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DIY vs Full Livery: What you need to know

Thursday 26th September, 2019

livery stables

Are you planning to stable your horse this season? It may be that your horse has been turned out all year round in the past, but perhaps age or ill health means that you now need to consider bringing him in. There are many different types of stabling, known as livery available. If you haven’t needed shelter or stabling for your horse before, then it can be difficult to know which option is best for you and your horse. Here we break down what you need to know about stabling.

What is Livery?

It is a facility of privately-owned stables that is leased out by yard owners. Some livery yards are designed for specific owners, e.g. competition horses, brood mares, convalescing horses etc., but the majority are for general use. They are categorised as Full, Part or DIY.

Full Livery

This is the term used to describe a fully managed yard, where all aspects of horse care are carried out by onsite grooms. This package will include turning out, mucking out, grooming and exercising as necessary. This is popular for those who work full time or need to maintain a strict training schedule over the winter months. This is the most expensive type of livery.

Part Livery

This option gives horse owners more responsibility when it comes to caring for their horse. Should they work evenings three days a week for example, then they can request that the yard staff carry out care duties for their horse on set days, whereas they remain the sole carer for the rest of the week. 

Do It Yourself (DIY)

DIY livery offers horse owners access to stables and facilities, but all aspects of horse care must be undertaken by the horse owner. These yards are rarely managed or staffed, therefore this is often the most cost-effective type of livery.

What does it cost?

Horse owners pay rent for the use of the facilities and these will vary from yard to yard. Most offer grazing, fresh water and stabling as standard. The first thing you need to consider when looking for a livery yard is what it is that you actually need.  If you simply require access to safe, secure stabling, then it is not worth paying a premium for a place that features full time livery, a floodlit ménage and a horse walker. But if time is of the essence, then full time livery might be the best option for you.

Shelter Solutions

If you are currently on grazing only, it may be that the land owner already has stables on site, and if so, you can of course ask to rent these. Alternatively, you may contact the land owner to see if you are able to add a mobile field shelter to your paddock.

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