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complete novice considering diy livery.............crazy???

(9 Posts)
weepootle Tue 26-Jul-11 21:42:25

Dd1 (7) has recently been getting to ride her friend's pony and really loves it. Dh is in the forces and the camp we live in has stables which we can use (DIY livery- whatever that means!).

I have never had anything to do with horses so don't know the first thing about them. I wondered whether it might be an option to either loan/buy a pony .....if I could also find someone on camp who would do the work/teach us how to look after it in exchange for their dc to also ride.

Does this sound crazy?

Saggyoldclothcatpuss Tue 26-Jul-11 22:59:40

Its not such an insane idea, as long as you find a good mentor. They could teach you, as you went along. I dont think you should try and go alone, if you have absolutely no experience though, theres a lot to know/learn. Out of interest, how would you deal with the situation if your DH is posted elsewhere and you have to move?

weepootle Wed 27-Jul-11 08:30:34

I found someone on camp last night with dds the same ages as mine, who has a lot of experience and keen to do a share!

Saggy, I haven't even thought that far ahead blush. I suppose I was only thinking we'd have it for the 3 years-ish we'll be there then sell it on. I haven't considered that we might actually get attached to it! Maybe we'll only put in for postings where I know they have stables haha.

Is anyone able to give me a general idea of monthly costs of looking after a pony or is that a piece of string question? The costs I have in mind are feed, hay, shoeing, worming innoculations, public liability insurance etc.

Mirage Wed 27-Jul-11 08:43:05

We are doing much the same thing-although I grew up with ponies,it is over 30 years since I had one,so I've pretty much had to start from scratch learning about them.We are renting stables/paddocks/menage from a knowledgeable neighbour and have a lot of horsey friends to call upon.It is doable.

Has your dd had any riding lessons? My dds had done about 3.5 years of riding lessons before I'd consider buying or loaning,and I'm glad I held out.Although they are both confident riders,riding your own pony as opposed to a RS pony is completely different,much more difficult,and our first pony had to go back as he was too sharp for them.DD1 who could jump and canter with ease at RS,ended up being scared to do anything other than walk in the menage on a lead rein,after seeing the pony throw her sister.

Is there a riding school near you which is affiliated to the Pony Club? They run a pony club for children without ponies,so they can learn how to care for them as well as ride.DD1 [7] has joined and really enjoyed it,and learnt loads,plaiting,cleaning tack,mounted games,points of the horse.It really is well worth doing,and has given her loads of confidence.

marialuisa Wed 27-Jul-11 10:06:19

For us it really has been a case of dpony taking any funds we can spare....

We have a 12.2hh Welsh B. He's on part livery which costs £50 pw and includes hay and shavings. During the winter we spent about £14 per month on basic feed but he's basically just on grass at the moment. Dpony doesn't wear shoes and we spend £15 every 10 weeks getting his feet trimmed. We follow the yard wormer programme and just pay £20 when he's been done (think maybe 6 times across a year-haven't really kept track blush

Teeth are £25 every 6 months but he's a youngster so needs more regular checks. Older pony will probably be ok on once a year. Jabs are £120 per year. Insurance is £400 p.a. but we have full replacement costs insured in case anything happens and he was relatively expensive.

The initial outlay can be eye-watering too, we had to buy all tack, wheelbarrow, feed bins, rugs, travel kita although it does calm down and I am the first to admit that DD and dpony get indulged so not all stuff has been bought as cheaply as it might be or is 100% essential!

I would also factor in the cost of a regular lesson/schooling session to keep girls and pony ticking over and to get any problems that arise nipped in the bud.

Just thought-we were originally on a yard where hay and bedding weren't included-over the winter they were charging £3 per day for hay which added up. Bedding was £7 for a bale of shavings-we had quite a big stable and found we needed 2 a week when dpony was in overnight. New yard has rubber mats and although bedding is included we've found we don't get through as much.

marge2 Wed 27-Jul-11 11:35:05

Don't forget vets bills - even if the pony is insured if you claim for anything they will exclude anything related from next years policy. My insurance policy ended up not being worth the paper it was written on as far as vets fees are concerned. I only now have personal injury and third party liability insurance.

Also are you fully prepeared for the commitment? It will more than likely end up being you and not yor DD by the way. Up early every day to muck out. Turn out, bring in skip out, put to bed. EVERY day. Winter mud? Freezing cold days when you have to break ice on troughs and drag hay into fields. If you are a complete novice I would not buy a pony yet. By all means do a share / loan for a year or so if you have someone knowledgable to help so you get the full impact of the time, work and cost it involves before you commit fully. You can then find out if you and yor DD love it or hate it.

Good luck and I hope it works out.

CountrySmiths Wed 27-Jul-11 14:40:15

As you haven't had a pony before and don't know how to look after one, the best thing to do is find someone who has a pony for share.

This means that you pay a fee to share the pony with the owner. Owner's usually look for a sharer when they don't have enough time to ride their horse/pony regularly. It means though that the owner is responsible for the pony's care but is a great way for you to learn from the owner how to care for the pony at the same time.

CountrySmiths Wed 27-Jul-11 14:42:33

Sorry, missed the message where you said you found one to share - ideal!

Regarding costs of keeping a horse this page might help > http://www.equine-world.co.uk/buying_horses/cost_horse.asp

weepootle Wed 27-Jul-11 19:43:22

Thanks for your replies, all have been helpful.

Mirage: Dd1 hasn't had any lessons, she sometimes gets to ride on her friend's 6 year old pony (not RS).

The reason for the interest in buying one was due to the cost of lessons though; I thought if we bought one and have someone who can teach her on her own horse this would work out a lot cheaper and obviously she could ride as often as she liked. Due to the stables being on camp- the cost, if not free will be negligible (still waiting to hear how much).

marge2: Your post really did make me wonder whether I am cut out for it! I intend to book myself in for some days at a local stables to get shown the basics of looking after them and will see how that goes. I live on the same street as the stables on camp though so I won't have far to go each morning at least.

marialuisa: the girl who may be up for sharing said she would like a Welsh B, it doesn't mean a thing to me! Do horsey people just tend to have a favourite type?

Countrysmiths: I suppose what I'm proposing is the opposite of the share you suggested, in that I'll be the owner without a clue and the sharer passes on her experience to me and teaches my dds. Thanks for the link, it's perfect for what I was looking for.

I have looked at loans but I don't see that anyone with a horse that they care about would be willing to loan to someone like me, although the sharer has said she would come to view any possibilities with me as she knows how to spot tricks that they use etc but I expect I'd have to buy rather than loan.

Cost-wise it's definitely do-able - there's just an awful lot more to think about than that though.

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