Livery yard dilemma - opinions please!

Joined
21 March 2016
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Hello everyone,

I recently moved my gelding to a yard in November thinking we would be here for the long run after two other unsuccessful yards over the last nine months. This current yard is small and on the owners private land. Livery services are offered when they are needed, and as I'm a student and work I need some days covering for when my loaner can't look after him.
I went home over Christmas, my loaner kindly did a week and they other 5 days I paid for full livery upfront to the owner.
I returned and whilst speaking to one of the other livery's she said about how tired my horse looked after being out in the field all week..... the week to which I had paid for full livery for. She looked more confused than I did!
He had been brought in the night before I came back, I'm assuming to cover up the fact he had been left out!
I confronted the owner, to which he denied any of this but did say he was left out for one night as he couldn't be caught. Which I don't entirely believe as my boy will stand and wait at the gate to come in for his dinner!

I'm now in a difficult situation as my boy is now all settled in but I can't trust the owner for when I need livery! And I can't be without that option.

Should I look for somewhere to move again or stay put?
 

Shadowdancing

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I'd go. If you're not getting the full story on that who knows what else they might let you down on. You have to be able to trust the people taking care of your horse... rotten situation to be in and I know the horse is settled but he'll settle again. Xx
 

pippixox

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Such a shame but you can't trust them and they purposely deceived you :(
There are little things like maybe not changing rugs one evening and then there is not even brining in a horse who normally comes in and when you have paid them for a service.
They could of texted you to let you know that your horse could apparently not be caught?
 

Micropony

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Agree with Shadowdancing. If you don't trust your YO to look after your horse when you can't be there - and you can't after what's happened - then it's pointless. This time your horse has come to no harm, but I have been in a similar position and the constant anxiety was dreadful. Best of luck finding somewhere better.
 

Sukistokes2

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If they can lie over something like this, what else are they lying about!! I'd never trust them again, you could never be sure that any service you have paid for would be done. They have broken trust, I do not think you can come back from there, not in my books, I'd be gone!
 
Joined
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Thanks for replying everyone. My gut feeling is something isn't right, the girl who told me would have no reason to lie. She's been just as shocked as me and can't understand why he's lying. Like I said I feel bad for roscoe as we've had such bad luck with livery yards. But it might be best to get out now
 

alainax

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Is the horse ok? I'd give them the benefit of the doubt to be honest if it's the first issue you have had. If you like the yard and the horse is settled. Maybe the other livery was mistaken, and just so happened to only be at the yard when your horse was out.

Lots of people would love more turnout in winter! I would be more annoyed if they were shut in for a week.
 

matt_m

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That's not the point though is it? If you pay for full livery for a week and are expecting the horse to come in, then that's what should happen. I would want to be completely clear that there is no chance the other livery is mistaken before anything though.
 
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yes I do agree, it's more the fact he didn't tell me that he was staying out that one night and didn't tell me even though I messaged to check up on him.
The girl who told me is the last one down every night as she works late. Not sure who to believe. I might find that now I've questioned him it might not happened again?
 

alainax

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That's not the point though is it? If you pay for full livery for a week and are expecting the horse to come in, then that's what should happen. I would want to be completely clear that there is no chance the other livery is mistaken before anything though.
Of course it's not nice if she didn't get what she paid for. But she did ask the owner and got an answer, like I said I'd give the benefit of the doubt in the first instance if everything else at the yard fits the bill.

Other liveries are not their 24/7, and you never know might have an agenda to want to get rid of the OP, like more storage or turnout for themselves...

If there are recurring issues then of course that's another matter entirely.
 

Micropony

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Is the horse ok? I'd give them the benefit of the doubt to be honest if it's the first issue you have had. If you like the yard and the horse is settled. Maybe the other livery was mistaken, and just so happened to only be at the yard when your horse was out.

Lots of people would love more turnout in winter! I would be more annoyed if they were shut in for a week.
Well if you were told on your return that they had decided to do x rather than y for z reason and had been unable to get hold of you to consult or inform etc. that might be reasonable. If I went away leaving my horse on full livery I would be expecting him to be turned out, caught in, groomed and checked over, exercised as agreed and my tack left sparkling clean. I would expect him to have been fed as normal as in work and to have been wearing the rugs that I supplied as appropriate for the routine specified and weather forecast.

I would not expect the horse to have been subject to a complete change of routine and feeding that hadn't been agreed with me.

Most importantly though I would not expect to be lied to. And if what's happened to the OP and her horse had happened to mine, I would assume the YO hadn't checked daily for wounds, injuries, mud fever etc. No way is that an acceptable way to treat a client and her horse!
 

alainax

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Well if you were told on your return that they had decided to do x rather than y for z reason and had been unable to get hold of you to consult or inform etc. that might be reasonable. If I went away leaving my horse on full livery I would be expecting him to be turned out, caught in, groomed and checked over, exercised as agreed and my tack left sparkling clean. I would expect him to have been fed as normal as in work and to have been wearing the rugs that I supplied as appropriate for the routine specified and weather forecast.

