A B&B in the Lake District is offering a unique boarding experience for guests looking for an equine getaway.
Greenbank Farm, in Cartmel, Cumbria, launched the ‘stable stay’ accommodation six weeks ago, allowing guests a choice of equine companion in the adjoining stable; a Friesian or a miniature Shetland pony.
Tracey Alexander, who runs a not-for-profit Friesian sanctuary at the farm, alongside the B&B, with her mother Sylvia and sister Tamara, told H&H the idea came up during a business meeting looking at how the farm could generate more income.
“An off-the-cuff remark was made about our listed barn and being able to sleep with a horse, then Tamara and I had a lightbulb moment,” she said. “We have very friendly, people-orientated horses so we thought we could set up a glamping-type unit in the barn.
“We have a clear partition so the horse goes in one side and there’s a gate that opens into the living area so people can go in with the horse to spend time with them and groom them. There is a double and single bunk beds, and if you’re lucky enough to be in the top bunk you can speak to the horse over the top of the partition.”
Tracey said four of her 14 Friesians, and eight-year-old miniature Shetland Mr JB take part in the stable stays.
“It’s a lovely job for our retired Friesians to still be involved in the farm and get that extra attention. We gave lots of thought to who would be suitable for taking part. Hidde, an 18-year-old gelding by famous stallion Jasper 366, is proving to be one of the favourites with guests. He’s a very gentle soul,” she said.
“Mr JB is small enough he can actually go into the living area if people want. He’s great with children and is very sweet.”
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Tracey said the stable stay, which costs from £250 per night for up to three people, has had 20 bookings since it launched and they believe it is the first of its kind.
“We did some research and couldn’t find anyone else who had done it before,” she said. “We’ve had some great feedback, everyone who has stayed has loved it. Everything is about the horses and sharing them with people, we have guests come from around the world to see the Friesians.”
“The stable area is cleaned and disinfected after every booking so it never smells. The horses always have a bath before the stay too so they’re not dusty, and we do offer ear plugs if anyone is concerned about being a light sleeper,” she said.
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