Peter Scott has been involved with horses for most of his life, and he’s just completed his first ever horse riding holiday – the Glenorchy Back Country Ride in the South Island of New Zealand. The ride (and his trusty steed, Beer) won him over to such an extent that he’s since bought a similar horse AND booked himself and his daughter on the Tassie Tiger Trail! Pete’s horsey history is a long and fascinating one, too. Read on to hear his story.
What is your day job?
I’m a student these days, I’m studying at uni again – this time it’s Spatial Science.
I have a small farm where I keep poultry, sheep, cattle and horses. I practice permaculture and regenerative farming.
Previous roles since graduating from the University of Queensland in 1990 include UQ Gatton Equine Unit Manager, Campus Manager at Longreach Pastoral College, Production Director at Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges and Manager of Education & Training (Higher Education) at Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges.
Before uni I worked as a jackaroo, stockman, cowboy (USA) and cattle property manager. I might go back to part time work next year.
How have horses influenced or changed your life?
I have always loved nature and the natural environment, and farming and grazing is an extension of that obsession. Riding takes me directly into the heart of nature.
Horses have enabled me to observe the land and the animals over many years. Riding in the bush or working stock has always allowed me time to think about my observations and my plans.
What is your earliest memory of horses?
Playing on the old wool wagons, Cobb & Co coach, sulkies and saddles of my paternal grandmother’s family in Barcaldine, Queensland. They had been pioneering teamsters and drovers.
Watching the drovers tail a mob of Channel Country Shorthorn bullocks across the plain towards the drover’s camp on the Quilpie town common, trying on the drover’s gooseneck spurs and having a supervised ride on his stock horse.
What was your childhood pony called?
I grew up on the edge of the city, so horses and livestock weren’t available ’til I went on holidays. Needless to say, I went bush every opportunity I could get until I was 16.
I had to wait a long time to own my own horse. She was a purebred Quarter Horse mare called Dickie Bar Dell, or ‘Old Dell’, as we now refer to her. I have her only daughter, Remedy’s Little Dell, with me now. Remedy’s Little Dell is by an Australian Stock Horse, Kirkbys Stud Remedy. I also have a pony called Trinket. She is semi-retired and good company for my two mares.
Below is a picture of my youngest daughter, Tara, on Little Dell on one of our first trail rides after the drought.
What does riding or being with horses mean to you?
When I get on a horse I feel 23 years old again, I’m comfortable and confident.
I like being with horses, as you have to slow down and relax, get to know them individually and work with them to understand and appreciate their abilities.
Horses are like my other favourite companion animal, dogs: they can provide emotional support and genuine affection if you take the time to get to know them.
What have horses taught you the most?
If you want good results, then you ‘have to take the time it takes‘. This works with nature, farming, livestock, children and vocational training too!
What was your first Globetrotting ride?
The Glenorchy Back Country Ride. I had fallen in love with New Zealand’s South Island on my first overseas trip as an 18 year old and always wanted to go back again. New Zealand was close to home, had spectacular scenery and I could plan a wilderness walking trek as well.
What made you take the plunge and sign up for a Globetrotting holiday?
All the great reviews I saw on Facebook, really! It’s an enormous family of people who have enjoyed the experience, and everyone really likes horses too.
Was your Globetrotting ride celebrating or marking a significant moment/milestone/achievement in your life? And if so, would you mind sharing?
2018/2019 were pretty tough years personally and professionally. However, I was reconnecting with horses after several years of full-time managing/teaching. I was exercising regularly and feeling up to the physical challenge of riding long hours outdoors again.
Years ago, I worked in the USA as a cowboy. I rode great horses and saw beautiful country in several states. I wanted to do something similar again. So, I set some goals and looked around for an adventure close to home that combined horse riding and the outdoors. Globetrotting in New Zealand was perfect.
What Globetrotting rides have you since completed/planned/dreamed about?
Well I’ve only completed the one ride to date, the Glenorchy Back Country Ride. I’m taking my youngest daughter to Tasmania in December for the Tassie Tiger Trail.
Future adventures include Iceland and Patagonia, plus The Kimberley Ride. I like the idea of going cross country in Scotland and Ireland too, but might have to have some proper equestrian training before I take on that challenge.
Why choose this type of travel? As in exploring a new country from the back of a horse?
This type of travel allows me to focus on enjoying myself in the company of like-minded people who are devoted to horses. All the planning and logistics are organised for me. So while on horseback I can observe nature and get out of my comfort zone with a new horse, saddle, and country, in a new environment with new challenges. I also like to do some wilderness walking treks and sightseeing in the countries that I visit.
What is your most memorable Globetrotting moment?
Probably the one that wasn’t recorded on film and was totally unexpected.
On the last day when we saddled up and mounted in the rain, I turned to Shaun, our guide, and said that I felt fantastic and ready to ride, oilskin good, saddle good, Beer (my horse) ready to roll on! I thought it would be a cold wet day without much action, but Shaun hinted at some possibilities.
Well after a short morning tea stop, I got to gallop Beer for over a kilometre along the Dart River flats. We galloped along at a pretty good pace, and he jumped ditches, streams and changed direction smoothly, full of confidence in the wet conditions. I then knew what it was like to ride a real hunter.
Who is your favourite trail horse of all time and why?
So far it is of course Beer, the grey crossbred Percheron gelding I rode at Glenorchy. I was very attached to him after only a few days – I felt rotten leaving him behind at the end of the ride. It was a privilege to have ridden him.
If you asked me about my favourite work horses, it’s a pretty long list, as I could name several good horses from every station or ranch where I’ve worked.
After my experience with Beer, I started looking for a similar horse and purchased a registered Hanoverian mare, Belcaryn Fairytale, who we call Winnie. She’s a big girl and a bit green, but I love riding her. She has been schooled in dressage, but I’m taking some time to give her some new experiences like trail riding in the bush, checking out the cows and getting used to going forward on a loose rein.
Later, my daughter Tara can go and get dressage lessons on Winnie and try that discipline out for a while. I hope to breed a foal from each of my mares as I reckon I have a couple more breakers left in me.
I’m back into horses again and it’s great!
A tip that every globetrotter should know before going on a ride…
Get some physical training going, plus some hours in the saddle. The fitter you are, the more you will be able to participate and enjoy the horse and the adventure.
Finish this sentence: Don’t leave home without…
Riding boots that you can walk, run, and climb in, and that will will keep your feet dry!
Big thanks to Pete for sharing his Globetrotting story with us. We can’t wait to watch it unfold!
If you’re feeling inspired, you can check out the Glenorchy Back Country Ride here.