Country houses for sale

Property punters: The pony club mother

Sara hates to admit that her Norfolk farmhouse, although very pretty, is small, with an equally tiny paddock-the smallest for miles around. Still, that’s not going to stop her and little Harriet finding the perfect pony to go in it. Sara’s search for equestrian perfection has taken her to the ends of the Earth-even Cornwall. Here, she and Harriet find Conkers, a vision of chestnut brown excellence. Sara pays a fortune for him there and then.

Although Conkers looks sweet when viewed from the kitchen window, he’s anything but. As Sara quickly discovers, the little pony is even more mad to win than she is. Privately, Sara and Harriet wonder if Conkers might be a little bonkers. The pony wins so many rosettes that Harriet’s bedroom is soon festooned to overflowing, as is almost every other room in the house. Meanwhile, the hallway is an obstacle course of tack, helmets, riding boots and competition entry forms.

Sara is thrilled by her daughter’s success, and when she’s asked to be Pony Club Secretary, her cup overflows. Unfortunately, finding room to do her Secretary’s job is even more challenging than winning gymkhanas, as prize cups and shields now fill (or clutter, her husband says) every available space. Sara realises, to her dismay, that drastic action is called for: they must move. Fortunately, she soon spots a replacement farmhouse. She’s thrilled with her spacious new home, which has a study and, of course, a paddock-the biggest for miles around.