Livery Yard Dynamics

Amaretto

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A musing! Do you ever sometimes feel like you’re a spare part, or third wheel on your livery yard? Like you don’t really belong to a particular group, you’re not particularly close to anyone. That you find you just have to get on with things by yourself, because you’re not so popular, don’t get included, or one of the yard manager’s favourites?
I know some people would love this scenario! 🤣

I’ve been on my yard for a loooong time…because of that I’ve seen people come and go, dynamics change and patterns repeat themself depending on ages, ambitions, whether full/DIY, how much time you have to spend there due to other commitments etc. It fascinates me!

I’m currently in third wheel position. ☺️
 

Antw23uk

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Behind you
I'm not on livery but if i was to go back i would definitely be 'that rude one' who kept themselves to themselves and did the bare minimum chatting with the rest of them. I always made a beeline for these people to make them feel welcome but now i see why they plug their headphones in and just enjoy there horse and dont get involved.

I've been on the 'in' crowd and the shunned outsider over the years so if i had to go back, i would stay well out of everyone's way and avoid the whole drama that are livery yards!
 

milliepops

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I'm not on a livery yard now either but have definitely been on both sides of it, tbh when i am in the out-crowd I just enjoy my horse and pass the time of day with anyone who is kind or polite. things can change as people leave or new people arrive.
 

chaps89

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Surrey
I’ve had enough of livery yards that I’ve not replaced my ridden horse after she was pts earlier this year.
I’m lucky I rent a small field for 2 small ponies as pets. In theory it’s a livery yard, but it’s at a ladies house, we all have our own field and I never see anyone so it’s like renting my own place.
It’s perfect and to be fair if it had better hacking I’d be strongly tempted to have another ridden one.
Maybe one day I’ll be tempted back in it for now I’m good!
 

smolmaus

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Belfast
I only got a space on my yard because my friend was already there and she luckily has the social skills that I can tag along with her most of the time. So far the closest friends I have made on my own are another livery's two children (6 and 3). We play "Lock Smolmaus in the stable" a lot and they give me small shiny stones as gifts. The barn cat also likes me, I think.
 
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Alibear

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East Anglia
I much prefer to be a bit on the edge. That way everyone seems to think I'm OK, I think they're all OK and any drama is avoided. The yard I'm at is very nice now and I'm quite in I think. I nearly always get on with YOs as I follow rules and pay up on time. I try and be friendly but keep things on a business footing as it keeps everything much clearer and boundaries in place.
 

Birker2020

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18 January 2021
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A musing! Do you ever sometimes feel like you’re a spare part, or third wheel on your livery yard? Like you don’t really belong to a particular group, you’re not particularly close to anyone. That you find you just have to get on with things by yourself, because you’re not so popular, don’t get included, or one of the yard manager’s favourites?
I know some people would love this scenario! 🤣

I’ve been on my yard for a loooong time…because of that I’ve seen people come and go, dynamics change and patterns repeat themself depending on ages, ambitions, whether full/DIY, how much time you have to spend there due to other commitments etc. It fascinates me!

I’m currently in third wheel position. ☺️
We used to have an older woman on our yard and she used to attach herself to a young female livery, it was really strange behaviour which carried on, with every yard she was at, I witnessed it happen at three yards. Whether they looked up to her as a role model or it was just that she got on better with someone of her own sex much younger was a mystery.

Then we had a chap that used to swear blind that his horse wasn't looked on favourably because it was a cob, and no amount of convincing could persuade him otherwise, for instance the one day when I say "its Bailey's birthday today" he sniffed and said "Huh, my horse isn't posh enough to have a Birthday". This really used to grate on me.

We had a bloke arrive at our yard (on my recommendation - I can't think what I was thinking about at the time) and he caused loads of issues, he had horses on loan that he tried to sell without the owners knowing, was a complete dreamer in so much as he told everyone that the British Jumping Team were going to move onto a yard of his friends, - the BJT wouldn't have set foot on the said yard, it was held together by bailing twine and nails.

