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DIY Livery

DIY Livery

It would seem self-explanatory, but nothing is totally straight forward in the equine world.

Do-it-yourself livery is the polar opposite of full livery, as in you do all the hard work yourself. For their part, the yard should provide a space for you to store your equipment and feed (as well as a stable and a field), but do read the small print on the contract.

While some yards will provide hay and straw, at a cost, it’s not a given and you may have to source this yourself. You will also have to be around to feed your horse.

DIY livery would suit those who have the time to look after their horses to this degree or anyone with a limited budget – though you may have to buy equipment, such as pitchforks, wheelbarrows, brooms etc.

Clearly, DIY livery can be hard work, especially if you have more than one horse, but the rewards are often worth it.


Common Features of DIY Livery


  • Stabling. The livery yard should provide a space for your horse.

  • Facilities. Typically, you will have access to essential facilities such as grazing areas, riding arenas, wash bays, and storage spaces for tack and equipment.

  • Basic services. Some essential services may be provided, such as manure disposal and access to water points, but do check the terms of any contract.

  • Feed and bedding: DIY livery clients are responsible for sourcing and providing feed, hay, bedding, and any supplements their horse may need.

  • Mucking out. Yep, that’s down to you – along with feeding, grooming, exercising and arranging veterinary and farrier visits.


The Pros and Cons of DIY Livery

  • Cost. DIY livery is generally more affordable than full livery.

  • Bonding. Hands-on involvement and daily care are the most sure-fire ways to build a solid relationship with your horse.

  • Control: With DIY livery, you are in control of your horse's routine, feeding, exercise, and general care.

  • Time. DIY livery requires a significant commitment, which can be challenging for those holding down full-time jobs.

  • Limited support. With DIY livery, you assume full responsibility for your horse's well-being. In some cases, this could lead to mistakes happening or substandard care due to a lack of knowledge or inexperience. While livery staff may be available, they are working for a business and therefore they will only be obliged to offer a limited level of support. If you need help, you would be wise to build up a network of friends at the yard who can help out when needed.

  • Weather. Summers can be hot, winters can be cold and wet, but your horse needs the same level of care each and every day of the year.

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