Yippee, it's so exciting!!! Yes, it's happened, I've just had the call, building work starts on Monday.

In the beginning.....

Yippee, it's so exciting!!!

Yes, it's happened, I've just had the call, building work starts on Monday...

When we moved house 5 months ago, we wanted to design a new stable yard, get planning permission and complete the build, all before the long cold winter nights set in. 

Best possible home for our ponies

Providing the best possible home for our ponies has always been my greatest priority. They are central to our lives, looking after them provides daily respite from the pressures of modern life, better than any coach therapy on offer! The opportunity to start with a "green field" site and build our perfect stable yard is like a dream come true.

When we moved in, we had two ponies, a young Haflinger filly and a miniature Shetland. It didn't take long for us to get a third, "it's just a companion for the filly" I told my husband, "for the summer months", but he gave me that look - "She's very pretty, I don't think that one will be going back", funny how he knew! 

And then at Easter, our boys returned from school, that's our ponies who were away on loan over the winter as we didn't have enough space in our old home. Before we knew it, our family had grown to 5. 

First priority to buy a field shelter

The weather wasn't good so our first priority was to buy a field shelter. There are so many suppliers but I wanted someone I could trust and after a few conversations, I placed my order with Matthew at Jon William Stables

A few weeks later the shelters arrived, "I thought you only ordered one?" my husband said. Ops, yes one for the boys and one for the girls, but it's ok, they are great value!

Ideas for the design of our stable yard

By this stage, we had started gathering ideas for the design of our yard. I wanted bright airy stables, where the ponies could see each other and feel safe. 

My husband wanted a large overhang to ensure protection from the rain and enough space to dry wet rugs in the winter - he's the practical one! 

Our first plan was for an American barn, but that was too expensive, so I sketched out a horse shoe shaped yard design and sent it off to Jon William Stables for feedback. It was great as since they are a family business, we had advice from their surveyor and got quotes from their ground works contractor, all as part of the service. 

Planning permission was managed on our behalf, additional requests from the council for biodiversity assessments and tree surveys were handled quickly without us having to involve third parties. It was a relief knowing these technical requirements were being dealt with by someone who had so much experience, thanks to Nick.

Final plans and budgeting

Several designs later as we balanced cost and funds available, we reached the optimum design. We've managed to include our 5 stables, feed and tack room plus our rug drying room/potential foaling box, but please don't tell my husband that last bit! 

Over the past few months, we've cut back on all our spending. With a strict budget for our weekly shop and no eating out, we've managed to maximise the amount available for our new stables. When planning permission was confirmed, we finalised the design, placed our order and then waited for the phone to ring.

So, next week the big build starts. Please keep your fingers crossed for dry weather as we see our green field develop into our dream yard. Let's just hope all the challenges are behind us!

Follow our progress, watch out for further updates...

By Petra, her practical husband and family of 5 x.

Patron of the Haflinger Society of GB