Horse & Hound

“The horses adore the yard”


HILARY WESTGARTH created the yard of her dreams at her farm near Braintree, Essex, replacing several “ugly concrete buildings” with a courtyard stable block, indoor arena and rehabilita­tion centre with help from Equine Constructi­on.

“I adore the yard, as do my horses, and Equine Constructi­on were brilliant,” said Hilary, who keeps dressage horses.

Each of the 11 stables has a Victorian sweeping front and a large window at the back. Recycled plastic boards – which don’t mark if kicked by horses – sit between the frames of the interior partitions.

The bottom half of the exterior walls is comprised of the same brickwork as the house, while the top half is timber cladding. The pitched roof has clay tiles and is open inside to ensure that it is light and airy.

The composite roof of the 20x60m indoor arena is white underneath to reflect light down to the arena, while sloping grey kickboards sit on concrete plinths to prevent damage when the arena is harrowed. A state-of-the-art sound system and LED lighting have also been installed.

As well as stables, there are also separate wash and tack rooms, and a barn houses extra stables, a Theraplate and a water treadmill.

“I wanted a horse walker but we couldn’t get planning permission to have one near the rest of the yard, so I investigat­ed the benefits of a water treadmill instead. I’m so pleased I made this investment as it’s been brilliant for all my horses, they have strengthen­ed up and improved their performanc­e and I love helping others with their horses,” added Hilary, who now runs an equine therapy centre.

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