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The tack room

Help me pick a yard!

11 replies

SearchingForUrchins · 31/01/2020 20:58

Argh found a pony now need to pick a yard! Context = I feel quite guilty using my family's disposable income so dont want to spend more than necessary but it does need to be right. Pony is a hairy native good doer type, will need frequent work to get back to fitness and I could do with lessons. I have some social anxiety issues. I work very long hours but only part time.


Option 1
Incredibly friendly yard literally next door to my work. Only offers part or full livery. Pony would be on combo of part / full so I only had to go up 4 days per week. Lovely arena, but no off road hacking. Frequent lessons at yard. Year round turnout. Cost circa 400 pm once hay and bedding included.

Option 2
DIY Grass livery (24/7 turnout) with optional stable, no supervision or assistance so need to go every day. Ponies must be brought in to feed / hay. Friendly yard although YO seems a bit controlling. A few extreme rules but nothing too major. Nice arena, cross country course, off road hacking. 10 mins from home. Cost circa 160 per month with hay.

Option 3
24/7 supervised grass livery. YO checks them daily. Not expected to go every day, approx 4 times per week. Olympic size arena, cross country and showjumps. Regular lessons and clinics. Local hacking but not off road. 20 mins from home. On a top competition yard so could be snooty. Cost 200 per month with hay in fields.


OP posts:
moobar · 31/01/2020 21:07

Not 2. No supervision, hay with no set stable? So pissing wet day you could be up three or four times. Plus seems controlling at this stage, no.

I would lean to 3. Seems a good arrangement and good price. Could you spend some time there? Go for a lesson on one of theirs? Spend an afternoon there before committing. It's half the price of option 1 and see,s to offer the same, bar not being next to work.

lastqueenofscotland · 31/01/2020 22:40

1 or 3
Not 2

EmmaC78 · 31/01/2020 22:46

3 although it depends how important having off road hacking is. I don't particularly enjoy hacking on the roads so would probably keep looking for somewhere else.

StylishMummy · 31/01/2020 23:04

If you have social anxiety - is yard 3 going to make you feel awkward. From the way you describe option 1 it sounds like that's your preference?

SearchingForUrchins · 01/02/2020 08:14

@StylishMummy spot on. Yard 1 would be my preference, but I dont feel I can really justify the cost vs the other two (although we can theoretically afford it, but this is only my hobby, the rest of the family aren't horsey at all). It's also the cost in time - grass livery is much easier in all ways.

Yard 3 ticks all the boxes. Except the environment really may play havoc with my anxiety.

It isnt as simple as keep looking - I've visited every single yard in our area, and these are the 3 affordable options.

OP posts:
Albatross123 · 01/02/2020 08:50

Yard 1 sounds great and if I could afford it then that would be the obvious choice. I think friendliness is very important. If you are working long hours then I think the distance is also a very important factor.

Floralnomad · 02/02/2020 18:49

1 particularly if you go to work 4/5 days per week , 2 definitely not , if horses are living out then they need hay in the fields in the winter months , 3 would probably be fine , if they accept grass liveries then there will be other people like yourself who are not competing at a ‘top’ level .

maxelly · 03/02/2020 15:38

3 sounds like a great set-up if all care on the 3 days a week is really covered for you, including things like poo picking the field, changing rugs if needed, checking for injuries, bringing in and holding for the vet/farrier when they come etc. And if they can 100% for certain stay out at grass year round and definitely no possibility you'll need to bring in overnight even in the worst of the weather (or if they are brought in that YO will muck out for you 3 days a week!). But if there is a chance you'll need to buy in 'extra' service, or take time off work e.g. to be there for the farrier, or buy in things like hard feed, extra hay and bedding due to being stabled at times, plus needing to find freelance cover for any times you are on holiday etc. then you may find you are at times spending closer to the £400 pcm anyway. And 400pcm is really not at all a bad price for what you get on Yard 1 from the sounds of things, so I wouldn't feel at all guilty about that!

On the other hand, re the atmospheres, I totally get you that a friendly supportive yard is essential, but I wouldn't assume just because the yard is a competition yard it will automatically be snooty. IMO Some competition riders are really lovely and helpful (and you at least can rely on their advice unlike some of the dubious 'experts' you get queen-beeing around the place at smaller yards). Whereas some 'happy hackers' can be total nightmares! The type of rider doesn't guarantee their personality if you see what I mean, although if anything I would say competitive riders usually are more focused on themselves and their horse(s) and find less time to be bothered and interfere with stuff other people are doing, so long as you don't get in their way unnecessarily... And if yard 3 offers such a competitive grass livery package there will presumably be other more low-key people around too?

Basically I'd just go with whichever gives you the nicer feel!

SearchingForUrchins · 04/02/2020 07:17

Thanks folks. Yes I totally get what you mean @maxelly , it wasn't just because they're a competition's the vibe I got. There were very standoffish formal grooms everywhere eyeing me up, and the horses all go by numbers not names!! I think you could also be totally right that add on costs could soon add up, especially as there is no stable included so if pony had to come in for an injury the charges could be huge.

OP posts:
cherrytree63 · 06/02/2020 08:55

I'd opt for 1 or 3, but bear in mind your fuel costs if opting for something 20 minutes away.
I've moved from a yard that's a 2 minute walk from my house (because they wouldn't sort out their horrific ragwort problem) to a yard 6 miles away, although it's cheaper the extra fuel is a killer!
I'd only go for 2 if I could bring in at night for horse to stuff it's face on hay overnight.

JayAlfredPrufrock · 06/02/2020 09:02

Option 1. I couldn’t imagine not having a stable. Somewhere to fettle, and tack up.

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