Settling In To Eight Oaks Farm

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Everything is settling in nicely at the new house, it is so lovely here and it still feels like we are living in a Hotel.

We have some temporary stables up for the horses, while planning for permanent ones is sorted. We want to rebuild the historic courtyard that was here in 1850, we are so excited about creating what was here previously, it’s going to be such a lovely set up. We have taken hours collecting and and digging up some 200 year old handmade bricks to keep it all as original as possible. The new arena is just about completed. Getting a suitable surface approved by the local planning authority was frustrating as they wanted us to use cheap waste rubber (chopped up tyres) or other waste products. I refused to distribute carsogenic, toxic waste accross this area of outstanding natural beauty and so I fought my case. Eventually the Council agreed to let us use a surface that is recommended by the FEI for equestrian use, being safe not only for the horses and riders but also so importantly safe for the environment. It’s a surface considered safe to use at The Greenwich Olympics and Rio next summer.

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Massimo has started his winter campaign working towards an early start Eventing next spring. He jumped double clear at his first affiliated BS SJ outing last week. He try’s so hard to please bless him. Sprout and Blizzard are back in work and are doing lots of hacking, which is particularly lovely round here, see photo  overlooking the stunning gullet quarry.

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New House

imageThere has been a long gap between my previous post and this one due to the house move which we have been working towards all summer. We now live at the stunning Eight Oaks Farm see above.

Our old house The Paddock where we have lived for the last 18 years is now sold and we have upped sticks and moved everything a mile down the road to Eight Oaks Farm.

An enormous task moving house, 18 years of our stuff, 2 dogs , 2 cats (3 with the feral kitten I seem to have adopted) numerous chickens and all the horses. This all happened a week ago and everyone has settled in nicely. My oldest dog Sweep had a “when are we going home look on her face ” for a few days, whilst 12 month old Hugo bounded round in great excitement at the prospect of something new happening. The funniest thing was  the look on their face when we popped back to The Paddock to collect something. There were 5 dogs in THEIR drive barking back out at them,  how dare they, even kind gentle Sweep decided much barking and some growling was appropriate.

Getting the new house ready for the horses was a stressful task, once The Paddock was sold we had just 2 weeks to move. We needed paddocks, stables, water, electric with a few sleepless nights it all came together in the nick of time.

The horses arrived with eyes out on stalks but all soon settled in really quickly, especially Rif Raf  who quickly learnt her rug offered great protection, not against the weather but against the electric fence!!! The removal of her neck cover soon put a stop to her adventures!!

The newly renovated farm house we now live in is amazing, we feel like we are living in a beautiful hotel, our new 60×30 arena is almost finished, but for now we are riding in the field and doing loads of hacking which is excellent practice for Event horses.

Massimo is back in work after a months holiday, he will be out competing on the winter circuit soon, while the baby horses are all turned out for a holiday. Having unpacked almost all of my boxes I now feel I need to go horse shopping………