I’m sure I am one of many equestrian women, whose childhood dream it was to have a pony! Building a “large shed” at the bottom of the garden is one thing, renting a stable or two on a yard is a totally different experience and then renting a private yard is an expensive but wonderful experience but it has never just been me and my horses.
Redheart Appaloosa’s formed in 2008 and a 10-year plan put in place. Nine years on, with only one more year to compete our breeding stock-in-hand (before we compete under saddle) I finally see my adult dream become a reality.
In April 2016 we found a cottage for sale with pasture land for sale next door. After secluding the sale and eventually moving in late September, we employed Eleni Randle from G Herbert Banks, an expert required to guide us through the planning and development stages. After gaining us planning for an agricultural barn under permitted development, Eleni soon engaged to apply for ‘a change of use’ on the land, from agricultural to equestrian with the proposal of an equestrian barn and ménage.
All planning was granted in April 2017 and we wasted no time, we fenced out the horses and set out the area. There is a slight gradient to this land and the excavation was rather large, the groundwork proved an easy process of “cutting and filling”. The foundations were dug and the concrete poured.
The next task was to retain the ground to the rear and sides using gabion baskets filled with stone. After much research sourcing the right materials to complete the build, the steel frame purchased from Browns of Wem based in Shropshire. With the help of family and friends to erect the steel frame, we were ready for the delivery of over 2000 blocks.
As soon as the external blockwork completed, we commenced the preparation and laying of the reinforced concrete floor with an acco channel running the length of the building. A huge (30 meters) concrete pump landed on site to make sure ease of pouring the floor in one day, we worked until the late hours to create a brushed finish for grip.
The following week the fibre cement roof arrived from Briarwood Roofing and was again laid with the help of family and friends.
With a dry shell, the block work painted and the cedar wood (Yorkshire boarding) fixed, purchased directly from Olli Gladstone at Gladstone Saw Mill, Gloucestershire.
Heading into autumn, we took delivery of the internal stable front partitions sourced from Stables Online. A huge push to create two stables as a priority to enable our colt’s to be weaned and castrated. It seemed to have taken forever to build the internal walls, paint them and build the grills between but with the daylight hours are very short now and it’s only the weekends are we able to make progress.
So here we are, a two weeks before Christmas, what an exciting dream to fulfil. This would not have been possible without the help of our wonderful friends and family who I truly thank. The professional people who have aided us through our venture have exceeded all expectations, the Redheart horses have a barn for Christmas!