Katie passed her vetting!Help with deciding livery? - Page 5 - The Horse Forum
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post #41 of 54 Old 01-26-2018, 06:34 PM
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So do I understand correctly that they don't put hay out in the pastures during winter? I wouldn't like that either. Even when I boarded at a place with thick pasture, we put hay out.

As for DIY, few barns I know of offer it or will allow it for that very reason. The one that does has strict rules that you miss a day and they take care of your horse for a significant extra charge. After a certain number of misses, you can go full board or get out.
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post #42 of 54 Old 01-26-2018, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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So do I understand correctly that they don't put hay out in the pastures during winter? I wouldn't like that either. Even when I boarded at a place with thick pasture, we put hay out.
That's correct! I have already begun searching for round bales that I might be able to order myself. The downside is that Katie wouldn't be able to go with the herd as she would have to be on solo turnout (I feel sorry for the other horses but I can't really afford to feed that many!). I might try and see if I can get the other owners of the mare herd together to split the cost or something between us. Not sure if any of it is an option but I'm going to try!
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post #43 of 54 Old 01-26-2018, 07:04 PM
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When I'm there I can bring her in to fill her belly but the days I'm not it'll have to do. I CAN request that she be brought in for lunch on the days I'm not there but it will of course cost extra. My heart says I SHOULD do it but I'd like your thoughts on it too?
Yep, that is a problem. What do the horses DO when turned out if there's nothing to eat? Yes, if she's only turned out for 5 hrs & has eaten just before she goes out, that's still not ideal & I'd still want her having 'lunch', but if she's turned out for any longer, I'd absolutely ensure she had at least one feed in between times.

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3. Katie will be getting fed hay and not haylage as they dont have it in stock, which is fine, as she was eating the hay well enough on arrival. She will be getting a plain feed of horse nuts/grass in the morning and after coming in.
Hay is generally speaking, better than 'haylage' for horses. So does that mean she gets free choice hay whenever she's in, and 2 'hard feeds' per day? And not sure what 'horse nuts' have in them, but I'd keep to low sugar/starch feed & ensure they're small meals. Is she just getting this in order to add supps to? Otherwise I wonder why is an 'easy keeper' getting any hard feeds? And why looking for beet pulp?

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should I request a haynet for the evening, however, to help keep the gut working?
Yes. Unless the amount of hay she gets lasts her until she goes out in the morn, unless that much hay loose doesn't cause her to be too fat, esp when she's stuck in a box with nothing to do than eat for so much of the time, hay needs to be put in a net - pref. a 'slow feed' one with small holes - so that it lasts them the night & they can't gorge on it.

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6. They don't have a mounting block. I'll have to get one. I was hit by a car a few years ago which damaged my right shoulder and hip. I am nowhere NEAR nimble enough despite that to get on her 16.2hh back without some sort of boost. I'll have to look into a carry hacking one as well just in case.
They don't have any low walls, benches, logs, ditches, gates, milk crates.... etc around anywhere for you to make use of? And a mounting block that you can carry out hacking?? Never heard of one of those & sounds incredibly awkward, unless it's an Inspector Gadget one that folds into nothing in a saddle bag. But again, surely there are obstacles out on the trail you can use. As I've got older & unfitter, it's for me too, but I've always made a point of using a 'mounting block', for my horse's sake. That may mean positioning him in a ditch or beside a gate I climb on... only at home do I have 'mounting blocks', because it's easy to have a few I can move around.

