Turn out woes😔

JulesRules

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Some of you may remember from my last thread that I have been out looking at other yards for various reasons. I've found a yard I like, but they aren't likely to have space until about Easter as one of their liveries is buying a house with stables at home. In the meantime I'm sitting it out at my current yard where we have been for over 3 years.

Yesterday I had a stand up row with my YO after she kept the horses in all day and I'm now desperate to move, but yards with spaces would mean moving my horse twice as they are not where I want to be long term.

I moved to my current yard as my last one didn't have enough TO in winter and I was promised good turn out. We have great turnout in summer and things were okay the first couple of winters we were here, although still not as much T/O as I'd like . I think that because last winter was so bad the YO got into the habit of less turn out and it seems to have continued and is a constant bugbear to me, especially since my boys ulcer diagnosis. NB it's assisted so YO turns out and brings in when she likes.

They were getting about 6 hours from about 8 to 2. When it's frosty they go out later and only get about 4 hours from 10 til 2. I have native hardy types and prefer my horses out in the field being horses. I was on a yard for 10 years where they were out from 7 to 4 all winter so that's normal to me ( It's too far away now as I work in the opposite direction) although I realise most yards can't accommodate that in winter.
Yesterday morning I got a text to say they wouldn't be going out. Bearing in mind that I live 2 miles from yard and drive past on way to work and I'd not long left the village , I knew the weather wasn't that bad although a storm was forecast over lunchtime. I replied to the text questioning it along the lines that the weather wasnt that bad. I got a reply saying it was bad and getting worse, so i replied saying it was no worse than the previous day and got a reply saying "I'm not going to keep justifying myself. My decision". I replied saying that, actually as my horse was affected by her decisions I felt she should be prepared to justify herself and that I'd checked the forecast and could see it was bad between 12 and 2 but it was fine before and after that. She replied saying if I argued any further she would throw me off the yard and she's fed up of my opinions (she knows I'm leaving when a space comes up and we had a frank but civil conversation about my reasons recently)

Now before you all start saying she needs to look after the paddocks, I totally appreciate that but we have about 25 acres to about 15 horses so not over stocked. We are on clay but slightly sloping and at the top of a hill so the wind dries it quickly. It's not wet or poached and we have grass still. Also paddocks have had no maintenance in past couple of years so i find it hard to take her serioysly when she uses that as a reason. I have asked for mine to be sprayed as it's getting to be more docks/ thistles than grass in summer, but she said no and won't let me do it myself either. In past years I've also trimmed back all the hedge where it touches the electric, dug up loads of docks, bought wood chippings for my gateway etc to help keep my paddock nice (all after agreement with YO) so I'm not a bad livery.

Anyway, I finish work early on Fridays and by the time I got to the yard the storm had passed and it was warm and sunny if slightly breezy. So I asked YO if I could put horse out while I mucked out. I got a flat no. Okay, can he go in the school while I muck out? No. This lead to a big row as she couldn't give me a reason for it. She was going on about I don't know what the weather is like from my office 20 miles away. I don't but my OH works from home so I knew from him that the weather was exactly as forecast. The only reason she seems to be able to give is that she doesn't want them charging around and hurting themselves in the wind - but surely as horses owner that is my risk to take.

I looked at another yard yesterday afternoon which is brand new and not quite finished. It looks lovely. If will be a tad pricey but not totally unaffordable. The only issue is that the lights to the school are not installed yet so I wouldn't be able to ride in the evenings for a while yet. I'm out doing Quest a couple of times a month so riding in the week is quite important to me, but maybe I should forgo that for a quiet life.

I'm tempted to move to a yard with space and lights which is a bit too far from home , and then move again in a few months but that will cause my boy the most stress.

I'm so frustrated that I can't find a yard to move to, but I can't bear where I am.

Sorry for the big rant but I just need to get it off my chest. 😩😩😩😩
 

ihatework

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Well ultimately it’s her yard, her rules. She doesn’t have to justify herself to you. And from the sounds of the text exchange you were lucky she didn’t tell you to pack up and leave.