And this person also did a 'Go fund me' page to buy horses for the future generation of paralympic riders. Luckily he didn't get a penny. He also advertised for a Swedish groom on this very forum which drew many raised eyebrows. The last we saw of him was a photo in our local paper of him laid dramatically on his sofa with talc applied to his face to make him look pale complaining that he lived on the 3rd floor of his block of flats and the council had refused his plea for a ground floor flat as he had a slipped disc and that he was an ex showjumper 🙄 he was another one who moved from yard to yard taking advantage of the good nature of YO'S and leaving a trail of debt in his wake. He appeared with a black eye and got H&H to print 'showjumper slipped on ice' in their magazine when in actual fact I'd heard that he'd been beaten up by someone he loaned a car off and then did a runner with it.

It takes all sorts!
 

Hormonal Filly

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Devon
I’m the same @Amaretto! Been on my yard years now, seen a few go and disagreements between people. I tend to keep myself to myself but pay on time and don’t annoy the YM. I think they like me for being hassle free compared to some.

I have one livery I regularly ride with.. but that’s about it. I’m quite happy doing my own thing and not being ‘clicky’ I’m not one that has a sit down and coffee at the yard, although one of the liveries is always asking!
 

9tails

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20 January 2009
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I don't ride with anybody from my yard, but meet up with ex liveries a lot of the time! Almost every time I've ridden with the current people from my yard, they've had some kind of issue like falling off or their horse has tanked off. It's just easier to not ride with them and meet people who can actually keep the horse between themselves and the ground.

I always take time to warm up to people, I've made the mistake of befriending a new livery and she turned out to be a nutjob so I give people at least a month to show their true colours. It's surprising how many are in fact nutjobs despite seeming quite normal at first.
 

Bernster

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Birker that’s such a bonkers story ! 🤪

I‘ve posted before about my last yard, which was awful due to the YM and her family. Grumpy people and very rude. However all other yards I’ve been on I’ve really enjoyed them and gotten on with folks generally. I’ve made good friends and am still on good terms with past YO/YM.

I’m not one for drama, I try to be considerate, tidy, and stick to the rules, I appreciate what they do and I pay on time.

A few of us have tea and chat together as we’re friends from a prior yard, which could appear cliquey, but we chat and hang out with other liveries. I like having company at the yard. I have a quick chat or say hi to people who are down at the same time as me. I really like that it’s a friendly, welcoming yard, which doesn’t appear to be bitchy etc.
 

MuddyMonster

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I much prefer to be a bit on the edge. That way everyone seems to think I'm OK, I think they're all OK and any drama is avoided. The yard I'm at is very nice now and I'm quite in I think. I nearly always get on with YOs as I follow rules and pay up on time. I try and be friendly but keep things on a business footing as it keeps everything much clearer and boundaries in place.
This 100%.

I always go to a yard with the expectation that most people will be friendly enough to pass the time of day with a polite conversation if we're both waiting for the hose together but that a friendly distance is a good thing too.

I think I'm friendly enough with most people that I could hack out if I wanted to or call on an odd favour in an emergency if need be but I'm quite happy being un involved in any news, gossip or drama.

It helps I'm happy to hack and ride on my own, I'm genuinely happy in my own company and don't need rely on the stables for my social life. Of course, if I make a good friend or two then great! I'm still in contact with a group of 4 other people that I made close friendships with years ago on a much former yard - a few of us still have horses, some don't - but we were close and we had some great times (on and off horses) together but I don't expect that to happen.
 

honetpot

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I like to be friendly, but detached. When I worked, had two children that rode, and three plus ponies, I had little time for chit chat, and I find after many years, there is usually a reason why they want to be friendly, and it usually because they want something. I used to lots for other people, but I no longer feel I have to validate being 'nice', by being an unpaid go for.
I have two long time horsey friends, over thirty years, but only one I could completely rely on, which actually a bit sad, but we are friends because we have lots in common. I am also a bit northern and blunt, and if I see something that's dangerous, to people or animals, especially where children are concerned, I will say something, which makes me the yard perhaps the yard dragon. I tend to like blunt people, even if I do not always agree with them, at least you know what they are really thinking.
 

humblepie

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5 February 2008
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No one ever wants to ride with me - I think that is because I don't trot on the road unless it is to get out of the way of traffic. I have really good friends from previous livery yards who don't have horses any longer - my two best friends are people I know through being liveries and those go back 15 years or more.
 

