Why I'm giving up - a YM's perspective

fatpiggy

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Hello OP. I'm not surprised that you are chucking it in. I'm the person who costed out the job of picking out hooves, but I have mitigation! You and I know that a good person does a proper job of checking the legs and hooves as part of the task, but so many yards have gofers, usually kids, who get left with these muddy jobs and wouldn't know a splint or a burst coronet band if it jumped up and bit them. Many YOs are not experienced horse owners themselves and picking out hooves to them, would be just that and nothing else. I once asked a fellow livery to bring my horse in with hers as I was going to be delayed after work - she did - but failed to tell me that my horse was ten tenths lame on one leg. Say my boss asks me to extend the appointment of one of our staff. That involves me checking the duration of the funding, that there is sufficient funding to do what I want so that means doing a cost projection, produce the required form,then I have to stick it all on our internal HR system, then transfer the request to HRs system. Once the contract is extended I have to save a copy of the appointment letter to the appropriate file. Now that is just one very small part of my job. I deal in hundreds of thousands of pounds, often millions of pounds, and peoples' careers and pay packets rely on me. I have a degree and 30 years experience but I earn no-where near even £20 an hour.

I always did my horse DIY even if it meant incredibly long days and huge petrol bills. But I completely agree that many horse-owners are absolute cheap-skates alot of the time. I'm all in favour of not wasting money, but so many people have horses that basically they cannot afford and hence they are happy to keep them in rubbish, falling down yards and rely on the free advice of other owners and people on internet sites rather than paying someone who really knows what they are doing. Hence so many horses are reported as being in a sorry state, or simply abandoned. Another poster has stated that horse owning will return to times when only the rich and farmers daughters (!) could do it. Sometimes I think that wouldn't be a bad thing from the horses point of view.

Good luck with your future plans. I hope the liveries don't give you a hard time when they find out.
 

ribbons

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Been there, done that, never again.
Our yard houses nothing but my own horses anymore. This means several lovely boxes standing empty, grazing acres cut for hay and sheep pasture. I will never have liveries again.
A tiny fraction of people actually appreciate the use of someone else's facilities without the cost and responsibility of what is involved. Most think that their 25/30 quid a week is not only outrageous but entitles them to treat the place as if they owned it.

I remember a thread on here a while back when some people thought it was there right to turn up at 11pm to pat their horse. After all, they paid their rent !!!!
There are so many reasons why I believe livery prices should be double or treble what they are now.
As OP outlined, the actual cost of providing the facilities and earning a decent living is one consideration.
Another, that I feel strongly about, is the amount of numpties that own a horse on a shoestring. We have lost the majority of good riding schools that existed years ago. Fantastic places to learn how to ride and how to care for a horse.
Sadly with huge rises in their running costs and so many novices finding they can buy a horse, rent a stable and a bit of land for peanuts (and still moan about it) the riding schools have all but disappeared.
The result is dreadful husbandry, and horses suffering in their droves.
I remember two DIY liveries, one thought 20 mins walk and trot in school twice a week was a horse 'in work' and fed accordingly, and had a horse that was so huge it couldn't actually manage trot for more than one lap of the school.
The other, constantly criticising the first, left the yard at 5pm leaving her horse with enough hay for barely an hour. The horse then stood for 15 hours with nothing until she returned at 9am.

If the majority of horse owners today had spent at least 5 or 6 years riding and caring for horses under the watchful eye of the type of riding schools we had years ago, they would realise that you can't keep a horse on a shoestring, they cost pots of money and hours of time. If done properly, and more importantly, they take knowledge, which is rarely gained by someone struggling with an unsuitable horse, on DIY livery, with limited time and limited funds, who decided it was cheaper than paying for riding lessons, and much more prestigious and ego boosting. "I own my own horse/s"
Well, many many many of them shouldn't, and cheap livery is one of the causes.
 

