Why are there no good livery yards?

VioletStripe

Well-Known Member
Joined
28 July 2008
Messages
4,238
Location
Kent/Sussex Borders
As title really... apologies if done before.

I recently posted looking for yards in a particular area as I am probably moving in around a year. And the number that have been ruled out seems monumentally high!

I'm very lucky where I am now. But I have had previous experience of a truly dreadful yard - to the point where even now, years later, if I drive anywhere near it I get a horrible sick feeling in my stomach and begin to feel anxious, which I felt so much of the time when my horse was stabled there!

So, genuine question, why are there so many terrible yards around? Some of which are BHS approved (my old yard included)? Is it the pressures of making money as a business owner, causing lapses/short-cuts in care along the way? Every few days on here there are advice threads started by people in clearly very difficult situations with livery - and while I also appreciate a lot of clients are not the easiest to have on a yard, and there are two sides to every story... some of what I read makes me :eek:

I guess another question I have is... is this mostly a UK issue? What is livery like internationally? I know the UK average standard of riding doesn't tend to be as good as countries such as Germany, but what about the livery services and general standard of horse care too?

I don't mean to start any arguments on here, and I would really love to hear from some yard owners and managers! But I find it so shocking - a lot of the yards I have been warned about isn't due to personal preference/different attitudes, it is just strict 'barge pole' criteria, where it seems as if basic care is totally non-existent. Personal experiences if happy to be shared are also encouraged. Some of mine were, and not limited to -

- Huge herd turnout (around 40 horses, for which there was not enough space or grass) in awful fields and turnout was once in a blue moon, often they wouldn't tell you if they had or hadn't. Sometimes used to refrain from telling you unless you were literally there on the yard during the (tiny) turnout hours that they could go out, but only if you put the horse out and brought in yourself. Despite paying for full livery. If there was a drop of rain, horses would not go out.

- Strict hay measures, ie your horse didn't get enough ever and used to have finished their net by 8pm in the evening and wouldn't get any until they were mucked out - which would often be very late in the morning. If like my horse your horse didn't get their hard feed this was bizarre, and they wouldn't give extra hay to compensate. Only hard feed you were allowed to give was their awful off-brand stuff, and if you wanted to order in your own they would ask you to make your feeds up for the week yourself.

- Mucking out. If you were on straw this was every other day and they never took out wet. Shavings were done daily but you paid more (fair) and they weren't mucked out well - and lord were they stingey with the bed.

- Bitchiness, and favouritism. You couldn't complain at all, and if you asked for an extra wedge of hay or if your hay was mouldy (it often was) and you voiced this, you were deemed a perpetual complainer and a trouble maker.

- Strangles outbreak not reported, and not handled properly. Cross contamination of horses, and the grooms would muck out an infected horse in trainers and not change equipment or wash hands and boots to move onto healthy horses. It was not strangles, you see. Strangles would **never** appear at this yard.


I'm sure there's more which I am forgetting but this is what springs to mind... There are some wonderful yards and wonderful staff and YOs and YMs around, I would like to add! But regardless, any thoughts and experiences on the original question? Does this appear in other industries to the same extent?
 

Polos Mum

Well-Known Member
Joined
22 September 2012
Messages
5,212
Location
West Yorkshire
Livery fees haven't increased much in 20 years since we bought our own place. I was paying £110 a week then, I could get the same now. Costs are way up over that same time.
Land is expensive and so the only way to make it work is to cut corners.

Managing my own space, fencing, harrowing, weed spraying, poo picking, fertilising, horses constantly breaking things we didn't think of (ball cock in the water trough this week) you realise how much effort (both £ cost and time) goes into a field - let alone stables, school etc. and trying to earn a living from it - it's really tough.

But there's a 'going rate' and people don't want to pay for what it would truly cost - if you paid yourself even minimum wage for the time to run a yard.
 

be positive

Well-Known Member
Joined
9 July 2011
Messages
19,401
All the above from polos mum, plus we have a lot of horses, very little space and a lot of people wanting DIY which does not seem to be common elsewhere, the real cost of providing the facilities is rarely covered, the chance of making a living wage is almost impossible unless you own the property and are just trying to cover costs or have anther income source.
It does not justify badly managed yards but does make it hard to do things really well, there are issues abroad as well, someone in France frequently had a moan about lack of turnout, poor standards of mucking out, the stables were, I think, tiny so it is not exclusive to here.
 

