I've had some rule's in place for quite a while now that I feel are going to need reinforcing again soon. I'd just like to know if you all think they are reasonable or i'm being a bit of a misery...
1) as a YO is it reasonable of me to suggest (full) livery clients tack-up and wash-down their own horses at weekends rather than pester the grooms to do it when a - that's what it says it the contract, b - grooms are busy with school horses.
2) I have 2 sections to the yard, 1 section with nearly all school horses and stores and the other with livery horses, my rule is that the part with school horses is not available to anyone when i'm not there and as such is shut off (only staff have access), if livery clients choose to keep their horses in this part of the yard they can't then complain that they can't access their horses after 5pm. They do have the option to move to the other part of the yard. I always feel bad for inforcing this but i'm just happier knowing my horses (and food/bedding stores) are not accessed by everyone when i'm not around. Is it unreasonable as i'm usually made to feel it is.
Just wanting some feedback and neutral perspectives....
Well, if I was paying £££ for full livery, I would be pretty pissed off if I could only have full livery in the week and had to diy at the weekends. And likewise, I would be pretty pissed off if I couldn't get to my horse after 5pm. So I think YABU.
If you have to close off part of your yard then don't have any liveries on it and don't offer full livery if it isn't in fact full livery 7 days a week.
Oh, and if I was looking for full livery I wouldn't go to a yard with these rules.
I hardly think being required to tack up your own horse constitutes DIY livery!!! Personally, I would let them do their own tacking up at all times! If these conditions are in the contract, you are absolutely not being unreasonable; if not, get the contracts re-written.
Well the grooms must be tacking up and washing down in the week for the clients to expect it at the weekends. Obviously it isn't diy - I was making a point.
1) I think this is reasonable. You could send out a reminder to owners that this is stated in the contract, or put up a notice. Also tell the grooms to say no! Obv. in a nice way, something like "Sorry, we're under strict instructions only to deal with the school horses from now on." If the owners keep on the grooms need to refer them back to you for clarification.
2) I think YABU on this point. Why offer livery stabling in this area if you don't want owners using it? It's unreasonable to expect owners (esp. working owners) not to be able to access their horses after 5pm. If you are worried about the security of your own tack and feed etc perhaps you should move these or put them under lock and key. Otherwise I'm not sure what it is you're worried about? The livery owners aren't going to be interfering with your horses, are they?
I think you need to have completely separate school and livery areas. Why are you letting liveries keep their horses in that area, is it because the size of stable is more suitable for their horse or something? When we were on a livery yard we had to keep tack in a "school" tack room as there was no space in the livery tack rooms. I wouldn't have appreciated being told that I couldn't access my tack at certain times.
I also think it's reasonable for the grooms to tack up/wash down if the liveries are having lessons, but wouldn't expect it otherwise.
Am so glad we're not on a yard any more though!
If everything that bothers you, is down on paper in the contract, and the owners signed this, but are now not sticking to it, then you are definitely NBU! Much as I don't particularly agree with your rules, if they signed, then it's tough on them.
If you just made the changes, outside the contracts, then sorry, you don't have a leg to stand on.
If I was paying full livery I would want to be able to come and see my horse within reasonable hours.
It's a very lazy rider who won't tack up their own horse so tough.
Your yard, your rules and presumably everybody is informed when they first sign up.
However for me:
1. We love doing our own horses (and have 3 at home ourselves) but at all yards where we've been full (show) livery the horses have been tacked for us and washed down afterwards whenever we've gone to ride. Of course we help out and all very friendly but I don't consider "pestering" the grooms for assistance is unreasonable if they are paying for "full" livery.
2. I can understand why you have a private area. Why, though, do you allow owners to keep their liveries in it if you want to restrict access. As an owner I'd want full access (at reasonable hours) and would move my horse/pony if not in an open situation.
If I was keeping my horse at your yard in full livery, then I would expect that to be over the weekends too. However, if you had said when I came onto the yard that it was only full livery Mon - Friday, I would respect that, so you are not being unreasonable, but it may not stop me, if I was in a rush/short of time, asking one of the grooms on the off chance they could help out - but I would expect them probably to say no!!!
However, I would want access to my horse after 5pm - or when you are not around if I was paying full livery prices.
I completely understand you want to keep the 'school' part separate and wouldn't want to enter that area, nor should I need to. But, I wouldn't ask/expect my horse to be in that area anyway. If you have clients with horses in that area, then they have to abide by the rules that if you are not there then no access, but why would anyone want their horse in the school area, rather than the livery area if they couldn't get to it?
Our yard is a DIY yard, but everyone has to be done and off by 9pm, when the automatic gates shut - unless a horse is sick, or they have pre-arranged for a reason. Gates don't open until 6am (unless previously arranged for a show etc.). Thankfully this means we don't get woken up by cars coming into the yard and horses clopping beside the wall on the way to the field! I just need to educate them on not banging the fork on the wheelbarrow every time .
You yard, your rules!!
1. I don't understand? But then anyone I know on full livery tacks up their own horse!!
2. I refused to a yard which operated similar opening hours to the ones you mention. However, if peopl are aware and can move their horses away from that time limit then there should be no issue.
I agree with saggy though - they signed the contract!!
For your first point, I would print out a notice in the common area which says "as per part 6 of the contract, owners are responsible for tacking up/grooming/washing at weekends". I would also then put up another notice asking to "sign below" if they want to pay extra for a weekend service. You'll get weekend staff easily.
For your second point, this would really fuck me off. My most recent yard was 24/7 - although tbf if I rolled up at 2am I would expect to be met with a shotgun.
As an aside, I guess what I've always known as "full" livery is not technically full. I've never known anyone pay for "everything" to be done. I can't believe people are lazy enough to do that.
Wow, thank you for all your feed-back, it's really great to get honest - and quite varying - opinions (which you can guarantee on a forum but not necessarily when you ask people face-to-face about these things).
Everything is contracted I just wanted to gauge peoples opinions to decide whether I was ok to just make passing comments or whether I needed a meeting and/or notices to re-explain to everyone why things are done as they are. I really hate conflict and feeling i'm bossing people around but also hate people just 'walking over' rules that have been set up for really good reasons.
I should just clarify that for the stabling, we do have separate livery/school areas - all with identical stabling the livery area is accessible 24/7. Some owners just refuse to use it and prefer their horses shut off with mine. However when I get the whole 'can't I just stay a bit longer and shut the gates behind me' thing I feel awful for saying no.
Regarding the tacking-up/washing down - we are not a bows and whistles yard and don't charge those prices - nor is there any mention that we will do this in the list of services provided in the contract. I think i'll set up the policy marialucia suggests, lapse the rules for people having lessons on their own horses and use the opportunity to reinforce the existing policy at other times. Love that suggestion and should keep everyone happy - fingers crossed!
Thank you - as usual you've all been a great help!
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