Are you looking for a yard for your horse but aren’t sure which is best? Maybe you want to place your horse in a livery but don’t know how much it will cost? Perhaps you currently have stabled your horse and want to know what your other options are? Whatever your reason might be, we have the answer for you!
We know how difficult it can be to find a stable that suits your needs, especially when you are on a budget. With the cost of stables ranging from affordable to needing to remortgage your house, it can be hard to decide the best option. Often, you find yourself endlessly scrolling through options, unsure where to turn or who to trust.
Well, no more! We have done the hard work for you! Keep reading to find out how much it costs to stable a horse and learn about the types of livery you can choose from.
Types Of Livery And Prices
When it comes to liveries, there are plenty of options out there, all ranging in price! When deciding which is the best option for you, we think it’s best to consider not only your needs but your budget too! After all, you don’t want to be paying more than you can afford, do you?
For those new to horses and stabling them, opt for a larger yard. When stabling your first horse or pony, a larger yard will have plenty of people around that can offer help and assist you through the whole process. It’s also best to look for one with assisted DIY livery to help you where possible.
As we mentioned, the cost of liveries varies depending on a few factors. Usually, the facilities, level of help on hand, and the size of the yard will determine the price. Thankfully, there are many liveries out there that will allow you to find the right one for your budget!
Think about your budget, and be sure to set one in place before you begin your search for your stable. You will want to be sure that your horse is happy there, but also that you can afford it. Consider the factors that are important to you and use them to help you find the best stable for your horse.
It’s worth considering your goals too. If you just want to be a happy hacker, a stable with basic facilities will be more than enough, and it will also be cheaper!
However, if you want to compete, you will want some good facilities to help you train and care for your horse. These facilities tend to be more expensive, so be sure your budget stretches far enough!
As prices vary dramatically across the country, it’s best to find some stables in your local area and contact them directly for quotes and prices. This ensures that you find accurate prices on your doorstep and can help you find a stable that best suits your budget.
Now that we have given you a brief overview let’s dive in and explore the different types of stables out there to help you decide which one is best for you!
Private Stables Or Grazing
If you don’t have stables or grazing at home, you can look for private yards or paddocks that you can rent out or purchase. Usually, this guarantees that your horse, or horses, will be the only ones in the space, and depending on the rental agreement, you get fantastic levels of flexibility.
This can be a fantastic option for those who have dreamed about owning their own stables or having land just for themselves!
However, it is hard work to maintain your stable or paddock by yourself. You will be responsible for everything and need to know your stuff to ensure that your horse is as happy and healthy as possible!
If you already have this knowledge, then great! But for those who don’t, we recommend researching before moving forward with this option. You will want to go in as prepared as possible to keep the stress levels to a minimum. It’s also worth considering whether you have the time before making this purchase.
Running your own stable or grazing is time-consuming, and you will need to be sure you can commit before making your purchase. The last thing you want is not to have the time to care for your horses!
For those that do have the time and the knowledge, owning or renting your own land can be incredibly satisfying. You have full control over the land, and it allows you to keep your horses as you see fit.
However, this can be an expensive option! If you don’t have a decent budget, you will be met with compromise after compromise, offering less than other livery yards do.
If you are new or less experienced in keeping a horse, it’s best to avoid this option. Wait until you have a few more years of experience and have learned more about horses and keeping them before diving in with your own land!
- Time Required Daily – an hour or more depending on the setup (excluding riding).
- Visits – twice a day
- Costs To Consider – the purchase or rent of the land, electric and water bills, insurance, maintenance costs for buildings and paddocks, muck heap removal, trailer emptying, grooming, additional help, and holiday cover. The cost varies depending on these factors, but it can quickly become an expensive task!
- Best For – experienced and dedicated horse owners. Ideal for those with several horses that want privacy and autonomy rather than convenience.
Common Types Of Livery
For those that don’t want to go it alone, you can choose from one of the most common types of livery listed below. Be sure to select one that best suits your needs and your horse’s needs and your budget.