Eclipse 2020

Active Member
Joined
23 May 2020
Messages
34
Lack of competition between yards since they are to far away from each other and nowing they can get away with stuff that is not right because nobody will report them . They now when the bhs expansion is coming so they make it appear like the yard is perfect.
 

blitznbobs

Well-Known Member
Joined
19 June 2010
Messages
4,842
Location
Cheshire
Great livery is out there and it’s expensive. It’s also not diy. People can’t make a living out of diy that’s nice so good livery is full and that is expensive. I have fab facilities at home ( choice of brick or wooden stables for 8 horses, way too much grass and a 40 x60 ménage with access directly onto bridleways) and prior to lockdown I chose to keep my ridden horses at livery and only brought them home to keep me sane during lockdown. The reason that there is so much crap livery out there is that small private yard owners like myself who would have a diy livery all things being equal don’t because of the trouble that they’ve experienced in the past... and so diy is on larger yards where they have to cram them in to make it pay .
 

Caol Ila

Well-Known Member
Joined
23 January 2012
Messages
4,034
Location
Glasgow
I took me seven years to move out of a yard. One of the main reasons was that I failed to find anything that didn't feel like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. Eventually there was an issue which caused me to jump and say to hell with it, but for a while, it wasn't that bad, at least from a horse welfare perspective, and I found so many that seemed worse.

But I found so many places I would not touch with a barge pole. I guess anyone can turn a dilapidated shed into a barn and call themselves a livery yard. And as we've said in the other thread, the standard of professionalism in the horse industry is non-existent, so you can be completely out of your tree, and someone will still keep their horse there.
 

Leo Walker

Well-Known Member
Joined
19 July 2013
Messages
12,387
Location
Northampton
Everyone always says its due to people not charging enough. Its not been my experience at all. Some of the most expensive yards have been the worst. I'm on a very cheap DIY yard now. Its a lovely yard, enough land and almost no restrictions on turn out. The YO is just putting in a new outdoor school. Admittedly he can do it cheaper than most as he has labour and machinery, but he is making enough from the cheap DIY to do it.
 

Leo Walker

Well-Known Member
Joined
19 July 2013
Messages
12,387
Location
Northampton
What people are prepared to pay is just not enough to pay the real costs.

35 years ago the yard where I worked charged £150 per week for full livery (included daily grooming, grooming, tacking and untacking, tack cleaning but not exercising). And I hear of yards charging less than that now.
30 ish years ago full livery near me was £45 a week, its now £120 so prices have definitely gone up in some areas
 

JFTDWS

Well-Known Member
Joined
4 November 2010
Messages
20,885
One person's idea of a "good" yard isn't always another's - I've been on very smart, expensive yards where the facilities were lovely and the yard was great - if you were happy with limited hay and limited turnout in exchange for shows / clinics on site and lovely arenas. Lots of people are OK with that.

I moved to a cheap private yard which worked great while my fellow livery was a good egg, but went downhill rapidly with a newbie (and a YO with signs of dementia). Now I keep them at a very cheap place with fabulous turnout and hacking, which a lot of people dismiss instantly as there's no arena at the moment and it looks a bit run down. It's actually really well run.

I've been on really professional DIY yards and really small, unprofessional ones. When the YM/YO is sensible, and the other liveries are sensible it works well. When they're not, it's a nightmare - regardless of price, facilities and infrastructure.
 

chaps89

Well-Known Member
Joined
8 July 2009
Messages
5,751
Location
Surrey
I pay peanuts where I am now. It's truly DIY, if you want anything done, you do it yourself. We don't have a school but can ride in the fields when the ground allows and reasonable hacking considering we're in suburbia.
It's a small yard, I'm the only one that rides, everyone rubs along ok. I suspect there's a few politics but YO has her head screwed on and sees through any nonsense (though I tend to keep myself to myself to stay out of it!)
Honestly, I'd pay more to be there if I had to.
On the other end of the spectrum, there is a yard 10 minutes away which is all singing all dancing with every facility you'd like. It is substantially more expensive though.
Round here I find there is no shortage of yards and if I go back to Surrey I could list 20 odd yards just off the top of my head I reckon. But what there isn't a lot of is yards like where I am now, small types, on old farms etc, quite a lot of purpose built yards. And good luck finding a private yard or field to rent!
I've noticed prices for DIY at least are starting to go up on the most part. I'd love it not to of course, but I do think it's fair and about time
 

