Seeing the odd snake along the channel bank wasn’t the only new and daunting experience upon moving to the country for Undera horse breeder Tania Clarke.
Managing a 17.4ha property and getting her head around irrigation has also been a steep learning curve for Ms Clarke after making the tree change from Melbourne eight years ago.
‘‘I had no experience with irrigating — we were travelling up here a lot for rodeos and decided to buy a property and start breeding horses but the rest I just had to learn as I went,’’ she said.
Not really knowing where to start when it came to water or irrigating her property, Ms Clarke persisted with buying in water and feed for her 14 horses at a cost of more than $200 a week.
‘‘It was becoming so expensive as I also had to buy in vitamins to supplement the horses’ feed that they weren’t getting through the green grass,’’ Ms Clarke said.
‘‘I was starting to really worry how much longer we could do it for.
‘‘The price of feed was getting higher and it was getting hard to get hold of hay.
‘‘I had looked into irrigating a couple of times but it just seemed too complicated.’’
When Ms Clarke’s worries really came to a head, her husband Paul was working overseas so she decided to contact Goulburn-Murray Water to find out more about water on her property and her options.
Initially feeling overwhelmed by the information, Ms Clarke said she was put in touch with G-MW customer relationship consultant Mark Halden.
‘‘I’d also had a chat to a few farmers in the area about irrigating and realised everyone did it so differently but once I got in touch with Mark, I started to understand it all and worked out what was best for my property,’’ Ms Clarke said.
‘‘Last season I started irrigating for the first time and it’s really been a lifesaver. We have green paddocks and the cost of feeding the horses has come down and we’re just able to enjoy living out here a lot more.’’