Grass livery offers grazing for your horse while you are still responsible for their daily care. You will need to check on your horses twice a day and be responsible for their checks, feeding, poo-picking, and other tasks you usually complete.
Grass livery is best suited to horses that are happy to stay outdoors all year. For those that enjoy shelter, you will want to look for ones that come with stables or some form of shelter. This type of livery isn’t for everyone!
Some grazing will come with a field shelter, but not all do. Where possible, opt for those that come with a stable. They will provide your horse with necessary shelter in adverse weather and a safe space for them to rest when they need it. It also ensures that they are warm and protected in harsh winters, a plus for fully clipped horses!
If the livery does not come with a field shelter, check to see if there is natural shelter available. Look for hedges and trees that will offer your horse a shield from the wind and provide shade in the summer.
It’s also worth checking if you can section the field with electrical tape. You might need to restrict summer grazing or preserve areas in the winter to ensure your horses are fed and cared for.
Not all landowners are happy with this in case their ground is damaged where the tape lays. Be sure to find this information out before moving forward with the land.
- Time Required – 30 mins – 1hr in the summer, up to 1hr 30 in the winter (excluding riding).
- Visits – twice a day
- Rough Cost – ranges from affordable to reasonably priced depending on the location of the land and the facilities in place (if there’s a shelter or not).
- Best For – happy hackers and leisure riders that can visit twice a day to care for their horses. It’s also great for a hardy horse or pony that doesn’t mind being out in all weather.
If you are after a budget option, then you should consider a DIY Livery. These are some of the cheapest options available, offering a stable and grazing for your horse, but you need to do it all yourself!
Just like the name says, you will be responsible for all the daily care, starting with turning them out in the morning and finishing with bringing them in in the evening.
This type of livery isn’t for everyone, especially if you don’t have the time to commit every day. However, for those that do and are experienced owners, it can be an affordable way to house your horses.
- Time Required – from 45 mins to an hour in the summer to 2 hrs in the winter (excluding riding).
- Visits – twice a day
- Rough Cost – affordable depending on the location of the livery. Check with local DIY liveries for an accurate cost!
- Best For – experienced owners with lots of time that can visit twice a day and complete all the necessary tasks
Assisted DIY Livery
Assistant DIY livery is similar to DIY livery but comes with some added extras! You will get a list of extras that usually require you to pay by task and means that someone will perform the daily care tasks for you!
You can pay for someone to feed your horses, muck them out, and bring them in, for example, saving you the hassle of doing it yourself!
It also means help is on hand should you need experienced advice or someone to show you the ropes. This is fantastic for those new to keeping a horse or a little unsure of what to do. Instead of struggling and guessing, you can have peace of mind and know that what you are doing is correct!
Assisted DIY livery is an amazing option for owners who think they can spare the time but want some flexibility. You don’t need to panic if your schedule changes and you can’t visit the yard twice a day anymore; there is someone on hand to do the work for you!
It also ensures that your horse is cared for while on holiday or if you want to treat yourself to a lay-in on a Sunday! The cost of assisted DIY livery does vary depending on the number of tasks you pay for.
In some cases, the costs can rack up, leaving you with a hefty bill to pay! If you find yourself paying for many tasks, you might be better off opting for Part Livery instead.
- Time Required – 30 mins to 2 hours a day depending on the tasks you pay for (excluding riding).
- Visits – once or twice a day
- Rough Costs – ranges from affordable to expensive depending on the location of the livery and the number of tasks you pay for.
- Best For – those who have the time to commit but want additional support and flexibility.
Next, we have par Livery, a step up from assisted and DIY livery! Part livery generally means that the yard takes care of the basics for you! They will feed your horse, change rugs, turn out, muck out and bring them in, allowing you to relax and be assured that your horse and its basic needs are taken care of.
All you are responsible for is exercise, grooming, and any other needs! It’s ideal for those that don’t have much time to spend at the yard or need some help providing the basic care for their horses.
