From grass livery through to full livery, this guide covers the pros and cons of different livery packages to help horse owners decide which one is best for their horse or pony.
The pros and cons of the different types of horse livery:
Generally the cheapest livery package available for horse owners, grass livery does what it says on the tin – provides a field where your horse can live out 24/7. Some come with field shelters but others only provide the field. This package is cheap but it also often means the horse owner is required to visit every day to check the horse has no injuries and that the fencing is still in good condition.
Pros: Cheap and ideal for someone wanting to turn away a young or retired horse
Cons: Have to attend every day, sometimes comes without shelter, often has no yard owner checking the horses on a regular basis
Again, this type of livery is fairly self explanatory. The horse owner is provided with a stable and access to a field for turnout on a yard but the horse owner is responsible for all of the daily care for the horse (hence the 'do it yourself' title).
This includes mucking out, turning the horse out and bringing the horse in from the field and feeding the horse.
It also requires the horse owner to pay for bedding and hay additionally, these are sometimes provided for by the yard but can also often require the horse owner to source it for themselves.
Pros: One of the cheaper livery options, can build up a good bond with your horse seeing them on a daily basis
Cons: A time commitment, owner is required to source bedding and hay
ASSISTED DIY LIVERY
An Assisted DIY Livery is typically one of the more popular options, largely due to its flexibility.
Providing everything that the DIY Livery offers, but with the added benefit of being able to call on the yard to assist where required. This can vary from handling your horse for the vet or farrier, to caring for your horse while you're away on holiday (and often just about everything else in between if you require it).
What is included in a Part Livery package can vary from yard to yard. Some operate on a five day basis, with owners caring for their horses on a DIY basis at the weekends, or on a seven day week with the horse owner having to provide the care one end of the day while the yard does the other.
In short though, this type of livery involves the care of the horse being shared by the horse owner and the yard.
Pros: Part Livery is often a popular choice for horse owners who work longer hours, or shift work. More time to ride.
Cons: Have to trust someone else to care for your horse
Full Livery is one of the most expensive packages, but it also includes the most amount of care so it all equals out.
The type of care that is offered differs between yards, so you would need to check your contract carefully to make sure that you know exactly what care the yard will be providing.
Generally they all include mucking out, turning out and bringing in and feeding your horse on a daily basis. Some also include exercising and others even include the finer details such as tack cleaning.
Pros: An ideal livery for those working long hours, or shift work, making it difficult to get to your horse every day. You only have to make time to ride.
Cons: Can be very expensive. Have to trust someone else to care for your horse.
A common type of livery for those stabling their horses on a yard with a riding school.
The horse is provided with a reduced livery rate (can be grass, DIY, part or full), in exchange for the owner providing permission for their horse to be used in riding lessons.
Pros: Reduced cost. Still have use of the same facilities as other liveries on the yard.
Cons: Have to allow novice riders on your horse. Less flexible as you have to work around the lesson times.
Another 'does what it says on the tin' type of livery package. Your horse is kept on the yard on the basis that the rider or dealer is responsible for bringing on and then selling your horse for you.
Pros: Takes the hassle of selling your horse away
Cons: An added cost when you’re trying to sell the horse, and the yard will often take a cut from the sale
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