The demand for livery yard businesses has grown steadily over the last 5 years with an increasing number of purchasers looking for a lifestyle business, or to perhaps fund their own equestrian activities, through the leasing of their personal facilities such as livery yards. We have experience in selling extensive commercial livery yards of 50 boxes, through to small private set ups of 5 boxes. Our knowledge of such properties and purchasers in the market help us to deliver excellent results for our clients.
We understand the need to achieve the best price for our client, whilst not damaging the existing business during the marketing period. Our approach is always sensitive to any on-going commercial activity.
Speak to the team today for further information on buying a livery yard and we would be more than happy to assist you.
How to start a livery yard
Starting a livery yard from scratch can be an enjoyable and rewarding enterprise. However many factors must be taken into consideration before embarking on such a project. Don’t underestimate for example the time and money you will have to dedicate to your new enterprise.
Could you run your own livery yard?
If you feel the answer is yes to the above statement and you have the correct skill set in place then starting a livery yard is the correct field for you to pursue. If however, like most, owning a livery yard has always been your dream but you need to improve your skills in order to take up the challenge, this should not be a worry as the relevant equestrian skills can be learnt.
If your skills do need improving the BHS run Stages and courses for this but it may be wise to employ people who have prior knowledge, experience and qualifications to start the livery business. You can then learn from them whilst improving your skills and pursuing your dreams.
Why start a livery yard?
Horse riding is a popular hobby but is incredibly time consuming. Many people relish the opportunity to own a horse but have neither the time/availability of land and/or knowledge to look after them. A livery yard can cater for many different types of horse owner, from a basic care package of just stables and a paddock (DIY livery) to Full livery, including riding, even competition preparation. The potential market for a livery yard can be extremely large especially in areas where horse ownership is great. Livery yards may range in size from small privately owned 4 or 5 box yards where the owner has a couple of liveries in addition to family horses, to large commercial yards.
Location and Infrastructure
A countryside location is preferable as the hacking is better. Sometimes a site has enough acreage that hacking could be around the fields with no need for clients to leave the property. Bridleways nearby are ideal or common land that can be ridden over is needed for the livery yard to reach a larger target market. If no hacking is available, even a short drive away it may be a limiting factor.
Other livery yards in the area need to be researched to see if there is enough of a market available, generally other factors such as facilities and prices play a large part in encouraging clients.
If a plot is being bought with the desire to build a livery yard then flat land must exist so stables and facilities such as one, or several, arenas can be built. Hard standing for client’s cars and lorries must be available and suitable access for delivery and clients lorries should be considered. Depending on the scale of clients and budget involved, an area where a walker could reside would be useful.
Electricity and water supply is vital to the site, especially if no onsite accommodation exists. If planning permission for a dwelling can be obtained, this may be preferable as more clients will be attracted to a livery yard with an owner onsite. If a house cannot be built then permission may be granted for a mobile home or a log cabin, accommodation that is not fixed. This gives the horse owner piece of mind that 24/7 onsite coverage is available to their horse. Barns for hay and storage of equipment such as feed and bedding are vital to the smooth running of a livery yard.
If space allows and a number of livery packages are held then it can be useful within large premises to split areas into the differing livery groups available. An area away from the stables and barns should be used for muck removal.
Local farmers should be consulted as to their availability and willingness to provide you with hay, straw and sometimes muck removal services as this can be an extremely useful helping hand. Also topping and harrowing of paddocks are essential maintenance that cannot always be upheld by the livery yard owner but the farmer may be able to assist, for a fee.
Tack rooms are an essential area to consider with regards to security as these are clients’ prize possessions. CCTV and an alarm system should be installed in any livery yard as security is at the top of every horse owners list. Gates should have a padlock at least and if a coded security system could be incorporated this would be ideal.
You do not need qualifications to start a livery yard but they do help increase your potential customer base as people are more inclined to pursue a livery yard that employs people that know how to look after horses correctly.
Unless the yard is only a few boxes, people will need to be employed in order to care for the horses. These employees should have a minimum of BHS Stage qualifications, or Pony Club qualifications, as this shows they possess relevant knowledge to care for horses.
Insurance and Licences
A livery yard that possesses BHS approval shows potential clients that the yard owners and staff have the appropriate knowledge and facilities to care for their horses.
Employing staff means as a livery yard owner you should take out employer’s liability insurance to ensure that should anything untoward happen you are covered as the owner of the premises. It is recommended that you also gain Livery Yard Liability Insurance as it ensures that should any accident happen on your premises you are covered legally.
Setting up a livery yard can be expensive initially to ensure correct facilities are available to meet the client’s needs. Over time however, depending on the livery packages you provide you should hopefully see a return on your investment. Starting up and running a livery yard should be enjoyable and rewarding.
If you are interested in livery yards for sale, a plot of land for conversion into a livery yard, or investing into existing facilities to provide a livery yard please do not hesitate to get in touch. We would be delighted to help.