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To think that having two horses at livery is actually a luxury.....?

(235 Posts)
Marigoldfetish Sat 17-Nov-12 11:22:31

I know this is going to get me flamed etc. but I really don't care well I do a bit else I wouldn't have namechanged

I live near a large family of 8, the children range from 14 years to 18 months. The parents are lovely people, I often have a chat to them about the kids as they have some issues with their teenage girl pretty much the same as mine.

Recently the mum told me they have got two of their children horses, and my children could go and have a ride if they wanted, they are going to be kept at livery stables up the road.

The family's sole income is benefits - I know this as the mum is quite open about this, and that they don't want to work as a) they couldn't earn what the get in benefits and b) she wants her OH at home to help with the kids. Without being too specific so as not to out them or me, one of the parents gets a higher benefit allowance for depression (so the mum has told me). To be honest, fair play to them - if they have made that as a lifestyle choice and their kids are well looked after and happy, and they are only getting what they are entitled to.

I realise this will attract the usual suspects and talk of goats, plasma screens and the like, but..... somebody please tell me, in the name of my sanity, that I am not being unreasonable to think that benefits are not provided for somebody to keep two bloody horses at livery????

laughtergoodmedicine Sat 17-Nov-12 12:52:40

Yes, benefits are run by complex rules; and there is entitlment. At the moment the disabled to are being put through many hoops. Most of the major cheating goes on at the top of society. (In any country in the world I suspect)

TheOriginalLadyFT Sat 17-Nov-12 13:11:53

"The £70 a week was for both horses, it sounded reasonable, but then i dont know much about horses. We are down south though"

Ok, well £35/week sounds about right for DIY. Sorry, must have misread too much wine with lunch

ArkadyRose Sat 17-Nov-12 13:29:46

You're assuming they actually own the horses and aren't loaning/sharing them. I've co-owned horses several times; one was at a liveried stable, the others DIY. It's actually quite a cheap way to keep one or more horses. At the DIY stables, my share was free because I did the stable management/mucking out bit; with the liveried horse, they needed someone who could hack out daily with the horse during a period when they couldn't due to work.

I'm not co-sharing at the moment simply because I had to give up riding thanks to epilepsy, but it never added much more than a fiver a week to our bills at most. If you know lots of horsey people, it's fairly easy to get into co-sharing/loaning fairly inexpensively.

fluffyraggies Sat 17-Nov-12 16:30:57

Sorry if this has been sad, i've skimmed the thread a bit, but what about the amount of money some families on benefits spend weekly on wine and fags? Or petrol for the hulking great 4x4s for the weekly shop. Or a gym membership. Expensive personal grooming like hair colour/nails. Expensive phones for the kids. ect ect.

My point is - if this family is budgeting for to keep these animals then .... why is it such a sin? Where do we draw the 'luxury' line? Is this partly a knee jerk reaction to the words 'keeping horses'?

I don't have any horses btw, but my eldest DD works at a livery stable down the road and the owners of allot of the horses get about in the smallest, oldest, tattiest cars, live in jeans and old trainers, never have a holiday and cheerfully admit to going without allot of things to be able to keep their animals.

How they live, as long as no one is suffering is surely up to them. Even on benefits.

spotsdots Sat 17-Nov-12 18:32:42

OP you could have started any benefits bashing post without having to make up such rediculous story. If indeed the family depends on the benefits then the only way they can afford horses is if they are getting extra money fraudlently e.g they have another source of income which they haven't declared.

Otherwise, I would say to anyone who begrudges someone receiving benefits to actually apply for the benefits and find out how luxuriously it is. After all as a British you are entitled to benefits confused hence millionaires too claim benefits aka child benefit smile

Pixel Sat 17-Nov-12 18:54:13

Surprises me also, Santas. To find two families keeping horses at livery while on benefits - since November 2011. Well.....

This scenario is simply untrue. So report me.

Anniegetyourgun - I am glad you find it as unbelievable as I did

I haven't read all the thread yet but I'm not sure why you all think it's untrue?
I've got a half share in a horse (can't afford a whole one, I've got the end that kicks grin) and even at the smallish place I keep it we have a family with 7 children who have two horses. They have been on benefits for years, the dad apparently has a bad back which doesn't stop him swinging around water containers I can barely lift. We also have a single mum with two kids and 4 horses, also on benefits.

Whatever the rights and wrongs there's no denying it does happen.

OddBoots Sat 17-Nov-12 18:56:09

Ownership of any non-working animal is a luxury to me but lots of people off and off benefits would disagree.

Pixel Sat 17-Nov-12 19:09:27

£70 for DIY is quite expensive, I'm guessing she's down south.
I'm down south too and I still think that's expensive. I pay a lot less than that as mine lives out all year in a field, but I could go to the nice yard up the road that has lovely facilities, 3 floodlit schools, cross country course, all year round grazing etc and get a stable and grazing for £25 per week (so £50 for two).

