If you could have your horse at home, would you?(24 Posts)
Just that really. I've had my horse 11 years and always been on livery. He's currently on livery 30 minutes away on assisted DIY, but only 15 minutes from work, so it's only weekends that it's out of my way.
We're moving house in a month - the new house comes with DH's job, but is a stable position and we don't anticipate having to move until he chooses to retire/leave. The new house has c.11 acres of paddock - currently rented out but will soon be vacant and has been offered to me free of charge. Has water and electricity and field shelter and they've offered to split the cost of putting up a couple of stables. Brilliant hacking -a few schools locally we could hire but would again possibly look to build our own in the future.
I keep flicking between thinking it's perfect and also not sure how I would cope not on livery. I have a sharer 3 days a week who would be happy to come with us. It would mean getting another either on loan or buying, although my lad is now 17 so I wouldn't be averse to getting a youngster to bring on quietly who can take be company for now, and then take over as my ridden horse when Murphy is ready to live out his days as a gentleman of leisure. I don't think I'll be working where I am forever so would be handy not to have to go out of my way - but it all feels a bit scary!
Has anyone made the move from livery to being at home and would you recommend it?
Wow what an opportunity!
If i were you i would definitely bring my horse home, especially if your sharer will come too.
Wow, sounds amazing!
You are being sensible to consider the drawbacks though. For me it would be the lack of someone else to ride with, or someone to look after the horse if you are on holiday etc.
I always thought my ideal would be to have my horse at home, but also rent a couple of stables out to other people ( that I liked and got on well with, of course!)
But if your sharer would come too, and it's a horsey area, then maybe you'd meet other people to ride with? Would the owners be happy for you to rent out part of the field to another diyer? Then your horse would have company - and so would you.
Getting a youngster is a lovely idea but I don't think I'd rush it. Wait to see how you all settle in before adding another horse into the mix maybe! (But obviously only as long as your horse has company)
Thanks for the replies. One of DH'S colleagues is horsey so would housesit if we ever went away, and with a bit of training my dad could help too. I would need something else to bring him home with as he'd be on his own - although I could try and borrow a horse off a friend to see how we get on before getting another I suppose!
I had my mare on full livery because I work away a lot. I met my oh and moved her home. We got another pony on loan that his son also learned to ride on, ended up buying her, then I bought my oh a gelding as an engagement present. Finally we ended up getting a larger pony as the little one was outgrown! Lots of work. Nowadays we only have the two horses, who are getting on. It's wonderful having them at home, but it can be lonely. Initially we had a couple of DIY liveries, but we've never enjoyed other people on the yard, we like the place to ourselves! It's wonderful to be able to nip in for a drink/warm. But you have to be organised - all deliveries are down to you, all maintenance is down to you etc. It's great to be able to section/use turnout as you like. If your ground is good you may be able to make your own hay.
My top tips - find a freelance groom for one day a week - it gives you a lie in/ day off and means you're on their list of regulars and they're more likely to fit you in if you have an emergency or go away. Also think about getting two more - two horses can quickly become joined at the hip (mine are!), three or four is much better (if they can live out!).
The happiest days of my life were spent sitting at our garden table with a drink, with the ponies with their heads over the garden fence, expecting apples. Maybe if you are a serious equestrienne there are advantages to being at livery but if your horse(s) are pets too it is lovely to have them at the end of the garden.
I've only ever had horses at home and run a livery yard now.
The biggie (that liveries have absolutely no idea about) is the huge amount of time and money that are spent on maintenance. Managing the grass (topping, rolling, harrowing, poo picking, weed spraying - either having the equipment yourself or organizing someone else to do it), fencing, pest control, removal of muck, painting, trying to keep things dry!, organizing bedding/feed deliveries and storage thereof. Having to get up in the middle of the bleeding night to sort out escapees...
I can see the appeal but for me I would miss the social side of being at a livery yard. I'd prefer to have access to all the facilities (obviously this depends on your current yard), clinics and events if a bigger yard, occasional lessons etc. As others have said it's easier if you go away, easier for vet, farrier, feed deliveries etc.
I kept my horse “at home” ( I had a cottage rented on a farm). Never again UNLESS I
a) had my own transport
b) had space for another livery to have a hacking friend.
There was another horse on the land so my horse was fine but after the initial my yard/ tackroom novelty wore off I was lonely with no where to go. Plus I had to wee in the dark in the morning as she could see my bedroom light and they would neigh their heads off until I gave breakfast and turned out (not popular with landlady at 0530).
