How do you ever choose a livery???(14 Posts)
We have been burnt before in the past. I really really want to find an actually friendly yard. What are your must haves?
Are you looking at DIY/part/full?
I've just come off a DIY yard to a full livery only yard. Different requirements for both.
I've found my new yard much more friendly because there aren't people hanging around talking about each other. The liveries tend to turn up, ride, go home. There are still groups that hack/ride together and everyone seems to get on.
Do you know the area well? Can anyone recommend a yard?
What do you mean by friendly? In my experience the more liveries talk to each other the more they argue so for me a good yard is one where I can go about riding my horse without being hassled and the YO has strict rules in place to keep the yard clean and safe.
Assisted/part. We have found one which 'feels' right. People seem down to earth and friendly, it's not posh, it's local, it's affordable.
I worry about a few things...eg the arena is small. It's a bit messy
Also, what do you think of American barns?
Oh how I wished the perfect yard existed lol!!
Do you use!/have access to an arena currently? Do you school much?
A small arena wouldn't bother me, but then I prefer hacking. We have two schools on the yard I'm at, each has its own issues, but they are ok for lunging and riding (at my level!) in.
Other people's mess I just have to turn a blind eye too, as long as my area is tidy (and swept as can be - don't stress about stuff you can't control)
It's friendly! Our YO is ferocious though, so that helps I think. Anyone not conforming to her rules doesn't stay long.
American barns, good for people as Drier!! All horses can see other horses. But if your horse has respiratory probs, an outside stable would be preferable...
You can only weigh up pro/cons and go from there... good luck!
If you don't school then the arena is not an issue, if you want to compete the arena is crucial. Size is not the only issue (although too small may make jumping impossible), the surface matters a lot. Will it flood at the sight of a cloud? Does it ride so deep you'll get injuries?
What's the turn out like? That is usually a major issue. Places with insufficient turn out have terrible problems when horses are kept in for days on end in bad weather.
Messy would be a warning sign for me. Horses get loose at a blink of an eye, everything around them has to be prepared for a loose horse, I.e. no pitchforks, wheelbarrows or other hazards about, no slippery floor due to droppings, closed gates, etc. Messy doesn't sound good...
Yy boo, I don't mind if people talk or not, as long as they aren't critising continually...Or gossiping about other people all the time
broke, it's so hard to know, what is and isn't most important
Turn out is good and extensive boo, all year round
Dd doesn't 'compete'. She does want to go to local shows. There is a field with jumps which would be ok in summer?
I have been at great yards where the school is not great but there is a work around. At one I could hack to a good sized indoor school & pay £10 to use. At my current yard, school is an odd size for dressage, so I Box to a 20x60 school to prepare for dressage.
If the yard is good in all respects there is usually a solution for small arenas.
Jumps in fields ok. Will probably be usable more than half the year.
I'm incredibly lucky to be on what I consider to be my "perfect" yard. We have decent year around turnout, an Olympic sized floodlit school, the yard staff are extremely knowledgeable and treat the horses as if they were their own, and nothing is ever too much trouble. The YO is a pro rider but down to earth and is the best trainer I've ever had. And despite it being a competition yard, everyone is super supportive of each other and I honestly don't think I've ever witnessed anyone speaking bad on anyone else. Oh and it's less than 5 mins from my house. I honestly feel so lucky to have my horse there and can't imagine ever being anywhere else.
the arena is small. It's a bit messy
There are work rounds and I've known people compete in showing classes at HOYS with no arena to practise in. It's not great for getting the angles right in dressage but one advantage is that when you do get out, a 20 by 40 feels quite large. So I think if everything else is right, don't worry too much about that.
As for messy, it depends on the kind of mess. I had my horse on a super tidy showing yard with very little turn out. When horses got loose they were more inclined to go a bit loopy and damage themselves, because even on a tidy yard a horse will always find something. Now he's a on a messy yard with a lot of turn out. Places he could easily damage himself, like the feed room and the tack room, are shut. There are no nails around or glass, because there are a lot of vehicles around and no-one wants a puncture. If horses do get loose they tend not to be too bothered and will often just put themselves away.
Last time my horse got loose was my fault because I parked him whilst I helped someone with a gate and he wandered off, but he ambled round any mess and found some nice grass. And I ambled after him and we mooched off to the yard together. If you're laid back, they tend to be.
So now, if I need to move yards, I'll make a list of priorities but they'll have to be his priorities, not mine. He needs year-round turn out. It doesn't have to be a huge amount, but he cannot go back to being stabled as much as he was on the posh showing yard. It has to be friendly and there has to be reasonable hacking, but I'm not insisting we get off road immediately. A school would be good, and the ability to bring in freelance instructors, but they're my priorities rather than his.
I chose my yard as I used to have lessons there when it was also a riding school.
We have three levels of livery, assisted DIY, week full livery/weekend DIY and full. On the DIY livery your horses are still turned out/bought in and fed.
We have an indoor and an outdoor school. Good selection of jumps etc.
We are a family, everyone supports each other, whether it's competing at high level shows or popping a tiny cross pole. I can't see myself ever leaving unless a move forces it.
I've just been looking for livery recently, but because I have just bought a yearling, some things that were important when I had a ridden horse are not so now.
My reason for choosing the yard I will be at now is that the grazing is good and open 24/7-365. The fields are well maintained, poo picked every day and the fencing is good. I have a stable as well, but little one will be out 24/7, unless we have a very very wet or very very cold winter. The YO seems knowledgeable about youngsters and is happy to help out, but not interfere.
I was at my last yard for 10 years, and while there were niggles, it was a pretty well run yard with good staff. Horses were well looked after and there was a settled routine. Facilities were good - good sized arena, horsewalker, round pen and brilliant hacking. Only niggles were they didn't feed ad lib hay so it was sometimes a bit of a struggle to get them to feed enough hay (solved that by the cunning use of extra hay buckets) and the fields weren't maintained. I only left because my horse died and then I moved away.
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