Some yards offer a weekday part livery, where Monday to Friday, their basic needs are taken care of, but you will need to care for them on the weekend!
You usually get the offer of DIY or assisted DIY during the weekends, so there is still a fair amount of flexibility with caring for your horse. This is perfect for those that work during the week but want to provide more hands-on care of the horses on the weekends!
- Time Required – 15 mins to 45 mins a day (excluding riding).
- Visits – once a day to groom, but their needs are cared for if you miss a day now and then.
- Rough Costs – from reasonably priced to expensive depending on the location of the stable and the care provided on the weekend. Sometimes you will need to pay for assisted DIY on the weekends.
- Best For – those with little time in the week to care for their horses or want to focus solely on riding and grooming.
Similar to part livery, full livery ensures that the basic needs of your horse are cared for. However, full livery goes one step further and includes the grooming and exercise of your horse! Sometimes they will even provide tacking and tack cleaning for you!
The price of full liveries does vary depending on how often the horse is exercised, and the number of additional services offered that you accept.
It will be fairly reasonably priced for some people, but for others whose horses require lots of exercise and additional services, it can be quite pricey! We recommend speaking with local full livery yards to get an accurate cost for your horse before deciding whether to proceed or not.
- Time Required – 15 mins to 30 mins a day (excluding riding).
- Visits – no set number as your horse’s needs will be cared for.
- Rough Costs – from reasonably priced to expensive depending on how your horse is exercised and the additional services you pay for.
- Best For – people with little time to spend with their horses but plenty of money to ensure they are well cared for.
Competition livery is a supercharged version of Full Livery, with no limits to what is on offer! You can choose from a full luxury livery set up where your horse is kept immaculately groomed, tacked up, and kept in the best condition, or you can opt for a full competition package.
The competition packages are perfect for everyone, even if you don’t want to compete with your horse at a professional level. These liveries offer some of the best conditions for your horse and plenty of flexibility that allows you to choose the level of care you want for your horse.
It’s worth noting that the more care you want for your horse, the more it will cost. In no time, the cost can ramp up and leave you with expensive bills to pay. Thankfully, you can tailor the cost to suit yourself, but competition liveries tend to be some of the most expensive out there!
- Time Required – optional, as your horse’s needs are cared for.
- Visits – optional as your horse’s needs are cared for.
- Rough Costs – from reasonably priced to expensive depending on the level of care that you request for your horse.
- Best For – owners that want to have their horses completely cared for, those that work long hours, or those serious about competing.
A working livery works in many different ways but generally means that your horse will be used for lessons. These are usually at the equestrian center or college where your horse is stabled at. In return, you get a discounted livery rate making it a good choice for those working on a budget.
To stable your horse in a working livery, they need to be fit enough to cope with lessons. They also need to be safe for less experienced riders to ride and comfortable with lots of different riders riding them.
If your pony or horse is nervous or doesn’t mix well with strangers, this could be a challenging environment for them, and you might want to avoid it.
If you opt for a working livery, be sure to do your research beforehand! You will want to place your pony or horse in a livery with a good reputation to ensure that your horse is in the best place possible. Some working liveries are known to exploit horses, so be very cautious when making your decision.
If you are after something more specialist, there is a range of liveries you can explore. These tend to be more bespoke and varied in the services they offer, with the cost being varied too. Let’s take a look at some of your options.
Like full or competition livery, hunter livery is a tailored livery. Here the focus is on hunters. During the hunting season, exercise is focused on fitness and preparing your horses for hunting. Often, your horse is prepped and painted on hunt days and even transported for you!
Some owners turn their horses away in the summer months and take up a full care grass livery. Or they will continue to work through the summer on a full livery. The choice is yours!
- Best For – owners that want to hunt.
Like full and training livery, sales livery includes the yard taking over the sale of your horse or pony. They will handle the viewings and the entire sales process, taking a percentage of the sale as payment. It takes the stress of the sale out of your hands and ensures your horse is sold to a reputable person (or at least, it should!).
