Livery advice

apkelly01

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1 November 2006
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Kildare, Ireland
Hi, it's been a while since I've been here. I'm looking for some advice please and just to write this to get it off my chest.

I've been doing DIY in a livery yard for the last 5 years. Since I've been there it's changed yard managers 3 times. I like the place, the horses are happy and I was happy. My horse is old, 25 and I don't ride anymore. I was paying €65 a week and life was good. Lately though things have changed with the current manager.

First I noticed my stuff that's stored in the attic has been moved to a very inaccessible spot. I've had it there years and someone has decided they wanted my spot and moved me.

Then we were informed the livery is going up €10 due to a rise in the cost of hay, feed and bedding. So full livery is going from €100 to €110 - 10% hike. DIY €65 to €75 - 15% hike. I questioned the manager asking if she was right as I buy my own feed and bedding. I only get hay off her. She got angry and told me that's the price. Like it or lump it.

Then last week she told me my horse had a cough. My horse has a cough, has for a while, but I wasn't too worried about it as she's sensitive to the hay. She's also eating, drinking and not losing weight. But the manager said she was afraid she was going to find her dead in the stable. She said she sounds like she has pneumonia or worm infestation. This blew me out of the water as I really didn't think it was that bad. She said I was to get a vet or leave and let my horse die somewhere else. I said I'd call one Monday (today). She said a girl who used to do livery there and is a vet, was to be in the yard to look at another horse and she'd ask her to throw an eye over my horse.

So here's the text I got:

Hi Aileen Kathryn looked at kiyo this morning,listened to her chest and took her temp, thinks she has a bad infection in her lungs, gave her a steroid injection, and is dropping up some powder antibiotic which should clear it up hopefully, suggested wetting her hay to help ease the cough and allergies.

I immediately called my vet and fair play, he was in the yard before me. By this time my horse was back in the field. I called her and she came trotting to the gate. My vet looked at her and said she didn't have a temperature. He said she didn't have pneumonia, worm infestation or bad chest infection. He said she was just reacting to the hay as it's a bit dusty. So his prognosis is. If she was a young competition horse and performance was important, then he would be suggesting a course of action. But as she's an old retired horse, goes out to the field and comes in at night, then I'd be wasting my money as sympathetic care is all that's needed. Wet the hay or change to haylege and just keep an eye on her. Take her temperature and should she get worse, to call him and then he'd put her on antibiotics. But he reckons she'll be fine with wet hay and monitoring. I said about the manager afraid she was going to find her dead in the stable. The vet said, she's an old mare and she could find her dead but it won't be from her cough. BTW my horse didn't cough once in the time he was there, even though she trotted in and was eating the hay.

So I thought, that's great, it will put the managers mind at ease, it's not pneumonia or worms and she's not going to drop dead just yet.

So I said to the manager what my vet said, she wasn't happy. She said he wasn't a good vet anyway and I should go ahead and give my horse the course of antibiotics. I said I wasn't going to as the vet said I'd be wasting my money and I was going to monitor first and then see. She's said she wasn't happy with that and if it was her horse she'd give the antibiotics. So i said if I needed them I'll get them off my vet. I told her I was mentally preparing myself for the worse after her text. If she was as bad as they said and treatment was going to be expensive, I was going to have her PTS. The manager said I should have her PTS as I won't give her the antibiotics. FFS I got the vet, it's not pneumonia, it's an allergy! And I've ended up paying 2 vets as I now owe the other girl for throwing an eye and steroid injection which they should have asked me about first and which according to my vet was totally unnecessary!

So I'm caught between a rock and a hard place. If I don't do what the manager wants, I'll have to leave. If I do do what she says then I'll have to fork out for what my vet said is wasting my money.

So from an unfair livery increase to being bullied into getting a vet for my horse. I know my horse and knew her cough was the hay. I got the vet and now I feel I'm being bullied into unnecessary treatment for my horse and if I don't comply I can find somewhere else! But I'm happy there and my horse is happy. I'm up to date in my livery, I follow yard rules. Ok, I just go up, muck out, bring in my mare and go. She's mucky, so I don't groom as much as I should. But my horse is happy, I don't want to move.

I don't know what to do

If you got this far, well done. Thank you for reading.


I can't delete the text at the bottom


Hi Aileen Kathryn looked at kiyo this morning,listened to her chest and took her temp, thinks she has a bad infection in her lungs, gave her a steroid injection, and is dropping up some powder antibiotic which should clear it up hopefully, suggested wetting her hay to help ease the cough and allergies.
 

be positive

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I don't understand why you would want to stay, other than the fact it can be a bit daunting to move after a long time, the YM sounds as if she is going to continue to bully you until you go so I would move before the situation gets worse, she is sure to find something else once this gets sorted.
An old retired horse with a cough due to hay may be better living out if you can find somewhere, you will be happier and as long as your mares needs are met she will be fine somewhere new, look around to see what your options are.
 

ihatework

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7 September 2004
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Firstly horse ownership cost is rising - unfortunately you won’t be the only one facing increased livery costs - you need to separate that out from the vet issue.

