Livery yard dilemma For those with kids

tubby1

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Ok so I am currently looking for a new yard for myself and my 12 yr old daughter. I have seen 2 cracking yards that offer everything we need / want. One is medium sized has a few more luxury facilities and a wee bit more expensive. The other is very small, only 5 horses , great turnout, great school lovely stables etc. My 12yr old loves the big yard but I love the wee yard, it's cheaper and offers turnout, feeds in etc at no extra cost. So what do I do . I don't want my daughter to be lonely as we are currently on a yard with loads of kids. Help ..
 

madlady

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As a non parent looking in the experience I have of teenagers on livery yards is that as they get that touch older (14ish) then they tend to just congregate and chat rather than actually doing anything with their ponies and when they do ride in groups they are ragging the ponies around.

OH moved off a livery yard with his daughters ponies because of this - she was dossing around instead of riding the 2 SJ ponies that she had begged for.

As a teenager I kept my pony on a farm - there were 2 other liveries (both adults) plus the owner. I learned so much from all of them - the 2 liveries used to take me to shows and on hacks and they would also give me lessons (one was an instructor) I wouldn't have learned a fraction of that had I been on a larger yard with lots of other teens.
 

FlyingCircus

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As a non parent looking in the experience I have of teenagers on livery yards is that as they get that touch older (14ish) then they tend to just congregate and chat rather than actually doing anything with their ponies and when they do ride in groups they are ragging the ponies around.

OH moved off a livery yard with his daughters ponies because of this - she was dossing around instead of riding the 2 SJ ponies that she had begged for.

As a teenager I kept my pony on a farm - there were 2 other liveries (both adults) plus the owner. I learned so much from all of them - the 2 liveries used to take me to shows and on hacks and they would also give me lessons (one was an instructor) I wouldn't have learned a fraction of that had I been on a larger yard with lots of other teens.
It has to be fun though, otherwise there's no point.
I'm at a really big yard (100 odd horses) and there's a fair few teens who yes, do hang around and chat, but also school their ponies, etc too. They go on fun fast hacks, but don't rag their ponies around.

I personally have been at private yards before, one with 2 other women and one with 1 other. Both I was bored out of my mind as I had no one to ride with and whilst schooling and jumping my lad is fun, it's no where near as fun as sharing the experience with friends.
 

Red-1

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Currently living a second childhood!
My teenage livery yard had about 40 liveries, mixed adult and kids. It was FAB for me, maybe not as good for the pony as a posher yard, but at the time I was hooning around, jumping bareback and being a kid.

As I got older I moved to a "better" yard which better suited my now horse (as opposed to pony), but then moved back, as a late teen, driver. This time, with a horse, it was a different experience, we grouped together to have unofficial lessons, swapped horses if anyone was struggling, shared transport to shows, and were even sponsored by the YO for team chase and RC SJ. Dogs were welcome, and kids had rides on our horses while we mucked out.

I did outgrow that when I got a proper competition horse as opposed to a RC horse. Then I went to a proper competition yard.

I guess what I am trying to say is that yards are "horses for courses." It depends where she is in her horse journey. I do know that more kids give up through not enjoying the experience than through not having enough peace and quiet. Maybe the bog yard would be better for a year or so, and then a more serious one later?



ETA - of course in these days of litigation I do not recommend hooning around, bareback jumping, dogs on yards, pub rides, treasure hunts, kids riding horses or unofficial lessons!!!! Nor sleepovers, unofficial shows with no insurance, etc etc etc. It was hellish fun though! I can remember 12 of us setting out to go hunting, the more experienced paired with the newcomers, and a hip flask passed round. Not that I condone teenagers having a drink while riding!!!!

Oooh, you have to be so careful these days!
 

PorkChop

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We have always had our horses at home, so I coming at the dilemma from a slight tangent.

However I would go for the yard that makes you happy, if she is keen enough it won't make a jot of difference.
 

paddi22

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my happiest memories as a child are of hooning around with my horsey mates, having a gang of friends and doing all the sleepovers and stuff. If I had a kid I'd pick a yard that would allow them that experience if it was something that suited them.
 

