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Should I run for the hills? Loaner questions

39 replies

Nofilter · 14/09/2017 12:37


So, I'm hoping to get a bit of advice with my current situation.

I've always loved riding and decided to take the plunge recently 3 months ago and part loan a horse so that I can learn the ropes, improve my quite basic riding skills and open up this horsey world.

I found a horse advertised nearby, £20 per week for me to do Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

When I arrived the lady instantly said "it's £30 a week." TBH with my minimal experience I just thought I'd better take it as not sure anyone else would entrust their horse with me as a beginner/novice so accepted.

The lady own 2 horses, currently out 24/7 until the YO calls wintertime when they will be in overnight.

I'm really enjoying the riding and have an amazing teacher on the Yard who I have had a lesson with and plan to have lots more.. in the 10ish times I've been out (3 with Horse owner, 7 myself) my riding is unrecognisable. I've clicked with the horse, we're a happy work in progress.

My question however is that I just feel "put on" and taken advantage of by Horse Owner. She's really short and borderline rude. I seem to have ended up doing at least either a Monday or Wednesday or both since I started the loan so 4-5 days! She has another loaner 1.5 days. I'm not really sure if she's into the whole thing anymore.

BUT on the days that I'm too busy to ride I still have to go to the farm to give her horse Meds. So, as a busy newish mum I'm feeling resentful about this - what is the norm with a horse out in a field? She's told me you have to check they are ok once a day, but the other people on the yard don't seem to be there if they aren't riding - it's a convenient requirement as means I'm going to the farm for her and she doesn't have to go.

The other thing is she's more than happy to ask me to do all these extra days but when the roles reversed - last night asked her to cover my day today as Baby has a cough, I just got a rude reply. She's also really horrible about the other people on the yard, and has just left me to work it all out, go out anywhere I like - is that normal?? I've had remarks from other people on the yard who I feel are "checking up on me." I didn't even know how to tie a rug so have asked questions when I need from some of the girls...

I'm a really easygoing and friendly person, but I'm disappointed I'm feeling resentful over something that should be positive.

I'm wondering if I should take the plunge and get my own horse on half livery? I'm really bonding with this horse and it's inevitable we'll separate at some point.

Also in winter she insists I need to be at the farm by 8.30am to let them out but I need to make this 9.30 to fit in with babies sleep schedule - is this ok to tell her??

Am I ready to take that plunge do you think? I can afford it...

How do you decide if it's the right thing? I'm wondering if spring is a good time?

OP posts:
Butkin1 · 14/09/2017 13:33

Are you paying her or is she paying you £30? When a lady in our village wanted to ride my hunter out I didn't charge her - I was grateful that she was doing it for me and I didn't have to pay her!!

BusterTheBulldog · 14/09/2017 13:48

Hi op, she does sound hard work but I also think you maybe need to think more about the commitment. You do definitly need to go down at least once per day to check on the horse regardless of if you're riding.

The turnout time sounds a bit late to me but it depends on yard routines. E.g. If all other horse are out by 830, and yours has to wait in for another hour they are unlikely to be happy!

Also not being able to put a rug on is a bit of a concern. Does the owner know that you struggle with this?

Floralnomad · 14/09/2017 13:55

It doesn't sound like you and horse ownership are made for each other . I appreciate you are very novice but they are not just machines that you ignore until you want to ride , even on days you are not riding you should get them in and check them over for illness / injury . I wouldn't have loaned / shared any of mine anyway but I would have wanted them out by 8 at the very latest , particularly in the winter when they need to come in so early . Frankly it sounds like you would be better off just having lessons as you don't sound committed enough to own one .

Nofilter · 14/09/2017 13:59


I'm paying her...

I know now how to put a rug on as I asked the girl in the next stable - I had also asked her if the horse was dry enough to tack up as worried about that given the potential for harm...

There are a few options for hacks, some include roads - I went on a 3hr hack using the route that includes about 1 Mile of roads but then when I happened to see my riding teacher walking by she commented that it's a busy road isn't it? I'm worried I've been left to do as I please but am not experienced enough to be doing the riding I am out alone etc?

