There are many reasons why finding the right livery yard for you and your horse could be hugely beneficial. Not only will the support you receive help your technique and the way you care for your horse but he or she will no doubt thrive in the safety and comfort of a good yard as well as having the security of knowing that if you can’t be there then a full or part time livery service will ensure their exercise, food and bedding.
With this in mind then it goes without saying that finding the right livery yard is crucial and you should by no means settle on a yard you don’t like or feel unsure about. Below is a list of practical considerations.
The Stables and Staff
If the stables aren’t in a convenient location or aren’t accessible at times when you need them to be then you might as well not bother with them. Even the best stables in the world can become the worst when you have to compromise on your time to accommodate them. Travelling too far to get to them can have a dramatic impact on the amount of time you get to spend with your horse so if it’s too far then consider if it’s actually fair?
Look at the staff that run and work in the livery. If you don’t feel that you could ask their advice or that they could care for your four legged friend in your absence then this is not the yard for you. It’s essential to know that you can count on them and their expertise to guide you and without this knowledge then neither you nor your horse is going to be comfortable or secure.
It’s also worth looking at how well organised the stables are and whether they give you a good impression: you are, at the end of the day, their customer and you should feel this way from the second you arrive.
The Actual Surroundings
Assessing the cleanliness and state of the buildings and barns is a great way of assessing whether this is the yard for you. Without clean water facilities, good supplier, well maintained buildings and secure gates, there is no doubt at all that your horse will suffer so make sure that everything is just as you would expect. It should have all the features any decent and respectable equestrian property would have.
Look into their prices and policies. Sure, they might be affordable now but is this introductory or short term price structure. It’s always worth considering how you would cope with a change in your circumstances because it will be your horse who suffers if he has to be moved due to a change in your finances.
Check out their insurance, certificates, health and safety and public liability policies for a sure way to see how seriously they take their responsibilities.
Run like the wind
It seems like the most obvious of things but you should avoid any stables or liveries that make you feel uneasy or uncomfortable. In the event of vermin, a lack of professionalism, shady or secretive behaviour or if you’re made to feel unwelcome or unwanted then neither of you should stay.
This is a guest post on behalf of Amy, who is currently looking for to find a beautiful horse for sale. In her spare time, she blogs about equestrian property and enjoys the outdoors.