Goldenstar

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Been there, done that, never again.
Our yard houses nothing but my own horses anymore. This means several lovely boxes standing empty, grazing acres cut for hay and sheep pasture. I will never have liveries again.
A tiny fraction of people actually appreciate the use of someone else's facilities without the cost and responsibility of what is involved. Most think that their 25/30 quid a week is not only outrageous but entitles them to treat the place as if they owned it.

I remember a thread on here a while back when some people thought it was there right to turn up at 11pm to pat their horse. After all, they paid their rent !!!!
There are so many reasons why I believe livery prices should be double or treble what they are now.
As OP outlined, the actual cost of providing the facilities and earning a decent living is one consideration.
Another, that I feel strongly about, is the amount of numpties that own a horse on a shoestring. We have lost the majority of good riding schools that existed years ago. Fantastic places to learn how to ride and how to care for a horse.
Sadly with huge rises in their running costs and so many novices finding they can buy a horse, rent a stable and a bit of land for peanuts (and still moan about it) the riding schools have all but disappeared.
The result is dreadful husbandry, and horses suffering in their droves.
I remember two DIY liveries, one thought 20 mins walk and trot in school twice a week was a horse 'in work' and fed accordingly, and had a horse that was so huge it couldn't actually manage trot for more than one lap of the school.
The other, constantly criticising the first, left the yard at 5pm leaving her horse with enough hay for barely an hour. The horse then stood for 15 hours with nothing until she returned at 9am.

If the majority of horse owners today had spent at least 5 or 6 years riding and caring for horses under the watchful eye of the type of riding schools we had years ago, they would realise that you can't keep a horse on a shoestring, they cost pots of money and hours of time. If done properly, and more importantly, they take knowledge, which is rarely gained by someone struggling with an unsuitable horse, on DIY livery, with limited time and limited funds, who decided it was cheaper than paying for riding lessons, and much more prestigious and ego boosting. "I own my own horse/s"
Well, many many many of them shouldn't, and cheap livery is one of the causes.
Blunt but true .
No body thinks you have a 'right ' to own a speed boat but it's very frowned upon to say to many people have horses who can't afford to pay a realistic amount to look after them .
And if the speed boat goes wrong and you are skint you just park it up until you can afford to fit it you can't do that with a horse .
 

ROMANY 1959

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To put it into pespection. I had to put my 2 dogs into kennels for 15 days recently after my mum broke her arm and could not look after them while we were on holiday.. That cost me £28-50 a day per dog so that's £28.50 X 30 = £855 !!
And that's for two spaniels who did not get walked, just had two play times in a doggy area with a career twice a day.. So yes livery is cheep compared to other animal services, and I fully appreciated my YO when I had a horse on livery..
 
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Clodagh

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A friend of mine has a yard and she is now so broke she is struggling to have her own horse! All so she can make sure other people can afford theirs. Totally bizarre, but she says she daren't put her livery up any more (£125 a week full (no exercise) livery with all year turn out. Hay has gone up from £3 a bale to currently £5, although that may have dropped now there is a new cut.
 

rachk89

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Sorry to hear about this OP. You seem very genuine - and have many qualities you want in a YO!!

I can't afford anything other than DIY. My yard only offers that - it's £15 a week (I have 2 horses and a mini which is £5). I pay to have 0.5 acre, 2 stables - although a livery decided not to let the YO know that she was staying permanently, so I'm sharing a stable (which I'll probably rant about eventually on here) and the. Another stable. We get cold water & electric, a tack room and access to a hay shed. That's all. Yet I hear my fellow liveries complaining - how they wish we had a ménage, how they think it should be cheaper. It shocks me - and I'd be happy to pay a little more for what we get - not that I could afford it really, which is why I do DIY.
They complain about £15 a week?! What stingy bloody gits they are. What the hell would they say about a vet bill?

Sorry OP about what has happened to you. I know a few people at my yard complain about the prices I just don't care. I get my bill and pay it don't even question it. My attitude to money is bad considering I don't have much of it haha. Anything the horse needs I just pay up. Don't really care about price.
 

touchstone

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I agree with ribbons, owning horses has become accessible to people that really shouldn't have them, I've seen more issues with overhorsed owners and neglected horses over the past decade than over my lifetime.