- Best For – those with limited time to dedicate to selling their horse or who don’t want the stress of the sale.
Breaking And Training Livery
These are yards that you can break in and train your horses and ponies on. They are ideal for those that have specific behavioral problems that you require assistance with. In some ways, these yards can be considered rehab for your horses.
- Best For – anyone who needs someone to start their horses, want help training, or work on specific issues.
Retirement livery offers a home for horses that can no longer be ridden. They provide full care of your horse and come with a range of living options that ensures they can live their lives in the best environments possible.
As exercise and menage aren’t frequently required, they tend to be cheaper options than other stables.
- Best For – retired horses and owners that want them well cared for.
These liveries offer space for racehorses in training. Their price varies depending on the prestige of the yard and the level of training they offer. It’s worth noting that these are always expensive!
- Best For – racehorse owners.
Polo yards offer a range of packages, from your usual livery packages to a full training plan.
- Best For – polo players.
Broodmare And Foaling Livery
These stud yards offer livery for broodmares and foaling. They usually feature specialist care that can be pricey and larger stables!
- Est For – owners of broodmares.
Things To Consider
Now that we have covered the types of livery available and what might be best for you, let’s look at some factors you should consider before selecting your new yard! Use the following features to find a livery that suits your needs!
Some yards have set opening hours, and you are only allowed there during these hours. Check to see if your potential yard has opening times and if they suit your schedule.
Aside from deciding on what atmosphere you want (quiet or bustling), how busy the yard is is an important feature to consider. A busier yard means it can be harder to use the facilities when you want. You might need to book slots in advance, offering you less flexibility and making it harder to use the yard to its full advantage.
Check out if there are any waiting times or anything you need to be aware of before moving forward.
The facilities your yard has are an important factor to consider. The type of facilities you need will depend on your horse and its needs. For example, if you are a jumper or want to compete, you will want jumps and a school on hand. If you can only ride in the evenings, you will also want a yard with floodlights.
Consider what facilities are important to you, make a list, and use these to help narrow your search and find your new yard.
Investigate what your local hacking is like if you don’t already know. From the yard, you will want access to off-road hacking and bridleways. At the least, you will want an accessible road you can travel on to find hacking near the yard.
A horse comes with a lot of kit, and you need to be sure there is ample and secure storage to leave it in the yard. Find out if they have a secure tack room with space for your kit or if you will need to store it at home and bring it with you when you need it.
Check how flexible the yard owner is. Will they be willing to offer extra help or services if you are on holiday or unwell? Ideally, you want some flexibility, which means you aren’t left struggling if something happens and you can’t make it to the yard one day. You tend to get more flexibility with assisted or full liveries.
Where Is It?
Consider how far from your home the yard is. You will be visiting once or twice a day, so you will want to keep your travel time to a minimum. You could also consider somewhere close to your work or child’s school so you can time your visits with your other commuting commitments.
The security of the stable is an important factor to consider. Find out if the yard is locked at night, if the tack room is secure and whether someone lives on-site or not. You will want your horse to be as secure and safe as possible, so be sure to check about these factors beforehand.
If you have a horsebox or trailer, check that there is on-site parking for it and if it’s free or not. Any parking fees should also be factored into your budget and help you decide if it’s stable for you. Also, consider any parking available when you travel to the stable and if you need to pay for this too.
What Do You Get?
Be sure to check what’s included before making your decision. Check if you will need to provide your own hay, bedding, and feed or if it is provided. Some liveries will have a range of facilities, but limit your access to them. You might need to pay for them, and it’s worth checking if this is the case before choosing them. You don’t want to spend more than you can afford to look after your horse!
And there you have it; the cost of stabling your horse varies depending on the type of yard you place them in! There are so many options on the market ranging in price that you are bound to find one that suits your budget. Remember to consider your budget and what you want from a stable before making your choice.