip

- There is nothing like an unplanned pub lunch while you’re out on a trail ride with a friend

- I had an amazing and inspiring time meeting loads of new people, hearing lots of stories and advice about packing and the BNT

- The Australian bush is magical and you can never spend too much time in it

- You’re never too old to try new things and meet new people (and make new friends)

- Everyone should camp under the stars, feel the chill of the outside, and breathe in the crisp night air whilst staring up at the Milky Way

- Things won’t always go to plan, that’s ok, take a beat, there is always another way to get there

Jo with her amazing combined birthday cake (which quickly descended into a food-fight

Huge thank you to John and Jo Kasch (check out the amazing glamping trips they run - Packsaddling Australia) for opening up their property to myself and my horses for the week and going out of their way to help me with all things packing. I tried to keep myself self-sufficient, but there were a few times I couldn’t resist Jo’s amazing cooking! John and Jo are so knowledgeable and have given me so much confidence with packing now.

Dusty & Tyson at Anderson Mill campground on our first overnight packing trip

A very big thank you to one of my sponsors, Digger Dog Canvas Gear for the packsaddling gear. It was great to have a kit to use. Some people think that because I’m leaving in a year, there is ‘heaps’ of time for me to sort it all out and that it can wait. But the truth is I can really use as much of the gear as soon as possible so I can learn to use it, test it out, and make sure everything is 100% for the trail (ok- I know it will never be 100%, but a gal can dream!).

Tyson modelling the amazing gear from my sponsor, Digger Dog Canvas Gear

Special shout-out to a couple of my other sponsors that were directly involved in that week:

Ariat have provided me with a pair of their Dura Terrain Boots- I struggled to take them off because they are SOOO comfy, practical, and appropriate for both riding and hiking.

A big shout out to my employers: Empower Healthcare for approving my leave over Easter (an ever contentious leave period for many workers).

Massive thanks to Mum for bringing up more horse feed (the boys ate a lot up in the mountain air!), and for looking after Banjo in my absence.

Mum and the dogs (Amy & Lila) cheering on Tyson

Finally a huge thanks to my friend Jade- she’s going above and beyond to help me with transporting the horses to things like this, and also helping me learn to trim their hooves. Forever grateful!

Next time I will get more organised with my Blog writing.

Bec, Dusty, Tyson & Banjo.

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