Threads

See more results

Topics

Usernames

Mumsnet Logo
Please
or
to access all these features

Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about the health of your horse, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.

Thinking of opening DIY livery yard, have some questions for you.
28

Twattyzombiebollocks · 10/05/2014 16:35

I'm potentially buying a property with 6 acres and around 10 boxes, I'm planning to have a small private livery yard, the access is very secure with 2 gates, one electric, yard and field not visible at all from the road. Facilities would be night stable/day turnout, rubber matting in boxes, new floodlit arena (possibly a slight surcharge for use of floodlights) spare box for washing/clipping farrier with a proper overhead hose arm. Secure tack room, feed room, hay and bedding storage.
What sort of price am I looking at per week per stable for this? I am planning on being very selective about who comes onto the yard, I won't put up with people stealing feed/hay/equipment, and I won't put up with arguments and bad feeling on the yard, I've been on some lovely well run yards and some nightmares!
What do you look for in a DIY yard, aside from a compulsory worming routine, good fencing, pasture management, clean tidy well maintained yard?

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Twattyzombiebollocks · 10/05/2014 17:12

I should say the yard will be in West Yorkshire, semi rural and very well heeled area. There are 2 current livery yards here, quite good bridle path network and mostly quiet roads, so not bad hacking.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

NigellasDealer · 10/05/2014 17:16

Hay and straw for sale at a reasonable price to be added to the bill.
Availability of hay/straw and staff/owner at set times.
25 a week for stable and grazing?
A yard diary open to everyone
Tea/coffee and a place to sit and drink it.
A facebook group

Please
or
to access all these features

NigellasDealer · 10/05/2014 17:17

sorry make that 50

Please
or
to access all these features

Scarletpink · 10/05/2014 17:31

Hi, I may be able to help with this as I am currently looking for a DIY place myself and have visited two local yards this morning! And have experience of a yard from last year when I was exercising a friends horse.

For me there are several things, as well as the things you have already mentioned, which are important. In no particular order!

  1. Plenty of grazing. Tbh with 10 boxes - so assume potentially 10 horses / ponies - 6 acres is not a huge amount of land. It will restrict the ability to rest paddocks, create a starvation paddock should you have any that might need rations, and restrict potentially the ability to have separate mare / gelding grazing.
  2. You say DIY - but if you are able to offer assisted livery - even if only ad hoc - this may be more attractive to some people (like me!). So a small extra charge for turn out / bring in / rug changes / hoof picking / muck out etc. when needed.
  3. Agree with charging extra for flood lighting
  4. Lorry / trailer parking if you have space (again could charge a nominal extra fee)
  5. I would also suggest defined opening and closing times so you haven't got people coming all day and night if it's also your home. Bar emergencies of course
  6. Make everyone responsible for poo picking - you mention pasture management, but I have seen some very lazy people who can't be bothered!
  7. Use of / access to show jumps / poles and wings etc. even just a few make a big difference to some people.
  8. Likewise, dressage letters and a mirror in your arena - that way you will attract both the jumpers and the dressagers
  9. Ideally if you can, have a decent full size arena.

    In terms of costs, the yards I saw this morning both had large modern stables, and the facilities you mention above ie. Ménage (both with jumps and both floodlit), good pasture management, plenty of grazing etc. One was £115pm and the other £145pm, to include stable, water, grazing, and full use of ménage. Bedding, feed and hay are down to me - but both offered I could buy bedding and hay from them at extra cost, and both had assisted DIY options - which were roughly £1 to turn out and bring in, £1.50 to do that with rug changes, £6 to muck out and rebed, a full day care option of £10. These are adhoc prices; one also offered 5 day part livery i.e. Full day care mon-fri, not weekends, for £400pm which included feed hay and bedding.

    This is in north bucks / Oxfordshire borders. Rural location, plenty of hacking on quiet roads.

    Hope this helps!
Please
or
to access all these features

thinkingaboutfostering · 10/05/2014 19:35

I wouldn't personally without a lot more land. You don't have enough for more than 4-5 horses at most. Really can't stand stabling horses. Personally I would never go to a yard with restrictive grazing.
I also would not be happy with restricted opening hours, if I work early/late I still need to be able to do my horses

Please
or
to access all these features

Twattyzombiebollocks · 10/05/2014 20:25

I've worked it on the basis of 1 acre for first horse and 2/3 acre for subsequent horses if they are living out at grass. With overnight stabling I'd think 9 horses max but I'd start small and work up to make sure I wasn't overgrazing. The stables are already built or are in an outbuilding where they could easily be added. I'm really not comfortable with being responsible for horses out overnight.
Opening hours wise I was thinking 6am-8.30 pm, I would offer mornjng feed/ turnout if needed as a cost extra, and also could accommodate full livery for a couple of week for someone to go on holiday.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Twattyzombiebollocks · 10/05/2014 20:27

Obviously if someone has a late shift I'm happy for people to come down later by arrangement, I know how it is when you are trying to hold down a full time job or shift work with a horse.
Re the hay, I've been on yards where the owner insisted you buy their hay that they have in by the bale, and it was crap, horses coughing etc.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Twattyzombiebollocks · 10/05/2014 20:32

People coming up and down the drive wouldn't really bother me as the house is off to the side so it wouldn't be intrusive, but I wouldn't want people coming down after a certain time, I'd like to go do my rounds at 8.45 and lock up for the night ideally.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

frostyfingers · 10/05/2014 21:08

The thing is about the land that if we have another winter like this, your paddocks will get horrendously trashed and require lots of rolling and harrowing etc. Obviously you can request the occasional day when people don't turnout, but even so be wary.