Sugar Plum

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13 March 2020
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It is telling that most answering this thread don't go out of their way to engage with other liveries. I always thought I was the odd one out as I just come and go and have the odd conversation but otherwise spend the time with my horse. He is the reason I go to the yard and can't understand others who come to the yard but spend most of their time around the kettle. I would like to engage more but don't really 'click' with most other liveries which is amusing as we all love our horses, I assume so have that in common.
 

Alibear

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Just popped back on to add, I do have cups of tea with other liveries, discuss new boots etc. Thankfully several have been kind enough to hack out with me on my youngster. I pay that back by being very positive should situations crop up out hacking, knowing some of the local routes and always happy to go at their pace and choice of route. Amber is now able to tag team with one or two horses who also aren't yet lead horses, but in combo, we can all get round in one piece :D
 
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fidleyspromise

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Scotland
I'm happy to chat to others, ride out with pretty much anyone or just go up and do my own thing. I've had yards where I've been by myself due to going up at different times to everyone else or just that I rode way more than anyone else.

It's thanks to chatting to someone new on a yard that I made a friend for life. We met 8 years ago, are best friends, have moved yards 3 times together (no easy feat with 4 horses total). We look after each others horses, have coffee together most weeks and usually ride together at weekends (sometimes taking 2 horses out each).

I've had bad experiences on yards such as on a new yard a livery told me I would get hell from the yo - something yo do with my feeds and hay so I went to the yo and she told me it was nonsense so I avoided that livery. Turns out she created lots of bad feeling and was thrown off in the end.
 

Ali27

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20 September 2009
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I’ve been on lots of livery yards in the last 20 years! Soo many crazy people 🤣 I’ve now got my own place and absolutely love my own company and no stupid people around!
 

Winters100

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I have been on many yards, and maybe I have just been lucky, but I have never had any big problems. Obviously I like some people more than others, but I am polite and positive with everyone. I have in the past found it difficult to tolerate the serial complainers, but I have perfected the art of smile, say brightly 'well I do hope you find a solution', and move on to my next task. I have made some wonderful friends at different yards, which somewhat surprises me as I rarely have time to chat while I am there. Maybe I just don't notice it, but I have never felt that there are any impenetrable 'groups' as such, some people spend more time chatting among themselves than I do, mainly because I have more horses to do, but I would never feel that I could not join in if I wanted to.
 

Ratface

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23 September 2021
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I've had mixed experiences on the livery yards I've been on. Overall, I've felt the odd one out. I think it's because I have had a different background and upbringing to 99% of the other owners/riders.
I didn't fit in. I should have stopped trying.
For the past few years, my horse has been on full livery at a small private yard. I still don't fit in, but he does, and his care and management are faultless.
He's my absolute priority, so feeling lonely is a price definitely worth paying.
 

scats

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11 September 2007
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I was on a huge yard for over 20 years and saw lots of people come and go and witnessed lots of drama (you wouldn’t believe some of the things that went on!) but I was very fortunate in that I have always had great groups of friends (which did naturally change over the years as people moved on/gave up) and been well respected among liveries. I’m quite sociable on a yard and happy to chat and have a cuppa with most people.
I’m now on a yard with 5 of us. 3 are friends I brought with me from previous yard and a lady who was there when I arrived who we’ve all become good friends with too.