I also think that times are changing and ownership will become restricted to the privileged few which will hopefully be to the benefit of those horses that have a good home. Alternatively it might end up with more barbed wire allotment type enclosures by those who selfishly think it is their right to own at any cost, at the horses expense.

So much of the land is being built on now that even hacking out is less of a pleasure, I think it would be miserable keeping a horse in an urban environment where work is confined to a school or roads and housing estates.

Horses are expensive large animals that need commitment in money, time and a suitable environment to keep them in. If that isn't doable then people should be sensible enough to think long and hard before buying.
 

Red-1

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I am sorry OP that you are having to give up, when you so obviously could love the job.

We ended up buying our own place, due to the rubbish service at livery yards. As you say, many do not have skilled staff, and try to pile them in to make money.

I would have actually paid more to have my horse in a proper yard, where the fencing and grazing was good, where people handled the horse properly (as in actually paid attention to pressure and release rather than just pulling them to the field on the end of a rope), the atmosphere was great (as in quiet, helpful and no stealing of supplements), to name a few requirements, but no, it was not possible.

In my own place we have done great. The hoof pick stays where I left it, the place is swept and tidy. I know a while back people were asking what others would pay to have a horse brought in, and I was shouted down as I was very happy to pay £5 for someone to fetch in, change rug and pick feet. She literally passed the gate, so it was not travelling time, but to me £5 was a bargain to know that my horse was being attended to properly.

Saved me driving home half way through the day :)

There are some people out there who would pat more, but how to find them I don't know.

Good luck for the future, and I hope you go back to enjoying a horse of your own.
 

WeeLassie

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I defended the charges of £1.50 to pick out feet, etc and was very sarcastically replied to!! I wouldnt mind betting that a lot of the livery owners who complain about charges think nothing of buying the latest blingy browband, or matchy matchy ear covers and numnah.
It seems horse owners are a bit mixed up in their priorities at times.
 

WeeLassie

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I defended the charges of £1.50 to pick out feet, etc and was very sarcastically replied to!! I wouldnt mind betting that a lot of the livery owners who complain about charges think nothing of buying the latest blingy browband, or matchy matchy ear covers and numnah.
It seems horse owners are a bit mixed up in their priorities at times.
 

Stockers

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Insightful post OP and I'm sorry you are having to give up. I hope you can move onto something else.

I am often amazed that in my part of the country (crowded south-east) people still expect to get DIY livery for £25 per week. I am on part livery at £110 per week (soon to go up to £120 pwe week) including hay and bedding (rubber mats - pellet bed) but no feed.

I think that is very reasonable - I am a livery at a private house though and YO has no staff costs. I have been on a yard costing up to £525 per month - ten years ago. That yard now charges £650 per month. If I had to I could pay that - I am fortunate.

I have just heard of a lage 40+ mixed service yard closing near me - a number have done so in the last 3 years. Usually land sold for developement.

People need a wake-up call - if they don;t value and pay approppriately for livery more yards are only going to close and if you cannot realitically afford horses don't have them.

I see the glut of unwanted horses increasingly dramatically over the next ten years. the conseqences don;t bear thinking about.
 

Stockers

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Insightful post OP and I'm sorry you are having to give up. I hope you can move onto something else.

I am often amazed that in my part of the country (crowded south-east) people still expect to get DIY livery for £25 per week. I am on part livery at £110 per week (soon to go up to £120 pwe week) including hay and bedding (rubber mats - pellet bed) but no feed.

I think that is very reasonable - I am a livery at a private house though and YO has no staff costs. I have been on a yard costing up to £525 per month - ten years ago. That yard now charges £650 per month. If I had to I could pay that - I am fortunate.

I have just heard of a lage 40+ mixed service yard closing near me - a number have done so in the last 3 years. Usually land sold for developement.

