Picking your horses home
Picking a place to keep your horse is a big decision. You will be spending a minimum of two hours a day wherever you choose so it is important that it is somewhere that both you and your horse will be happy.
Type of livery
First you need to decide what type of livery you will need from either grass, DIY, part or full. Many yards only offer part or full livery, with DIY being the next most common type. Grass livery is almost impossible to find unless you live miles away from a town.
Next you need to make a list of the facilities you need as a necessity at a yard and those that would be an added extra. Most yards have an outdoor school as a minimum but at top yards you can expect to find:
- Outdoor school
- Indoor school
- Horse walker
- Locked tack room
- Round pen
- Canter track
- Cross country course
- Hydrotherapy facilities
- On-site vet
Some of these facilities are very hard to find so it is important that you are realistic and willing to compromise on some of your requirements.
Additional Horse Yard Services
You need to decide if you need additional services from time to time such as turning your horse out in the morning or holding them for the vet or farrier while you are at work. Ask if the yard provides this service and find out how much extra it will cost you.
Grazing at the horse yard
Many yards restrict the turnout during the winter months and may not allow 24 hour turnout in the summer. If your horse is happy to stay in then this is not an issue but make sure your horse will be happy with the amount of turnout before you move to the yard. Also if your horse is used to single sex grazing they may not be as well-mannered when turnout in a mixed group of mares and geldings so this is something that you will need to consider.
Distance to horse yard
While it would be nice to have your horses very close to home, the yard 5 mins down the road may not always be best. The extra cost of petrol and time taken to get to a yard may not outweigh the benefits or a yard further away that allows you to get more enjoyment out of your horse.
The Yard People
When viewing a yard, make sure you chat to other people already there to find out what they think of the yard and to see if you think you could get on with them. Find out if other people on the yard work similar hours to you as it is no fun finding that everyone else goes down earlier or later and you don't have anyone to ride out with.
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