Cinnamontoast

Fais pas chier!
Joined
6 July 2010
Messages
27,617
I reckon the yards are out there, there are a few near me, but they are madly expensive and don’t do DIY, which means I wouldn’t touch them. No offence to anyone on full livery, but I know I’d be complacent and never go up. 😳
 

Winters100

Well-Known Member
Joined
18 April 2015
Messages
1,457
I am sure that there are many reasons, but I do think that one is that many people who could take liveries choose not to because it just doesn't make enough money to compensate for the aggravation. Plus land prices in the UK are at a level that buying a livery yard with the intention to run it as a business makes no sensible return. It amazes me that livery prices where I live are the same as in the UK, even though land prices and labour costs are a fraction of those back home. I do also feel that in some cases liveries can be very difficult. I see this on the yard where I am now, with many owners simply gossiping about problems rather than addressing them calmly and politely with the owner. And yes, there are some truly terrible yards in every country, but sadly these are sometimes able to continue with poor management due to lack of competition.
 

WelshD

Well-Known Member
Joined
19 October 2009
Messages
7,817
I think livery yards have evolved and sprung up based on two huge issues in the horse world at the moment:

Style over substance
Quantity over quality

It’s not unusual now for someone to have several horses they seriously can’t afford so cheap livery yards with no insurance, poor fencing, poor management etc spring up that cram the numbers in and then offer no turnout.

Yet they continue to be filled with people who don’t seem to do the basic sums of livery spaces v turnout and are seemingly stunned when turnout isn’t forthcoming.
Invariably an argument breaks out (notice that lack of insurance and shoddy fences doesn’t become an issue until the livery has to pay notice...)

At the other end of the scale there are posh yards with either little turnout or restrictions in an effort to keep it pristine.

Until there is a time when investing in your horse’s and your own welfare and education comes higher up the pecking order, until the extent of your saddlepad collection ranks lower than your horses turnout and until people start to accept that they can probably look after one horse better than a string of bin end rescues unsuitable places will still fill spaces.
 

Frumpoon

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 May 2011
Messages
1,850
It's a completely unregulated industry and the price of land means only very rich people can own said land and offer livery. Add in further pressures such as being near big cities that further increase price and reduce availability of land makes for very little competition in the already unregulated industry.

Several of the better known Livery yards in my area and environs were bought by very rich men for their daughters to 'run' as an amusement/business because they were unemployable in any other sphere
 

bluehorse

Well-Known Member
Joined
2 January 2008
Messages
279
Great livery is out there and it’s expensive. It’s also not diy. People can’t make a living out of diy that’s nice so good livery is full and that is expensive. I have fab facilities at home ( choice of brick or wooden stables for 8 horses, way too much grass and a 40 x60 ménage with access directly onto bridleways) and prior to lockdown I chose to keep my ridden horses at livery and only brought them home to keep me sane during lockdown. The reason that there is so much crap livery out there is that small private yard owners like myself who would have a diy livery all things being equal don’t because of the trouble that they’ve experienced in the past... and so diy is on larger yards where they have to cram them in to make it pay .
I don’t agree with this at all. I’ve always been DIY and have been on some well run, reasonably priced yards with good facilities, both private yards and small commercial yards. There are plenty of good DIY yards around which are clearly making a living, or they wouldn’t be able to do it at all. It probably varies by area though and having recently relocated I’ve had to switch to part livery (all care excluding exercise) as the quality of management on DIY yards in my new area has been appalling, with yard owners who don’t have the level of knowledge it takes to run a yard safely, and are not experienced enough to deal with the type of horses they have taken on. Funnily enough though the costs have been fair, and the yards and facilities have been really nice, just awful management.

