Today the new arena was opened at Summerfield Stables, Dennis Thompson the stables longest serving volunteer opened the arena for the saturday riders to use. Candy was too excited to wait so she went to have a sniff before everyone else beat her to it!
Maisy takes a look round
Coco looks interested.
Belle wants to roll!
But Bobby asks... where's the grass?
As the riders and young volunteers are encouraged to provide a lot of input into the decision making process at the stables we decided they should also be involved in the building work. Part of this building work includes what surface is to be laid when we build our manege. As Alice and Jasmine had the day off school they came with Justine and George to look at the sample surfaces. Equestrian direct was the company that will be supplying the surface so we went on a visit to their yard to see the different surfaces in action. Despite being recommended to have flexiride as an all in one surface Jasmine and Alice both felt it was too deep and so could be damaging to the horses tendons. However with a sand base it was a much better surface and was preferable to rubber which can be very hard to fall on. Their observations were confirmed by our vet who said exactly the same things as they did so we have now been put on the waiting list for the surface.
A flexi ride and sand surface- hopefully like the one we will be having soon!
Later that day there was also a meeting for adult volunteers who would like to help with paperwork. Heidi, Justine, Lisa, Katie and George attended. It was a fun meeting where lots was discussed and an extra ordinary meeting of the committee was planned so that proposed funding bids could be discussed. The whole meeting turned into a social event and was a late finish... not the best thing when followed by an early start on saturday morning!
Today the rubber matting for the four back stables arrived. Unfortunately because of the mud the lorry delivering it was unable to drive all the way to the stables so it was unloaded at the gate. As it weighed over a tonne it was very difficult to move but between three of us: George, Justine and Diana, we managed to fit the matting into the stables. With this matting very little bedding is required and so it saves a lot of money each week. It is also much comfier for the horses and better for their legs and breathing as there is little or no dusty bedding. Many thanks to all those who helped put the bedding in place and all who supported the funding for this bedding.
Today we started on the big build for the stables. it took a team of about eight of us a whole day to build the four stables from flat pack. They now have four walls and windows and doors. Unfortunately they will have to wait till next week for a roof. The Stables are huge as as well as being big stables they have a twelve foot overhang at the front so we dont get wet when we are mucking out! When we are finished I am sure the horses will be very happy in them. A MASSIVE THANKS GOES TO EVERYONE WHO VOLUNTEERED TO HELP BUILD THE STABLES TODAY!!!
Today the Sunday riders moved the horses back to the Horse and Jockey field. Buster will be staying at Rowney Green for now as he cannot come to the home field until we have a menage built. Riding should be in the home field from now on and throughout the winter.
Today a digger and a dumper arrived on the field to clear the site for the new stables. It was slow progress dismantling the hen pen but by the end of the day most of the pen and the debris was cleared away. Most of the horses had to be stabled all day because of the diggers so there was an opportunity for those who have helped with the horses all winter to ride and exercise the horses to compensate for their lack of turnout.
At ten o'clock we had a visit from an ecologist who was looking to approve the work that is about to start on the stables. She has now approved the work and so we can go ahead with the concrete base for the first lot of stables. Hopefully the work will start very soon as we have encountered a lot of problems in trying to get these new stables put in. In the afternoon Ros took everyone to Solihull as Jasmine and Nina were part loaning Indy and Amelia and Alice were part loaning Apollo. Nina had her day off today but the other three rode and the tackroom had a tidy up. Apollo and Indy are quite new to Alice and Jasmine so this was an interesting challenge. Later Jemma took Buster for another schooling session on the menage. This time he was much more settled as he understood what was expected and he was more familiar with his surroundings. He worked well and Jemma was very pleased with him. Well done all!
We are hoping that our new stables can be paid for by Birmingham city council on Monday. Also the contractors will be coming down the field to survey the ground work this Monday with the hope of starting work with the diggers a week Tuesday. Hopefully the base will be put in in just over a week. The stables are a custom build and there is a waiting list so we could be waiting a little longer than we planned for them.
The planning permission came through on Thursday. We have permission to build 10 new stables and also and outdoor arena. We have already recieved nearly £8,000 of funding for the first block of four stables so these should be built very soon. We hope to find funding for the rest of the stables and the arena soon so watch this space.
I am the Chair of the Committee that runs Summerfield Stables. I like helping out with the horses as much as I can but I find it hard to find the time.
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