We have empty stables as our YO will only let people on if we know them and want them. The wrong people on a yard can cause so much hassle and YO likes that she can trust us all to run the place as we wish and she doesn’t have issues to sort out. I have a barn to myself, which I love. I can escape and have my own time with the horses but can pop to the other barn if I want company.

As much as I loved a big yard growing up, I’m far happier on a smaller yard now I’m older.
 

Amaretto

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I'm not on livery but if i was to go back i would definitely be 'that rude one' who kept themselves to themselves and did the bare minimum chatting with the rest of them. I always made a beeline for these people to make them feel welcome but now i see why they plug their headphones in and just enjoy there horse and dont get involved.

I've been on the 'in' crowd and the shunned outsider over the years so if i had to go back, i would stay well out of everyone's way and avoid the whole drama that are livery yards!
I feel you!
I’ve been top of the in crowd when I had a posh lorry, organised clinics, won lots of things and had lessons with Olympians who liked my horse. 🤣
Life changes, but I’m still the same person and my boy is still here, albeit semi-retired after surgeries.
It does hurt sometimes (that I’m now the outsider), but then, was it ever genuine in the first place?
Better off doing things under your own steam in hindsight. ☺️
 

Amaretto

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I much prefer to be a bit on the edge. That way everyone seems to think I'm OK, I think they're all OK and any drama is avoided. The yard I'm at is very nice now and I'm quite in I think. I nearly always get on with YOs as I follow rules and pay up on time. I try and be friendly but keep things on a business footing as it keeps everything much clearer and boundaries in place.
Boundaries are good!
 
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ArklePig

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15 July 2019
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459
I'm definitely the odd one out on my yard but in saying that people are generally nice, and I'd be happy to chat with most of them and there's a few I really like. We're in a 3 horse barn on a larger yard, and both of the other liveries are lovely so I end up spending most of my time with them. In particular, my share horses owners sister is in the stable next to us, and she is the world's most helpful person ever. Really trained me up to being a competent sharer.

I have had a couple of thinly veiled sectarian comments from one person, but they're not exactly a yard favourite themselves.
 

Amaretto

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I like to be friendly, but detached. When I worked, had two children that rode, and three plus ponies, I had little time for chit chat, and I find after many years, there is usually a reason why they want to be friendly, and it usually because they want something. I used to lots for other people, but I no longer feel I have to validate being 'nice', by being an unpaid go for.
I have two long time horsey friends, over thirty years, but only one I could completely rely on, which actually a bit sad, but we are friends because we have lots in common. I am also a bit northern and blunt, and if I see something that's dangerous, to people or animals, especially where children are concerned, I will say something, which makes me the yard perhaps the yard dragon. I tend to like blunt people, even if I do not always agree with them, at least you know what they are really thinking.
I call that clear communication. 🤣
 
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Amaretto

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Oh my - yard politics. That is something I really do not miss at all! :rolleyes:
It’s sill
It is telling that most answering this thread don't go out of their way to engage with other liveries. I always thought I was the odd one out as I just come and go and have the odd conversation but otherwise spend the time with my horse. He is the reason I go to the yard and can't understand others who come to the yard but spend most of their time around the kettle. I would like to engage more but don't really 'click' with most other liveries which is amusing as we all love our horses, I assume so have that in common.
I have engaged in the past. arranged yard outings, clinics, travelled others on my lorry. I don’t have the time or resources for this now, and it’s reflected in my yard ‘status’.
Those who help the yard manager are also given heightened status.
I have no capacity these days to meet these requirements. ☺️
 
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greenbean10

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11 May 2019
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303
I am definitely in the 'in crowd' but I think that's mainly due to the fact that I do make an effort with everyone and I also avoid gossip. There's no one I dislike, I don't think there's anyone who dislikes me. When my horse was injured every single person at the yard offered me a ride on one of their horses, and I would do the same for them. They have become my very close friends.

I think it helps a lot that the yard is full livery...so we really do just go up and ride, and aren't forced to spend hours together. But we go for Christmas Eve hacks, have pizza nights and go out together. It's a great place to be.
 
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