Where did we get to? Basically it has been a case of get the important big jobs done first…central heating, roof, fireplace, kitchen, windows and doors etc…the next job is the bathroom, and we’re currently waiting on getting the plastering done so this can go ahead, and I can also decorate the living room which had a bit of building work done.
The outside space has had some work; we’re fencing the garden in to separate it from the fields and yard (and keep the dogs in!) but it’s still a work in progress.
The stables have been a key development; but since nothing is ever simple, it wasn’t just a case of taking down the old stables and starting over. That would be WAY too easy! Unfortunately the old concrete base wasn’t entirely up to scratch, so we had to have it replaced – another expense we hadn’t accounted for. A little lesson learned here – always get a written quotation for work before going ahead. Unfortunately what we were initially quoted seem to spiral with a number of extra costs being added, and tasks not completed as part of the job which we’d specifically requested like soakaways and drains.
In terms of access, the top area was previously just grass which meant lorries were getting stuck in the mud so we also had to dig out and lay a track. Another unwanted but necessary expense.
Once the groundwork was complete, the stables were booked for installation. We used Jon Williams Stables who drew up three designs based upon my brief. I opted for three stables, a wash bay (to be used primarily for tacking up / farrier visits etc), and a small secure tack room. I also included an extra large canopy to give shelter from the elements.
From arrival to completion, the actual build must have taken three to three and a half days and although I’ve not had a chance to fully inspect it yet – the overall look and feel is really great. I keep looking at the pictures and thinking wow! I can’t believe that’s mine. Aside from the fact that it looks great, I can now bring Blue home who has been on livery for box rest since sustaining a flint injury at Goring Heath BE100 – and I’m very sure my farrier and vets will be pleased we now have somewhere under cover for when they visit. This winter has not been ideal with no facilities! My tack and rugs can now also relocate from the previously inaccessible dining room – rejoice!
A dwindling budget and spiralling costs is making an arena look less and less likely for the foreseeable future so that is on the back burner *sob*, but I’m hopeful that one day we’ll get there. Rome wasn’t built in a day…and for now, I’m so chuffed to finally have some stables. Check out the photo journal below for the whole sordid journey - from unstable stables to a proper pony palace.