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Full Livery

Full Livery

A horse that is on full livery will have the majority of its care provided for by the yard staff. Typically, this includes mucking out (paddocks and stables), feeding, rugs on, rugs off, turning out and bringing in, basic hay forage, as well as bedding for your horse’s stable.

Some livery packages also include holding for the farrier and dentist as well as for routine checks by the vet (such as for vaccinations). Other packages might include exercising and grooming your horse, should you require that level of assistance. As previously mentioned, these services will be outlined in your contract.

Full livery tends to be the popular choice among those in full-time employment or with busy schedules. Naturally, it’s also the most expensive type of livery out there, and may not be sustainable for everyone.


Common Features of Full Livery

  • Stabling and bedding. Your horse should have its own stable with a bed of straw or shavings.

  • Feeding. Your horse should be fed at least three times a day, and this feed should include hay, hard feed, and any necessary supplements or medications.

  • Mucking out. The standard practice in most yards is to clean a stable in the morning, removing all soiled bedding and waste, and then provide fresh bedding. Some yards may also perform a scoop in the late afternoon or evening to ensure the horse remains clean and comfortable in the night. As ever, these practises vary from yard to yard, so it's important to clarify what the mucking out schedule is, and what you expect it to be.

  • Turnout. Every horse should get time out of the stable – in a paddock or field – weather permitting, of course.

  • Grooming. Basic grooming tasks might be offered – such as brushing, mane and tail care – but at the very least you might ask yard staff to ensure your horse’s hooves are cleaned at least once a day, especially when coming in from a paddock.

  • Exercise. Some packages might include exercise – either lunging or training with a designated rider – but this will very much depend on the capabilities of the yard staff and the price will vary according to location and the qualifications/experience of the yard staff.

  • Tack cleaning. Again, this might be offered, but don’t take it as a given.

  • Veterinary and farrier care. Many yards will have a farrier and vet they prefer to use so check whether your horse will be added to the yard’s schedule and, should your horse need veterinary treatment, check that the yard staff will be there to assist if needed.


Full Livery: the Pros and Cons

  • Convenience. Full livery packages are a popular choice among horse owners who may not have the time or the expertise to see to the needs of their horse on a daily basis.

  • Professional care. Most yards offering full livery packages will have qualified or experienced staff knowledgeable about the needs of your horse.

  • More riding time. With yard staff in charge of the mucking out and feeding, this frees up more time in the saddle.

  • Cost. Full livery packages tend to be a lot more expensive than other livery options.

  • Limited control. Opting for full livery may limit your opportunities for hands-on involvement.

  • Compatibility. Different livery yards have different ways of working and views on welfare, so if you are leaving your horse in the care of the yard’s staff for much of the week, choose a yard that aligns with your own values and requirements.


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