buying+running a livery yard (UK)
 
 

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buying+running a livery yard (UK)

This is a discussion on buying+running a livery yard (UK) within the Horse Boarding forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category
  • How much does a livery yard make
  • Can you earn a living running a livery yard uk

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  • 2 Post By albertaeventer
  • 1 Post By albertaeventer

 
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    04-09-2013, 07:11 PM
  #1
Weanling
buying+running a livery yard (UK)

I'm 13 and when I'm older and have the money (I want to be an architect) I'd like to buy some land, build some stables and eventually, retire from my job and run the stables when I've got some boarders. Any advice, prices or any infomation about this. Any advice is really apreiciated but please don't rain on my parade.... I've wanted to do this for a while... Thanks
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    04-09-2013, 07:13 PM
  #2
Weanling
Also if you have any prices, can you try put them in pounds please if you can, I'm no good at currency converting after a long day
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    04-09-2013, 07:15 PM
  #3
Showing
If you don't want actual, realistic advice, they why are you even asking? Running a boarding stable is hard work and you won't make a lot of money. If you're doing it to make money, you're wasting your time. Plus, horse people are crazy, as well as nasty and demanding.

As far as how much anything will cost 40 years into the future, you'd need an economist to figure that out. If you want dollars to pound conversions, you can Google them. Very few people can instantly tell you what something is in pounds if they've never used it as a unit of currency.
     
    04-09-2013, 07:17 PM
  #4
Weanling
I'm not sure where I said that I don't want realistic advice...
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    04-09-2013, 09:53 PM
  #5
Yearling
When my grandpa ran his boarding facility, most of the time, he paid out of his pocket for feed every month...albeit, he wasnt a brilliant business man even if he would've charged heaps more, it would've only made a marginal difference when all was said and done. He worked everyday a minimum of sunrise to sunset and I remember feeding with him during many blizzards where he had to take his bales around on toy sleds that were donated to our "cause" by the boarders. There's no calling in sick when you have a bunch of hungry horses snickering to you.
     
    04-09-2013, 11:00 PM
  #6
Started
You will have to qualify as an architect - levels, then university, then professional qualification; all in about 8 years on top of school I think.

Then you'll have to work really hard AND be successfull in order to earn yourself about 400,000 for a house without mortgage and 2,000,000 in the bank for the livery yard.

Then be successfull enough to go part time so you still earn a decent income (say 50,000 per annum) which will support you while you attempt to make the livery yard make enough money to cover it's costs. If it's not successfull (many aren't) you will probably have to go back to working full time to help keep your business afloat.
     
    04-10-2013, 05:05 PM
  #7
Foal
You have lots of time to plan and think about things, so that's a good thing! My advice is to get out there, work at lots of different boarding stables, learn the ins and outs, see the work that goes in and the money that comes out. This will allow you to see how things are run, what works and what doesn't, and start getting ideas for what you might want down the road. Tell the people you work for that you want to learn absolutely everything because you are thinking that someday you want to have your own boarding stable. Pay attention to everything, see all the different ways everything is managed, feed, pasture, the set up of different barns, turnout, hay, the wash stall and tack rooms, etc etc etc. Use all that to your advantage, take in all that information and what you like and don't like about it, and think a lot about how you'd run things better or differently if it was your own barn down the road. There is so much to be learned from everyone you work with too.

You might find your ideas about what you want change as you get more experience and get older. Running a boarding stable is hard, long hours, tons of work and upkeep, you'll have virtually no time off or vacation, all for not much pay. You really have to love the work and love making people happy. It's almost like customer service, as much as we'd like to think, it's not really about keeping the horses happy, it's about keeping the horse owners and boarders happy.

I used to think I wanted to open my own boarding stable someday. Have my barn and horses and people would come and go and I would just work with horses and it would all be great and happy. Until I got out there working in a bunch of barns. I have now drastically changed my mind, and now I would NEVER want to deal with that and all that responsibility that comes with it! You can never "go home", you are *always* working and *always* on call 24/7. You will *have* to deal with difficult people, irresponsible people, crazy people, etc. Most barns are money pits, it is very very difficult to make any sort of a living, much less just break even in the horse industry, and I didn't realize this until I was out there managing a myself barn and barely making it from paycheck to paycheck. You can't please everyone, there are always unhappy people complaining about anything and everything regardless of what you try to do. I found that I didn't enjoy my horses as much when I had to do the horse thing as a job. After working all day at the barn, the last thing I wanted to do was spend MORE time where I worked, so instead of riding my horses, I'd just go home. I found out the hard way I had to keep the horses as a hobby for myself, to be able to fully enjoy them. You might find yourself in a similar situation.

You have tons of time to figure out what you want! If in 20 years you still want to go for the boarding barn, at least you'll have done your homework and will know exactly what you want and have experience already after having worked in many. And if you decide that it's not for you, that's ok too! Personally I found myself an awesome job (not with horses) that allows me enough flexibility and money to do what I want with my own horses, without me getting burnt out. This way I can keep thing FUN and on my own terms, and after work I am SO excited to go to the barn and ride:) I am FAR happier with less on my shoulders, and in a way better financial place than I was working at any barn.