I keep mine at home. It’s great to have the flexibility to keep them as you wish. Downsides are you do tend to accumulate, currently have 4 real ones and 2 Shetlands ( they don’t count, helps keep numbers down lol)
I have transport, belong to a couple of fun riding clubs and we are out a lot competing, doing RDA etc so that alleviates the lack of a social side.
I have lessons every week and see that as using the money it would cost to keep just one at livery ( makes me feel better )
Your new set up sounds great, I do agree three is a better number. If you are getting a youngster, the rescues are full of little cob youngsters and often will foster them out, that way you have something to keep a youngster busy without the commitment of buying a third .
I have mine at home, it’s lovely but hard work! Plus you’ll soon realise that two isn’t enough (what happens when you want to take just one out for a hack?) so you end up with more. I have two minis and two horses now and it works really well! But it is hard work. Our land is a pita to maintain, you’ll need to find a friendly farmer and a freelance groom. I wouldn’t want to go back to a livery yard now though.
Mine are a home. It's wonderful but I like my horse time to be me and my horses. I like to ride alone so it suits me perfectly.
I came out of a lifetime of livery a year ago. Bought another to keep mine company and love it. However it is hard work. Every day rain snow mud. Hangover flu. Whatever they need doing. I have a very good oh and I love deciding what happens and when with my horses and land. But if your shared is willing to muck in great. I do however miss a ménage and indoor school in the winter and very occasionally someone to ride with. Oh and there’s no endless supply of ready bought feed hay bedding etc.
Having them at home is much better IMO - it just fits in better with our family. Not having to accommodate anyone with bringing in/turning out; waiting to use the water; waiting for the school to be available...the list of pros is endless.
Just one thing - would you really want to invest all that money to build a school on land that you don't own? That seems insane to me, but maybe I'm missing something.
It sounds like a once in a lifetime opportunity not to be missed
I kept horses at home until we made a big move last year, I love being on my new yard, it is a specialist dressage yard, fab facilities, off road hacking and like minded people to talk to every day. Loads of competition venues in the area. Also always help on hand if there are any issues.
Ours have been at home for the last two years after years of livery and I would never go back. I have 24x7 turnout for them all, which suits them much better, I don't have my stuff going walkies, or have to deal with yard politics and we ride when it suits us. But we do have transport and make the effort to go out to events and join clubs. My kids ride so I have bred my own company! And yes, you do collect when you have your own land.
Having done it - never again. I spent more time doing repairs than riding On a plus it did mean I didn't have to deal with yard politics and could manage my horses as I saw fit. But it's awfully lonely... When I did have time to ride I found I didn't have the enthusiasm. I'm now on a small livery yard (only 3 people) and I wouldn't go back.
I do and it is really lovely to see them out the kitchen window. However as pp have said the maintenance is huge and it really is a pain having no arena, I ride after work and it can be hard finding arenas to hire in the evenings, never mind the hassle of hitching up etc. It is on our very long term plan to put one in because it would value to the property as well however if it wasn’t my land then i might be less keen.
I would, without hesitation. I always prefer private solo rents or very small yards where I can do my horses without having to interact with other human beings. I am spectacularly antisocial though.
It does have drawbacks - company to hack out with is useful with youngsters, certainly. However, I can usually find a willing friend for swapsies, and you have a sharer who would presumably hack with you on your new one on their days.
Be careful what you wish for....I started with 2 on livery, brought them home and now have 9!!
I have mine at home but I live in a very horsey area with my own transport so I can hack out with someone else easily.
I have a fab yard 10 mins from our house and the ponies go there for a ‘schooling holiday’ if we are away and the girl that has the yard will also come and look after them here if needed.
I have ours at home after 20 years of livery . The good bits ? Wandering up the fields in the summer with a glass of wine to check on the horses . Putting stuff down and it staying where you left it . Not being beholden to yard rules that don’t appear to make any sense . Not having to entertain some of the idiots and weirdos that seem to grace some livery yards ! No politics , just peace and quiet .
The bad bits ? Days like today when big horse decided to escape and took out 200 yards of post and rail , and I had to retrieve him from the neighbours mid Sunday lunch . Looking at a sea of mud and it being your problem . Maintenance . Hedging , fencing , topping , fertilising , poo picking , spraying , ragwort digging, harrowing , all need doing , usually in peak riding conditions . Having to get rid of the muck heap .
Im very lucky inasmuch as all our neighbours have horses , so we all help each other and ride out together , but that’s quite rare . But I wouldn’t swap .
No, I'd miss the facilities and would get bored/lonely!
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