Moving to Deepest Darkest Kent (sort of) - Livery Yard help

Joined
6 January 2021
Messages
10
Hello! Old poster under a different name to maintain anonymity as some friends I have IRL know my handle and I haven't made any decisions yet...

Without going into too much detail - due to lockdown and a change in circumstances, I've moved in with my OH who lives between Maidstone and Tonbridge - more specifically between Staplehurst and Leeds Castle, for you deepest darkest Kent lot! I'm thinking of moving the horse closer to where I am/we are to make life easier, and I wonder if I can get more facility for my money here as well...

I know nothing of the horsey community around Kent, so I would welcome any suggestions of where and where not to go - please PM if you would prefer. Requirements are:

- Within a 45min drive of my location mentioned above at the most. I would prefer 30mins and under though if poss?
- Part livery, or ability to pay for help during the week
- Daily all year turnout a must, even if only for a few hours in winter. Must have decent grazing or extra hay supplied
- Decent hacking - some road work doesn't bother me
- Floodlit school or indoor, as I ride after work
- Outward facing stables. I could stable at the end of a barn if I had to, but my preference is for open-fronted
- Ability to not be stabled on straw (happy to pay extra, but I've been on yards before where they are funny about different types of bedding on the yard)
- Good standard of care and reliability of staff (I have heard about some horrors generally, and a lot of them from friends further North in Kent..?)

Extra facilities like a hot shower for horses etc would be fantastic. I don't have a set budget, I would like to see what is out there and go from there with costs etc. - I want to see all options! High standard of care and good turnout and forage access if of the utmost importance to me.

I've had a little snoop on Livery List and on the various facebook groups - Livery List has a few but I also know a lot of yards go unlisted, and I wonder if anyone has some firsthand experience of them? I don't want to post publicly on facebook due to wanting to keep my potential move private until I make any decisions.

TIA! x
 

Nicnac

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Joined
9 May 2007
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6,372
Alex Wyatt - Wyatt Equestrian at Bramble Barn Benenden (all disciplines); Mark Butler at Dressage Volente in Stockbury; Stilebridge Barn Livery Staplehurst Road, Maidstone. Those are the ones where I know the owners. Cobham Manor is near you - has one excellent 30 x 60 school, another 20 x 40 not so great and a small indoor. Not posh, but Sian who runs it is excellent and they hold lots of clinics and competitions including BD.

Hacking is ok in area but wouldn't say great unless you go further out - you can hack in Bedgebury forest and around Bewl Water which isn't far south of you. Maidstone RC are excellent.
 
Joined
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Alex Wyatt - Wyatt Equestrian at Bramble Barn Benenden (all disciplines); Mark Butler at Dressage Volente in Stockbury; Stilebridge Barn Livery Staplehurst Road, Maidstone. Those are the ones where I know the owners. Cobham Manor is near you - has one excellent 30 x 60 school, another 20 x 40 not so great and a small indoor. Not posh, but Sian who runs it is excellent and they hold lots of clinics and competitions including BD.

Hacking is ok in area but wouldn't say great unless you go further out - you can hack in Bedgebury forest and around Bewl Water which isn't far south of you. Maidstone RC are excellent.
Thanks for your response x

Have you heard good things about Cobham? I've never been on a larger yard like that before - it wouldn't bother me or my horse I'm sure, but I worry it's easy for a horse to get lost between the other goings on? That's just my initial wondering! I'll look into the other ones :)

Where would you recommend a bit further out then? Would it be better to to think of going further West?

Has anyone heard of -

Saywell
Dean Street
Cedars
Speedgate? I have only heard of this being a saddlery though?

Thanks xx
 

CMcC

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Joined
30 May 2016
Messages
861
Location
Kent
if you are south of Maidstone I would avoid anything that means you have to drive through Maidstone, it can be a nightmare total gridlock at times for no apparent reason.

Sparrows Oast, Headcorn.
Quite a few yards in Frittenden.
Hemsted Equestrian Centre, Beneden (good hacking on to Hemsted Forest) but I think there was a post on in saying winter turnout not good.
Alex Wyatt’s yard also has access onto Hemsted.
Couple of yards Hawkhurst/Flimwell that have access to Bedgebury for hacking
 

thingstodotoday

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22 March 2009
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1,766
Location
Kent/East Sussex border
Cedars is nice!!!! Can recommend I was there and know the owners.

Avoid Ketches Farm at Crowborough.

Bank Farm is nice but normally has a wait list.

Avoid Bedgebury EC...although not actually sure they are doing livery (again!)
 

Nicnac

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Joined
9 May 2007
Messages
6,372
Cobham isn't that big - I don't know any liveries just compete there. Bank Farm is lovely but was looking more towards btw Staplehurst/Maidstone and Bank is Tonbridge. It's also a very big yard.

