As horse insurance experts and owners ourselves, we know that ensuring your horse is well cared for is crucial. Where you decide to stable him is important for his – and your – wellbeing.

Here is our list of questions to ask and things to consider when deciding on the right yard:

Does the yard have a nice atmosphere? Remember, it is likely you will be spending quite a substantial part of your free time up at the yard. Are the people friendly and do they and the horses look relaxed? Why not ask if the yard has any social media pages and have a look at them to see the sort of things that people post. Does the yard organise any social activities / outings and is there real sense of yard community.

What size yard are you looking for? If the yard is small, with just one or two other people there, consider the activities they do with their horses – will this fit in with your plans. For example, if there are three horses at the yard and the other people take off out to shows together when hacking is your thing, how will your horse react to being left home alone for the day? Would you and your horse enjoy the hustle and bustle of a large yard, or would you and he thrive in a quieter environment?

Are the stables suitable? Can horses see one another from the stables? If there is potential for your horse to be left in a stable where he can’t see any other horses will this worry him? Many people prefer to have their horse in a stable with rubber matting on the floor underneath the bedding to minimise the risk of scraped hocks. If the yard is in an American barn are the internal boxes well ventilated – or the other end of the scale, are they at risk of being draughty?

Do you need additional services? If you are looking at do it yourself (DIY) livery for your horse, is there the option, either from others at the yard, or the yard owner / manager for things such as getting your horse in on the odd evening if you are held up late at work, or dealing with the farrier for you. If you are keen to keep your horse on full livery, be clear about exactly what is included in the price – feed, bedding, tack cleaning and so on.

Do they have adequate livery yard insurance? Regardless of whether the yard is DIY or full livery it is vital that they have the correct insurance in place. This is not only to protect themselves, but also you and your horse if you choose to stable there. If you injure yourself on their land and they are found to be liable for this, they’ll need to have enough cover in place to cover your claim. Similarly, they have a responsibility to provide suitable fencing to keep the horses from escaping, these types of claims have the potential to come back on you, so this is particularly important!

How much land does a horse need? Chances are, that you will want your horse to go in the field at some point. It is important to know whether your horse will be expected to go out in a field on his own, with one or two friends, or if the yard turns out several horses together. Is the land surrounding the yard up to year-round turnout, or does it get to October and the owner insists all horses stay in until the ground dries up? Which may not be until the spring. Are the paddocks securely and safely fenced? Is there double fencing around any of the paddocks to prevent horses biting each other over the fences.

About SEIB

SEIB have been arranging horse insurance for over 50 years. This experience allows us to tailor policies to suit your circumstances and ensure that you and your horses are covered should the worst happen. If you’d like advice on your insurance please call us on 01708 850000.