We've had our moments, at first he was being cheeky but I've got him on the right path now - nice contact with mouth, pre empting things like fluorescent signs and being prepared for his "problem areas" like certain directions and paths... he will bolt if we see another horse but I'm used to it and prepare now...

That's good to hear that it's correct I should be at the farm daily regardless of whether I ride - perhaps I'm overthinking a little?

Maybe the HO trusts me and that I am doing ok?

The girl at the stable said horses get turned out any time from 7 to 10am as a lot of the ponies have to be sorted by parents after the school run...

TBH if I left anytime between 8-9 traffic would be a pain...

Do you think I need to stick at this for a good year to see if the commitment works with my responsibilities before I consider having my own horse?

OP RE paying to loan do you think that's because I'm not an experienced rider? More of a novice - not trained etc?

Thanks for the responses x

OP posts:
Floralnomad · 14/09/2017 14:00

Ps , if you don't want to do extra days you should have said no and she is quite right to say you still have to do your day whether it's you or your baby who is sick , that is one of the problems with horse owning they need seeing to even if you have to carry a bucket to be sick in whilst you do it ( I speak from experience ) . If you want to be able to come and go as you please you need to have the horse on full livery or at a yard where they will pick up extra chores , both of which will be considerably more than £30 per week . As an example I pay £520 per month for full livery for our retired pony , and that's very reasonable for full livery .

SteppingOnToes · 14/09/2017 14:03

Yes you will have to visit twice a day if you are loaning - even if the horse is out. Usually people part loan for a 'day off' rather than the money (it is such a small part of it) so they would expect you to take on full care on your 'days' - it's not actually legal do a pay-per-ride situation.

There are however plenty of people who would be equally as happy with work for rides situations (me included).

The hard thing though is finding someone to part loan a horse that is suitable for a novice - there aren't that many of them and owners prepared to allow a novice are even rarer.

If you are in the Lancashire area PM me as I have something that may be suitable :)

Nofilter · 14/09/2017 14:29


Thanks OPs.

Taking on board what has been said I think I definitely need to just stick to my own days I am responsible for, which I've planned my routine , daughters nursery, days with my mother etc around - doing the extra days is making things too much of a squeeze I.E. baby being sick but I've already relied on my mum Sunday, Monday and Tuesday for farm time... also I won't be expecting anything in return then.

I actually feel more appreciative of the situation I have.. only time will tell whether this is a silly whim or a genuine interest that I stay committed to. It's been a bit all over the place so far with days changing and swapping all the time...

Could I ask whether you think from what I'm telling you about the rides, being a bit clueless around the yard (most of it pretty straight forward) is ok though? Has everyone been there at some point? I just get the feeling that there are lots of raised eyebrows around me about the horses and also the HO? A bit of a strange tension I don't know?? The reason I asked about the turn out time was the girl next to my stable said "is that what HO had said you need to TO by 8.30? That's not true"

I'd be gutted if what you say is true FloralNomad. As a single mother (happy one mind) and DD 18 Mnths (have own business work from home around DD) this has, so far been an amazing experience, really brought a shine to my life actually and I've a massive soft spot for the horse, we've already got our silly little greetings and affectionate gestures - he's lapping up the attention and is brighter for it too... and I'm spoiling him and me rotten on lots of accessories, grooming sessions, treats, carrots daily etc

OP posts:
Nofilter · 14/09/2017 14:57

I'm in south manchester OP

OP posts:
Floralnomad · 14/09/2017 14:59

Horses are great but they are a massive commitment and if you can fully commit to the 3 days then that's probably best for you , I definitely wouldn't get your own , or commit to a full time one until you've been through a winter .

BusterTheBulldog · 14/09/2017 16:28

'Some' yards can have an atmosphere generally, it comes with the territory a bit. I would think that maybe people are a bit cautious with you as you are clearly new to the horse world and maybe have unknowingly done a couple of odd thing (I mean no judgement there, but the rug thing for one). Maybe you could try and have a session with the owner to go through some things like that?

If you make it clear to people you are learning, they will generally help you. Sometimes though people are busy and keen to get their own things done and rush off. I would also read up as much as possible on the basics, you can always ask questions here or the horse and hound forum is good.

A lot of people did their learning working in riding schools (slave labour!) for rides when they were young so it can sometimes be surprise to come across adult loaners / owners who don't know the basics.

