Since she was a teen living on her family’s Prebbleton lifestyle block south of Christchurch, Anna Grainger has loved horses.
She became a keen equestrian, enjoying the sport as both a rider and a judge. However, a late 2018 accident that she still can’t fully recollect left Anna with a head injury and serious concussion. No longer able to look after her horses, she sold them, also taking three terms away from her job as a teacher at Lincoln Primary School.
“On doctor’s orders I wasn’t allowed on a horse. After 18 months, although it ought to have been longer, I was really missing it and pretty miserable. I love the company of horses. They are my passion. A friend has a horse trekking business in Hanmer, so I decided to see him for a wee ride on a quiet horse. I just loved it, and despite knowing the doctor would disapprove, decided to get myself another horse, which eventually led to a pony to keep my horse company,” she says.
Reconnecting so strongly with horses, Anna and husband Darryn started to consider moving to a lifestyle block as their Kennedy’s Bush, Christchurch property did not suit keeping horses onsite. Darryn grew up on a market garden and had wanted to return to rural life for some time. Helping Anna back onto a horse strengthened that desire, so they went in search.
“We looked at several places, including a couple of open homes where we met Ron. He understood what we were looking for, and a short while later called to tell us he was about to list a property.”
Based at PGG Wrightson Real Estate, Lincoln, Ron Ferguson was offering the one hectare, three bedroom Springston lifestyle block as a joint listing with colleague John Davison. The low maintenance easy-care Colorsteel clad home offered views of the Alps and the Port Hills. A two-bay utility shed plus shelter for a horse truck were benefits, and crucially for Anna, it was already well set up for equine needs with an arena and three paddocks, while Darryn liked the oversized garage for his big passion: his mountain bikes.
“Ron said: ‘This might suit you,’ and we looked at each other and said: ‘Yeah, we love that!’
“We ended up going to the open homes every weekend. It was a bit quirky, we didn’t need more land, and the stream down one side, plus the shelter from the easterly, gave it a wonderful feeling, and it was reasonably close to school,” says Anna.
Anna and Darryn went to the auction, though were just short of finalising the sale of their previous home, so put in an offer after the property was passed in.
That offer went unconditional in November and they moved in January.
“We are loving it: it’s perfect.
“We are learning the ride on mower, though have also bought a robot mower. We inherited some chickens, and Darryn is learning to look after the horses, so when he works from home enjoys popping out to see them during the day.
“It’s so quiet and relaxing to come home, and it has a beautiful verandah, so we are outdoors for almost every meal on the patio, breakfast, lunch and dinner,” says Anna.