I recently bought my current horse back in early June and moved into my current yard a few weeks later. Prior to purchasing the horse, we looked around the area for a respectable livery yard, which we beleived we found, although 6 months in and were not so sure.
After a spate of liveries leaving, we have been presented with a livery contract which i beleive is unreasnable and in practical.
We have also been presented with a list of Do's and Dont's, which again is taking Health and Safety in the Stable yard to an extreme level. As these H&S and Contract rules were not in place when we arrived, were seriously considering moving after such a short time. IE: livery visiting hours, non refundable deposits, unreasonable charges for extra tasks?
I realise that H&S in todays world is huge, and that its a "where theres blame, theres a claim" culture, but where do you draw the line? In other words, how far do you go to reduce the risk in a stable yard? The answer is not by simply eliminating ALL the risks is a stable, Of course that would be the ultimate solution, but risk must be managed, The biggest risk would be the animal? and where does that leave us? but then the farrier would be using shoes made out of rubber? By its pure nature, owning and riding a horse is a dangerous past time. My example is this: We are no longer allowed to tether our horse outside the stable incase it kicks someone? So now we must place ourselves at even greater risk by conducting all tasks within the confines of a poorly lit stable, thus increasing the risk of an accident?
Does any one have any similar experiences that they are currently going through? I know that as soon as i approach the yard owner with all my questions relating to an "off the peg" internet livery contract and "my way or the highway" style of managing risk, we will get the boot!!
It would not bother me so much if they practised what they preached, but they dont, and i feel that im paying good money for not a nice service? which is not allowing us to enjoy the experience of owning a horse.
Sounds like you need to start looking elsewhere. And we all know how hard that is.
Our yard, which has always been a livery yard, is just in the process of changing over to be a riding school. They have put a notice on the gate, can't remember the exact wording, but in a nutshell, warning people that riding and handling horses is inherently a dangerous activity. Obviously there are a few rules, such as that a hat must be worn at all times when mounted (that includes the liveries). But they do expect people to have and use their own common sense and not be weighed down by a load of stupid do's and don'ts.
I think it is an illustration of their attitude that by the newly-installed bell, which visitors have to ring for attention, is the word 'Welcome.' That's the sort of thing we should be looking for.
I haven't ever come across this before, you do get rules of the yard etc but this sounds as though it is taking the health and safety thing too far. I think I would be looking elsewhere aswell, too many rules ends up taking the fun out of riding.
Anni got kicked by her horse in the field the other day and ended up in hospital for a few hours, it was an accident, she was in the wrong place at the wrong time but she isn't not going to go in the field with the horses in in case she gets kicked, she and everyone else knows just to be aware when the horses are around you about their body language and not to get in the middle of them.
its quite normal to have yard rules, every yard ive worked on has them and its to keep you, your horse, the staff, visitors and the other liveries safe, visiting hours are pretty standard as is where you can and cannot tie your horses, as well as handling practicises etc, if yard sdont put in place rules and regulations for people to follow then they leave themselves open to being sued in the event of an accident as they have not been seen to lay down safe working practices
and they may not follow thier own rules but so what with horses and horse professionals it is often do as i say not as i do,
If you are feeling like you are not enjoying your horse and spending time with your horse at the yard then you really do need to be looking to move elsewhere.
Not going into details but I have recently moved my horses due to many things I wasn't happy with at my previous yard. I to had got to the point where I didn't want to spend time with my horses or be at said yard and it was really getting me down.
I'm in an area that doesn't happen to have much in the way of yards around so I am very lucky with the place I have found. Since moving my horses I am much happier so therefore my horses are much happier. I am spending MUCH more time with them and I just love it
"Horses - be to their virtues ever kind, and to their faults a little blind"