My name is Iris and I am based at a beautiful smallholding in mid-Wales on the very edge of Snowdonia with my 5 horses, 2 dogs, 3 cats, 5 sheep and some Dexter Cattle to get some conservation grazing going on the land. My family is around at times, but with 2 grown up sons you never quite know what they are up to and my husband has to work away a lot. We have moved to this amazing property one year ago, with the intention to start a dog training centre and a horse / human relationship teaching hub. However, the property requires quite a lot of work for us to be able to move towards the overall aim. So if you have good carpentry / general maintenance & sound animal skills to help me with some of my projects, you would be helping me to get there sooner. We have taken on a lot and even maintaining the current status quo takes a lot of doing.
I have a passion for all animals, especially horses and dogs, with whom I spend many hours a day with. I am a dog and horse behaviourist, which means I work with them to learn and understand how I can help them and at times their human counterparts. All my animals have been rescued and my intention is to help many more. In addition to the above, I am a fully trained podiatrist (doing horses feet) and I also teach the piano accordion. I am always keen to pass on my knowledge if someone wants to learn. I have an outgoing personality and would love to share this wonderful space with like-minded people who are motivated to help do what's necessary to achieve our overall aim.
DIY and building projects
Help around the house
Free accommodation in our lovely farmhouse and an allowance to cover your food costs. We are happy to pick you up and drop you back to the nearest town, Welshpool, which is easily reached by train from Birmingham airport (most local to us, approx. 2 hours by car / train) or other parts of the country.
We live in a beautiful, but remote, part of mid-Wales with no public transport nearby. The next village is 3.5 miles away (Llangadfan) and the nearest town (Welshpool) is 30 minutes drive by car. There is an infrequent bus service from Llangadfan to Welshpool.
We would be happy to take you into town when we go shopping, so you can explore some places nearby and if time and weather allows, we will take you round to the local beauty spot Lake Vyrnwy, which is a must see in the area. However if you wish to explore the area more fully than that during your stay, then your own transport would be required.
If you are like us and you love and appreciate open countryside & wildlife and your idea of chilling out is connecting with nature in whatever way you choose, you will love it here!
During your time off you can walk for miles, we are close by to a 10000 acre Forestry Commission woodland. You are welcome to borrow our mountain bike to further explore the surroundings, spend time watching the myriad varieties of birds going about their business or chill out on one of the benches around our very own lake! Meditate or practice some yoga, read a book or come out with me on a horse carriage ride. This is a unique and close to nature experience which is very special. It has been my passion for more than 25 years. So just sit back and enjoy! (sadly at present the pony is not well enough to go out)
During the evenings you are welcome to join in around the log burner (in the winter), which makes for a lovely atmosphere. If you like music, I play and teach the accordion regularly and on other occasions we get together playing board games and having informal chats. A great time to improve your English skills.
We do ask that mobile phones (and any other wireless devices) are turned off in the house, as I am sensitive to these devices and they give me headaches and generally affect my wellbeing in many different ways. In any event there is a poor signal inside the house; but you are welcome to use your mobile phone outside. or in the nearby stable area, as long as I am not working nearby. We don’t have wi-fi connection for the internet for that very reason, but we have a wired internet connection enabled around the house via Ether-net, which you are welcome to use in your spare time. Please note that we do share the internet connection and I use skype for teaching accordion lessons on-line a few times a week. Also my husband works from home some times, so the use of the internet will have to be co-ordinated.
At present, I am looking specifically for help to repair and convert an old wooden stable block into a workshop. Most of the help is going to be inside the stable block to prepare the building for a new metal roof to go on afterwards. There is also some help necessary on the weather side of the shed.
In addition to that, I would like to build a walk-in tack and feed room within our existing stable building. If you have the skills to take these projects forward, we would love to hear from you.
My life revolves around animals and anyone joining will be at times asked to help out looking after them. There is no official previous animal care knowledge required but great if you have some. However an appreciation and love for animals is essential and so is common sense conduct around them.
The stables need mucking out and the fields need droppings to be collected on a daily basis. We have a quad bike to help with the cleaning up process, which makes live easier and takes the hard work out of this very important daily task. Due to the nature of rescue horses I have a lot of remedial work and various training exercises to do with them, which can take up a lot of time. The aim is for you to help me free up time for this important task, therefore I am looking for someone with initiative and self motivation who is happy to get on with tasks by themselves once they have been shown what needs doing.
You MUST be good with dogs. Our Romanian rescue dogs, live in the house. As you can appreciate they come with a whole host of issues and you will be expected to be dog savvy as well as follow certain rules which will enable the dogs to live calmly around you. You will need to be positive, friendly and open to understanding dog behaviour. They are very friendly once you are accepted as part of the family, however you will need to be responsible for your own actions. I would be pleased to share my experiences with you as a dog behaviourist to overcome potential inital hostility. Please do NOT apply if you are frighted / apprehensive of dogs.
You will have your own bedroom and either your own private bathroom, or a shared bathroom, depending on the room available. As you will be treated as one of the family, we expect you to participate in household tasks such as washing dishes, vacuuming and cleaning when necessary. You are in charge of keeping your own room and bathroom clean and will need to do your own washing.
You will have a food allowance to buy your own food. You are very welcome to use all our kitchen facilities, but are expected to clean up after yourself as you go and look after things as if they were your own. Personally, I am a vegetarian and try and spend minimal time in the kitchen.
We will welcome you into our family and treat you as one of us. Should English not be your first language, we will happily help to improve your English language skills as we live and help alongside each other.
In return we ask that you treat our place and everything in it with respect. You will be hardworking, self-motivated and happy to help under your own steam when required.
You will either be staying in a double room, with en-suite bathroom, in the 16 century Welsh farmhouse or in a single room with a shared bathroom.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Hours are 5 hours/per day, 5 days a week.
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