The cough - maybe the YO is being melodramatic but it’s probably not unreasonable to have a vet check out an elderly horse with a cough.

Bear in mind your vet saw the horse after it had a steroid jab.

Keep the AB powders, you might need them. Soak the hay and micro manage the cough and if it doesn’t improve try the AB’s.
 

irishdraft

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13 November 2009
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Sounds horrible for you I would probably soak your mares hay which I must admit I would do anyway and see if she improves and I would also be looking to see if any other yards have a vacancy .
 

equi

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If a YM got someone i did not know or request and let them inject a steroid into my horse without asking me i would NOT be at all happy. How did YM know your horse was not allergic or something? What would have happened if your horse took a panic and injured the vet or YM or herself...but you would have been able to say that would happen had they asked you what she is like with injections etc.. I think they are being VERY pushy and frankly id be hightailing it away. YM is clearly trying to assert her dominance but has gone over the line.

On the cost, its much more expensive than i pay but i generally find prices up here are much lower than the rest of the UK/EIRE
 

PapaverFollis

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13 November 2012
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I would be extremely unhappy if someone had injected my horse with steroids without discussing with me first!

The livery price rise is a separate issue. Ours has just gone up too. It's pants but yard owners need to make ends meet. Yard owners are bad for freezing their prices for many years then suddenly getting hit my the cost of stuff having gone up and having to bump prices up suddenly, rather than putting prices up in smaller amounts year on year.

However the bullying spilling over into administering unasked for veterinary treatment to your horse is really unacceptable! I'm taking your word at face value there... if your horse does actually have a dreadful cough that you aren't treating it's a different matter but as written they are bring unreasonable.

Horrible to have to move an old, settled horse but it might be your only option.
 

claret09

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21 April 2014
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I feel really sorry for you and your horse. neither of you need this. find somewhere else and move. your horse will settle and will probably be happier. they pick up on us if we aren't happy. your yard owner is bullying. remember it's your horse and you do know it best, regardless of what anyone else thinks. good luck I really hope you sort this out soon
 

holeymoley

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18 November 2012
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Please move. Never let anyone tell you what to do like that, especially when it comes to vets. I wouldn’t be happy in the slightest at the first vet giving a steroid injection without your consent.

It’s not worth it. She will get you in every way she can. Make the last of your mares years enjoyable somewhere else. Good luck x
 

meleeka

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I moved from my last yard after 15 years because somebody moved my stuff without telling me (it was the YO’s new hanger on and most of it, apart from my tack was thrown away because they thought it was rubbish!) I’m so glad I did. The yard I went to was horrible so I then moved again but I ended up enjoying my mares twilight years instead of trying to avoid times when everyone was there.

It’s obvious your YM is a bully. I’m not sure I’d want someone with such a disregard for the owners wishes looking after my horse. What’s she going to decide to change next I wonder?
 

apkelly01

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Kildare, Ireland
Thanks for the replies.

I love the place, it's beautiful and very few yards like it.

The vet did say getting her out 24/7 would help. I did it once and over the winter it was hard. She wanted in and I couldn't bring her in.

I'm not neglecting her. The cough in my opinion wasn't that bad. It was occasional and not constant. If she was coughing continuous then I'd be worried. She's also not the only one coughing in the yard. There's a few that are reacting to the hay.

As for the livery increase I do accept it has to go up. My beef with it is, the DIY is going up more than the full. The reason is due to increase of cost of bedding, feed and hay. But I buy my own bedding and feed. It's more like she plucked the figure of €10 out of the sky without working it out. 15% increase for DIY and 10% for full.

I'm not looking forward to seeing her tommorrow. I sent her a text saying I'm going with what my vet said and if I need the sachets I'll get them off him. I'm not paying for 2 vets.

I'll keep you updated....
 

equi

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The livery hike is just like shes said 10E on each, which makes sense in a way that she cant be bothered to work out the figures way. Not entirely fair though. However, knowing the area i can see why the price is high..its so close to the major irish show grounds and highly desirable area. Is the YM maybe looking to have more "prospective" clients so they can show off?


Just to add, my older mare did have a random cough one year which could have been the crap hay i had at the time, didnt display it much and the vet found no issues, however a course of the antiBs cleared it up and its never been back.
 