FfionWinnie

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We have always had our horses at home, so I coming at the dilemma from a slight tangent.

However I would go for the yard that makes you happy, if she is keen enough it won't make a jot of difference.
Yes I agree. We are at home too and my daughter although younger, has never had other kids around to motivate her. When I was a child it wouldn't have bothered me who was at the yard as long as there was something (anything!) I could ride.

In fact the best years I had were at a yard with adults who competed and nurtured my desperation to ride. The similar aged kids on the yard were rather nasty and clique so I would say it really depends on who is on the yard rather than their age.
 
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I'm on a yard with lots of kids. It has been interesting, as an adult, to watch the cliques on the yard, the tears, the broken friendships, the excluding of a child here and there who wasn't wanted in a particular group. I have had to comfort endless kids and discipline when they've been 'hooning' round, ragging the ponies without bothering to warm up, having sword fights with whips next to my horse who spooked and hit his head on his box. Finally, most of the kids are growing up, thank god, but it's put me right off being on a yard with them.

I think you both have to be happy. Maybe your daughter could meet up with mates to hack or would benefit from being around adults rather than kids who will doss round, want to do tricks with their ponies and might not be bothered about the actual riding. I'd go for the smaller adult yard.
 

southerncomfort

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We have always had our horses at home, so I coming at the dilemma from a slight tangent.

However I would go for the yard that makes you happy, if she is keen enough it won't make a jot of difference.
Agree.

My daughter and I keep our ponies on rented land and ride out together all the time. There are other horsey teenagers in the vicinity and she rides with them occasionally but she seems to prefer riding with her old Mum.
 

zaminda

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As a teenager I was much happier on the adult only yard that I went to, rather than the one I had been on with lots of kids. Yes we had fun, and I still hacked over to ride out with them, but they were seriously bi**** to be on a yard with, and kept pinchy my stuff because they reckoned my parents could afford to replace it!
I learnt a huge amount from the adults I was with, and enjoyed it so much more.
 

Fiona

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I agree with fuzzy furry....

As long as your teen gets to ride with others sometimes ie at PC then I would pick the yard with the best facilities including turnout for your horses...

Fiona
 

teapot

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I'm on a yard with lots of kids. It has been interesting, as an adult, to watch the cliques on the yard, the tears, the broken friendships, the excluding of a child here and there who wasn't wanted in a particular group. I have had to comfort endless kids and discipline when they've been 'hooning' round, ragging the ponies without bothering to warm up, having sword fights with whips next to my horse who spooked and hit his head on his box. Finally, most of the kids are growing up, thank god, but it's put me right off being on a yard with them.
Agree with this, and something to consider, whilst probably being overly cautious, is whether the yard you're considering with lots of kids and teens is safe, or at least there is someone to keep an eye on the younger ones. Ie would you feel happy leaving her there for couple of lessons, or are a bunch of 12 year olds riding on their own etc.

Interestingly the one shy girl on the livery side where bog hoss is tends to stick with the adults rather than the kids.
 

marmalade88

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Yes I agree. We are at home too and my daughter although younger, has never had other kids around to motivate her. When I was a child it wouldn't have bothered me who was at the yard as long as there was something (anything!) I could ride.

In fact the best years I had were at a yard with adults who competed and nurtured my desperation to ride. The similar aged kids on the yard were rather nasty and clique so I would say it really depends on who is on the yard rather than their age.
I completely agree with this. I grew up with just me and mum on our own yard and was never bothered about being part of the crowd, children can be really mean especially as they grow into teenagers. I used to hack and meet friends if I wanted to. I've been on yards where the teenage girls tear chunks out of each other, one minute they're thick as thieves and the next minute 'hate' each other. I couldn't cope with being around it as a livery, I'm not sure I'd want to live it as a teenager and I'm not sure I could cope with it if I was ever a mum.
 
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