long barn stables
We had several key criteria when we were looking for a new home for the Julie Templeton Show Team in 2006. However the most important was that our base had to be in the centre of the country with good transport links, thus minimising the time that the horses/ponies and ourselves were having to travel. Luckily we found Long Barn Stables based in a rural hamlet in Newport, Shropshire. The location meant access to the M6 both north and south in less than 1/2hr and also had the start of the M6 Toll on the doorstep – which has proved a god send on those many nights on the way back from shows when the motorway is stationary.
Our other criteria were that the yard had to have the facilities which meant we could operate the business straight away and Long Barn Stables ticked these boxes too. It had one large American barn with 14 internal stables and a useable menage with several turnout paddocks.
But there was a compromise – there was no house and pretty much everything else on site was derelict and needed a lot of repairing or bulldozing.
Despite friends and family thinking we were mad, we purchased and moved in at the beginning of January 2007. We lived in the horseboxes until a suitable chalet could be found. ‘Rodger’ was delivered a few months later and was our home for several more years than we had planned but we were also very naive on the amount of work and the costs involved in adapting the yard to the purpose built facility we required.
Rodger our wooden chalet – deceivingly big and very cosy
With the hugely generous help of friends and family, we renovated the horse barn stabling – fitted automatic waterers, created a tack room, feed room and wash box and changed the drainage, lighting, electric and security systems. After building a rug store and adding temporary stabling to acclimatise ponies to the show ground environment, we then moved onto creating the pony barn from an old Dutch barn which had previously been used as stalls for the cows. We built one side with stables doors opening up onto the garden and fitted out 18 internal stables with lighting, electric and automatic waterers. Then finally – a tack room and an office.
When all this was completed we decided that the menage was next on the hit list, so that was resurfaced and re fenced. Followed by re sizing our grazing paddocks and fitting them with Horse Rail electric fencing. Finally we created the car park and several electric hook ups for when wagons are staying over.
At this point the equines were living and working in a completely purpose built yard, which allowed us to be as efficient as possible in how we operated. So it was time that we began converting the old milking parlour into a house.
Many of you will have watched the television programs with people converting barns and they all say the budget spiralled and they would never do it again. Well funnily enough the budget spiralled and we would never do it again!! However we are very happy with the home we have created.
It’s nearly the end of the story, if we didnt have the other half of the milking parlour still to covert – but thats on hold while we have a bit of a break from renovations!
In 2019 we did have one new upgrade which was CCTV across the whole yard
(which has been great for checking in on what’s happening when we are at shows – big brother is watching you!!)