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apkelly01

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The livery hike is just like shes said 10E on each, which makes sense in a way that she cant be bothered to work out the figures way. Not entirely fair though. However, knowing the area i can see why the price is high..its so close to the major irish show grounds and highly desirable area. Is the YM maybe looking to have more "prospective" clients so they can show off?
If she had done her homework she would have worked out she'd get more money. She could have done a 15% hike on the full livery (€15 for full, €10 for DIY) and i wouldn't have contested it as its fair. So it's her loss. Yes, it's a great area. Our yard is in the far flung corner of the stud, no where near all the fancy stuff, but if we hack up through the grounds we can use the indoor/outdoor arenas. In its day it was a foaling yard, so the stables are big, 15x13. I don't think it's to get better clientele as there's a few empty stables. When we found out the stud was for sale a few people left.

Just read your edit. I probably will end up using the sachets but I will monitor her first until next payday. I've my mare 20 years and I'm not as flush as I use to be. Before I'd say, scan my horse and use the gold plated scanner and finest silk satin bandages. Now having to pay 2 vets in one day is crippling. She's had the cough for a while, a few more days won't hurt especially as I haven't heard her coughing in the last 3 days. Actually the vet was more worried about my cough lol. I'm getting over a flu, then got a cold and I've a bad cough.
 
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Abi90

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My previous YM agreed with the vet to have my horses stifles injected. Neither of them consulted me!! First I knew of it was when it had already been done.

I moved. Do the same!

The only reason I didn’t kick off more was because it was the right thing to do.
 

fredflop

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For future reference (and I’m guessing Ire is the same as U.K.), contractually the person who calls the vet is liable for the bill. However they would have to do this without your knowledge or authority to be “truely” liable for it. In this case it looks like they did make you aware they were going to get the vet to look at your horse
 
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Haven’t read all the posts. Sounds like yard manager is going to make life hell. Price going up is fair enough but to get vet out and initiate treatment is another.
Move yard, report vet to governing body (not sure what it is in Ireland) and sue yard manager
 

blitznbobs

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Tbh looks like a bargain price to me - if they are selling they may be short of cash ... as for the vet the yard manager has a duty of care and one et believes your horse is ill... if they have lots of competition horses they won’t want it to spread.
 

only_me

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Tbh for where you are it’s pretty good value, even if you don’t use the facilities with your horse.

I’d be very annoyed that the YM got a Vet, although at least they are concerned for your horse health. From their prospective I’d imagine they were probably concerned that it might have been contagious and affect other horses on yard and potentially harm their income.
I would have expected that the girl at yard would have rung you first and explained her findings/opinions before injecting the steroid, and I certainly wouldn’t be paying for it as you didn’t agree to it.
I would also speak to the girl in person and explain that you didn’t agree with her treatment and your own vet disagreed.

You could buy Haylage or you could stop buying your own as if it’s included with DIY pricing anyway might as well use it. I’d soak the hay or maybe invest in a steamer for it.

Talk to the YM and explain in very clear terms that while you appreciate she is concerned, you will deal with it yourself and act according to your own vets instructions.
 

Ambers Echo

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I think you need to separate out what she did with the motivation for doing it:

Did she act in what she genuinely believed was in the interests of the horse even though you and your vet disagree.

Or is she deliberately trying to bully you into going? If the former then you can probably move past it. If the latter, she will keep making your life hell for any number of invented reasons and you should leave.

One thing I really don't understand though is the behaviour of the first vet. This was not just a casual favour for an old YM but a professional - paid for - consultation and treatment plan. I can't see how a competent vet gets it so wrong? I mean the horse did or did not have a temp. Did or did not have increased respiration, abnormal lung sounds etc. Ask to see a report with the clinical findings. Or ask to speak to her practice manager expressing your confusion over 2 totally different diagnoses for the same horse on the same day.

I certainly would not be paying for treatment I did not consent to and which my vet states was not necessary.
 

Ambers Echo

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ETA re the price hike, there is no reason imo why a YM has to increase prices by the same amount for DIY and full liveries. Many YM's prefer full livery and may price that option attractively compared to DIY.
 

ForbiddenHorse

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Move.

£65 a week DIY? Do they do your horse for that? I pay £35 a week including hay/haylage but thats pure DIY.

I'm sure you could find a much friendlier yard.
 

dogatemysalad

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If your horse is happy, just keep a low profile and tell her what she wants to hear. She probably won't bother to check if you've given the meds or not. Either way, she'll probably leave before too long, 3 managers in 5 years is a high turnover rate.
 

SpringArising

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You might want to be a bit careful about how much info you're giving about yourself online. You're pretty identifiable and I'm sure will piss off a few people should they see this post - not what you want if you're looking to build bridges/move.
 

EventingMum

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Out of interest what does your livery contract say about YM calling the vet? I have the right to call the vet for any livery horses if I deem it necessary in an emergency but will always endeavour to contact the livery owner. The owner also states on the agreement which vet the horse is registered with and that is who I contact if need be. I agree that you should have been contacted before a vet was involved but in all honesty, it sounds as though communication is very poor between you and the YM and this would be my concern. No one likes price increases but it is up to the business what they charge even if you don't think it's fair or makes business sense there's not a lot you can do.
 
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