We are often asked about the two jackaroos we currently have here at Granite Glen. Lachy and Cal.
I have to say, we had never really planned to have young jackaroos living in the Quarters near the house and eating their meals and sharing a bathroom with us.
But sometimes things happen for a reason.
Lachlan entered a giveaway that our business was running at Beef 2009 (when he was 15) – and actually won it. Fast forward to 2011, when a mutual friend rang us one day to see if we had any work for a young fella who wanted to jackaroo for a year… and because we trusted this friend, and because we needed a hand when he rang, we said yes. Tentatively. I recognised the email I was corresponding with – it was the very same Lachlan.
We have never looked back. Lachy stayed for a year before heading to uni – and he comes back each branding and weaning season (in his holidays) to help out. This year Callum, his little brother and ex-mullet wearer, arrived. And while they are very different young men, they are both a delight to have around and hard workers.
They not only work with us, they also play extra roles in our children’s lives too. Surrogate ‘big brothers’. Whom Dash likes to joke around with, and Violet LOVES to annoy.
Despite this, both are usually happy to offer their assistance after-hours. With Dash, this usually consists of whip-cracking lessons and kicking the footy. With lots of pony here club and show-jumping under their belts, they are also the go-to guys for Violet and her riding ambitions.
She couldn’t be happier than when one offers to coach her a little on Sandy the Palomino.
So late on Friday afternoon (Pizza night at Granite Glen) after Cal had headed off to a rodeo in NSW, Lachy took his well-earned drink out into the house paddock with him, and got Violet and Sandy to go through their paces.
She is trying to learn her canter leads and trotting diagonals – very tricky with hardly any flat areas to work on.
Seriously though, little lessons such as these will be long-remembered by Dash and Violet. We appreciate them too, and will miss both these young men when they head back to uni next year.
I guess small businesses always depend enormously on good staff – great employees who are willing workers, who have to share your house, and are easy to have amid your family, are worth their weight in gold (even if we cannot afford to pay them in it!).