Since having changed to part livery unfortunately the situation is the same, this time with a yard owner who has good knowledge but some extremely dated ideas, and who only sees things her own way. She has made management changes without consulting me which would have been very detrimental to his health if I hadn’t realised, then tried to deny it. She is very difficult to deal with when trying to discuss any concerns and has pretty much criticised everything I’ve done from the minute I got there. She clearly thinks I’m an idiot and never misses an opportunity to have a dig at me and my horse. I am just trying to avoid her when I can. So given my one experience of part livery against nearly 30 years of DIY it is never worth the hassle of handing daily care over to someone who thinks they know your horse better than you do. Or perhaps, as a livery, I am deemed to be causing the hassle myself by expecting the service I am paying for, and the requirements for care which I talked through in detail before I went there.

So unfortunately paying a lot more for part/full livery is no guarantee that it’s a good yard, just as a yard being DIY means that it must be a bad yard. Any yard needs to make the money that an owner needs from it, but cutting corners and shortchanging people is not the way. Misinforming and lying to liveries, and promising things they have no intention of providing is not the way to do it. Their business model needs properly adjusting if they are losing money. If they are a good yard, good liveries will do anything they can to stay.

Having been on livery yards all my life I am sick to death of it to be honest, and despairing at the moment as I am yet again stuck on a really badly managed yard that is costing me a lot of money to be at. If I had my own facilities I would never put my horse on a yard again.
 

blitznbobs

Well-Known Member
Joined
19 June 2010
Messages
4,842
Location
Cheshire
I don’t agree with this at all. I’ve always been DIY and have been on some well run, reasonably priced yards with good facilities, both private yards and small commercial yards. There are plenty of good DIY yards around which are clearly making a living, or they wouldn’t be able to do it at all. It probably varies by area though and having recently relocated I’ve had to switch to part livery (all care excluding exercise) as the quality of management on DIY yards in my new area has been appalling, with yard owners who don’t have the level of knowledge it takes to run a yard safely, and are not experienced enough to deal with the type of horses they have taken on. Funnily enough though the costs have been fair, and the yards and facilities have been really nice, just awful management.

Since having changed to part livery unfortunately the situation is the same, this time with a yard owner who has good knowledge but some extremely dated ideas, and who only sees things her own way. She has made management changes without consulting me which would have been very detrimental to his health if I hadn’t realised, then tried to deny it. She is very difficult to deal with when trying to discuss any concerns and has pretty much criticised everything I’ve done from the minute I got there. She clearly thinks I’m an idiot and never misses an opportunity to have a dig at me and my horse. I am just trying to avoid her when I can. So given my one experience of part livery against nearly 30 years of DIY it is never worth the hassle of handing daily care over to someone who thinks they know your horse better than you do. Or perhaps, as a livery, I am deemed to be causing the hassle myself by expecting the service I am paying for, and the requirements for care which I talked through in detail before I went there.

So unfortunately paying a lot more for part/full livery is no guarantee that it’s a good yard, just as a yard being DIY means that it must be a bad yard. Any yard needs to make the money that an owner needs from it, but cutting corners and shortchanging people is not the way. Misinforming and lying to liveries, and promising things they have no intention of providing is not the way to do it. Their business model needs properly adjusting if they are losing money. If they are a good yard, good liveries will do anything they can to stay.

Having been on livery yards all my life I am sick to death of it to be honest, and despairing at the moment as I am yet again stuck on a really badly managed yard that is costing me a lot of money to be at. If I had my own facilities I would never put my horse on a yard again.
Oh not all full livery yards are good - I’ve been on some awful ones ... good diy in my experience depends on the yard owner not making a living out of it but using it as a supplement to fund their hobby... I’ve done this and if you have the right livery it can be not only a business relationship but can become a great boon to both parties and in many cases great friendships but when your yard is also your home and you have a bad livery it is a holy hell. I’ve experienced both but because of the latter I will not have liveries at my home again — the question was asked why there aren’t many good livery yards and I personally think this is why there aren’t more good diy yards out there ... but there are more good (acceptable) full livery yards
 

ihatework

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 September 2004
Messages
18,526
We live on an overpopulated Island where land is increasingly coming at a premium.

