Starting a Livery Yard

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: December 2016
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • Qualifications and skills
  • Key market issues and trends
  • Trading, commercial and legal issues
  • Legislation
  • Further information

Livery yards (or stables) provide stabling and grazing facilities for owners of horses and ponies. Proprietors typically offer a range of services, from simply providing stable and paddock space, enabling owners to carry out the day-to-day care of their horses (DIY livery), to full livery, which includes a complete package of horse care provided by the livery yard that includes feeding, mucking out, grooming and changing of horses' rugs.

Many livery yards are set up as a farm diversification opportunity, or by rural property owners who keep horses, but also have sufficient grazing land attached to their home as well as space for stables and paddocks to accommodate other people's horses as well.

Key commercial customers for livery yards include animal charities that have insufficient space to accommodate rescue horses, local authorities and police forces that need temporary accommodation for 'stray' horses.

Livery yards are not required to be licensed to trade, unless they also keep horses for 'hire or reward' and provide schooling and tuition. In this case, they are classified as 'equestrian centres' and are subject to the same regulatory requirements as riding schools. For more information, see BOP 131, Horse Riding School.

This profile provides information about starting up and running a livery yard. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and the key trading issues. It also explains the main legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information and support.

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