I definitely think you need a back up plan because it sounds like the friction will reach the point where you will be forced into leaving.
 

twiggy2

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I always want turn out whatever the weather.
That said I think you may be creating more of an issue for yourself by arguing with the YO, at the end of the day it is their yard and their choice.
I would have stayed put and worked through the reduced turnout, not sure what I would do now.
In the area I had horses in many yards promised turnout but dont deliver it, so you may move and be no better off on the newly finished yard
 
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I also think you are lucky not to be told to pack your bags after that exchange. It's her yard and she's managing as she sees fit.
I understand everyone wants turnout all year and so they should, it's good for the horses, however on one hand you are saying you want the horses turned onto the land, clay, in wet weather, then you are saying your paddock is full of docks and weeds in the summer and nothing done about it. If you managed your own land you would be aware that weeds will grow over grass on overgrazed, compacted, infertile land. The only way to reduce this is to manage the land. Without seeing the exact setup it's hard to say but maybe your yard owner is trying to preserve the land to make the fields less weedy and better for the summer ?
At the end of the day if things have become this sour you are probably best of finding another yard for an interim period or even better buying your own land so you can manage it as you see fit.
I'm sorry your in this situation, must be upsetting and stressful for everyone
 

Leo Walker

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I'd move. There is no guarantee if or when a space will come up on the other yard and this situation isnt good for anyone. Get a head torch and ride a couple of times a week in the dark. Its easily doable especially as an interim measure.
 

BlackRider

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There are so many yards where I've been promised all year turnout - and I do question what about in bad weather in winter, get assured it won't be a problem, then the story changes when you are there.

This is my usual reason for having to move yards, I know nowhere is perfect and its very hard to find yards who won't restrict because its their yard and they are entitled to change their mind :(
 
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Agree with others, her yard and so her decision! It’s been extremely wet and windy in many areas and although ideally it’s great to have them out for as long as possible there are also safety and management issues to consider. No guarantee the other yard will have a space until they have been given notice so maybe look for somewhere else asp. If you are a serial mover you may find this will become increasingly difficult.
 

Pearlsasinger

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Ours are at home and are in today, despite the fact that I like them to get out every day. The weather certainly isn't fit to ride - I nearly blew over in the yard earlier on, despite being no light weight - and the land is getting wet. I can see a relatively rarely used footpath across a field from my window and there is standing water on it, despite the fact that we are on a hill. I am hoping to get them out later, while we muck out and set fair, after the wind has dropped a bit.
 

SusieT

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her yard, her decision. you have already correctly identified that the turnout situation is unacceptable. fighting with her over text is inappropriate- you might have had more luck with turnout in the afternoon had you not had the spat in the morning. you were lucky not to find your horses evicted.
Work through the situation until you can move- its not that far away while annoying. take horse for hand grazing etc an dont start a fight over text!
 

WandaMare

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It all sounds like a big fuss considering the YO just wanted to keep the horses in for a day, even if I didn't like it I would have just gone along with it, a. to be respectful to her and b. because it won't harm them to stay in for one day. You sound as though you would be better to get a place of your own then you can manage the turnout yourself. Your current yard winter turnout doesn't sound that bad to me, especially if you have got to this time in the winter and still have grass. I would apologise to her especially for the stand up row on the yard, I can't imagine doing this with a YO and still expecting to have a livery space! You don't want your new yard to hear about things like this otherwise they may well think you will be too difficult to keep happy and give your space away to someone else at Easter.
 

JulesRules

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I find it amazing that livery yards are the only place where people seem to forget that there is a paying customer at the end of the day.
It was just as windy today and the day before and on both those days the horses were allowed out. Yesterday all the surrounding yards had horses out. When I arrived today my horse was grazing happily and it was just as windy.
She freely admitted yesterday that the reason they weren't out was due to her managing horses differently from me and therefore liking them in when it's wet and windy. My point is that it's not her horse to make that decision.
 

JulesRules

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You might think it's a big fuss considering she wanted to keep them in for a day, and I've bitten my tongue over and over. It's any excuse to bring them in at any time and quite frankly I've had enough of it and I've got to breaking point with that other stuff.
I just want to be somewhere where I can enjoy my horse in peace.
Unfortunately having my own yard isn't an option due to work hours.
 
