Sunday, 2 March 2008

When can I ride my horse?

The yard where I keep my horse is going a bit downhill. We have an outdoor school where we can ride - but as I prefer to ride alone (no dodging flying ponies) I'm a bit limited as to when I can ride. It's never really been a problem before - but yesterday I went down there on three separate occasions and each time there were show jumps in there and somebody riding. We have outside instructors coming three evenings a week - so we can't ride - and then people having lessons at peak times (between 4-6pm) and prefer to have the school to themselves. Couple that with the fact that the people I trust to look after my horse have turned her out onto bare pasture (No grass leads to equine bickering and fighting, injuries and vets bills), when people who have been there 5 minutes are having their horses turned out on the new lush grass - I've been getting a bit pissed off. I won't even mention the flying shetland ponies who have been housed right next door to our school - extremely problematic.

When I mentioned these concerns to the yard owner I was told "if you don't like it you can always go somewhere else", and she is, of course, correct. So I have found another yard for Phoebe and will be moving her and all our equipment before the end of the month.

Livery yard ownership is the only business I know of where the prices go up and the level of service goes down. It is the only business where the customer is most certainly NOT king, and if you decide to leave a yard there is a queue of people waiting to take your stable. It is the only business I know of where you never get what you are promised, and service levels seem to drop once they have your money. Clients are regularly taken for granted, and it certainly the only business where the business owner feels that the client needs them more than they need the client. I work very hard for my £££ and need to make sure that I am getting a good deal for every £££ I spend.

For the most part Livery yards are run by women who can't work in any other sphere. They tend to be insulated in the world of horses, and regular readers will remember, can blow up and go off alarming at the drop of a hat!!

So I have decided to vote with my feet and after two - for the most part - happy years, we are off to pastures new (pardon the pun).

I do hope Phoebe likes her new home!

1 comment:

  1. I love my yard. All the staff are professional girls, the head girl is strict but nice with everyone. All of the horses thrive there, the care, attention and supervision is absolutely brilliant. And the facilities are the best I've seen outside of Germany (beautifully lit, 20x60, mirrored, indoor arena. 20x60 Equirubber outdoor arena. Covered walker. Dressage field, Showjumping field, BE cross-country course. Half-mile of all-weather racing gallops. And 500-acres of hacking). However it is hideously expensive, but I wouldn't go anywhere else.

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