People need a wake-up call - if they don;t value and pay approppriately for livery more yards are only going to close and if you cannot realitically afford horses don't have them.

I see the glut of unwanted horses increasingly dramatically over the next ten years. the conseqences don;t bear thinking about.
 

HaffiesRock

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Having read all the thread, I want to comment as I would have been one of those who moaned about a £1.50 charge for hoof picking. Not any more!

I used to keep both my ponies on a DIY yard, that was quite frankly, unsafe and awful. I had a stable that I never used as it was creaky and leaked, my own paddock that totalled no more than 3/4 of an acre, it was riddled with ragwort, had no grass in it and the fencing was so poor that I paid for and installed my own electric fence. I was having to feed hay everyday throughout the whole year at an extortionate cost. Their was a "school" that was basically a 10 x 30 patch that had sand dumped on it and the hacking was rubbish. I eventually moved to my own field as the YO had no clue about horses and I genuinely feared for their safely and wellbeing. This cost me £20 a week for 2 ponies.

I then spent 18 months in my own field and I hated it. I could not keep up with all the poo picking, ragworting, fencing maintenance, never mind the rolling, harrowing etc. I had tto much land for my two so made hay off half the first year. The second year I got a sharer in hoping the extra money and pair of hands would make it worth my while. It wasn't. The money did help but the sharer didn't pull her weight so I literally spend every second up there maintain and never rode.

Come March this year I had had enough. I made the decision to put my mare out on loan and put my gelding in livery. I chose a local yard, that I had always passed off as far too expensive. I had been on there years before, but I had a sharer then so the cost was fine. I used to think that the cost was so much as they owned the land outright so they must be making a fortune!

I bit the bullet and moved there and it was the best decision ever. The fact it now costs me almost double a month to keep one there than it did to keep two on my own field is not a problem. The yard is safe, I don't have to poo pick, the grazing is immaculate, hay and straw is included and I can literally spend all my time up there with my horse! The staff are brilliant and I would never begrudge them the £2.20 turnout charge which includes chucking a bucket over the door, hoof pick and rug change then a quite long walk to the field. I wouldn't think twice about paying £6 for a full muck out. I do not begrudge the £200 odd DIY livery charge as I do not have to do anything but enjoy my horse and muck out a stable. The fields are cared for, hay and straw are right there ready to be used, the muck trailer is emptied daily, I have a floodlit school, lunge pen, xc course, off road hacking and staff on hand until 10pm at night.

I now completely understand why good livery yards cost what they do and the sheer effort that goes into maintaining facilities to be safe. I would never take on my own land again unless it was at home as I just couldn't do it.

So to all the livery owners, managers out there, I salute you for the mammoth job you do and I will never begrudge you the cost of keeping my pride and joy safe and healthy ever again.
 

Chloeap

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I pay £44 a week for DIY inc weekday morning turnouts. Turnout is £3 a day which includes feet pick out and rug change - I am fine with this but do not feel they get the attention that you describe. I'm not convinced they actually are picking out feet at the moment. I love the yard I'm at - facilities are amazing, lovely yard owners and nice liveries. but I feel the care isn't the best - when I go away for the weekend the stable is a mess when I get back and not sure they check the horses as well as you do.
 

skint1

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People need a wake-up call - if they don;t value and pay approppriately for livery more yards are only going to close and if you cannot realitically afford horses don't have them.

I see the glut of unwanted horses increasingly dramatically over the next ten years. the conseqences don;t bear thinking about.
It's catch-22 really, as pressure on land in some parts of country continues to grow, the cost of keeping horses will of course have to follow and you will see livery yards shutting because the YM/YO won't be able to make them pay and the owners won't be able to afford it if they wanted to.

It won't be because horse owners are tight fisted and don't want to pay the going rate, or that they don't value the livery yard and services offered or that they expect others to subsidise their hobby they just simply with the best will in the world will not be able to afford to keep a horse anymore.

I'm sorry for the OP, I hope things work out for you in the future. I am sure your owners will understand, it's not personal, it's economics and the times we live in.
 
