If we were creating our fantasy stable yard, here’s what we’d put on our wish list…
1. An all-weather surface
We’d wave goodbye to winters wading through mud in a soggy corner of the field, attempting to do some schooling, by investing in an all-weather surface as a number one priority.
A solarium to help stimulate blood circulation and improve recovery would be high up on our luxury list.
Cameras would be a game changer to avoid having to dash out to the stables every half an hour to check on an unwell horse or foaling mare.
4. Electric gates
The panic of whether you have left the gate open or not would be eradicated with an electric gate (… and how nice it would be to not have to get out of the car when you get back from a long day’s competing.)
5. Plastic showjumps
Splinters would be a thing of the past with a set of showjumps from Jump 4 Joy.
6. Mucking out machine
If there’s one chore we’d be happy to get rid of, it would be mucking out. And with the help of a Kanga Loader, that could be a reality. The machine has a bucket for collecting the muck and a rotary broom for sweeping the yard up afterwards.
7. Horse walker
When we’re strapped for time and don’t have the luxury of hopping on board, a horse walker would offer a helping hand.
8. Rubber matting
We’d opt for non-slip rubber matting, which could easily be hosed down and would make mucking out a whole lot easier.
9. All-weather gallop
An all-weather gallop would mean not having to rely on local hacking and bridleways for fitness work — as well of course the fun of pretending you’re a champion jockey…
10. Mobile field shelter
A mobile field shelter would mean we’d never have to worry about protecting our horses from the extremities of the British weather — whether it’s swarms of flies or driving snow.
11. Boot warmers
We’d keep these boot warmers tucked away in the tackroom for the days when you’ve taken the worst of the rain.
12. And finally…. a clock tower with an archway
Money no object, we’d like to pretend we were part of our childhood toy stable set, complete with an archway and clock tower.
Read the full feature about the 21st century stable yard in this week’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine (4 June 2015)