Good luck, whatever you decide to do:)
Shropshirerosie and plomme like this.
     
    04-11-2013, 06:51 PM
  #8
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by albertaeventer    
You have lots of time to plan and think about things, so that's a good thing! My advice is to get out there, work at lots of different boarding stables, learn the ins and outs, see the work that goes in and the money that comes out. This will allow you to see how things are run, what works and what doesn't, and start getting ideas for what you might want down the road. Tell the people you work for that you want to learn absolutely everything because you are thinking that someday you want to have your own boarding stable. Pay attention to everything, see all the different ways everything is managed, feed, pasture, the set up of different barns, turnout, hay, the wash stall and tack rooms, etc etc etc. Use all that to your advantage, take in all that information and what you like and don't like about it, and think a lot about how you'd run things better or differently if it was your own barn down the road. There is so much to be learned from everyone you work with too.

You might find your ideas about what you want change as you get more experience and get older. Running a boarding stable is hard, long hours, tons of work and upkeep, you'll have virtually no time off or vacation, all for not much pay. You really have to love the work and love making people happy. It's almost like customer service, as much as we'd like to think, it's not really about keeping the horses happy, it's about keeping the horse owners and boarders happy.

I used to think I wanted to open my own boarding stable someday. Have my barn and horses and people would come and go and I would just work with horses and it would all be great and happy. Until I got out there working in a bunch of barns. I have now drastically changed my mind, and now I would NEVER want to deal with that and all that responsibility that comes with it! You can never "go home", you are *always* working and *always* on call 24/7. You will *have* to deal with difficult people, irresponsible people, crazy people, etc. Most barns are money pits, it is very very difficult to make any sort of a living, much less just break even in the horse industry, and I didn't realize this until I was out there managing a myself barn and barely making it from paycheck to paycheck. You can't please everyone, there are always unhappy people complaining about anything and everything regardless of what you try to do. I found that I didn't enjoy my horses as much when I had to do the horse thing as a job. After working all day at the barn, the last thing I wanted to do was spend MORE time where I worked, so instead of riding my horses, I'd just go home. I found out the hard way I had to keep the horses as a hobby for myself, to be able to fully enjoy them. You might find yourself in a similar situation.

You have tons of time to figure out what you want! If in 20 years you still want to go for the boarding barn, at least you'll have done your homework and will know exactly what you want and have experience already after having worked in many. And if you decide that it's not for you, that's ok too! Personally I found myself an awesome job (not with horses) that allows me enough flexibility and money to do what I want with my own horses, without me getting burnt out. This way I can keep thing FUN and on my own terms, and after work I am SO excited to go to the barn and ride:) I am FAR happier with less on my shoulders, and in a way better financial place than I was working at any barn.

Good luck, whatever you decide to do:)
This was really helpful! Also, about the working all day everyday, what is the work? I know this sounds stupid but if I had a groom or two, and I did as much of the horsey work possible, would the rest be manerging the barn or what? As for people being crazy ect, my yard has 27 horses on it and I couldn't think of a nicer place... Although there are some little arguments and someones been stealing feed O.O I really like it there but, as you said, I can think of things I could do better alsoooo.... Can anybody give me a rough estimate of electricity,water,staff(experienced grooms, aprentice grooms maybe a maneger?), security and insurence?

Thanks everyone
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    04-11-2013, 07:55 PM
  #9
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by dommycob    
This was really helpful! Also, about the working all day everyday, what is the work?
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This question right here is why you need to get out there in the industry and work at a bunch of barns and see what it's like! It's hard to relay over the internet just what an incredible amount of responsibility it is, and there is no way to truly understand until you've experienced it yourself. There is always SO much to do, even with help it will seem like there's not enough hours in the day.

With a farm the upkeep is constant, think fencing, painting, cutting the grass, weed whacking, maintaining the stalls, barn, waterers, tractors, arena footing, cleaning, inventory of hay, grain, other barn supplies, watering and dragging the arena, answering phones and fielding inquiries, scheduling vet and farrier, managing budget and finances, invoicing, taxes, I could go on, but I think you get the picture. And then somewhere in there you have to fit in a significant other, your own horses, kids, time for yourself, etc. You pretty much have to live there or pay someone to be on site 24/7. You'll be the one hauling water when the waterers quit working for no reason in the middle of winter. You'll be the one having to hand walk someone's horse all night because it's colicking. It's on you to do night check every single night to make sure all the horses are ok. That will interrupt your quiet date night with your significant other. If a horse gets injured or dies, it's on you. That is a HUGE responsibility on someone's shoulders. Let's not forget the fact that good barn help is *extremely* hard to find. That is another thing you have to see for yourself. You can't just count on hired help, as they flake out. Come late, slack off, and just quit coming to work, and you're the only one there to pick up the slack.

I would look for a live in barn manager position, and then do it for a couple of years. By that time you will know exactly what you are getting into, and will be able to see the big picture and answer the question: "is THIS EXACTLY what I want to do with the rest of my life?"

Not trying to be a downer, just being realistic and emphasizing that you need to know exactly what you will getting into. It's definitely doable, but it's definitely not for everyone. We just want you to be prepared and make the most educated decision possible:)
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