Thingstodotoday - why avoid Ketches? Aren't there new people there now? Bedgebury just hires their indoor schools and offers holidays with your horse. No livery but changes coming apparently.....
 
Joined
6 January 2021
Messages
10
if you are south of Maidstone I would avoid anything that means you have to drive through Maidstone, it can be a nightmare total gridlock at times for no apparent reason.

Sparrows Oast, Headcorn.
Quite a few yards in Frittenden.
Hemsted Equestrian Centre, Beneden (good hacking on to Hemsted Forest) but I think there was a post on in saying winter turnout not good.
Alex Wyatt’s yard also has access onto Hemsted
Couple of yards Hawkhurst/Flimwell that have access to Bedgebury for hacking
Thanks for all these suggestions. I rang Sparrows who have a waiting list, unfortunately - they look like a dream!

How do I go about contacting Alex Wyatt? Could you recommend a couple of names in Frittenden? xx
 
Joined
6 January 2021
Messages
10
Cedars is nice!!!! Can recommend I was there and know the owners.

Avoid Ketches Farm at Crowborough.

Bank Farm is nice but normally has a wait list.

Avoid Bedgebury EC...although not actually sure they are doing livery (again!)
I'll give them a ring then :) always useful to have an insider who would recommend x

I think Ketches is a bit far for me, but noted...
 
Joined
6 January 2021
Messages
10
Cobham isn't that big - I don't know any liveries just compete there. Bank Farm is lovely but was looking more towards btw Staplehurst/Maidstone and Bank is Tonbridge. It's also a very big yard.

Thingstodotoday - why avoid Ketches? Aren't there new people there now? Bedgebury just hires their indoor schools and offers holidays with your horse. No livery but changes coming apparently.....
My mistake, it just sounds large! I rang Bank who are also full, asked to be waitlisted.
 

CMcC

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Joined
30 May 2016
Messages
861
Location
Kent
Thanks for all these suggestions. I rang Sparrows who have a waiting list, unfortunately - they look like a dream!

How do I go about contacting Alex Wyatt? Could you recommend a couple of names in Frittenden? xx[/QUOTE

Wyatt Equestrian on Facebook
in Frittenden - Buckhurst Farm and Hammerstream Farm
 

Niffer

Well-Known Member
Joined
30 January 2007
Messages
82
Location
West Sussex
Hello! Old poster under a different name to maintain anonymity as some friends I have IRL know my handle and I haven't made any decisions yet...

Without going into too much detail - due to lockdown and a change in circumstances, I've moved in with my OH who lives between Maidstone and Tonbridge - more specifically between Staplehurst and Leeds Castle, for you deepest darkest Kent lot! I'm thinking of moving the horse closer to where I am/we are to make life easier, and I wonder if I can get more facility for my money here as well...

I know nothing of the horsey community around Kent, so I would welcome any suggestions of where and where not to go - please PM if you would prefer. Requirements are:

- Within a 45min drive of my location mentioned above at the most. I would prefer 30mins and under though if poss?
- Part livery, or ability to pay for help during the week
- Daily all year turnout a must, even if only for a few hours in winter. Must have decent grazing or extra hay supplied
- Decent hacking - some road work doesn't bother me
- Floodlit school or indoor, as I ride after work
- Outward facing stables. I could stable at the end of a barn if I had to, but my preference is for open-fronted
- Ability to not be stabled on straw (happy to pay extra, but I've been on yards before where they are funny about different types of bedding on the yard)
- Good standard of care and reliability of staff (I have heard about some horrors generally, and a lot of them from friends further North in Kent..?)

Extra facilities like a hot shower for horses etc would be fantastic. I don't have a set budget, I would like to see what is out there and go from there with costs etc. - I want to see all options! High standard of care and good turnout and forage access if of the utmost importance to me.

I've had a little snoop on Livery List and on the various facebook groups - Livery List has a few but I also know a lot of yards go unlisted, and I wonder if anyone has some firsthand experience of them? I don't want to post publicly on facebook due to wanting to keep my potential move private until I make any decisions.

TIA! x
My understanding is that no-one should be moving yards whilst we’re in lockdown.

I’d like to but I phoned the BHS first and they said that the government had told them that unless it’s a horse welfare issue it’s not allowed under the rules. Makes sense I guess as we’d be mixing with new folk.
 
Joined
6 January 2021
Messages
10
I won't comment further to keep things anonymous re my situation but horse will need to move soon for welfare as commute is difficult. This is not a brief lockdown move, this is my current situation moving forward so regardless need to find a yard. x

Many have waiting lists at the moment so if there are any others I would be v interested in suggestions...


xxx
 
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