Last week a young team of Kelpies and I had mustered 200 Brahman X yearlings and were moving them about 4 Kms along a gravel road that runs through our property. As they were quite a heavy mob I was droving from behind on my ATV while Milburn Moss, Tracker Gibbs, Tracker Fiona (Fi) and Tracker Chief guided them along the sides and kept the odd slow follower from lagging behind.
“Oakwood , heading down” crackled the 2-way.
This made me aware that 50 tonnes of timber and truck was approaching my 50 tonnes of cattle and 70 Kgs of dogs. I had the weight advantage but he was definitely dominant.
“Gumtree Hill coming up, just wait at the top and we’ll move off the road for you”
The road bank was particularly steep and high where we were so I elected to move a further 50 metres along and by that time the trucky had arrived with a low rumble of engine braking, a high pitch squeal of stones in the brake pads and a small tsunami of dust.
As this was a change to the usual progression I cast Chief and Gibbs up the right side of the mob to influence the lead across the front of the waiting Timber truck. That worked well but, because gravity was against us, the tail opted to turn around and start back down the road. “Moss, Fi, Here, Watch him, watch him” That held the tail until the movement from the leaders, kept honest from Chief holding and Gibbs trotting against the movement of the livestock, drew them off the road and up the bank.
The 2-way crackled again “Those dogs have got more brains than all of the mates I drink with down at the pub”
Now was that really a compliment?