Big yard / medium yard or private yard which one do you prefer

Buster2020

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So I thought this would be a fun thread to make. What type of yard do you prefer I personally like a medium yard .
 

PictusSweetDreams

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I prefer a medium sized yard. I like the social side of a livery yard but not to the point where it’s heaving and you can’t use the facilities (like where I am currently!) I wouldn’t mind a private yard either but that would mean me having more horses and I can’t financially do that.

I’ve been on different types, medium sized yards (around 20 horses) suits me better. I’m on a large livery yard at the minute with 42 horses and it just isn’t right for me, there’s too many people and conflicted opinions.
 

Dyllymoo

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I've been on a small livery and medium livery yard. I think I prefer the medium one, however I think winter is going to be challenging using the facilities with everyone.

Would love my own private yard, but I like people to ride with sometimes.
 

Toby_Zaphod

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I've been on large, small & private yards over the last 20 years or so and the one I am on at the moment if the best. There are 13 horses, but only 5 owners. It's got everything we would ever need & we are very happy.
 

daydreamer

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I like a big yard (although i suppose it depends on the definition of big). Before retiring him I had my horse for 6 years on a yard with 40 horses. The horses are split into 2 barns. As with any yard there are negatives but I like that there is always someone to ride with, generally people are friendly and not very cliquey. If you don't like someone you can avoid them and it isn't noticeable. The owners all go up at different times so it is actually quite easy to fine a quiet time if you want but there is usually someone around to say hello to. Because it is a larger yard there are a few members of staff which I think can be easier than just one person running it if you don't get on with them/have issues. Also because it is larger there tend to be systems in place - you might not agree with them but at least you know what they are and can work with/around them!
 

Silver Clouds

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I Prefer a private yard, and would be happy to pay above market rate if necessary to ensure I can keep my horses on my own. Time with the horses is my respite after a busy job where I have to interact with lots of other people, so I don't want to have to see/speak to anyone when with the horses. I also notice nature more when it is quiet, and appreciate the company of the horses. I prefer riding on my own so wouldn't miss that aspect of being in a large yard.
 

HazuraJane

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Currently at a medium-sized training yard/facility. As with most things, the culture of the place comes from the owner/manager as to what's encouraged, tolerated or allowed. Feel very lucky to have an approachable owner/manager who's first care is for the health of the horses. I love the idea of owning my own place but worry about what to do when the water lines break (or other disasters) on a holiday when businesses are closed!!
 

Sprat

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I enjoy a medium sized yard, having been on small / private / medium and large. We have about 18 horses on current yard (all part livery) with lots visiting at different times of the day. It's a nice balance because there is generally someone to have a natter to if you want, but it's never busy. No issues with getting into the schools etc, and generally there is always someone to hack out with.

I have done the small private yard bit where a friend and I rented a place and offered out a couple of part livery stables. Never again. Far too much hard work for little reward, often having to deal with a yard of horses alone wasn't much fun. Not to mention the bonkers liveries we had, but that's a story for another thread.

I've also been at a large DIY (52 boxes) which was just crap. Too many cooks, too many unwanted opinions, theft, bickering. Aside from all of that, the YO was an awful woman who refused to fix any breakages, and the school was so deep it was like riding on the beach.

I joke to my current YO that the only way I am leaving is if she closes down. I do count myself very lucky to have found somewhere that suits me and my mare so well.
 

ponyparty

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My best experience so far was being on a private yard with one friend, but on a large plot of land with several other small private yards. We all shared one (admittedly terrible) school (with holes in it, I didn't realise until my horse sank almost to the knee) and had on site riding, plus decent hacking. It meant people kept to themselves mostly, but there was still someone to hack out with.
 

lar

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Over the past 20 years I've actually only been on 3 yards. I much preferred the two big yards. I liked the anonymity of being able to slope down, do your horse, ride and sod off home again without the YO watching your every move. Plus on the small yard the YO started to act as if she was the owner of my pony and started trying to make decisions relating to his care for me.
 

Gingerwitch

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Really don't care as long as horses go out every day, are not miss treated, rules are clear and don't change for a chosen few and the jobs are done as paid for. Sensible opening and closing times
Helpful but strict yard owner whom stomp s on Bitchy liveries even better.
Good hacking or a good school, if you could get both it would be amazing.
 

Griffin

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As much as I would like a private yard, I know that it would be too difficult with my job- I need help!

I quite like a small/medium sized yard. You get facilities but there is usually an opportunity to use them and I think because the YO is more visible, there is less bitchiness (providing they are fair). There is also usually someone to ride with if you need them.
 

splashgirl45

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my last yard was great, small yard with 4 diy liveries (including me) and 1 full livery. YO very easy and now a friend, help always available if needed..i helped YO with her horses if she needed it. . mostly we did our own thing and my friend and i shared a small barn so were on our own. i gave up horses 18 months ago but still keep in contact with YO and had been helping when her horses were competing, but covid stopped that for a while...i would love to have a private yard for myself and my friend but also be able to afford a freelance groom for a few days a week so i dont have to do 7 days hard work, am too old and broken now to do it myself..
 

scats

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I loved being on a big yard as a kid and teenager- all my mates there, always something going on and coz I was a light gutsy teen, I was never short of other people’s ponies to ride aswell as my own. Into my twenties, the yard changed (big demolition and new yard built) and it lost what was special about it. Things went downhill and I eventually left and moved to a small yard.