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I am also bearing in mind that I can move at any time and have the field down the road from me with nice fields and haying (but no school or livery) if I need a back up.
I'd actually choose the field over this kind of setup any day. And have done, many times when I was agisting. I take them places if I want to 'school'. I don't know exactly what a 'livery' is it seems, because I thought it was just anywhere people boarded horses for others. Does it mean full management/owner not required daily?
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post #44 of 54 Old 01-26-2018, 07:15 PM
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As for DIY, few barns I know of offer it or will allow it for that very reason. The one that does has strict rules that you miss a day and they take care of your horse for a significant extra charge. After a certain number of misses, you can go full board or get out.
Yeah, of course, perhaps there are 'one offs', but them allowing that, to me, along with no hay for hrs on turnout, says that they don't care about the horses.
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post #45 of 54 Old 01-26-2018, 07:18 PM
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I might try and see if I can get the other owners of the mare herd together to split the cost or something between us. Not sure if any of it is an option but I'm going to try!
Yeah perhaps at least one of the other owners are willing(jump at the chance, if they know what's good for their horses) to share a bale & put their horse in with Katie.
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post #46 of 54 Old 01-26-2018, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Yes @loosie it came as a surprise because I have done a lot of scouting and the places I have worked at also have hayed in winter as STANDARD. This is the the first place with turnout that I've come across that DOESN'T. It has made me very sad as it didn't cross my mind to ask because the expectation was unconsciously there. I know for next time! It bothers me a lot a lot a lot ;'( The hard feed was recommended by the owner and it is merely a token/handful amount. I am sending off hay analysis and will get the actual bags to check labels tomorrow. It's high on my checklist to know where we're at nutrition wise. But I'm glad that I was right in initially suggesting that she just be kept on hay.

If I can't get this resolved ASAP I will absolutely 100% zero tolerance move out and I'm lucky that I'm able to afford the luxury of doing so in quick fashion. I had to move Katie quick and I truly did not expect such a huge roadblock. The livery yard is otherwise great in terms of what I'm after. Pooh.
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post #47 of 54 Old 01-27-2018, 04:42 PM
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A lot of livery yards don't put hay out in the field - it isn't that unusual. Its mostly done that way because its one of the main reason why spats occur between horses with subsequent injuries and then that becomes the biggest source of contention between owners.
On top of that when the weather is really wet and muddy the hay just gets ruined before its all eaten so a waste of money.
Not ideal I know but unless the lands really overgrazed the horses will usually find something to nibble on.
I would only worry if the horses there all looked thin and generally poor condition and they had a lot of colic attacks per month
If they will give you a field of your own you can't put a round bale in for just one horse - in wet weather it will soon go mouldy. Just pay the owner/manager to put in X number of sections of hay a day or preferably several times a day
You can always move but keep in mind that if the other place has no outdoor or indoor manège you'll be stuck with riding on the roads or tracks in the dark during the late autumn to early spring months if you work and can only get their early mornings and evenings. Unless you can find a riding companion during the lighter periods of the year you'll be having to go out on your own on a horse you aren't yet familiar with.
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post #48 of 54 Old 01-27-2018, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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@jaydee I am relieved to hear from you. I have done more livery shopping today and it seems to be 50/50 regarding haying winter fields for the exact reason you said. I suppose I can understand though I have to say where I worked before it was managed and worked out wonderfully. I was also lucky enough to meet the apprentice at this yard who said that she put 4 flakes in last night and there was still some left over this morning (so maybe no haynet for now as she's a very chill eater? Depends on her weight as well I suppose.). She will put 3 flakes tomorrow and also said that when she walks around she chucks in hay at lunch as well. I was happy to hear that even though I believe it's actually meant to be a paid service. I still greatly dislike that once turned out she'll go more than 5 hours without a proper nibble. I'm just concerned about behaviour, condition and ulcers (long term issues ofc).

I took Katie for another walk down the bridleway but she was making some pitiful sounds as she was desperate to go for a run. 2 more days of isolation and she can be free! Saddler should be coming soon as it'll be great to get moving. There is some AMAZING hacking but it requires braving London roads. -.- But the people on the yard are very friendly and a few have already offered to hack out with me first time! Thanks so much again I will continue to monitor Katie's condition and happiness.
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post #49 of 54 Old 01-27-2018, 09:46 PM
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I am so excited for you! Brings back memories. Katie sounds absolutely amazing. You must be on cloud 9! But yes, so, so many things to figure out initially.

Keeping horses in the UK is very different from here, so I'm not going to comment on what I think is normal or not. I will say that so far, you are doing everything right. And you sound a lot like me - a bit of a worrier! That's ok, we just want everything to be perfect. When I bought my first horse as an adult (he was actually for my daughter, but she was very young and needed a lot of adult help), I boarded him at a stable I thought was pretty good. We knew the BO well, my daughter had been taking lessons there for a while, and the horses seemed healthy. But within a few days, I started to realize it wasn't as good as I thought. Turnout consisted of being stuck in a very small paddock with manure up to the fetlock. Our horse was put in with a very nasty gelding who had a reputation of drawing blood from every horse he ever shared a paddock with (I only found this out later, after talking to other borders). Long story short, we only stayed there a month and a half. It was just awful. Sometimes, things look good from the outside, but when you start boarding somewhere, you realize it's not as nice as you thought. So it's good that you have other options, should they become necessary.