It sounds like you are progressing but please be careful if you are hacking alone as a new rider.

GrandMasterFlash · 14/09/2017 18:14

We got fed up after 3 months of part loan. I can relate to what you are saying, especially the oddness and interference from other people on the yard. We bought our own, as a result. And found a nicer yard. If money isn't a problem, I would do that. If the time commitment is too much, you could always get someone in to part loan, then YOU can be the rude/objectionable horse owner!

snowpo · 14/09/2017 23:35

I think quite often horse owners act like they are doing you a favour letting you share when actually it should be more 2- way. You are looking after their horse, exercising it for them and paying them. I‘ve had various sharers, some fantastic others not so. For me I didn't charge much because it helped me out.
None of my sharers ever came up twice a day, I didn't ask them to. The benefit of sharing has to be that it‘s less commitment.
There are a lot more people looking for sharers than there are good sharers about. For me it wouldn't be worth putting up with an owner like that, it would take the pleasure out of it. There are loads of nice owners, however it does sound like you might need a more sensible schoolmaster type horse and someone who will give you a bit of guidance.

Nofilter · 15/09/2017 09:58

Buster - that's true - I'm a bit dizzy - you know like those moments where you do something stupid EVERY time someone is there!! Even though you actually do know how to do that thing haha

Grandmasterflash you've hit the nail on the head! Seriously considering after winter. I'm thinking part livery. What were the first few months like for you? Was your budget realistic in the end or hidden costs? How is it going?

Snowpo - yes exactly!! I didn't see another horse suitable for a novice advertised in my area on preloved do you know where else they might be advertised?


OP posts:
OlympicBonfire · 15/09/2017 10:16

Oh OP. It's great that you're keen to pick up the horse riding bug but I really think you need to reconsider any form of loan/part loan until you're a bit more experienced. My horse is on a similar routine (out in summer and in overnight in winter) and both my sharer and I are at the yard for turning out by 7.30 - as a previous poster said, they sometimes come in so early in winter I feel they really need to go out ASAP. It's in my requirements for my sharer that my horse is turned out by 8.30 at the latest and I wouldn't share/loan with anyone who couldn't do this.

Also, whilst my sharer and I do help each other out and swap days if there's an emergency I would be irritated if there was a lot of swapping or if it was too much last minute. Sorry if this isn't what you want to hear but horses generally are precious to their owners and very expensive !

Good luck with whatever you decide

GrandMasterFlash · 15/09/2017 10:58

We have only just started, so too early to say 'how it's going' nofilter

Our yard has 3 options;

  1. DIY
  2. Assisted DIY, whereby the YO does whatever needs doing in the mornings Monday-Friday. So, you or someone you get to help has to go up every evening and twice a day at the weekend. You can pay £4 extra for an evening if you want her to do that too.

  3. Part Livery, where YO does everything Monday to Friday and you do weekends. Once you can go and ride in the week if you want.

    Then there is a weekend worker, you can pay if you need.

    So, we have assisted livery, as I work and kids are in school (it is dd1s horse really) and pay for 2 evenings. We go 3 days in the week after school and twice at the weekend. In the winter the horse are in at night so it has to be twice a day and early in the morning so they get a good days grazing and exercise. It seems generally yards like this to be synchronized so lonely horses aren't left in whilst all the others are out having fun. But it depends on your horse probably, how much you could bend that to fit your schedule

    In the summer, they are out 24/7, so it's not necessary to go twice a day really

    Some horses at ours are on grass livery all year round. I presume in that case once a day visit would be enough?

    If money is no object, I would get full livery in your situation, so you know the essentials are taken care of and you can take on more responsibility as your baby gets older and you get more confident?,

    I chose our yard because it seems relaxed. It's probably not everyone's ideal as it isn't aesthetically pleasing and the facilities aren't the best I've seen. But the yard owner was friendly and helpful and SAID if we make a mistake people will probably laugh at us and then help. No back talking. She went on to tell us funny tales about daft stuff that people had done

    IMO horse owning doesn't need to be as complicated and stressful as many horse owners like to make out

    The most complicated thing for us was finding the right horse (actually a pony in the end). If you are willing to travel southwest I can recommend a lovely lovely trustworthy dealer who could help you find one

