- part livery, problems and responsibilities
the past year a friend has kept her 3 with us, and it's
worked out really well on a DIY livery basis - we help
each other out, we're really similar, have the same
ideas and it's all been great.
BUT - she's now moving on because the field she bought
ages ago is finally ready, and I want to do DIY again.
Another friend has approached me because she wants
to get a pony for one of her daughters. The
problem is that she's really not connected with the real
world and seems to expect that she can manage this pony
with her 9 year old doing the pony at weekends and her
11 year old coming down every now and then in the week.
This isn't going to work because we restrict the grazing
in winter to day time only to save the paddocks. Plus,
I'm not at all happy to have children under 12,
unsupervised who worst of all know nothing about ponies,
trying to keep everything going. I have tried to
explain this to her, but really haven't got anywhere.
I really think she would be best off having me do the
pony in the week, and the children (supervised by her)
at the weekends. I haven't offered this sort of
livery before, so what I would like to know is what do
people get for part livery? I thought I could tell
her that I will do it on this basis or not at all.
Do you think I am being horribly hard hearted? I
worry that if she doesn't have this poor pony with
me, she will get it stuck in a field somewhere where at
best they will limp on, and at worst the poor thing will
actively suffer. BUT I'm really not prepared to
have unsupervised kids around - my own 10 year old is
only allowed to be around animals that I've been around
first so I can check them out, but he's a sensible kid
and has a real feel for animals, and I'm always around
when he's with them, but I wouldn't let my little one
around anything. EEK! Sorry, this is turning
into a bit of a moan. If anyone has any ideas on
what else I could suggest to her, I really would be
grateful. I just don't want it turning into one of
those awful fraught things.
it won't be easy, but the best thing to say to this
woman is NO and then find a livery owned by an adult who
knows his/her way round the responsibilities of owning
horses. Otherwise (and oh how this is the voice of
experience) you will end up as unpaid groom and
babysitter because you can't walk away from a pony that
is hungry/thirsty/cold, you will end up dealing with
farrier and vet. and you will still get moaned at if
anything - ANYTHING- goes wrong.
Alternatively, charge full livery as I promise you will
be doing all the work anyway.
The last time I got caught like this, she even sold the
horse and the first thing I knew was when the lorry
turned up to collect it. And me with a horse that could
not BEAR to be alone.
I could write a book about it!!!!
If you took it on DIY you would end up doing all the
work and probably providing the feed as well
Do you really want someone can't share with?
If you really don't want to say no, I would make
sure that you include all feed, hay, bedding in the
price and charge a realistic fee for the work you will
I include feeding, turning out, mucking out, and getting
in - I don't include grooming or tack cleaning. I
organise worming and farrier but both are charged at
cost. It seems to work out well with all the
essentials catered for.
It would be worth getting a contract drawn up and
emphasise no unaccompanied children.
A last thought is that if she has no home lined up for
the pony, will she buy it in the first place?
offer Part Livery only - I pay £360 / month, but have
£350 5 day
part livery to inc 6.30am feed, rug change, turn out,
bring in, 4.30pm feed, 10 pm hay and night check. Feed,
hay and 1 bale shavings per week included. My
horses (2) have a field of their own which is looked
after by yard.
This is however DIY at weekends as they can't find staff
and go to shows themselves then. Most on this deal
seem to get on with it or share am and pm shifts so only
making one and not three trips a day! At weekends
they still get their 6.30am feed by the yard owners so
as not to break their routine too muck - it's then up to
you whether you get up and turn out early or wait and
then ride or whatever...
They charge extra for "nursing" ie bandaging a
sick / injured horse and holding for farrier if
We have indoor school, indoor walker, one large rubber
school and one sand school and excellent hacking just
everyone for your help. I do already have a
contract that I drew up with my friend with the 3, so I
thought I should get the one with the pony-to-be over to
coffee and go through the contract with her line by line
so she understands exactly what she will get getting in
to. Can't see her little ones wanting to poo pick
every day in our cold and windy field, which is in the
contract... as is no unaccompanied children.
I have already told her that if I bring in/turn out etc
I WILL charge her for it because I have to make my
living, but I just don't think this has gone on board.
