A renewed dabble on the horses has Micha Johansen toying with the idea of racehorses.
Anyone who has followed my columns over the years, will know that my interests change with the wind. Unfortunately, for TJ, he had the Karaka yearling sales on the TV when I got home from work one evening, and now I am thoroughly obsessed.
I worked on a stud farm in my early 20s, so fond memories, along with more than a few regrets, swelled to the surface.
I had been talking about ‘getting back into horses’ before Christmas, with my entire family sighing and attempting to drum into me, for the thousandth time, how allergic I am. This was reinforced by the simple task of removing the cover from a neighbour’s horse, which resulted in sore eyes, wheezing, and incessant sulking about my allergies, for the following week.
However since then I have done some research, and I have discovered allergy immunisation, so I will be hitting up the local Doc to see if I can do it, and what it will cost (likely followed by an exclamation of ‘how much?!’)
My latest obsession has manifest itself in a few ways already, such as Trackside TV, taking a day off work so I can head up to Karaka for the standardbred yearling sales, and taking TJ out to a night harness meeting at Palmy North.
While I lost $11.50, TJ actually doubled his money and is now quite keen to go halves in a racehorse with my parents. I think his keenness is tempered by the knowledge that the chances of my mother agreeing to it, despite owning pacers in the late 70s early 80s, is pretty much zero.
This proved correct when I received a phone-call from my father stating that he has no desire to own a racehorse again, however it wasn’t long until dad asked ‘who would we get to train it anyway?’, as my mother undoubtedly rolled her eyes in the background and wished she had phoned me herself.
Now, I may be crazy, but I’m not THAT crazy. I won’t be rushing out to get myself a harness horse, or three, anytime soon, but I will be using this as motivation to get our farm paid off as quickly as possible, so I can get started ‘in the biz’, if I haven’t changed my mind by then.
Paying off the farm would be going swimmingly well this year, were we not half way through installing an effluent pond. We have a gigantic hole, in our flattest paddock, and are now awaiting the dam liner team to come in and do their thing, followed up by a couple of ca-ching-a-ling-a-ding bills.
Hopefully I have crunched the numbers correctly and the entire expense will be covered by the proceeds from selling our dairy cross Angus weaner calves, where all but 27 sold very nicely in the sales. Of the 27 we have left we hope to only keep 14, so hopefully we can flick off the 13 surplus at some point.
The end of January saw us with a visit from TJ’s mother, and a couple of nephews, for three nights, leaving us thoroughly exhausted. Two old bikes, that sit gathering dust for most of the year, have been thoroughly thrashed.
We learned how to drain a bike fuel tank, when chainsaw two-stroke was poured in, instead of petrol. And we annoyed eels in the dam with kayaking, where air bubbles gurgling underneath had the boys convinced eels were trying to bite their butts.
I have to say I don’t enjoy their visits as much as I wish. I always have ‘if they have an accident we could cop a massive bloody fine’ in the back of my head, so Aunty can be a bit of a spoilsport, such as a complete ‘no you can’t go shooting hares with Uncle’.
I also feel quite sick when they are out on the bikes, but they have to be able to have some fun. Having anyone hurt onfarm would be awful, topping that off with an investigation and threats of a fine, really does take the joy out of having young visitors.
Thankfully we managed to get through the three days unscathed, and newly minimalist me had great pleasure in seeing them off, along with four boxes of rugby books inherited from TJ’s late father, wanted by our youngest nephew. One week later we have almost recovered from the visit, and are back to our quiet, relatively demand-free lives.