I would not expect the horse to have been subject to a complete change of routine and feeding that hadn't been agreed with me.

Most importantly though I would not expect to be lied to. And if what's happened to the OP and her horse had happened to mine, I would assume the YO hadn't checked daily for wounds, injuries, mud fever etc. No way is that an acceptable way to treat a client and her horse!
Ah this may be the reason for the stark difference in opinion then. Here that would be called competition/ schooling livery. Full livery here is basic care. Could mean horse is checked daily injury whilst in the field. Water, forage etc supplied.

If the op was expecting riding, grooming and tack cleaning I could see why they would be annoyed if that didn't happen. However, again, its YO word against other liveries word.
 

SEL

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Speaking from personal experience you might find having a hissy fit with the YO ensures it doesn't happen again. Plus befriending a few other liveries who then each ask for every single one of the 10 days I was away whether or not x,y,z had been done with the horses. It annoyed the hell out of the yard staff but it worked.

I also now say I will pay when I get back from hols if everything has been done. It's all written in an email too.

I have a better relationship with the yard staff these days, but at the time I wouldn't have hesitated to move the horses if there had been other livery options around.
 

Micropony

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Ah this may be the reason for the stark difference in opinion then. Here that would be called competition/ schooling livery. Full livery here is basic care. Could mean horse is checked daily injury whilst in the field. Water, forage etc supplied.

If the op was expecting riding, grooming and tack cleaning I could see why they would be annoyed if that didn't happen. However, again, its YO word against other liveries word.
Ah I see. I still think changing the horse's routine and management without consultation or agreement and then not being truthful is pretty outrageous though.
 
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Full livery for me at this yard includes turnout, bringing in, muck out, change of rugs, checking over, feeds. Parts of his mane has been rubbed out from having been left in his heavy weight outdoor rug which I'm not happy about.
I was put on a waiting list 6 months ago for a bhs approved livery yard, and was contacted by them a few days ago about a stable becoming available. I'm going to view it tomorrow, I'm in Liverpool and good livery yards are hard to find.
 

Fidgety

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Lying and can't be trusted, find somewhere else.
Have to say that I can forgive most things (once) on a busy livery yard, but lying about my horse's expected standard of care isn't one of them, totally agree Pedantic. Good luck for tomorrow OP :)
 

scats

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I couldn't stay at a yard if I didn't trust the person running it. My horses are the most precious thing in the world to me, and if I were paying for a particular service, I would expect that service to happen. If the yard owner hadn't been able to catch the horse, and it looked like horse was going to have to spend the night out, I would have wanted to know via a quick text or phone call. That's what the full livery yards around here would have done.
 

applecart14

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I would move. I had a similar experience at a yard I moved to short term.

The YO would tell me my horse had been out in the paddock to my face.

But if I spoke to the groom he would say "no its been raining, he has not gone out" a the horses didn't go out in the rain. It wasn't a case of the YO thinking he had been out. She had actually told the groom to leave him in. I hated being lied to and in the end my Dad found my horse going round and round and round on the horse walker when he visited with shavings for me. He should have gone out in the paddock and instead my Dad found him on the walker more than once. It eventually transpired that he was going on the walker for at least two hours a day (he actually had a leg injury at the time). I moved next door and loved it even though that was limited in the winter to two hours turnout in a sand pit.

It was a shame as it was a top class SJ yard with all the facilities you would want, but the YO had rented it off the SJ and didn't want the paddocks to get messy in the rain!

Like others have said you want to be able to trust your YO. I trust my current YO and I am very happy with things but I wouldn't be anywhere where I felt I was being lied to and would move asap.
 
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Really appreciate everyone's help on this. I went to visit the other yard today and it was really nice and they seem much more professional. They are sending me there livery agreement to have a look through before I commit. I'm still trying to get to the bottom of who's not telling the truth. Messaged one other girl but she seems to be ignoring it. Another girl I've asked could be biased towards the YO as she is wanting to buy his youngster.
 

rhylis

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What a difficult situation. If they have done what you suspect this must also mean that they have billed you for all the services you expected but have then deliberately failed to provide them? Its not only a matter of trust but also a bit of a con as far as payment goes. Very difficult for you to prove it though and ask for your money back. I'd be inclined to move if I were in your shoes and somewhere else was available.
 

brbc

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I would be inclined to speak to both the YO and the person who has said your horse has been out all week together. Someone is bound to break under pressure. See what they say and make your decision from there.
 
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A small update. The girl who I questioned went straight and show/told the YO my message as I had a feeling she would. Firstly her reply to me did not add up, as she claimed she had no idea whether he was brought in or not - but she was seen brining him in on Saturday on behalf of YO by a livery.
YO can tell I'm not settled on the situation but is still instant that he was bought in except one day. Said he would not charge me for my lesson I normally have with him as repayment for the livery charge hay/straw for that particular day......
I'm offended that he thinks this is a good enough attempt at an apology. He also changed his story about saying that he was left out because "I usually don't mind" which is the most poor excuse I've ever heard
 
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