There’s me and 3 friends I bought with me, plus another lovely lady who has also become a good friend. 6 horses altogether, 2 are mine. It’s heaven.
I do miss one of my old yard friends a lot, but I try and catch up with him when I can.
 

Scotsbadboy

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Private on my own but failing that a medium yard with good facilities. I'm not sure what a large yard is classed as or if ive been on one before!
 

Circe2

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Personally, I prefer either private or big - but as I only have one horse, private (as in, only me) isn’t an option.

With a big yard comes a certain amount of formality and anonymity (no cliquiness, you can politely avoid people you find annoying without offending anyone), and usually multiple, good facilities (indoor school, decent floodlights etc). Somebody mentioned having ‘systems’ in place, which I agree is another big perk - rules seem democratic and practical, not petty. Staff don’t really do favouritism and are also helpful and practical - not as much ‘hanging around’. Lessons are easy to book, having a resident instructor - vet call out costs are shared - farrier visits are weekly and you just pop on the rota. They hold their own (smaller) competitions, so you dont have to travel to have some competitive fun! There are decent loos, a reception, a picnic area and so on. People tend to mind their own business (liveries at my yard also have their own small private tack rooms, so none of the theft/borrowing/breaking/misplacing thing takes place).

Turnout is of course very important, and there is very strict routine about which horse goes where, with who, at what time. You just have to be a tad more communicative if you intend on doing something unscheduled, especially now with Covid restrictions on footfall in place! I can imagine it would be a spontaneous person’s worst nightmare, but I really like the structure it gives, being inspired by seeing other people ride well, and the support network (vet always on hand, professional YO and grooms, farrier usually around, good instructors on short notice).

The only downside I can think of is the fact that (for some bizarre reason) there’s nowhere to make a cup of tea! 😱 Genuinely no kettle to be found, bar the feed room..
 

Northern Hare

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I had my horse on various types of yard over the years due to fairly frequent relocations with jobs etc. On all of them we were on part/full livery.

The last yard was definitely the best from experience. It was a large mixed part livery/diy livery yard with I’d say 70+ horses. It was on a huge farm and the horses were divided onto about 8 smaller yards.

There were fantastic facilities and amazing off road riding for miles with no gates etc. The vet held a monthly zone day on the yard. Turnout was plentiful and great quality all year round. It was also excellent value for money.

I think one of the biggest advantages to a large yard is that it reaches an “economy of scale” point whereby there is sufficient demand to employ full time staff. As a result, the full liveries get decent continuation of care, and the DIY’s can easily pay for reliable extra services - either on a regular or ad hoc basis. As an owner you don’t have to deal with multiple staff members.

So, in answer to your question I prefer a large yard, but as long as there is adequate staffing levels.
 

Hannahgb

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My best yard so far has been just me and the yard owner with 2 horses each. Could help each other out, ride together sometimes but normally had facilities to myself
 

skint1

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i can see the advantages and disadvantages to the 3 types of yards, I've not been on a lot of yards but they have run the gamut of all 3 types I guess. The one I am on now started out with over 30 horses but has dwindled down to 17. Sometimes it's nice to have a variety of people, sometimes it's harder. My daughter has a good set up, a little side yard with just her and a friend on the edge of a professional eventer's yard. My friend has hers on a farm that was a livery yard but dwindled down to just her horses (and one of mine that is a companion to one of hers) that too can seem attractive.
 

Follysmum

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Hmmmm. Have you ever found it daunting? More and more I am trying to muster up the courage to do it on my own.
No not at all. I much prefer to be in control with everything I do with my horses. It doesn’t suit a lot of people, some do not want the maintenance etc of a yard and field and prefer company of other people. A friend of mine hated it and moved back to a part livery yard as she just wanted to turn up and ride without all the other jobs involved.
 

HazuraJane

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No not at all. I much prefer to be in control with everything I do with my horses. It doesn’t suit a lot of people, some do not want the maintenance etc of a yard and field and prefer company of other people. A friend of mine hated it and moved back to a part livery yard as she just wanted to turn up and ride without all the other jobs involved.
No not at all. I much prefer to be in control with everything I do with my horses. It doesn’t suit a lot of people, some do not want the maintenance etc of a yard and field and prefer company of other people. A friend of mine hated it and moved back to a part livery yard as she just wanted to turn up and ride without all the other jobs involved.
Thank you for the straightforward reply! More and more the idea of having absolute control over the living conditions of my horses appeals to me.
 
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