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So sorry OP that you feel unable to continue.

I only have space for the one DIY livery, and we live on site, so don't have a lot of the issues that other YM's have to cope with.

Would agree about the hidden costs as well, people just don't realise how much needs to be spent - and how much physical effort takes place - into keeping a yard safe and functioning. Everyone on here seem all too ready to jump in and criticise when they feel things aren't to their satisfaction, totally ignoring the fact that there ARE some YO's out there who are doing a fantastic job and working damn hard. No-one would run a business at a loss, or go to work and as well as getting nothing be asked to put money in as well!! But this is what some YO's are having to do.

Shame on all of you on here that have criticised, bitched, moaned, and been ungrateful at this yard. Now you'll have to find somewhere else - and serve you right basically! You have had it good, now you're gonna be cast off to find somewhere else. Let it be a lesson.
 
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Slopping along on a loose rein somewhere in Devon
So sorry OP that you feel unable to continue.

I only have space for the one DIY livery, and we live on site, so don't have a lot of the issues that other YM's have to cope with.

Would agree about the hidden costs as well, people just don't realise how much needs to be spent - and how much physical effort takes place - into keeping a yard safe and functioning. Everyone on here seem all too ready to jump in and criticise when they feel things aren't to their satisfaction, totally ignoring the fact that there ARE some YO's out there who are doing a fantastic job and working damn hard. No-one would run a business at a loss, or go to work and as well as getting nothing be asked to put money in as well!! But this is what some YO's are having to do.

Shame on all of you on here that have criticised, bitched, moaned, and been ungrateful at this yard. Now you'll have to find somewhere else - and serve you right basically! You have had it good, now you're gonna be cast off to find somewhere else. Let it be a lesson.
 

LouisCat

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I'm very sorry to read this but I can completely understand why giving up is probably the best option.

I don't own a horse simply because I can not afford the livery etc. That's not because I begrudge the charges, I just don't earn enough!!
However, I feel I'm realistic enough to understand my financial position and not try and sponge off others or be unable to pay a big vet bill if something happened...
 

Merrymoles

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Um, I am one of those people who keeps a horse on a shoestring budget, of which more in a minute...

However, I sympathise entirely with the OP's decision. Having worked with horses in my youth, I took the decision to get a "proper" job as I knew there was no way I would be able to ever buy a house etc on the wages I received. I would have much rather continued with horses but, even 30 years ago, it just wasn't economically viable for me - and the majority of horses were then owned by "rich" people or businesses. I don't think £1.50 is too much for picking out feet - I'd want at least that for doing it - but my personal circumstances would not allow another tenner a week on my bill.

I am not a cheapskate. I am self employed and my income is variable. My livery is due today and is going to be late as my July tax bill has completely cleaned out my coffers until the money I am owed starts to arrive. I have discussed this with my YO who is completely relaxed about when I pay and knows it will be paid in full as soon as the money comes in.

I knew that owning a horse was going to be hard financially so, when I was buying, I purposely looked for a "cheap to keep" type and that has worked out. His two vet bills this month will be covered when due but those are, touch wood, few and far between. I knew, also, that I could only afford DIY and no services and that, too, has worked out, with a great relationship with the livery who shares my field.

Should I have bought a horse in the first place? Well, it was the one thing in life I had always wanted. I'd had a lifetime of riding other people's and had had my old boy on loan for 16 years, until we lost him. I felt I had the knowledge to decide what I needed and how to keep it, I didn't have great expectations of being able to jump round Badminton, and I was prepared to compromise on other aspects of my life (like sleep!).

Frankly, I have months where I could afford full livery and months like this one where I can't afford to feed the family, let alone have any luxuries. When I do have good months, the money goes into the pot for vet's bills, rug cleaning or repairing, tack replacement or anything else that might be needed. At the moment (when it comes in) it will be set aside for diesel as my trips to the yard are about to go from 18 miles every day to about 100, thanks to expected roadworks. I also have a support network that means if I were ill or injured, I know my friends would ensure my horse's well being, and I have a hard-to-reach savings pot that will go with him to a friend if he out-lives me.