If you can manufacture some sort of turnout pen that would be great - when dhorse had terrible mud fever last winter I couldn't turn him out, but at the farm where I kept him he was allowed into the run they used to sort cattle - about 100 feet long and 15 foot wide so he could at least move about and stretch his legs more than if he'd been stuck in a stable. Prior to that at my own yard I had a woodchip area (on top of hardcore and stone) which was brilliant - it's also good for starvation purposes in the summer.

Good security is a must too - cctv and lighting in particular.

Good luck!

Please
or
to access all these features

Twattyzombiebollocks · 10/05/2014 21:45

My plan for winter bogs would be horses turned out in the arena whilst mucking out so everyone gets a turn.
Oh, and re poo picking, there would be a rota and if the person on rota didn't do it, I would and I'd be billing them!

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Wolfiefan · 10/05/2014 21:49

So all horses turned out together?

Please
or
to access all these features

KaFayOLay · 10/05/2014 22:02

The thing with turning out in the arena is it wrecks the membrane, causes huge divots and then requires daily (time consuming) grading.
I have found it also causes bad feeling if x has her horse turned out and y wants to ride. Nightmare!
I'd be looking to construct a turnout pen.

Please
or
to access all these features

Twattyzombiebollocks · 10/05/2014 22:02

No, I'd probably split field into 4, mare field and gelding field, summer and winter so one to rest while the other is used. Winter paddocks probably smaller as they wreck them anyway so it's really only somewhere to mooch around and eat hay/socialise

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

5OBalesofHay · 10/05/2014 22:34

Nowhere near enough land in my view, and you need to do the poo picking to be sure its done. We pay 18 a week for stable and grazing. They poo pick every field every day.

Please
or
to access all these features

5OBalesofHay · 10/05/2014 22:40

Nowhere near enough land in my view, and you need to do the poo picking to be sure its done. We pay 18 a week for stable and grazing. They poo pick every field every day.

Please
or
to access all these features

Pixel · 10/05/2014 22:41

You've said you will have secure tack rooms, feed rooms etc but you need to think about how they will work with several different people using them. Everyone will want their own feed bins, somewhere to keep their essential equipment/rugs etc so spaces for trunks or similar? On DIY yards I find people really need to feel their stuff is obviously separate so there are no little 'misunderstandings'. Also if there is an allotted space it avoids resentment if one person is squashed in the corner and someone else has spread out all over the place.

Please
or
to access all these features

Twattyzombiebollocks · 10/05/2014 23:43

This is true. Feed and hay doesn't really need to be secure just dry, if people want to padlock their bins etc that's fine but no body is going to break into the yard to nick a bin full of top spec. Tack wise, I've seen doors that you open using your mobile, the lock is electronic and has permitted mobile numbers programmed into it, one of those mobile numbers "calls" the door and it opens. Then when someone leaves, you just take their number off the list and it won't open for them anymore.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Twattyzombiebollocks · 10/05/2014 23:45

Rugs wise you will never have enough storage for all the rugs a horse has, my yearling has 2 of each weight turnout and same for stable, plus travel boots, show rug, cooler Lycra rugs and hoods, it's all in a big green plastic box outside his stable.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Mitchy1nge · 11/05/2014 08:53

but that's not enough grazing for more than one customer with two or three horses?

Please
or
to access all these features

Mitchy1nge · 11/05/2014 08:56

I don't understand how a horse can live out on the same single acre all year round without resting that bit of grazing?

Please
or
to access all these features

NigellasDealer · 11/05/2014 09:00

yes you would have to divide the land and rotate it and what about by the end of winter when there is a not a blade of grass out there and horses have mud fever etc? I agree it is not enough land for 9 or 10 horses.

Please
or
to access all these features

NigellasDealer · 11/05/2014 09:02

Oh, and re poo picking, there would be a rota and if the person on rota didn't do it, I would and I'd be billing them!
I cannot see that being popular tbh, if you are offering turn out and charging for it I am afraid you have to do the pasture management

Please
or
to access all these features

Booboostoo · 11/05/2014 09:46

I don't think you have enough land really. With bad weather, an inevitability in the UK, everyone would have to stay in 24/7 which causes a lot of problems and unhappiness. Last time I lived in Yorkshire (which has a lot better type of soil than other counties I accept) I had 6 horses on 10 acres and it still had to be well managed. You need to rest paddocks and you need to fertilise and weedkill (and of course keep the horses off while you do that).

Turning out in the arena is not a good option. If you have a decent arena it will be trashed immediately and if you have a crappy one you won't get good liveries.

You also need to think about muckheap removal and insurance.

In practice you may find that it's quite a lot of work and hassle for little return. Have you done a business plan to include your initial outlay and when you hope to make it back? Do you have your own horses that would take up some of the stables or will it all be liveries? If you have a couple of horses yourself, it might just be more straightforward to find one customer with 2-3 horses themselves and call it a day.

Please
or
to access all these features

Butkin · 11/05/2014 19:29

I agree about grazing. We have 7.5 acres and it only works for us with 4 ponies if we have electric tape to strip graze them. This year the stables owner gave us another field for free because we were going to struggle with the wet spring otherwise. I don't think you could have more than 4 on only 6 acres.

We pay 850 a quarter (so 65 pounds a week) for our set up which is a private yard with 4 stables/tack room/hay storage etc and the fields. In the summer fields this includes piped water but we have to take up water (from stable tap) to the Winter fields.

Please
or
to access all these features

Butkin · 11/05/2014 19:31

I agree with Booboo the only way this is going to be viable is if you only have one or two clients with a few ponies each. No way this can work if you have more people..

Please
or
to access all these features
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.