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Would you use this livery?

(29 Posts)
iveburntthetoast Mon 23-Jul-18 10:13:36

I've posted before about the riding school that both I and DD go to. It's great for lessons (£20 an hour, well-looked after horses, and experienced instructors.) It also has livery horses/ponies. We've been thinking about getting DD a pony in a few years. However:

1) it has some tiny stables
2) there is very little land. Horses are stabled 24/7 in the winter and only allowed out for a maximum of 4 hours a day during the spring/summer.
3) there's no off-road hacking, and the roads are narrow country-lanes that have quite a lot of traffic.

It's £60 per week, which I believe is for DIY livery. On the plus side, they have 2 indoor and 2 outdoor schools. It's a nice community, people are friendly, and it seems well-run (which I know is not always the case).

Would anyone use a livery like this? I had ponies as a child that lived out all the time & I struggle to imagine how a pony would cope with being cooped up for so long. However, the place is full & there's a waiting list so it's obviously not a problem for some people.

Rainhunter Mon 23-Jul-18 10:21:10

No, I wouldn't keep a horse anywhere with such restricted turnout.

Ariela Mon 23-Jul-18 10:30:13

No, the turnout is concerning. Particularly for childrens ponies, they seem to need the turnoout - some competition horses are so institutionalised that being stabled 24/7 isn't such an issue provided they're ridden.
I'd have a look around for what else is available.

Retrainingaracehorse Mon 23-Jul-18 11:04:18

Where I now live the soil is clay and it seems to be the norm to restrict grazing during the wet winter months regardless of how much land you have. I like horses out all year round but with mud last winter up to their knees at best at many yards I can appreciate that it’s pretty daft pointless and unsafe to turn horses out in these conditions.
The yard where I keep my horse has loads of grazing and horses live out at night in the spring and summer but are restricted when the weather is crap.
If turn out is limited you need to consider how your going to provide alternative exercise. Schooling/lunging is great but do you and your DD want to do that every day when they can’t go out? And the commitment of doing it every day. We have a walker and good on and off road hacking. Also horses in way more food and use more bedding increasing your costs. Colic and other conditions; respiratory gastric ulcers thrush more common in stables horses. Horses are meant to eat grass (fibre) 16+ hours a day and move around all the time not stand is their own pee and shit often being fed a diet that they are not designed to eat. How well do you think you’d be if you stood in a shower cubicle in your own pee and shit 23 hours a day eating an inappropriate diet? Horses also live in herds stabling then individually prevents this. Lastly if your pony is in all the time you roll have to visit more often, I only need to go once a day if he’s out others around keep an eye on him but if he’s in I’d have to go twice a day at least amor pay others to help.
I’m sounding negative I know but think about it try and find somewhere that offers the closest to how a horse would normally live in the wild. No yard is perfect, and the yard you’ve found may be your only choice but I would suggest you look around first.

catinboots9 Mon 23-Jul-18 11:06:44


BusterTheBulldog Mon 23-Jul-18 11:26:24

60 per week for no turnout and limited hacking would be a big fat no from me!

iveburntthetoast Mon 23-Jul-18 12:59:39

Thanks for the replies. You're all confirming my own feeling that the lack of grazing is a big enough issue to go elsewhere, if we decide to buy a pony. (We'd want a native pony, preferably a Fell.) The lack of hacking is a problem for me, too. There are double decker buses going along the road every 20 minutes & people drive stupidly fast. They're by no means the only livery around here, although they are one of the closest. (We're in NE Scotland on the edge of a city, but only a few miles to surrounding countryside.)

I can understand why turnout would be limited in poor weather, but the idea of a pony being permanently stabled from Ooctober to April strikes me as rather cruel. Plus, I've never seen such tiny stables before.

noitsnotteatimeyet Mon 23-Jul-18 15:38:21

Dd’s loan horse is on grass livery so currently living out 24/7. There’s quite a bit of land, divided up into several large fields so all the horses get turnout as much as the owners want and they’re split up into herds of mares, geldings, oldies and tiny ponies with two or three fields rested at a time. The stables are big and airy and a couple are always kept free in case any of the grass liveries need to come in for a bit for any reason. There’s no indoor school but the outdoor school is huge so never feels too crowded. Hacking isn’t great - a few quiet lanes and a few fields but dd’s not that bothered about hacking and there are lots of places with cross-country courses and/or gallops a short drive away. I think her horse would be miserable if he were kept inside all day - he likes mooching around the field with his friends, eating grass and making eyes at the mares when they’re in the adjoining field ...

britnay Mon 23-Jul-18 19:23:46

OP: do you mean Hayfield?

iveburntthetoast Mon 23-Jul-18 20:22:06

britnay, no, we’re further over on the east coast.

