Facilities at Britain’s livery yards vary widely, with some offering resources that amaze.
Claire Wyatt’s family opened Bromson Hall Farm Stables, in Warwickshire five years ago to offer five-star livery.
They charge £36 a week DIY and £71 a week part livery, which is competitive locally.
They offer a 60x40m floodlit outdoor arena with mirrors, 20m floodlit round pen, horse-walker, solarium, wash box with hot water, clients’ lounge with kitchen, tackroom with individual lockable cupboards, bathroom,cross-country course, six miles of off-road riding and purpose-built stables in an American barn.
“We have also recently built a 60x20m indoor arena with mirrors, and the liveries pay £50 extra a month to use that, but all the rest is included, even at DIY,” said Claire.
Ridings Farm Livery, near Bristol, is run by showjumper and dressage rider Terri Hill.
Clients enjoy the use of her Equissage horse massage machine and Equilibrium magnetic products.
Tack cleaning, rug washing, mane pulling and clipping are also included as part of the livery service, which costs £90 a week.
And you can even bring your zebra — Terri has a small herd, as well as a Somali wild ass and an onager (Asiatic wild ass) on livery.
Other yards stand out for the non-horsey extras they offer.
At Farley Hall Equestrian Centre. in Swallowfield, Berks, you can learn about equine anatomy, with a dissection session being run by the local vet practice.
“It was something my staff were keen to do, so I asked the clients if they wanted to get involved,” said yard manager Nicola Kinnard.
A big perk of paying up to £900 a month to keep your horse at Farley Hall is the use of the wifi in the clubhouse.
“Some people use it to ‘work from home’ occasionally while waiting for the farrier or vet, but we have one lady who works from there two days a week,” said Nicola.
Other stables even offer crèche facilities for children and dogs.
This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (24 January 2013)