So, you could say that I am a cheapskate and one of the people who should not have a horse as they don't have the correct finances. However, he is my joy and my sanity and I value my yard, and YO, hugely as they are what enables it to happen. I may not be able to cough up in money terms but I am always happy to volunteer for fencing, muck shifting, helping with YO's horses and other animals and whatever needs doing that is within my capabilities.
 

planete

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I am sorry you are giving up too but can fully understand it. Some years ago I had the opportunity to buy the lease of an ongoing livery business. I had a careful look at the books, both official and unofficial, and regretfully concluded that the only side of the business that was viable was the bed and breakfast attached to the dwelling. It was in effect subsidising the livery side. As providing bed and breakfast all year round for seasonal workers was not my ambition I regretfully walked away from what should have been a dream job I would have loved much more than my 9-5 accounting desk bound one.
 

pixie

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I've certainly found that the best liveries are ones who have had their own land in the past. They never quibble about costs and always keep up with jobs like poo picking without complaining or needing reminding.
 

Mince Pie

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To put it into pespection. I had to put my 2 dogs into kennels for 15 days recently after my mum broke her arm and could not look after them while we were on holiday.. That cost me £28-50 a day per dog so that's £28.50 X 30 = £855 !!
And that's for two spaniels who did not get walked, just had two play times in a doggy area with a career twice a day.. So yes livery is cheep compared to other animal services, and I fully appreciated my YO when I had a horse on livery..
Off topic but wow, that's expensive! I pay £35 per day for 3 dogs (collie and 2 JRTs) to be home boarded and they get walked at least twice a day.

Your right .
I think over the next decade or so we could be heading to a too many horse welfare night mare .
We're already there :(
 

Pilatesclare

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Sorry to hear you've had enough op.

I am in the south East and prices here are very different to those mentioned in this (and the other) thread. Part livery is £650+ and full is £800+ (the most expensive full livery yard near me is £1100). Schooling livery is £300+ per week.

I am on a DIY yard and pay £150 per month. There are no services. This suits me fine, the facilities are great and I don't need services.

I am on Diy as I fortunately have the time to do him myself and I like to. I can be as fussy as I want with his bed, feed, etc. I can afford part livery but I don't want someone else to do him for me.

I do think there is a bit of a stigma attached to Diy livery which is sad. There are some awful Diy yards around hete that I wouldn't let my horse step foot on. I think he is entitled to a nice yard with facilities as much as the next horse IF we are willing to pay for it.

Having looked at part and full livery and I have friends on these yards, the staff care imo is below par. Certainly not the care taken by many YO'S who have commented here. So paying top price doesn't ensure good service and that is also a problem.

I think all who have commented should up your prices considerably!
 

stencilface

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If my parents hadn't bought land when my nana died nearly 30 years ago there is no way I could afford to keep a horse, not a chance. I'm in awe of anyone that does it tbh!!

We pay £15 a day for someone to check ours twice a day when we go away, and even though it is only to check they have a pulse and four legs visit I now feel like she's underpaid!
 

wingedhorse

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Been there, done that, never again.
I remember a thread on here a while back when some people thought it was there right to turn up at 11pm to pat their horse. After all, they paid their rent !!!!
There are so many reasons why I believe livery prices should be double or treble what they are now.
QUOTE]

It depends on the yard rules, and expectations. I keep my horse on a small holding, I drive vaguely past the yard owners house to arrive.

Yard owner said when I looked round arrive and leaving at any time was fine. My husband said - I would be there at 5am, and there at 10pm at times. They said was no problem.
I am rarely there before 5.45am, and rarely there after 9pm, but they genuinely don't mind.

I can totally see why someone else, with their own yard routine, and yard next to house might mind.

But key is to set clear yard rules up front, and share them with liveries, so they can decide if yard rules work for them.

