For Jody Challacombe working with horses, cattle and a team of dogs is all part of life. Having been brought up on grazing properties across the Central Queensland area all her life it’s not surprising she is continuing to live the lifestyle she know while creating business opportunities.
Working with horses, cattle and dogs was what she grew up doing, which developed a very strong love for the lifestyle. When I left school it only seemed right that that’s what I’d continue to do. I spent 10 years contract mustering, breaking in the odd horse and training a lot of my own along the way. I started competing in Campdraft's and Stockman's Challenge's when I was 21 and quickly became hooked.
It was from here that people quickly realised Jody had a true natural talent when it came to horses and started asking her to take on their horses for training. What started out something small has now turned into one of Jody’s main roles and since moving back to her parents property (in January 2017), which has great horse training facilities, she has started taking on horses full time.
She admits that’s somedays can be very tough on the mind and body but on a whole it is a very rewarding job. “Seeing someone out competing and winning ribbons on a horse you’ve helped to train is one of the best feelings ever.”
She has have recently stepped in to a new field and started conducting regular horsemanship clinics enabling her to teach people how to improve their riding. A lot of the battle is learning how to read people and understanding the way they think. Good thing Jody is a true people’s person as well and can relate well with even the most challenging clients whether they be human or horse.
“Every person is different and you have to know exactly how much you can push each person or what you can say that will boost them in the right direction”. She says it needs to be easy for them to remember, rather than to deflate them and their confidence.
Most of Jody’s students are ladies who need to build their confidence. “I’ve been in their position so I know how they feel and I have a huge desire to help people who ‘want’ to learn.” She also teaches a lot of children and teenagers which is always very rewarding to see them excel so quickly, while watching them discover and form a love for horses and the sport.
As Jody’s upbringing involved a lot of mustering it’s always been something she has wanted to ensure was part of her life. Even though a day out mustering now is like a day out of the office for her, its something she believes is very refreshing and she will never tire of.
She considers herself extremely lucky to be able to combine her love for animals and the outdoors into her daily job and mixing that with the wonderful social weekends that Campdraft's and Stockman's Challenge's offer is an extra bonus and a great way to put hours in the saddle on each horse.
This busy Queensland cowgirl is kicking of 2018 in full steam and is looking forward to running a horsemanship clinic at home, followed by the Landmark sale at Tamworth in February. Being an AgWoman is something she describes as resilient and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Australian properties would be lost without great horses to ensure day to day movement of cattle and other livestock can be completed with ease. Jody’s contribution is ensuring horses are able to preform at their best both on farm and off. Your passion for the animals you work with and sharing your skills is very humbling Jody all the best for business in 2018.