8 features you will find on (almost) every stable yard

  • There are certain things that crop up time and time again on stable yards, no matter where you are in the country (or maybe even the world…).

    But which of these features does your yard boast?

    1. A yard cat

    He’s definitely not tame, but will hover around your feet if he thinks snacks are on the menu. This cat is likely to have been drafted in by the yard owner to get rid of any unwanted vermin though you’re pretty sure you’ve never actually seen him catch anything of use. He’s quite cute to look at but does have a habit of jumping out of the bushes during your jumping lesson, and he is also quite fond of tormenting your horse by using his manger as the perfect place for an afternoon nap.

    2. A broken wall or fence

    No matter how many times it’s put back up, is repaired or is barracaded with planks of wood, this small stretch of fencing never seems to look like the other bits. The escape artist horse of the herd is likely to use this weaker section as a window of opportunity to break free when he gets a bit bored and it’s the bit of wall your horse likes to have a lean over to see if there’s any nice fresh grass on the other side, to your horror.

    3. A most popular wheelbarrow

    It’s definitely worth getting out of bed 10 minutes earlier to nab the best barrow on the yard, with its deep base, unchewed handles and sturdy tyre(s). It’s the little things.

    4. An irritating gate latch

    Or a gate which is particularly heavy to shut. Every time you use it you can’t help but tut and roll your eyes, but you never do anything about fixing it.

    5. A miscellaneous farm animal

    Could be any of the following: a once super-cute pet lamb which is now a big sheep who is partial to headbut if you don’t let it eat your pony nuts; a pig that was bought as a micropig but is anything but micro and now needs its own stable; or a grumpy cockerel, goose, peahen (or other bird of a similar size) who can’t be trusted and will attack the backs of your knees if you turn around at the wrong time.

    6. An unofficial washing area

    While there might not be a designated washing stall, stable or even area on some yard set-ups, owners have come to some unspoken agreement that a certain portion of concrete on the yard is where they wash their horse’s feet and go about any bathing duties. God help them if anyone ties up outside their stable and just starts flooding the place. Not the best way to make stable mates!

    7. A pile of scrap metal

    One man’s trash is another man’s treasure apparently… This mound has been waiting for the scrap metal man for about four years and is likely to contain some old lorry tyres, hay racks, rusty scaffolding and a few abandoned household items.

    8. A particularly ‘spooky’ corner of the arena

    Despite having trotted around the same arena over 100 times this year, your horse will likely still have a major freak out every time he first goes past the bogey corner during a training session. To be fair to your horse, it does look ominous; it’s probably home to an overgrown tree with a multitude of wildlife living in it or is piled high with jump wings and coloured fillers. But you don’t think it’s quite worth the Oscar-winning dramatics every time he goes near it.

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