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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:
Puppymouse · 15/09/2017 22:17

Nofilter- I started having problems keeping the old mare I had on loan sound. I was fretting constantly, not able to do much with her and was desperate to own my own. Had a lot of pressure from fellow liveries about "giving it back, you're being conned" (I wasn't, I knew she was old when I got her and had support from owner's family). But I made the difficult decision as my bonus payment arrived to start looking and then gave her back a week after mine arrived. Felt horrendous but love my boy to the moon and back. The problems I had with him from then on is a separate thread in itself 😂

Buyers beware and all that. Do not try to buy without someone you trust who is very experienced.

OlympicBonfire · 16/09/2017 07:39

Nofilter I'm coming back as I've re read my post and I think it comes across as a bit snippy. I'm sorry, you must do what you must do - the horse won't die from not being turned out until 9-9.30 (!) it's just not what I would choose for my own. There are people at my yard who don't turn out until this time. The owner does sound a bit picky but to be honest, I think I would probably come across like this too and I'm a nice person - honest !

I Pay for part livery for mine - sometimes called assisted livery I think. I go in the mornings (or my sharer does) and I pay the yard owner for the afternoons. So in the winter, I turn out, muck out and leave hay/feed etc in the stable and yard owner brings in and changes rug. In the summer she just does a check in the afternoon and a rug if required. This costs me an extra £10 pw - if you got your own would something like this work for you ? The trouble with loaning/sharing is that the owner can pull the plug at any time and obviously you will be bonding with the horse (of course the same works both ways). Also, you may find that as you become more experienced and learn more from reading or from watching/talking to other horse owners you may feel that the way the horse owner wants to do things is different to how you want to do things, and this could be a frustration for you. Obviously with your own then you'd decide !

Just a thought - good luck with whatever you decide.

DontbouncelikeIdid · 16/09/2017 13:54

It sounds like you certainly know enough to know when you need to ask for help, which is the important thing. If you can set down some boundaries so you don't get taken advantage of, it sounds like your current set up is a good way to get the experience you need before taking the plunge and getting your own. I think spring time would be a good time, as you'll have been through the winter, and seen the level of time and commitment needed. It can be a slog through the winter, as the weather often stops you riding, and the amount of work goes up massively. You also have the joy of spending half an hour brushing the mud off before you can ride. That said, you are right, there is nothing else like it, and it is very addictive! It will definitely keep you fit.

Nofilter · 17/09/2017 00:24


What a lovely surprise to find these positive replies. Apologies for the silence my DD has had a horrid bug!

Puppy - that's really reassured me! I did exactly the same with my DD pulled my car into the field entrance, popped on Peppa and legged it for the horse on a day I just had to glue spray and give medicine in the field - I was thinking her pushbike with handle on too for while bringing him in as a fall back (although we've worked out for her to stay at mums on one of the days I'll need to be there as she stays once per week and gets spoiled rotten - that's another thread too!)

Also, I really do agree "Fuck Em". If I can grow a baby and do what we bloody do as mums I can handle a farm atmosphere... it's good for our family equilibrium that I'm enjoying this and doing something for myself and I'm going to try and remember that.

Olympic that's nice of you to say, I actually appreciated your honesty as hadn't factored in the grazing hours aspect in my limited experience basically and I shall see how I get on , I think it will just be the one day that it will be 9.30 as I can't justify waking DD up she's not a great sleeper and I draw the line at that for a hobby! Well see, but I certainly could not sit with myself doing something that impacted negatively on the horse either... I suspect Mr Cheeky Horse might determine it with his big brown eyes when I give it a go and turn up for him at planned time depending on his reaction...

Dontbounce - I do hope I'm not coming back to this thread in a few months to say "I've run for the hills already" yikes. Have to say though that's my kind of life - mucky, fresh, animals, wrapped up warm, cuppa after a bit of graft and excercise - give me that over putting make up and heels on any day.

OP posts:
Nofilter · 17/09/2017 00:26

Also I do feel that we're communicating well me and Horse - on our ride yesterday he was ever so slightly twitching and I knew it wasn't like him and it ended up being that I'd trapped a tuft if his hair under the numnah which was irritating him...

OP posts:
Nofilter · 17/09/2017 00:27

Fly spray!!

OP posts:
CatchIt · 14/12/2017 20:45

I know this is an old thread, but I really wanted to comment.

OP, you sound like me when I started back riding. I didn’t have a clue, I too had a horse on share a few days a week and then on loan to stay at the Yard.

I did it for a year and loved the horse I had but the HO was a nightmare - so bad she once drove to my house completely pissed!

After a year I decided that I’m spending all this money on someone else’s horse and bought my own. After having him for 2 years, I bought a foal and sold my first horse 2 years after that. Sadly my 2nd horse was pts at 5 so I bought another who was 2 rising 3.