There has over the years been increasing hobby horse ownership. It’s actually been pretty accessible.

So we have lots of horses and not a lot of land. Plenty of owners trying to keep horses on not a huge budget.

Many of the yards trying to run as a truly profitable business struggle to compete price wise against the yards who are running just to pay for the upkeep and aren’t seeking a real return from the property/land.

There is quite a large element of YO/YM not always having the best people/management skills.

It’s a funny old business that is for sure. I wouldn’t want to try and make a living from it.

That said it bemused me how some people seem to jump from one awful livery yard to the next. It’s not been my experience, on the whole I’ve been reasonably happy with what I have received facility/service wise for the price I have paid (across the spectrum). Naturally the odd grumble here and there, but only one real disaster. The main thing I really struggle to find is well managed group turnout on a yard that is set up for training competition horses. It’s all small paddock individual.
 

Caol Ila

Well-Known Member
Joined
23 January 2012
Messages
4,034
Location
Glasgow
"...this time with a yard owner who has good knowledge but some extremely dated ideas, and who only sees things her own way. She has made management changes without consulting me which would have been very detrimental to his health if I hadn’t realised, then tried to deny it. She is very difficult to deal with when trying to discuss any concerns and has pretty much criticised everything I’ve done from the minute I got there. She clearly thinks I’m an idiot and never misses an opportunity to have a dig at me and my horse."

Did we have the same yard owner?? We didn't, because mine was a man. But the same person in spirit.

I wish there was more individual turnout paddocks in Scotland. Unfortunately, my horse needs it and it's slim pickins' here. Hence tolerating shight for so long.
 

JJS

Well-Known Member
Joined
10 September 2013
Messages
1,902
Maybe this is more of an issue with full livery? I have my horses on DIY, which means I never have to worry about their standard of care, as every decision regarding their welfare is made by me.

Perhaps because of this, there’s only one livery yard where I’ve had problems (the yard owner was the most mean-spirited and odious bully I’ve ever met). Of the remaining three, one was perfectly pleasant but lacking in facilities, the second was great until it ended up with too many horses, and my current yard is absolutely wonderful. I’ve been here five years so far and hope to stay for many, many more.
 

JJS

Well-Known Member
Joined
10 September 2013
Messages
1,902
Great livery is out there and it’s expensive. It’s also not diy. People can’t make a living out of diy that’s nice so good livery is full and that is expensive. I have fab facilities at home ( choice of brick or wooden stables for 8 horses, way too much grass and a 40 x60 ménage with access directly onto bridleways) and prior to lockdown I chose to keep my ridden horses at livery and only brought them home to keep me sane during lockdown. The reason that there is so much crap livery out there is that small private yard owners like myself who would have a diy livery all things being equal don’t because of the trouble that they’ve experienced in the past... and so diy is on larger yards where they have to cram them in to make it pay .
I wholeheartedly disagree with this. Three out of the four DIY livery yards I’ve been on have been fantastic, and none of the YOs seem to have trouble with the running of their yards. I always feel so frustrated when I see these threads, as they always end with livery bashing!

Everyone always says its due to people not charging enough. Its not been my experience at all. Some of the most expensive yards have been the worst. I'm on a very cheap DIY yard now. Its a lovely yard, enough land and almost no restrictions on turn out. The YO is just putting in a new outdoor school. Admittedly he can do it cheaper than most as he has labour and machinery, but he is making enough from the cheap DIY to do it.
That sounds very similar to my setup: a working farm with no restrictions on turn out, wonderful hacking, a large outdoor school and a small indoor. The price is pretty standard for DIY in our area, so I don’t believe that you necessarily have to pay through the nose to find a good yard. The worst yard I was on was actually the most expensive!
 

CanteringCarrot

Well-Known Member
Joined
1 April 2018
Messages
1,762
In Western Germany it isn't fab. There's not a whole lot of DIY unless you rent a entire small stable/shelter and field. There are a few "open stables" as we call them around here. Mostly for people that don't ride, have old horses, or just pet horses, there are no schools, but sometimes hacking. Sometimes this is the only way to ensure turnout though.