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I find it amazing that livery yards are the only place where people seem to forget that there is a paying customer at the end of the day.
It was just as windy today and the day before and on both those days the horses were allowed out. Yesterday all the surrounding yards had horses out. When I arrived today my horse was grazing happily and it was just as windy.
She freely admitted yesterday that the reason they weren't out was due to her managing horses differently from me and therefore liking them in when it's wet and windy. My point is that it's not her horse to make that decision.
I don't think people forget that liveries are paying for a service it's more that your yard owner provides a service, you don't agree with/like the service she has chosen to supply.
You wouldn't go in to pizza hut and expect them to provide you with a curry......
She provides what she provides and it's up to you if you wish to pay for that service or not. If not you find another yard that provides the type of service you are looking for.
I can imagine it's stressful with fewer and fewer yards providing what your looking for but if it's not possible to get your own place you will need to find somewhere that provides a service that suits your needs the most. Good luck I hope you get it sorted
 

WandaMare

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to be fair, livery yards are not the only businesses which have rules and you can't stand shouting at people in other businesses. It is hard to see your horse in when you want them to be out grazing happily but even when you have your own yard, you still need to keep them in sometimes eg when paddock maintenance work is underway. It really doesn't do them any harm. For your own sake I would try to detach yourself from the situation a little bit, take some of the emotional aggro out of it and just focus on the fact that your horse is fine.

I have mine at home and I bought them in after just a few hours yesterday because my ground was absolutely sodden. Even when the sun came out later in the afternoon the ground was still very wet so it was an unusually bad day.

I would seriously try and mend any damage done with the YO if only to protect your reputation before you move to the new place.
 

JulesRules

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Nail on head Whiteflower. I wouldn't expect to go to Pizza Hut and when I order they have no Pizza only curry.

The point is that the weather wasn't too bad to turn out, the paddocks were not too bad to turn out. It's just that when the weather isn't nice she likes to see our horses cosy in their stables. My point is that is a management decision for the horse owner and not the yard owner.
 

ihatework

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Nail on head Whiteflower. I wouldn't expect to go to Pizza Hut and when I order they have no Pizza only curry.

The point is that the weather wasn't too bad to turn out, the paddocks were not too bad to turn out. It's just that when the weather isn't nice she likes to see our horses cosy in their stables. My point is that is a management decision for the horse owner and not the yard owner.
No.
It’s a management decision as to what facilities will be accessible.
You don’t agree with it, fine. Move.
 
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Nail on head Whiteflower. I wouldn't expect to go to Pizza Hut and when I order they have no Pizza only curry.

The point is that the weather wasn't too bad to turn out, the paddocks were not too bad to turn out. It's just that when the weather isn't nice she likes to see our horses cosy in their stables. My point is that is a management decision for the horse owner and not the yard owner.
No but if they have no pizza they may alter their menu to an alternative and then it's your choice if you order or not 😉
U say there have been several issue so I guess you are aware that at times the yard owner has decided for what ever reason the horses needed to be in.....at the first point the service provided changed, you had the option to move to find a service that suited you more.
Sadly arguing with the yard owner as she has decided to change how she wishes to run her business and manage her land will unlikely get you very far. Chalk it down to experience and move to somewhere suitable
 

Lammy

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Nail on head Whiteflower. I wouldn't expect to go to Pizza Hut and when I order they have no Pizza only curry.

The point is that the weather wasn't too bad to turn out, the paddocks were not too bad to turn out. It's just that when the weather isn't nice she likes to see our horses cosy in their stables. My point is that is a management decision for the horse owner and not the yard owner.
It’s your opinion that the weather is not bad enough to turn out in. In her opinion it is too bad for the horses to go out in.
Her opinion wins as it is her land.
If you don’t like her opinion then move.
 

JFTD-WS

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Whilst I sympathise, in that I too like my lot out, whatever the weather, I do think you have gone about this in quite a "dangerous" manner. I'm amazed that you'd bicker with the yard manager over text when she has decided not to turn them out - it's her yard, and that is her decision. If you don't like it, you can put up with it, or you can move - that's the reality.