OrcinusOrca Mon 23-Jul-18 20:28:36

Just another one chiming in and saying no. I'm out of touch £ wise (used to pay £25 a week for DIY 10 years ago in the east mids) but I would be worried about the lack of turnout. Some areas seem to put horses on their own in tiny pens and I don't like that either, much rather have them as part of a herd, keeping them separate doesn't make up for not having ample space in my book. I am very anti horses being 'in' though grin

Gabilan Mon 23-Jul-18 21:28:15

Another no. My horse is on restricted turnout in the winter, but he still gets to mooch around in a corral for 10-12 hrs a day and hang out with his buddies, plus he has a large stable. At his previous yard he was in a smaller stable with no winter turnout and it was a big reason for moving. He is much happier and healthier now he's out with a herd, even when it is in a more confined area.

fatbottomgirl67 Tue 24-Jul-18 14:06:22

Expensive for diy. We pay £30 . Separate paddocks, 2 schools, off road hacking, instructor on site. Look around there will be somewhere else that works for you

Retrainingaracehorse Tue 24-Jul-18 18:17:42

Separate turnout seems to be the norm round here. I’m not overly enamoured with it but have resigned myself to it.
I pay £180 pcm thats for a walker manage 24/7 turnout most of the year if you want it or restricted, or any length you want, rubber matting and really high quality hay/haylage. Most yards round here want between I provide. £40 - 85 per week is the norm round here but at the top end of the price range your getting really good facilities a couple of menages at least and daily assistance with DIY.

toseethelights Sat 28-Jul-18 13:33:18

Definitely a no. The lack of turnout and off road riding combined would be enough to turn me off.

Plus £60 a week for DIY seems very steep.

psicat Mon 30-Jul-18 15:01:50

Having gone from somewhere with busy roads to a place with almost no traffic, I don't think I could go back the other way. The roads are getting so much busier even over the last few years (I blame Google maps) it felt like it was only a matter of time before something happened.

And second turn out comments. My favourite place was 24 hr turn out whenever wanted but stable available for horrible weather - with their own little yard attached to stable though so could choose to be outside and talk to fence to their neighbour. Sadly owner retired and it was sold to private owner who didn't want liveries😭

New place is okay, they're in more than I like but out every day for 7/8 hours and they're not rigid so if was mild winter (ha!) they could stay out.

Greyhorses Tue 31-Jul-18 21:53:27

No I wouldn’t do this.

I have fells and they do best out as much as possible, they are not ponies for the inexperienced or faint hearted and a bored fell is even more trouble wink

millimat Tue 31-Jul-18 22:41:53

£60 a week?!

theunsure Tue 31-Jul-18 22:48:15

No way.
RIding schools make terrible livery yards as lessons take priority.
I also insist on herd turnout in proper fields not tiny pens. Spring/Summer should have option of 24/7 and daily in winter. Ours get 8hrs in winter.

I pay £50pw for assisted livery (stable, grazing, hay, straw plus turnout/bring in and muck out weekdays. DIY weekends). This is in rural East Mids, floodlit school and amazing off road hacking.

Retrainingaracehorse Wed 01-Aug-18 07:42:32

"Spring/Summer should have option of 24/7 and daily in winter. Ours get 8hrs in winter. "
Realistic in the "rural East Mids" perhaps not so realistic is more urban areas! I agree year round turnout is the ideal but most horse owners want but type of soil has to be taken into consideration combined weather conditions. As I said above last winter I saw horses standing out in mud over over their knees.

britnay Wed 01-Aug-18 10:11:28

Turnout is very important for me.

On my yard I do 24/7 turnout when they are the summer paddocks. They have to be in at night when on the winter paddocks, but I don't specify times. I ever tell them to stay in if the ground is to hard and icy that it would be dangerous to turn out or if the weather is just really miserable. I think that was maybe 5 days over the last winter.

They all also have the option of turning out on the huge stubble field, which is handy when its really wet so that they don't trash their own grass paddocks too much. The ponies tend to live on the stubble 24/7 over winter and just fed hay twice a day.

SavvySaver24 Thu 02-Aug-18 13:54:46

Adding to the no's! I would never keep my horse at a riding school anyways but that asidr would never stabel somewhere with NO t/o in winter or restricted t/o in summer.

elastamum Thu 02-Aug-18 14:07:57

No. I ended up at a livery yard with little winter turn out for a while - the owner lied to me saying she would turn out then didn't. I saw loads of accidents due to leisure riders riding way to fresh horses that were cooped up all winter.

Now my horses are at home they get turned out every day 24/7 when weather is good. Dawn to dusk in winter. They are so much happier and so am I.

iveburntthetoast Fri 10-Aug-18 11:22:57

Just a little update to my OP: it seems that I was wrong when I said it's £60pw for DIY.

It's <<drum roll>> £90 per week shock

Having read other posts on here, (and given all the issues with the place) I think that is extortionate? It's 100% DIY-- not even the option of paying someone to help out every now and then.

There's a fair amount of competition. We're 15 minutes drive away from this place. There is at least 7 more liveries within a 20 minute drive, and at least 5 more within a 30 minute drive. I don't understand how the place is always full. We're in a part of a country that's generally quite cheap.

noitsnotteatimeyet Fri 10-Aug-18 14:53:49

@iveburntthetoast that’s utterly ridiculous! We’re paying just over £60 a week for assisted grass livery in south London. Even if dd’s horse has a stable over the winter (still under discussion), it’ll only be £80 a week for assisted livery. I thought it was a bad deal before.... now I’m flabbergasted 😲

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