It does sound like there are plusses, but those DIY horses sound absolutely miserable.

As for no hay in the field, I agree that it isn't ideal. I don't think turning her out alone with a round bale is a good option, because as was stated above, it will take too long for her to eat it, and it will go bad. I don't buy round bales for that reason, and I have two horses. So if I were in your shoes, I would request that she be brought in for an extra meal. Better than going all day without eating. If you can get other boarders to chip in so everyone can share a round bale, that would be great, but I've heard stories of things going sour really fast in situations like that (one person never pays her share, is always behind in payments, etc.). Still, might be worth a try. And yes, be prepared to bring in extra bedding if necessary. I did it when I was boarding at the first place. I don't know what it costs in England, but it's pretty cheap here, and well worth it.

As for haynets, I do like them personally, because it keeps my horses from eating too fast, and I have two small, easy keepers. But from what you say, Katie doesn't eat too fast, and she is a bigger horse, so hay nets may not be necessary. I would monitor things. If she still has hay left in the morning and maintains a healthy weight, then you may not need them. But if, like my horses, the hay is gone by midnight or so (I know this because I installed a camera in my barn so I could monitor them at night - I told you I was a worrier!), then it might be worth investing in a few hay nets. You'll want at least a couple, with about 2" holes to start. I now use 1" holes, but like I said, my horses are easy keepers so I really want to slow them down.

I laughed at your description of the couple. I have seen that over and over. My own husband has never been on either of my horses. He will feed them when I'm away, and isn't exactly afraid of them, but isn't entirely comfortable with them either.

So awesome that you have been hand-walking Katie! Once she is in turnout, hopefully you can do some bonding exercises with her. I did a liberty training course with my mare, and it was the most wonderful, eye-opening experience. Riding is fun, but I had forgotten about spending time on the ground, and it turns out it's now my favorite thing to do with her. Enjoy Katie! We look forward to reading about all your great adventures together!
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post #50 of 54 Old 01-29-2018, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you @Acadianartist ! It's both a wonderful and yet terrifying time haha. Katie definitely isn't a greedy pig. I've been going everyday so far and she's always had SOME hay in there but does it eat casually (so I know it's not because she doesn't like it). I picked her feet while she was eating some cut grass out of her feed bowl (a token amount and I wanted to see how she was around it. Still waiting on hay analysis results). Angel as expected. I took her for a walk while we waited for the indoor school to be free. The bridleway had a lot of hacker traffic and she enjoyed meeting some other horses, behaving herself. Then we found a grassy bank near the livery car park and I let her have a munch. The staff said Katie had loads of fun in the indoor school earlier, thundering around and bucking, so I was excited to see for myself. Instead when I released her I just saw a very anxious horse that didn't like being shut in. She was making some quiet pitiful squeals/grunts, almost like a kid huffing under their breath out of frustration. She very pointedly looked AT me as she stood by the door and shook her head and pawed the ground. I called her over (she doesn't know her name though haha) and to my SURPRISE and SHOCK she actually came over. We walked around the school shoulder to shoulder. I had no treats, nothing. She of her own volition stayed with me possibly out of desperation lol. Anyway I was just surprised at her reaction because most horses when I've worked with them forget I exist pretty quickly as they meet so many people. After about 10minutes wandering around together I took her back and said my 1 hour, never ending, "one more pat", goodbye.

So coming home and reading your comment (and looking up liberty) I'll definitely consider that! Time can't hurry up quick enough. Tomorrow is her last day of isolation. I wish I could be there to see her first run in the field but alas work :< You know, it takes me an hour and a half just to get there. And another hour and a half just to get back, if I'm lucky in London city traffic. Takes the same amount of time by train. It's soul crushingly long this journey but it's so worth it. I just hope to find somewhere close!
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