Where I lived before options were a bit slim, but I found a great place. When I moved about South there appeared to be so many more options. Tons of yards. I was excited. Turns out 90% of them are shite 😬 for various reasons. I found this to be, um, interesting.

I'm at a place that is on the upper end of cost for the area, but worth it and not outrageous. Not a lot of liveries when I first came, now there are many as I think people are starting to discover the place or maybe travel a bit further for a good place. There are some minor things I'd change, but still the best place within 40 min of my house. No huge complaints.

The problem here, in the area, is that turnout from November to May is almost non existent. They don't want to destroy the fields and most places can't be bothered to build winter paddocks. It is so normal for horses to be in a box 24/7. Straw bedding with this mattress technique is common. Basically, they don't take out the pee and it's gross, to me.

Lots of uneducated people. Or doing things the "old way" because that's the way it is. Even if they recognize there is a better way! Just a lot of strange old thinking that I cannot comprehend.

It's definitely cheaper here in comparison to lost UK livery prices. So that's a plus!
 

MiniMilton

Well-Known Member
Joined
31 March 2013
Messages
980
Location
Ireland
I would say perhaps people are not finding the good DIY yards because they are rarely advertised. If someone is running a DIY from their home then they will want to practically hand pick the liveries.

There is a fab DIY livery down the road from me and a space hasn't become available in about 10 years. Liveries between horses continue to pay for an empty stable for fear of losing their place. And when a space does come up it certainly isn't advertised, someone who is known by one of the other liveries is allowed to join.

And having offered full livery in the past I can confirm there is very little money to be made unless you are operating on a massive scale. You are buying hay, feed and bedding at a reduced quantity so at a higher rate. Top quality feed and hay is expensive. By the time you take out all the expenses you realise you are actually working below minimum wage for the amount of hours you put in. And then some twat of a horse breaks a fence, your jump wings, a gate. Field maintenance is massively expensive. Herbicides would actually break the bank if you happen to have a problem with docks or bracken.

I know a number of smaller top quality full livery yards close in recent years simply because the return was too small.
 

Lois Lame

Well-Known Member
Joined
11 May 2018
Messages
751
Forty years ago, a friend of mine left Oz for England and did the BHSAI course. After that, she got a job in Germany working for a wealthy family and their horses.

She told me how thankful she was that she'd experienced the UK way of stable management before sampling the German way, because it was sooooo much better to have learned the good system before experiencing a not-to-good system. (I haven't put that very well. I'm in the middle of cooking dinner.)

At the time, I had a German riding instructor here in Oz and I told him of my friend's experience. Even he said that the British were better at stable management than the Germans.
 

Flicker

Well-Known Member
Joined
18 January 2007
Messages
3,752
Livery yards, in my experience, seem to be where customer service goes to die. I have been on two yards in my area, one DIY, the other part-livery. Both have ok-ish facilities: decent size stables, adequate turn out, indoor and outdoor schools, access to hacking etc. Both have been monumentally frustrating for me at times because of the YO and YM’s refusal to engage with me on simple matters or show any flexibility. Most of the time, when anything is raised by liveries, they either got defensive or just walked away. I get that not every request is able to be accommodated, but an adult conversation about why what I am asking for is not possible would go a long way to maintaining the goodwill of liveries and reducing the mutterings in the feed room.

Staff also need better performance management, in my experience. I would see the same staff make the same mistakes over and over, with no consequences. I don’t think people should get into trouble, but if a mistake keeps being made, in my workplace we look at process, training etc to try to figure out why. The yards just said ‘sorry’ and did it again. Likewise, I have seen very good staff leave because they weren’t recognised for their good work and were even seen as a threat!

Good leadership costs nothing, but people are far more likely to overlook aspects that aren’t perfect, if they feel that they are valued as clients and their horse/s‘ (let’s face it, probably our biggest monthly outgoing after mortgage or rent payments) welfare is being put first.

I also think we have responsibilities as liveries to be polite and respectful, to recognise that staff are often on minimum wage and working in difficult conditions with sometimes quite dangerous animals. Even if we are frustrated, moderating behaviour and language goes a long way to (I have heard grown women screaming like toddlers at staff and it is very unedifying).
 