I think the suggestion of not taking them on
unless it's on a full or part-time basis is a good one,
so I am going to have to be tough, as you all say, and
make sure we get everything laid out at the outset.
This is hard, because I hate confrontation and can
be a terrible wimp (although the builders who chucked
chain link fencing into our field this week wouldn't
agree, but that's another story....)
I am amazed at what you have to pay for part livery -
round here (Northants) it's around £35-40 (£150pcm)
for part, and £80 (£345pcm) for full - maybe I should
attach our yard to one of those huge trailers and tow it
down to the south-east!
this could turn quite nasty. I agree you could end
up unpaid groom and babysitter, plus if one of the
children did get hurt you could get the blame. On
our yard no one under 15 is allowed on their own without
adult supervision. I pay £1.25 for turn out,
which in the winter includes giving breakfast (already
made up) rugging up and turn out at approx 7am. £1.00
for bringing in when gets dark so time varies. Skip out
and evening feed and hay net (again already made up) £4.00.
So for full livery in the week works out at £6.25
per day on top of £75 rent per month.
Unless you come to some agreement like this you could be
put upon, as most caring people wont leave a starving
cold horse through winter and a lot of other people rely
on this. I had to move yard because of this.
I think the
really sticky bit is going to come when after I've sat
her down and gone through everything she needs to do,
and she's STILL saying "Oh yes, I can do all
that," that when I say "But I still think part
or full livery is the only way forward," what I'm
really saying is I don't believe her. Whoopee.
I'll let you know how it goes - think I have to
work this morning, but hopefully tomorrow we can get
something sorted out.
fields with somebody who is entirely reliable (well,
strictly speaking, she shares the fields with us,
because she has the tenancy and we sub-let from her). I
do not think I would wish to share fields with anybody
who is anything less than 100% reliable and dependable,
for all of the reasons stated above.
If this woman has not yet acquired the pony, may I
suggest that first of all you invite her to do what we
did for our friend before we acquired our first horse?
Invite her and her children to spend this winter helping
you with your chores etc. (the deal is you provide
tuition in horse care and management; they provide their
time and effort). Then, in the spring, you can start
discussing with them the options for obtaining a pony of
their own and moving it in. By then they will KNOW what
each of the things involves, and you will know whether
you really can depend upon them getting it right (under
your guidance, obviously) or not.
Also, from our friend's hard practical experience, make
sure that any contract you have drawn up includes a
requirement that they observe whatever worming routine
you wish to impose. It is more than frustrating if there
is someone on the yard who will not worm at the same
time and with the same wormer as everyone else, if there
is no contractual requirement that they do so.
Thanks very much for this - yes, there is a requirement
for worming at the same time, and keeping in for 48
hours afterwards. Also in my contract is poo
picking! - I am completely manic about poo picking the
field and have decided that the next new thing in the
contract will be a £10 charge on everyone if I have to
poo pick all the time. Not entirely sure how I
will enforce this, however - maybe wheeling barrows of
poo round to the front door so I can check them? Date
stamped poo? Had better stop before I get
completely carried away.
The yard we
are at is quite strict about everything - most of it is
common sense really. We had an 11 yo girl come on
the yard with a very green pony (novice owner +novice
pony = well u no what!). Any road, it seems at the
place before where they kept this pony, they would
perhaps visit it twice a week! It was a real shock
to them to come to this yard and realise it was a
requirement to visit every day, muck out, keep things
tidy etc, check on the pony's well being even if not
ridden. They really struggled. Would not get
lessons for the kid, who ended up in some dangerous
situations, and just couldn't comprehend that this
animal needed time spent on it. The parents never
came to the yard to help her unless she was ill, and
never supervised her while she was riding. She had
to muck out and do everything herself. She never
took any advice either - seemed to know it all. I
would be very hesitant taking these people on and think
you might end up doing quite a lot yourself. Fine
if a: you have the time, and b: they will pay for the
extras you are doing. If either of these do not
apply then don't take it on. A friend ended up
looking after a girl's horse for a year for nothing
because she was too kind hearted to say anything. You
have to look after yourself, or who will look after your
neds? Very difficult I know