I looked round a yard that closed at 7pm, and didn't move there!
 

wingedhorse

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Um, I am one of those people who keeps a horse on a shoestring budget, of which more in a minute...

However, I sympathise entirely with the OP's decision. Having worked with horses in my youth, I took the decision to get a "proper" job as I knew there was no way I would be able to ever buy a house etc on the wages I received. I would have much rather continued with horses but, even 30 years ago, it just wasn't economically viable for me - and the majority of horses were then owned by "rich" people or businesses. I don't think £1.50 is too much for picking out feet - I'd want at least that for doing it - but my personal circumstances would not allow another tenner a week on my bill.

I am not a cheapskate. I am self employed and my income is variable. My livery is due today and is going to be late as my July tax bill has completely cleaned out my coffers until the money I am owed starts to arrive. I have discussed this with my YO who is completely relaxed about when I pay and knows it will be paid in full as soon as the money comes in.

I knew that owning a horse was going to be hard financially so, when I was buying, I purposely looked for a "cheap to keep" type and that has worked out. His two vet bills this month will be covered when due but those are, touch wood, few and far between. I knew, also, that I could only afford DIY and no services and that, too, has worked out, with a great relationship with the livery who shares my field.

Should I have bought a horse in the first place? Well, it was the one thing in life I had always wanted. I'd had a lifetime of riding other people's and had had my old boy on loan for 16 years, until we lost him. I felt I had the knowledge to decide what I needed and how to keep it, I didn't have great expectations of being able to jump round Badminton, and I was prepared to compromise on other aspects of my life (like sleep!).

Frankly, I have months where I could afford full livery and months like this one where I can't afford to feed the family, let alone have any luxuries. When I do have good months, the money goes into the pot for vet's bills, rug cleaning or repairing, tack replacement or anything else that might be needed. At the moment (when it comes in) it will be set aside for diesel as my trips to the yard are about to go from 18 miles every day to about 100, thanks to expected roadworks. I also have a support network that means if I were ill or injured, I know my friends would ensure my horse's well being, and I have a hard-to-reach savings pot that will go with him to a friend if he out-lives me.

So, you could say that I am a cheapskate and one of the people who should not have a horse as they don't have the correct finances. However, he is my joy and my sanity and I value my yard, and YO, hugely as they are what enables it to happen. I may not be able to cough up in money terms but I am always happy to volunteer for fencing, muck shifting, helping with YO's horses and other animals and whatever needs doing that is within my capabilities.
Yep with you on both counts.
 

Auslander

Well-Known Member
Joined
13 November 2010
Messages
11,180
Location
Berkshire
It's so sad to read posts like this - but coming at it from the perspective of a yard owner, I can totally understand it. I had cheap and cheerful grass liveries for several years, just maing enough to cover my field rent, while I worked full time elsewhere. Last year I was offered the opportunity to take on a small acreage, with two schools, all weather turnout pens, and lovely hacking, which came with a house. I jumped at the chance, but it was very clear that I needed to revise my offering, as I had limited acreage. I opted for offering full grass livery to a limited number of horses, and being very picky about who I took on. I'm not cheap, and I've had many snarky comments from people who are looking for grass livery about how much I charge. I explain every time that the owners are not just paying for their horses to graze my land. They are paying for peace of mind. I keep a careful eye on condition, health, herd dynamics, etc. I am there for the vet, farrier, dentist, physio, and report back to the owner when needed. My owners don't have check their horses twice a day, or take time off for visiting professionals. They can go on holiday without worrying, and they can keep an eye on the antics of their horses via Facebook, while I'm out there wrangling naughty horses, repairing fences, splitting up scrappers - mostly at 11pm, when I really want to be in bed! I think the most important thing that my liveries are paying for (and the current bunch totally get this) is 35 years worth of experience.
I have a block of stables going up, and I'm just about to expand operations a bit to include box rest/rehab/fat camp liveries. I'm going to be just as picky as I was when I started off here.
 