Bernster

Well-Known Member
Joined
14 August 2011
Messages
6,632
Location
London
I’m fairly easy going and accept compromises at yards, but I’ve been around the area so long I’m running out of ones I’d want to livery at now! There’s maybe 1 or 2 that I’d go to if I were to move again.

most of the yards I’ve been at have actually been ok, but there been a couple of things I should not have put up with. Moving makes you realise that. Although there are lots of yards in the area, the quality isn’t great sadly.
 

CanteringCarrot

Well-Known Member
Joined
1 April 2018
Messages
1,762
Forty years ago, a friend of mine left Oz for England and did the BHSAI course. After that, she got a job in Germany working for a wealthy family and their horses.

She told me how thankful she was that she'd experienced the UK way of stable management before sampling the German way, because it was sooooo much better to have learned the good system before experiencing a not-to-good system. (I haven't put that very well. I'm in the middle of cooking dinner.)

At the time, I had a German riding instructor here in Oz and I told him of my friend's experience. Even he said that the British were better at stable management than the Germans.
This does not surprise me at all that your friend would say this. Things have improved over the years, but as I said, a lot of folks are just "stuck" in their ways or the way it was/is.



I also have no idea how one really profits from running a livery. When there are lessons, training, and other services provided, then it's a stronger possibility.

I suppose it balances out in some cases, but my horse is easier to keep than his large neighbor, for example. Mine takes less hay, is very neat in his box, and only requires a handful of oats to make him feel included at feed time (I provide his vit/min and whatnot when I'm there). So sometimes I think of this too as some horses absolutely trash their box (more bedding required and more into the manure pit), waste hay, require more hay or feed (whether oats, pellets, beet pulp, etc.) or have other special needs. Not the owners fault, but some liveries definitely cost more than others.
 

holeymoley

Well-Known Member
Joined
18 November 2012
Messages
3,438
I think it is just horses for courses. There’s places that have top notch facilities yet no turn out and some people are happy with that. Then you have the opposite end where people want turnout but perhaps that comes at a price of having no arena, bigger herds etc then you have the places that because they have the old barn and the land they think they can stick a price on it an run a livery without having any knowledge at all! It’s a mixed bunch and what someone wants at a yard may not be what another wants. You also get the good the bad and the ugly customers that really don’t help.
 

MiJodsR2BlinkinTite

Well-Known Member
Joined
16 February 2009
Messages
9,763
Location
Slopping along on a loose rein somewhere in Devon
I run a very small-scale DIY yard; I would have room for two but have only ever had the one. Its easier!

Livery pays £100 per calendar month (she has two horses). She buys her own feed & hay; I don't "do" her horses at all, other than an emergency, say when we're snowed in and she can't get out to here.

I have to pay nearly £600 yearly for relevant insurance; then there's land maintenance like fencing, harrowing & rolling, plus other odds and sods that need taking care of like muck-heap removal, etc. I've just spent nearly £200 on mending a leaking stable roof - and that wasn't at commercial cost it was mates-rates. Also there's water & electricity (I'm on a water meter here so every single drop used costs money - i.e. if hay needs to be soaked which takes up a lot of water!).

I have sheep on the land which pays £500 p.a. Oh and there's a piddly little pittance of revenue which is about £20'ish a year from an electricity pole which is on the land!

That is my "income" as a YO. It isn't hard to work out that I'm not making enough to make any radical improvements. I'm getting by, yes, but not making a packet!

And I guess this is replicated bigger-scale on the larger yards; who have to spend huge amounts on insurance to cover every blessed thing that could ever possibly happen, plus feed bills, farrier, vet, etc etc. Not to mention staff wages - and we all know if you pay peanuts you get monkeys.

The equine industry - like agriculture - is radically underfunded and this is why decent yards are so hard to find. It isn't for the want of trying, it is because of a lack of cash injection; simply because the money just ain't there! Liveries aren't prepared to pay ever-increasing livery fees; and YO's can't afford to function on such low profit-margins. And then you get something like CV and that sort of disaster hits hard..... very much so.

I can't see the situation improving TBH.
 
Top