SALMON RIVER, N.S. – Robert Stewart had a dream that involved horses, but it also involved a high-calibre boarding stable and park-like grounds.
His dream is now taking shape, with the construction of Arbour Ridge Farm, in Salmon River, which he runs with his son, Ben, and daughter, Hayleigh.
“I want to have something people will be proud their horse is in,” he said. “This place is designed to accommodate every aspect of the horse world and make people and horses comfortable.”
The stable area has 20 stalls, measuring 12’ X 10’, with rubber matting on the floor and a window that can be opened. The ceiling is designed so that fumes are sucked out through vents, and hallways are wide.
To protect the health of the horses, each is given its own feed chart and a numbered bucket. Feed is poured into a bucket in the stall, so the tubs that are used to carry grain never touch the horse.
Fecal samples can be tested in a small lab in the building to find out whether a horse has picked up any worms.
“This is designed for the horse’s health,” said Stewart. “We’re taking every step possible to prevent horses from getting sick or injured.”
He grows his own hay and has it analyzed so people will know how much grain to give their horses in order to reach optimum protein levels.
The building includes tack up/grooming area, wash stall, tack room with individual lockers, kitchenette, office, bathroom, feed room and viewing room, which will all be heated during subzero temperatures.
There is also a 100′ x 210′ outdoor riding ring, an outdoor round pen and a 70′ x 150′ indoor ring.
The 40-acre property includes paddocks where horses can be turned out in small groups or individually, and it borders the trails of the Central Nova Horse and Pony Association grounds.
“It’s very relaxing to be around horses, and people enjoy being in relaxing surroundings with them,” said Stewart. “The area is park-like, with a stream, and when we cleared pasture we left some trees.”
Horse owners can bring in their own coaches, vets and farriers, and will have the use of jumps, cavaletti, cross-country fences and barrels.
Stewart plans to eventually build a house on the property.