Goldenstar

Well-Known Member
Joined
28 March 2011
Messages
38,359
It's so sad to read posts like this - but coming at it from the perspective of a yard owner, I can totally understand it. I had cheap and cheerful grass liveries for several years, just maing enough to cover my field rent, while I worked full time elsewhere. Last year I was offered the opportunity to take on a small acreage, with two schools, all weather turnout pens, and lovely hacking, which came with a house. I jumped at the chance, but it was very clear that I needed to revise my offering, as I had limited acreage. I opted for offering full grass livery to a limited number of horses, and being very picky about who I took on. I'm not cheap, and I've had many snarky comments from people who are looking for grass livery about how much I charge. I explain every time that the owners are not just paying for their horses to graze my land. They are paying for peace of mind. I keep a careful eye on condition, health, herd dynamics, etc. I am there for the vet, farrier, dentist, physio, and report back to the owner when needed. My owners don't have check their horses twice a day, or take time off for visiting professionals. They can go on holiday without worrying, and they can keep an eye on the antics of their horses via Facebook, while I'm out there wrangling naughty horses, repairing fences, splitting up scrappers - mostly at 11pm, when I really want to be in bed! I think the most important thing that my liveries are paying for (and the current bunch totally get this) is 35 years worth of experience.
I have a block of stables going up, and I'm just about to expand operations a bit to include box rest/rehab/fat camp liveries. I'm going to be just as picky as I was when I started off here.
Good for you .
And if I needed livery of that type I would happily send my horse to you .
I think the average owner with a horse at DIY or part livery and a job or with the horse at home and a full time job can't do box rest well .
Caring for a horse on box rest well is a skill and very time consuming.
There should be a enough demand for it .
Like selling diamonds you don't need everybody to afford them just enough people to cover your needs .
 

AML

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 June 2009
Messages
131
It's so sad to read posts like this - but coming at it from the perspective of a yard owner, I can totally understand it. I had cheap and cheerful grass liveries for several years, just maing enough to cover my field rent, while I worked full time elsewhere. Last year I was offered the opportunity to take on a small acreage, with two schools, all weather turnout pens, and lovely hacking, which came with a house. I jumped at the chance, but it was very clear that I needed to revise my offering, as I had limited acreage. I opted for offering full grass livery to a limited number of horses, and being very picky about who I took on. I'm not cheap, and I've had many snarky comments from people who are looking for grass livery about how much I charge. I explain every time that the owners are not just paying for their horses to graze my land. They are paying for peace of mind. I keep a careful eye on condition, health, herd dynamics, etc. I am there for the vet, farrier, dentist, physio, and report back to the owner when needed. My owners don't have check their horses twice a day, or take time off for visiting professionals. They can go on holiday without worrying, and they can keep an eye on the antics of their horses via Facebook, while I'm out there wrangling naughty horses, repairing fences, splitting up scrappers - mostly at 11pm, when I really want to be in bed! I think the most important thing that my liveries are paying for (and the current bunch totally get this) is 35 years worth of experience.
I have a block of stables going up, and I'm just about to expand operations a bit to include box rest/rehab/fat camp liveries. I'm going to be just as picky as I was when I started off here.
And this is what most people don't understand.

In a good yard manager/owner you are getting their knowledge, their experience, their reliability and their commitment to each and every one of their charges to make their time with them a happy healthy experience.

Twenty years ago a lady who was moving into the area enquired as to my prices. Upon being told she rather brusquely asked with a look of horror on her face, "What do you get for That!" I knew she wouldn't understand the reply - You get me.
I've never advertised, my horses do the talking and I'm very very fussy as to who I take on so the yard remains a happy, peaceful place for horse and human.

I charge enough to make a living, put some away, spend some on my pleasure pursuits. I'm not cheap, but nor do I fleece my clients.

I hope the OP is looking forward to a new future. I shall be sadder than a sad thing when the time comes for me to give up - Inside I'm still that little girl that would rush home from school just to be with her pony.
 
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