I’ve done and experienced the most amazing things. I’ve backed 2 horses fairly successfully with help from my yard and competed in Dressage.

I now have 2 children and yes, it’s hard squeezing everything in, but it can be done.

Give yourself a year at least (or find another share horse if it’s too unbearable) but don’t give up. My horse is my lifeline. Literally. With my horse, I’m me, not a mother or wife, my friends are nearly all from the yard and I have such a great time when I’m there.

You can learn what you need to, you just need the right help when you need to. If you want to go for 3 hour hack, good for you, I used to! Enjoy your riding, I hope you work it out x

Nofilter · 18/12/2017 11:07

Guess what?!

I did it - I bought my own horse, I've had her for two months now and love her!

She's on a part livery yard so mornings are catered for, I've an amazing yard owner who helped me buy her and is guiding me.

It's not been a walk in the park at all but hey reality is reality with these living breathing beasts!

I absolutely love going to the farm and I'm so much happier having something that's just for me separate to my toddler...

Couldn't imagine life without her now.

She currently has mud fever and was lame last week from cantering off with me on hard ground - it's up and down but we are getting there and I'm having lessons to correct the behaviours (mostly my confidence).

She's a 10 year old bay 16.1... a very pretty thing, spoilt already!


OP posts:
Puppymouse · 18/12/2017 20:39

What lovely news! Go with the flow on the ups and downs. Owning my boy is like a game of Whack-a-mole. I fix one issue and another crops up! The key is to build your confidence in each other (groundwork and time together just "being" no pressure to ride etc). Be patient but don't beat yourself up when you aren't. Good luck!

Nofilter · 19/12/2017 09:01


I have been a bit like agghhh I can't ride AGAIN! But then when I've actually pottered around the yard, took my mare for a wander down the country lane for a graze with my dog in tow as the grass is non existent in our field now we've really enjoyed it.

She even rested her head on me for a few seconds and she's kept her distance so far it's good. She's really jumpy though, always watching my hand when in the stable and if I forget and move quickly (normal speed) say to take haynet down or something she really jumps back so I move steadily now for her...

Does this mean she's been mistreated in the past?

Winter sucks I can't wait for Feb when our turnout resumes to normal!!

OP posts:
Puppymouse · 19/12/2017 14:24

She might have been. Mine is a bit head shy but he has a tendency to ricochet off doors and gates (or my head) so it's not always from abuse. He also shies his head away like I'm about to wallop him if he does something cheeky and knows it. Just give her time. She'll be sussing out your boundaries and whether she can trust you.

jinglebells123 · 24/12/2017 00:07

Lovely new OP!

I've started a new share after ending my last one (no yard facilities made riding difficult).

It's only a month or so in but already I find it a little frustrating having to deal with the owner when I know I'm more experienced than her (I owned for 8 years previously).

I'm now considering getting my own again but nervous about buying the wrong horse and denting my confidence or overcommitting again - I did struggle to juggle dd and work and horse before and there is a lack of good livery yards around here which hasn't improved since i sold.

Lovely to hear a positive story :)

Nofilter · 24/12/2017 11:05

That's interesting puppymouse. I'm reading as much as I can about her bahaviohrs and "signs" from her body movements. Very similar to dogs some of them! If she licks her lips I'm brushing too hard (neck and withers), tail swish is usually a "ok I'm getting pissed now like a cat!!

I'm totally fed up and have had 48hrs where I've been just silent with her last two days. We went for a hack again and she was napping and doing this stupid snake shape dance so as not to stand in puddles.... given that she's been lame twice so far (has gels on her front hoofs now due to sore and flat feet and our terrain being stoney.) I got off and headed back to check with my yard owner she was ok. YO got on her and she was a total DREAM!

Pissed at myself, pissed at the up and down struggle it's been since I got her, pissed that I was so excited and eager to get one maybe I rushed it I don't know....

BUT I'm nowhere near giving up the farm is my lifeline like you CatchIt.

Jingle I know exactly what you mean but I actually think there are good and bad owners out there you know. Like our yard, she doesn't advertise but has lovely horses (7) plus us liveries (6) and people loan anything from 1hr lesson a week to more of a traditional loan basis - maybe there's a better arrangement out there for you? At this time of year many would snap your hand off for help haha!!

Have a jolly xmas everyone xx

OP posts:
Puppymouse · 24/12/2017 22:36

Persevere nofilter. I have been through all this with mine. First horse I've owned and he naps, spooks, broncs. Sounds horrendous right? Early on I'd have said yes, what the hell am I doing. Now, we've grown together and got used to some stuff, learned to deal with others, eliminated so much bad stuff and my confidence and riding has improved so much. All that is down to the bond we have. My instructor has also helped a lot. In the early days he was a nightmare I couldn't even lead him safely and now I ride him bareback to bring in and turn out in the summer. Take each day and each issue one day at a time Flowers

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