How far is your yard?(25 Posts)
I'm particularly interested in those with young families.
I sold my amazing horse a year and a half ago. I was struggling to juggle full time work with a young family, I'd moved to a yard with good grazing but no real facilities (the promise of an outdoor arena never materialised). This led to me feeling like I was paying money to keep my horse but never getting to enjoy him.
I also felt guilt about the cost of full livery - paying £90 a week to ride 3 times a week just felt wrong and I felt I was being selfish and should have been spending that money on dd.
I'm in a better place now. DD is a bit older and horsey daft so horse riding can now be a shared hobby, I've had a promotion and therefore a significant wage increase so the money isn't as much a factor (although I'm still stingy about that!).
Anyway, back to my main point. There is a huge lack of good yards in my area. I'm currently sharing a horse at one of my old yards (that I should never have left) but spaces there are like hen's teeth so I know if I did buy a horse again I'd struggle to get a space there.
There is a yard literally 2 minutes from my house - huge international competition yard but not nice for horses i.e. no turn out for parts of the year, busy, noisy etc. The other yards either have good facilities but no turn out or vice versa or provide no assistance which I'd need.
There are some lovely yards around 25 to 30 minutes drive away but give that I'm already tight for time I'm loathe to add an hour onto my horsey time just for the commute but my options are limited. I'd be on fully or heavily assisted livery as I can only manage up once a day and even then it wouldn't be every day.
So, keen to understand how far others travel and how much of a pain it is?
My options seem to be limited to a good yard that is further away or a yard closer to home that doesn't allow me to keep my horse the way I'd like.
20 mins away on assisted diy. So monday-friday turnout is done and also monday and wrdnesfay evenings. So we go up tuesday, thutsfay and friday evening and do everything on daturdays and sundays. I work fulltime and have 2 kids. Including food and bedding, i think its probably almost £200/month. Facilities arent great but good hacking and lovely lovely yard manager and other people. The people are a really important factor for me because horsey people can be a funny bunch, cant they
Its a lot less of a pain, than i thought it was going to be
Thanks! That's a good price! There is a nice looking yard about 30 minutes away that is £50 per week for assisted DIY (rug/feed/turn out and bring in 7 days a week) but I'd be £30 on top for hay and bedding plus feeds etc and then extra for Full livery days of which I'd probably need 2 or 3 :/ The grass livery yard with no facilities is only 5 miles from this so it would't be a huge push to go a bit further. Where we used to live there were definitely more choices - I had full livery for £70 a week which included great hacking, good arena, show jumps in field during summer and 10 minutes away. Where I am now it's really expensive and you don't get as much for your money!
Good to hear you've managed to juggle it - I need somewhere with facilities though as I struggle in the winter without them.
The thing that I hate most about the distance is the thought of after a long days work having to drive 30 minutes to even see the horse. I'm worried that this would be come too much of a chore and I'd pack it in again!
We choose American Barn style, which is good in winter if you have kids
Could you get a basic cheap place and then get someone to part loan from/with you...then its not so much of a burden but you wont have to pay so much for livery. You could even charge any amount which would help you pay for somewhere closer/with more facilities?
“huge international competition yard but not nice for the horses i.e. no turn out for parts of the year busy, noisy.”
Will they take children all the really serious comp yards I’ve been on wont take children under 12 ish. I also wouldn’t want a yard with no year round turn out, there’s health concerns and the happiness of your horse to consider and it will mean you or AN Other will have to exercise your horse every day. Many horse don’t mind businsss or noise, over the years I’ve know even nervous horses enjoy a busy yard.
I would rather travel for good facilities including turn out a decent school and off road hacking than be closer and not have these. (I’m currently travelling 25 mins).
I moved from a yard that was four minutes away to one that is fifteen minutes away for better facilities and more assistance when I found out I was pregnant. If I am honest the travel time is a pain - especially now DS is here and time is limited - but it's worth it to have more options and to be able to make use of the full livery when I need to. I made sure the yard I chose was in the same direction as work so I can go on the way home rather than it being a separate journey (I have a long commute).
40 minute drive away. I don't live in the UK though. I go once a week to spend time with my horse.
Most yards we’ve been on you get to know the other people and share turn out and bringing in.
There's a yard a mile from my house that we had DD's loan pony at previously. I'd never keep my horse there though so we're at a big yard 6 miles away now. It takes around 15 mins to get there. It's probably the next closest but has great facilities in comparison to the closer yard. I'm on full livery Mon-Fri so just have to muck out on a weekend. I still go up every day though to make up the feeds. I was on DIY previously so had to go up twice a day which was a real chore given the travelling.
Our yard is a short walk but there is a competition yard as you describe nearby too, about the type of yard though I moved from a lovely but dangerous for children - random people, aggressive dog, piles of farm machinery etc when had baby up to a busy yard where lots of people competing and no other children as was safer, wasn’t a great place for me though as not very understanding of kids although not horrible to them or anything plus I compete less and don’t always get to ride as much so felt a bit inadequate and as if there was a bit of an undertone that my horse was wasted, horse also not happy on busy yard and more anxious which did not help, moved again to small yard and there are lots of mums of primary age children we help each other out and horse and me much happier go for the better yard I say maybe wait til there is space where you want then get horse? Good luck x
The issue is countrycob, there is currently a rare space/chance of space at the yard my share horse is at but wasn’t planning on buying quire this soon!
If you are on full livery would distance be such a problem? As you wouldn't have to go up every day.
