Less horses about?

millikins

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Are there any recent surveys of recreational horse numbers? I just don't seem to see as many as even 5 years ago. 2 Livery yards have closed near me recently so may just be that but I never see kids out hacking anymore. Any thoughts?
 

Bernster

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Not looked for the info and most livery yards around me seem to still be around. A couple of high profile comp yards have however closed or are being sold off (to house builders I suspect), leaving us with none really in Herts any more. Very sad but I don't know if it's due to the decrease in horse ownership or something else - I think it's more to do with the pressure to build and the increased prices for new houses in the SE.

Seems like there is still plenty of money in the horse world and equine shopping has really taken off (am doing my bit for that, with a mini matchy collection!).
 

meleeka

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Definitely less horses in my local area. There’s only one big yard now where there used to be three and less horses per acre I’d say. The people that rent fields near me mostly have retired horses and they’ve been there years so it’s rare to see anyone hacking, especially on the roads.
 

GTRJazz

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We have lost six local yards with around 210 stables that used to be DIY part livery to housing or gone private in the last three years in our small corner of Essex.

1000s of new homes build and we are told 30000 more soon.
 

JFTDWS

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Yards disappearing here and lots of new housing cropping up instead here too.
 

neddy man

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Within 7 miles of our house in South Yorkshire there are 14 livery yards with over 250 horses, none of them look like closing. 3 local and very busy riding clubs, it's not dying round here.
 

Surbie

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Ruddy loads round here in South West London and a bit further out - am looking at livery yards to move my loan horse closer and the range of options is a bit bewildering!
 

huskydamage

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The opposite where I am, lots more horses but people don't ride them. The last 2 yards I was on I was the only person that rode. I almost never cross paths with other horses out hacking and I go everywhere. I can only assume people don't like the roads or something. When I was a kid everyone i knew with a horse rode it.
 

exracehorse

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Many livery yards near me plus private yards but, I have probably only met another horse on a hack 3 times in over a year !
 

GTRJazz

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The opposite where I am, lots more horses but people don't ride them. The last 2 yards I was on I was the only person that rode. I almost never cross paths with other horses out hacking and I go everywhere. I can only assume people don't like the roads or something. When I was a kid everyone i knew with a horse rode it.
I have been on some big yards half hardly any people ride often, and probably three or four hack out
 

be positive

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Within 7 miles of our house in South Yorkshire there are 14 livery yards with over 250 horses, none of them look like closing. 3 local and very busy riding clubs, it's not dying round here.
Within 7 miles of here there must be 1000 plus horses, a racing yard with about 200, several hunting, pointing yards, 2 private schools both with livery yards that are full, most other yards are not big probably 20 horses or so that are generally full, maybe 10 or those, plus numerous private yards many I don't know about, ownership has grown over the past 10 years or so although many do not get ridden outside of the arenas, other than the racehorses and hunters that are out daily in the season.

Our local feed store has expanded fairly recently from stocking the basics to being more of an equine store and the tack shop has also grown from being in a tiny premises to a much larger one, the local haylage supplier is also extremely busy.
 

Rosiejazzandpia

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Within 7 miles of our house in South Yorkshire there are 14 livery yards with over 250 horses, none of them look like closing. 3 local and very busy riding clubs, it's not dying round here.
Agree, South Yorkshire here and 7 yards within 10 minutes of me, all full and busy. Riding club nearby, plenty of people hacking and enjoying their horses :)
 

Equi

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I still know of many about but I’ve literally never met another horse on my hacks and there are four yards within a mile. I think a lot just avoid the roads now and like to go to yards with everything at them - my friend moved to one that has it’s own hacking lanes, walker and two arenas and fields to ride in. She doesn’t compete so she has no reason to ever leave the yard! Another yard is the same but has it’s own beach too along with comps and lessons all the time. It’s still quite small so not overwhelming. It must be heaven!
 

Mari

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I don’t think there are less horses just lots less people hacking out on roads as it’s so dangerous these days. Ask any rescue centre they’re overflowing with abandoned, & Ill treated horses.
 

HiPo'sHuman

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I still know of many about but I’ve literally never met another horse on my hacks and there are four yards within a mile. I think a lot just avoid the roads now and like to go to yards with everything at them - my friend moved to one that has it’s own hacking lanes, walker and two arenas and fields to ride in. She doesn’t compete so she has no reason to ever leave the yard! Another yard is the same but has it’s own beach too along with comps and lessons all the time. It’s still quite small so not overwhelming. It must be heaven!
I want to move there! ;)
 

gingerfan

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Yes, big problem in Herts and I believe all the Home Counties around London. Developers are targeting equestrian premises and literally asking owners to name their price! This is encouraged by the councils (and Government) who are desperate to build as many houses as possible in the driest part of the country. The loss of Patchetts was a major blow to riders as it was the only centre offering BS and BD plus a good standard of unaffiliated SJ and dressage. Oaklands college are running lower level BD every 6 weeks and this is the only affiliated competition in the county. Displaced liveries are having to travel a considerable distance to find alternative accommodation for their horses and there is now a major shortage of DIY livery yards with almost all having waiting lists. I also think we are seeing far fewer people actually hacking out as many are now chiefly riding in schools. The level of traffic here is horrendous and obviously this makes it unfeasible for many people who have no access to off road hacking to ride out. For those of us close to London, even people like myself who have miles of off road hacking literally on the doorstep are finding that the pressure on open spaces is becoming so desperate that at weekends these spaces are inundated with dog walkers, ramblers, joggers, cyclists and other horseriders making hacking no longer a pleasure.
 

Leo Walker

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Think maybe it's less people hacking but sad not to see youngsters out.
There is mine and another livery yard within 1/4 mile of each other, and a bigger one about a mile away. I see the very, very occasional adult hacking out but its a rarity. I go out and do 10k+ a few times a week so I'm covering a lot of ground!
 

millikins

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Don't blame them for not hacking when you've got idiots on the road in control of cars.
That's not an excuse in my area, there is access to some of the most horse friendly hacking anywhere without needing to go on a main road.
 
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