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Working livery - pros and cons please

(9 Posts)
OhYouBadBadCrookshanks Mon 11-Jul-11 17:40:51

dd is a keen rider,very confident and helps school inexperienced slightly wild ponies at the riding school she is at. (she helps there weekends) Its a lovely school, ponies kept very nicely and they are very very aware about not overworking etc.

A new pony has come on to the yard very recently who is going to be available on a working livery basis. We've seen it being ridden once. lively little thing, nice and forward, very pretty but not quite got the hang of cantering round the school in a tidy manner.

dd is going to have a ride on it in a couple of weeks once it is settled in. She believes it is to test it out for the yard owner. YO has said that they will put off any enquiries so we can take our time to make any decisions.

Thing is, I don't know much about horses (other than I like them very much indee and what I've gleaned from listening to others). Livery covers shoes, worming, teeth, feed. We have to cover vet and supplements. lessons are discounted and dd can hack pony when she likes (with a group)

What do you think?

Callisto Mon 11-Jul-11 19:58:29

Blimey, you pay full livery and only get discounted lessons? I have no idea about working livery but that sounds like a bloody rip-off to me. Also, do you own the pony or will it be loaned? And if it is on loan what do you actually get out of it? Can your DD do what she wants, when she wants with it (shows, hacking, etc) or will that be dictated by the YO.

Another point, how old is your DD, how experienced and is she paid to work or does she work for rides?

Callisto Mon 11-Jul-11 19:59:51

And I wouldn't agree to paying extra for supplements. It just sounds like a money-spinner for the YO.

OhYouBadBadCrookshanks Mon 11-Jul-11 20:07:09

It is supposed to be much cheaper than full livery (£300/month)
Is it really a huge rip off? I've looked at places that offer full livery (we don't live close enough to stables anywhere to diy) and its much more. I think she could only do stuff with YO permission. She is 11, been riding since tiny. Doesnt get paid, not even in lessons for a very long full day helping every weekend. We have to pay for those. The extra rides she gets are to work in the ponies that need it.

It is a rip off isnt it sad

She would benefit so much from having a pony she could call her own and I can't see how we can get round the practicalities.

OhYouBadBadCrookshanks Mon 11-Jul-11 20:09:47

thanks Callisto.
I think I was letting my heart rule over practicalities. When I look at it, its stupid. We dont actually even have that sort of money spare.


thank goodness we hadnt said anything to dd.

Callisto Mon 11-Jul-11 20:26:18

Well, I think first off you need to look really closely at the ponies your DD is schooling for nothing. Bringing on ponies is a skill that should be paid for so the YO is taking the piss there for a start. I am also rather dubious that the YO is putting an 11 yo on green ponies in the first place. Working all day for nothing is also a piss-take, especially if she is doing a full w/end for nothing. It is awful, but unfortunately there will probably be girls queuing up to take her place.

I don't know what the answer is really, perhaps you could find a pony-share in the area or perhaps a private yard would give her some rides for work? When I was about the age of your DD I worked for rides at an arabian stud. The YO was wonderful, really took care of me and was very fair so it can happen, though there may be public liability issues these days.

It may be worth joining the local pony club - your DD can do summer camp without a pony at most clubs, and it is a way into the horsey world where everything is word of mouth. You may find somewhere local that does grass livery? I will warn you though - if money is tight owning a pony is going to get lots more expensive this autumn as the price of hay/feed/bedding is going to rocket.

Good luck.

OhYouBadBadCrookshanks Mon 11-Jul-11 20:58:36

thank you smile I'll have a look at Pony club and I think in general look at what we are getting for our money. She loves helping very very much (tis just the one day at the yard, if I wasn't clear), there must be a way for her to develop her skills with out bankrupting us entirely.

Very good point about how everything is going to rocket this autumn, that hadnt occurred to me.

marialuisa Tue 12-Jul-11 12:30:23

I've come caross something similar but the "deal" was much better for the loaner. Loaner paid approx £25 per week and half the cost of shoes and in return had use of pony for up to 2 hours per day (although riding school lessons took priority), priority booking for pony for own lessons and yard shows, could go out hacking during the 2 hours if they wished and YO would take them to 1 local show a year (loaner paid entry fees). If loaner couldn't make it down the pony was looked after by the yard.

I know a few people who have done this and it was a good deal, particularly for kids around your DD's age as they could do as much or as little as they liked without approaching the real costs of having a pony for the parents. It may be worth looking at other local stables and see if they do the same? With costs risings it's going to be an attractive option for YOs.

OhYouBadBadCrookshanks Tue 12-Jul-11 12:33:18

That sounds like a much better deal. We need to start looking around I think.

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