If you were DIY, distance is a big factor imo, as you'd be going up twice a day at least. I did that for 10 years at a yard that was 20/25 mins from my house. It was a real slog in the winter, especially on weekends, there wasn't any time for anything else!
No more though, I have two ponies on grass livery (out 24/7 365 days a year) and the yard is 10 mins from my house. I would actively avoid stabling now, but I am very lucky in that I got a space here, there is hardly any winter turnout around this area as we are on clay.
I probably would be full livery as realistically I couldn’t visit every day and I’d be aiming to ride 4 days a week and popping up with dd once or twice.
Full livery is just so ££££ though. I did have my last horse 20 minutes away on grass livery but there were no facilities and the hacking wasn’t that good.
Mine is now a walk up the hill. We're very lucky. It's DIY but I get help with turnout and bring in from friends. Which helps days I work and juggling 4yo DD. When I first got a loan, my mare was 30 mins away - fab hacking, outdoor arena and 24/7 turnout most of the year which was fab. But it was a slog and I could only go once a day and had to add on morning checks etc to an already sizeable livery bill.
Even if I won the lottery I'm not sure I'd move from my yard now. It's close enough that I've been up there all hours of the night when he's needed me and I can ride past my own house - it's lovely. I would say go for a bit of help, the best turnout you can and facilities so you'll ride. I wouldn't want mine at a competition yard with no other kids and no proper turnout all year round.
I rent a field, have a big open field shelter so they choose to be in or out ( are rarely in) , and I keep my 3 horses all month for less than 1 horse on full livery. Could never go back on any yard, my horses are so much happier and healthier living naturally. If you could find this kind of set up to share with 2\3 others you could help each other out...2 of mine are non ridden and it doesn't matter a jot...if you are mostly interested in riding then why not just go to a decent riding school weekly or twice weekly, especially if time is tight.
Mine are at home, we bough t a small holding. I do missst he school though, one day I'll save up to put one in!
Our current yard is 20-25 mins drive away.
We moved dd's pony from a yard 5 mins walk away because, amongst other reasons, the YO was impossibly difficult and we used to dread going there and there was no one for dd (15) to ride with.
I toy with trying to move the pony closer to home again but none of the closer options have anyone for her to ride with and although it would suit me it wouldn't suit her and ultimately this is her thing.
The YO turns out for us on weekday mornings and this winter we've halved our weekday evening visits by sharing the mucking out/bringing in with our field buddy. Getting those 2-3 evenings back has been a real help.
So we've gone for suitability over convenience, it depends really what your priorities are, everyone;s are different.
Would you be able to find someone up there to share the duties with?
I moved from a yard that was 5/10 mins away to one that is 15/20 mins (depending on traffic and time of day) but is assisted livery. Hacking not quite as good, fields/grazing definitely not as good, but feed, hay/haylage, straw, wormers all included. Also yard owner is lovely and a genuine horsewoman herself so understands horses! (Previous was on a farm and horses didn't always come first).
I only ever have to go once a day so the increased travel isn't really an issue - I get turnout and bring in Monday-Friday during winter months and either turn out or bring in all other days/seasons. I also don't have to poo-pick as yard now does it. With 3 horses it makes a hell of a difference.
It's hard to balance convenience and time against facilities. I need a decent arena, all year turn out, reasonable hacking and an approachable and knowledgeable yard owner. Plus a nice non-cliquey/bitchy atmosphere. I'm prepared to travel a bit further in order to get these things. No point having a yard on the doorstep if the only advantage is closeness.
I’m spoiled rotten .... he’s not at home but on a yard at a farm around 500 yards away - so close I can see it across a field from my house, walk there in 5 minutes or drive in 2 minutes. Ironically, it’s further to drive because I can walk across the field but have to drive round it! He’s also on full livery so doubly spoiled, but not complaining
Mine are 25steps away. However lovely as it is there definitely are drawbacks to having them at home. ( mostly positives though ).
My yard is 10 mins from my house, 25-30 mins from work, I’m part time, and I have 5 on assisted DIY, a 3 year old DS and 6 months pregnant. Winter is hard but I’m just plugging through waiting for spring. It feels like I’m paying for big pets at the moment but it will be worth it in the better weather. We’re lucky in that the Yard allows winter turnout, albeit reduced hours, as this keeps them sane. Many yards around us have no turnout over winter. We also have a nice outdoor arena fully floodlit and the price is reasonable for what we have. Every yard has its niggles but on the whole I’m happy where we are
At the moment mine are 5mins in the car, 15 mins walk with good facilities. It’s totally DIY.
I did have them on full livery at a competition yard 40mins away however it was a nightmare and I only lasted 6 months!
My advice would be to choose the close yard. I have been on similar, and while not ideal. Horses cope. For example, horses at my yard are not being turned out much due to wet weather & they adjust. You use a walker & as horse is nearby, you can exercise a lot more. Competition yards learn how to manage spicy horses in situations of limited TO.
A full hour of driving on top of job & family responsibilities is a lot and the horse could become a focus of resentment.
My yard is a few hundred yards from my house. I'm on my own and waited several years for it to come vacant and end up with it. The snow we had in the south back in December 2010 that lasted a whole month was a factor in moving nearer home, we were only 4 miles from the yard we were on, and have a 4x4 but getting there on ungritted roads with parts that never thawed out really focused my mind! Go for the nearest one! It's meant to be fun, so don't waste time and money driving to a yard further away than you need to!
Mine is half an hour each way - I usually go once a day but sometimes twice.
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