1605 Sat 17-Nov-12 19:13:27

Just a reminder that the majority of benefits are paid net of tax.

If the calculations another MNer has made upthread are correct, this family are getting benefits equivalent to a gross salary in the region of £65-£70k.

pigletmania Sat 17-Nov-12 19:16:59

YANBU if they can afford the luxury of horses they should not be having benefits or as many children. Sorry they should not

SantasStrapOn Sat 17-Nov-12 20:45:14

£70 a week for TWO ponies on DIY down south is about right for summer. I'd be surprised if it cost that little for winter though, unless they are helpingout in return for reduced fees. You've also forgotten shoes, feed, bedding, rugs, insurance. Probably looking at a bare minimum of £400pcm, and that's without incidentals.

It used to cost me well over £500pcm to keep BigHorse and LittleHorse at livery, and that was in Lincs, on DIY and with neither of them being shod.

Marzipanface Sat 17-Nov-12 21:49:06

*Marigoldfetish Sat 17-Nov-12 11:55:59
I'm not judging, but I am saying that it is a ridiculous situation that a system designed for the poorest in society actually allows them to keep two horses when lot of people can't even afford to take their children horse riding, it just doesn't make any sense.*


We are not on benefits here, decent wage etc - no way we could afford to even take our DD horse-riding let along own horses. Family over the road from me remind me of the family OP is talking about. Lovely family, lovely kids, and they own horses, run two cars and so on. Both parents are on benefits, yet are planning to have IVF privately despite having five children already.

It's none of my business, I know. I also know I have no idea really about their financial situation, however I would be lying if I didn't admit that it does sometimes get me down when I am scraping enough money together to buy bread and milk and their daughter tells me about the latest fun things they have done as a family. I do also know other families on benefits who struggle so badly to make ends meet, so I don't really believe this idea that all benefit claimants live in big houses and live in luxury. I know from direct experience through my career that this is untrue.

SuePurblybiltbyElves Sat 17-Nov-12 21:50:46

Is this about the same woman as before, I wonder?
I do like how these benefit claiming families are always so very open about their income and motivation for not working.

MissNJE Sat 17-Nov-12 22:32:33

I rather have them owning two horses and teaching their children responsibility to look after an animal than to see the parents chain smoking and drinking and spending the money on other useless stuff.

I still dont understand how people can be so proud open about living on benefits as a lifestyle choice. I would be ashamed if I could work but would choose to live on benefits. But that is a totally different matter and I could rant about it forever...

AudrinaAdare Sat 17-Nov-12 22:35:26

Bloody hell I had to check the date on this.

spottyblanket Sun 18-Nov-12 00:00:52

I keep a horse and a pony on livery and i have very little money. Its my life, my passion, and my children get to experience farm life, the great outdoors, caring & responsibility etc etc.

I part loan my horse so that pays for a good deal of its keep. I part loan the pony to another family & that pays all its keep. I know others with a similar set up to finance their passion.

Im canny enough to make it work for me, bet that family does too, so dont judge that which you know nothing about.

MajorBumsore Sun 18-Nov-12 00:07:08

I haven't read whole thread but I've definitely read this post before

PropertyNightmare Sun 18-Nov-12 00:16:18

I don't know much about levels of benefits paid to a family with six children but I think I would assume that this family must have an additional source of income (beyond benefits alone).

redpanda13 Sun 18-Nov-12 00:41:53

I smell horseshit

avasmammy Sun 18-Nov-12 00:57:12

I know no one who professionally rides a system whereby the taxpayer pays for the keeping of horses etc i do however know of people who are reliant on the taxpayer to feed, clothe themselves and their kids while absolutely struggling to do so. I'm at a loss how anyone would want or choose to live a life of expecting to be looked after and to foster that attitude with their kids. I work to provide for my kids, I expect them to do the same.

sashh Sun 18-Nov-12 03:34:02

£70 pw = £10 per day, how much are 40 cigarettes?

pigletmania Sun 18-Nov-12 07:55:27

Miss they don't have to have 2 expensive horses to learn about animal responsibility, Mabey a goldfish or hamster

pigletmania Sun 18-Nov-12 07:56:48

As others have said I dont think that the horses fees would be so little at livery. Someone might not be entirely honest to you

pigletmania Sun 18-Nov-12 08:08:48

If what the op has said is true, than something is wrong with her claim that she is able to support 8 kids on benefits and run horses at livery. Let's not forget why benefits are there, to make sure families have a roof over their head and have food to eat not afford luxuries such as this. There must be something wrong here

pigletmania Sun 18-Nov-12 08:09:48

If everyone had the same attitude as her who would be left to pay for the benefits?

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