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About us ......

Melvindale Farm Equine Basics is run by myself, Melanie Austen and is run on a farm where I breed, start, sell and agist horses alongside a few cattle and sheep. I also train and re-educate my own and outside horses as well as teach the very basics of horse riding.

I was born and raised with my 4 siblings on "Indiana" Station,  a beef cattle station in the Northern Territory where my life as a child was nothing short of wonderful.  As early as I can remember I was surrounded by horses as my parents had one of the earliest Australian Stock Horse Studs in the Northern Territory and we used horses predominately to muster cattle but also to attend Picnic Race Meetings.  Alas by the time I was old enough to work, the mustering horses were being fazed out by vehicles and helicopters but by that time my affection for the horse was set. When I left the station to go to school I spent my afternoons track working and grooming racehorses in Alice Springs and every weekend they had a Race Meeting I was strapping  for Trainers. 

I then had about 18 years where I didn't ride or touch a horse until I met and married Vince and we bought our own little farm "Melvindale" at Willalooka in the South East of South Australia and my connection with horses took its course.

I purchased my first unbroken Australian Stock Horse gelding Kardinia Goomeri or "Gidgee" as he is affectionately known and started him in the Summer of 2007 and it is to this horse I owe my desire to learn and better myself as a horse person and Campdrafter. I sought out Horsemanship Trainers and attended many Clinics and by 2009 attended my first Campdraft. The following year I attended a few more Campdrafts and one or two Stockmans Challenges and was totally hooked.  I  then purchased two more competition horses and unbeknown to me,  this was the best thing I could have done for my debilitating nerves during competition as it gave me no time to stand around being nervous and my concentration  and my ability grew with it. A few more years later I purchased a truck(to take my now 5 competition horses) and a few brood mares and it has grown to approximately 20 horses on the farm. I travel mainly through South Australia and Victoria Campdrafting but do occasionally drive to NSW and back home to the NT as well. 

I enjoy Campdrafting because it is Australia's own Equine Sport that the entire family can compete together at one time and when done right, is beautiful and poetic to watch. I have forged many friendships while competing and particularly love the camaraderie between most women who love supporting and encouraging each other.  

I now breed, raise, start (unless I'm injured), train and campaign all of my own horses, I take pride in the knowledge that the good (as well as the bad) are my creation and I'm constantly attending clinics to better my techniques and knowledge.  I have also started to judge for the Southern Campdraft Assoc. 

I enjoy guiding and encouraging children and older adults who are just starting out in Campdrafting and Challenges with the very basic of tuition so they can have the foundation in riding to be able to go out and start riding safely and eventually compete.  

Melvindale Farm also accommodates for Spelling and Agistment of outside horses. 

I have been the recipient of the Lady Rider for South Australia Zone for the Southern Campdrafting Assoc. for 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17 and would not be fortunate enough to do so without the guidance and help of many Horsemanship/Campdraft Tutors who have made me push my self belief, made me cry, laugh, question myself and most of all to think and breathe. 

But there is one who is always there, who has given me unconditional support and that is my wonderful husband Vince, thanks to you Vince I can do what I love to do. 

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Alice Bird and I mustering a few weaners with David and his toy
Cattle yards, Indiana Station
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Harts Range 3
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