    Good luck OP
GrandMasterFlash · 15/09/2017 11:01

Not' once you can go and ride in the week'...that should read 'obviously you can go and ride in the week' can ride in the week as often as you like Grin

GrandMasterFlash · 15/09/2017 11:04

And we go twice a day at weekends

GrandMasterFlash · 15/09/2017 11:14

Your horse owner is stressed I think, because she is using part loaners to replace livery and the cost involved. Which is fine isn't it. But there has to be flexibility and politeness, if you are PAYING her. If she wants consistency/reliability/someone to command then she should pay livery

snowpo · 15/09/2017 13:30

Try local Facebook horse groups in your area.. I see tons of shares coming up on them.

DontbouncelikeIdid · 15/09/2017 16:19

The horses owner doesn't sound very nice, or very concerned about what you do with her horse. How much knowledge/experience do you actually have? When the winter comes will you know how to muck out the stable and everything that goes with it? You will always get people that want to tell you how to do things, but it is possible that you are making some real errors without knowing, through lack of experience. A horse that bolts when it sees another horse doesn't sound suitable for a novice rider. What does your instructor have to say about the situation?

Nofilter · 15/09/2017 20:45

Thanks Olympic - the HO actually said today I'm good at handling him I probably don't give myself enough credit I've had about 50 lessons over the years and always rode on holidays and at least every few months...

That sounds fab Grandmaster - I'm excited for you at the thought of your little new addition to the family!

Dontbounce I know how to muck out and I shall be doing the first few weeks together with the HO to make sure I'm comfortable.. I'm going to have a word with her though about bring her horse in too on my days as hers is really forward and can have its moments strong headed and I don't feel comfortable doing it.

I've booked another lesson for Thursday. My instructor said I could do a stable course locally if I wanted but she said from what she's seen I'm doing fine and not to worry but I'll chat to her more on Thursday..

Today's ride reminded me why I'm doing this. The HO is a certain type of person and that's ok if I take it with a pinch of salt I think and don't react to everything - not ideal but gives me the time to get experience under my belt. AND I did consider today all of the use of the tack/equipment, expense, trust she's given me - I wonder if she really just wants a friend to ride with.. time will tell.

There's nothing like riding though is there - I absolutely hate gyms - something about horses that just draws me in!!

OP posts:
Nofilter · 15/09/2017 20:46

I will have a look snowpo thanks for the tip x

OP posts:
Nofilter · 15/09/2017 20:46

Can I ask what route OPs took to eventually owning your own horse?

OP posts:
Puppymouse · 15/09/2017 22:06

I was you a few years ago. I went from lessons and volunteering at a riding school to full loaning from one of the girls who worked there. Overnight I had to find livery, had a cushings diagnosis, lameness and generally how to care for a horse. Owner was 12,000 miles away and I felt totally out of my depth. I'd never even hacked out on my own before and just had nobody to ride with so had to get on with it.

With the riding routes I would say, do you feel safe and in control and is the horse pretty comfortable? Use that as your guide. Liveries judge and raise eyebrows constantly. Fuck 'em. You'll learn quickly but be humble, listen to your horse and don't let people get to you. If you're not sure, ask. Better to get a raised eyebrow for a "stupid" question than put you or horse at risk.

I also had to fit horses around an 18 mo. It's bloody hard. You will have to flex from time to time. DD is used to watching ipad in the car with snacks and when very tiny she used to be wrapped up in a pushchair and left at the bottom of the hill while I caught my mare and then I'd push her down to the yard with the horse in tow behind. Not recommended for anything than the most trustworthy horses! But you have to visit twice a day every day (or every time it's your turn.) Not for the faint hearted - esp as pp's have said if you aren't on part or full livery. It's exhausting! HO sounds like a miserable bint. If you love the horse maybe keep going but don't let her take advantage of you. Would she let you buy him long term if you bond with him? Good luck Smile

Puppymouse · 15/09/2017 22:08

Oh and to add I am one of those evil owners who turns out at 9-9.30. It's best I can do with childcare options and DD's sleep pattern. Mine manages fine but is usually nudging me halfway across the yard when I get there! He stays out til 5.30/6 even in depths of winter though.

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