Choosing a Livery Yard
By Sam Goodwill
Unless you are fortunate enough to own your own equestrian facilities, you will be among the majority of horse owners who are searching for a suitable livery yard for their four legged friend. This can be a stressful search for many owners as there is so much to think about. Hopefully with a few hints and tips we can take away the headaches and hassle and help you find a happy home for your horse.
The most important thing to think about when choosing a livery yard is the well being and safety of your horse. Take in to consideration the following points when researching possible livery yards.
Is the yard BHS (British Horse Society) approved? – These yards are inspected annually, comply with all health and safety regulations and are fully insured.
How secure is the yard? – Will your horse be visible by passers by? How secure are gates and fences?
Do they have a fire and first aid procedure? – Be wary of any yard who does not have one.
Will there be all year round grazing facilities? – Is this area well maintained with adequate shelter? What is the yard’s grazing policy? What kind of turnout time will your horse have?
Another important factor in your livery yard hunt is cost. What are you getting for you money?
Types of livery – What type of livery is on offer and which is best suited to your needs and budget.
Facilities – Does the yard have secure tack and feed rooms? Is there parking for horse boxes and trailers? Does the livery yard have show jumps or a riding area and what are the terms and conditions of usage?
Location – Are there any bridleways near the yard for hacking? Is the yard in a convenient location for work and home?
Feed and Bedding – Will you be able to use your own or must it be purchased from the yard’s supplier? Be sure to check the quality available. Also does the yard have a regular visit from the farrier, dentist and vet?
Be sure to check that everything you need is included in the price and written up in a contract. Hidden costs can easily mount up.
Don’t be afraid to ask any questions while viewing a livery yard and make time to chat to the current liveries for their advice. While one size doesn’t always fit all, word of mouth is the best way to find the perfect livery yard.