This wasn’t the first serious accident Janina experienced. “It’s not funny, but it’s funny in a way… the day we were meant to move in to Iserlohn Park seven years ago, I had an accident. I had a fall off a horse and ended up in ICU for a week. On the day we were moving… so that’s how well that went!”
Although in lockdown on the very edge of metro Melbourne at present, Janina is content at home with Ash, her horses, cows and chickens. “When I came to Australia, I did bring with me a warmblood, Bömmel , and at the time he was just four years old. About two years after I got here, he was sold to Queensland. And the people that had him in Queensland rang me one day, because he had injured himself and the lady that bought him then got sick herself. So they rang me and asked if I could take him for about six months to get him back into training. He’s still with me.” Everything happens for a reason.
“And I’ve got his son here as well, Bitteschön. He is six now, and he was supposed to be started, but obviously, then my accident happened, so that hasn’t happened. And then when I was ready to get him going we went into lockdown. So he’s bored, the poor thing, but he is great.
“Then I’ve got Arthur, an eight-year-old, who has been a paddock ornament for the last few years unfortunately, and then I’ve got a rescue here, Jack — a little trotter who is our nanny. He’s a babysitter for anyone that needs one and he’s is a great little horse and really easy to have. And I’ve got another one, but its back in Perth at the moment.”
And then there are the cows, which, as Janina explains, are often causing mischief around Iserlohn Park. “The bloody cows open the gates… they use their tongues. They’re so smart and they undo the latch… the horses were not where I left them this morning!” she laughs.
Iserlohn Park is currently more land than Janina and Ash need for the animals they have, but moving on from a property you love and have worked so hard to develop isn’t easy. “In a way, I’m almost hoping the property doesn’t sell so quickly. Because then I’m not forced to make the second decision so quickly!” Janina explains that Ash is keen to travel around Australia, and she is on board with that.
“It has been an incredibly difficult, incredibly scary and debilitating time just as much for him as it has been for me. I am so incredibly grateful for everything he has done for me; how he has stood by my side. I know it was quite difficult and infuriating at times… after all, I’m the ‘strong willed and determined’ German, according to him! But he has been nothing short of amazing and I can’t tell you how great it feels to have a partner by your side that loves you unconditionally and that you love more than you could ever explain.
“Ash, you are the best thing that has ever happened to me and I love you more than life itself. Thank you to the end of the world, I would’ve been so lost without you. I love you and I will forever be indebted to you — thank you, my love.”
Beyond a trip around Australia with Ash, she’s not sure where they will settle — but she does know it will be with her horses, and it will be in the area.
“When I left the hospital, I kept saying to people how I felt like I’d lost my purpose. You wake up every day and you go, ‘what am I going to do now? What is there for me to do?’ For a fair while I wasn’t even sure what I wanted to do with horses or life in general. And I almost felt guilty about it, because I almost felt like I was wasting time, and I’m not good with wasting anything really!
“But as I said before, everything happens for a reason. Obviously, at the moment I don’t know what the reason is, but I’m sure that in time it will become clear. What I do know now is that I definitely don’t want to live without horses.” EQ
View the full property listing for Iserlohn Park here.