I have been in the same situation - I was getting near daily texts that my ponies' already restricted turnout (when on full livery) was cancelled that day due to totally normal weather or events (actually, I suspect, due to the YM's fear of handling some of the horses when it was a bit wet / slippy). I had also been reassured that the restrictions on winter turnout would not be as draconian as they were - the reality was different. So I gave notice, and I moved. I took them back to DIY, and sacrificed nice facilities and help, for decent turnout. I don't even have a school at the moment, purely because there are so few places which offer genuinely decent turnout. I have a long term plan to deal with that, but it definitely doesn't involve trying to convince yards to run in the way I think they should.

Fwiw, all the horses in the two main herds on my yard (i.e. other than mine) stayed in yesterday because the YM didn't think the benefits of them going out in that weather were worth the risk (to them, but mostly also to her) in turning them out. Having been up there doing my lot in that weather, I entirely agreed with her on that! Today is much more tolerable.
 

Bellaboo18

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I can actually see your frustration OP. You've been promised something (regular turnout) from the yard and you're not getting it. I don't think it should be YOs rules end of. In an ideal world you'd work together and compromise. Each horse is an individual so I expect a YO to work with you about the management of your horse.
I'd look to move now but until then avoid any confrontation it sounds like she'll only dig her heals in!
 
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Good god, you’re lucky you didn’t find your ned tied up outside the yard. You can’t argue with someone when it’s their property. I’d move out quickly in the interim as the relationship with her has become too confrontational. Livery owners don’t get paid enough rent to keep specific people happy when they can replace them easily.
 

scats

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I do understand your frustration OP, but I wonder if you’re initial text exchange has got the YOs back up a bit, hence why she wouldn’t let you turn out later while you mucked out. I wonder if you’d not questioned her decision in the morning, if she may have been a little more amenable to your request later on.
Unfortunately, her yard, her rules. It’s getting much lighter at night now- might it only be a few weeks before you could squeeze in a ride after work if you moved to the other yard?
 

Cortez

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Have you ever run a farm? It's not to do with the weather on any given day, it's to do with the state of the ground. Today was breezy and sunny here after days of torrential rain, my horses didn't go out in the fields (they did however get ridden, lunged and turned out for a couple of hours in the arena). They may go out in the next couple of days, but it will depend entirely on the state of the ground.

As a result of this kind of management I don't have weeds, ruts or sick pasture. Nor do I have horses which are under exercised.
 
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I really sympathise with your predicament. I was on an assisted DIY yard years ago during a wet winter. Another woman and I arrived at 6am to turn out our horses and two belonging to another livery before we went to work. We'd rugged them all up and had them tied up on the yard ready to go when the girl who ran the yard ( who'd been around all the while we were there) walked past and said ' No tun out til further notice.' Most liveries worked full time and the school was small and flooded. What made us cross was that there was lots of turn out and the fields we used were already trashed. Resting them at that point wasn't really going to help them. The yard owner often didn't turn her horses out and didn't really see that they needed it. I think your owner is being unreasonable. She could have offered a couple of hours a day - at least the horses could have a roll and a leg stretch. Easter's not that far away - I would grin and bear it where you are. If you can try to arrange your schedule so you don't see her ( I've done that!) Although your horse won't be as happy it will survive- can you walk in hand so it can graze? Just be very careful with the new yard and try to get a contract that stipulates yard rules re turn out etc. I've been on some dreadful yards where the owner's have appalling attitudes. It was one of the reasons I was never going to have another horse. Livery is one of the few service industries that is stuck in the past- we're expected to put up and shut up. 'If you don't like it you can always go' isn't acceptable in any other industry.
 
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Not sure what type of horses you have but if its wet and windy mine would much rather be inside stuffing themselves with hay, its much safer for me as well as less chance of slipping in the mud or on the ice. If you'd rather have them out all the time maybe you need to find a yard where this is the norm which would mean still paying for the wear and tear on the field/reseeding/rolling/fence maintenance as well as arranging to have hay out either taken out by wheelbarrow or tractor? Have you factored the cost of maintaining and buying the tractor or is it easy enough to just take a net out, making sure there's enough to go round. All this takes time and should be reflected in the livery cost assuming you're not going to do it yourself? I suspect the rates charged don't cover the full costs and your yard owner is getting rather tired of having to run round after non-compliant people, maybe her solution will be to call it a day and then everyone will have to find somewhere else to go.
 
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