As a livery yard owner, it is often more than just your livery clients that you deal with on site. As well as friends or family of your livery clients, your premises will also be welcoming potentially a large number of equestrian professionals providing their services to the horses or their owners.

This could include professionals providing routine equine care such as farriers, equine dental technicians, vets, or other services such as equine physiotherapists, freelance grooms, instructors and saddle fitters. These service providers may be appointed by yourself, or independently by your livery clients. Depending on the arrangement, you may or may not be present whilst these services are being carried out.

Regardless of the service they are providing, or by whom their services are appointed by, any professionals providing their services on your livery yard should be appropriately insured, and suitably experienced and qualified for the services they are offering or the potential advice they are giving. Under your duty of care, you also need to have peace of mind that the information and advice being given to your livery clients in terms of the care and exercise of their horses is appropriate and given from suitably experienced, knowledgeable, or qualified people.

It is important for those providing services to hold a Professional Liability Insurance policy and if appropriate, a policy extension covering Care, Custody, and Control (CCC). This means that if their actions cause injury, loss or damage to your property, or any people or equines on the yard, then there is the possibility for a suitable recourse of action to recoup any associated losses.

It is also a useful point to make that anybody you are personally appointing to carry out services on the yard, depending on the services and regularity of work, may mean that you need to have Employer’s Liability insurance in place. This would be particularly applicable if you are using somebody on a regular basis, and they are working under your instruction such as a yard hand, maintenance person, or freelance groom, and this type of insurance would be necessary regardless of whether they held their own Professional Liability insurance.

If you have people coming onto the yard providing services where they may be working alongside children or vulnerable individuals, such as teaching or running events, it is also sensible to ensure that they have undertaken the necessary safeguarding training. Such training is heavily promoted in the industry to protect children and vulnerable people from risk, to ensure that they are safeguarded from abuse and have an enjoyable experience around horses.

Prior to a service provider arriving at the yard, you should ask for verification of their insurance and, where possible, a copy of their appropriate qualifications or accreditations. It is a good idea to take a copy of these to retain on a file along with their contact details recorded on a form, and even as far as getting them to sign a disclaimer in relation to their work on the yard.

If appointed by one of your livery clients then although the service provider has their business arrangements directly with your client, these service providers are effectively operating their business on your premises and you need to be satisfied that they are doing so correctly with suitable insurance policies in place.

You also need to consider the rules and regulations on your yard in terms of people providing theseservices and whether they need to be supervised. Some service providers may visit the yard independently of the horse owners and be trusted to perhaps catch a horse in from the field and handle on the yard, or use your facilities unsupervised. If this is likely to be at a time when nobody else is present on the yard this could raise security implications. For example if they are provided with codes or keys to access secure areas such as tack rooms, or have the freedom to interact with other horses on the yard.

If you have multiple horses on your livery yard for which the owners are generally responsible for the day-to-day care, then you could end up with considerable number of people coming in and out of the yard over the course of each month. To help reduce potential security risks, and also for your own peace of mind of knowing who is providing services, it is always an idea to ask owners to try to combine visits, or to use the same service providers. It could be an idea to provide an approved list of service providers for your clients, who you know are appropriately insured, qualified or experienced and have completed previous form requests provided by yourself. .

Bio security should also be a serious consideration when it comes to service providers. Many service providers, whether they are a farrier, vet, freelance groom or similar, will likely be visiting numerous yards in a day. It is therefore important to have some form of bio security policy in place, helping to reduce the risk of cross contamination or transmission of infectious diseases. It is a good idea to have a suitable washing station so that they can wash their hands when arriving at, and leaving the yard, as well as a policy that they only touch or handle the horses they are there to work with, and that they are also taking active steps to reduce cross contamination such as the changing of clothing, or appropriate cleaning of tools and equipment.

Another point to raise about professionals offering services on your yard is where you stand with professionals providing services that you also offer. Examples could be teaching or schooling horses or providing assisted services such as holiday cover.

For those coming onto your premises to use your facilities to provide their services such as riding instructors or those offering schooling or training services you need to consider whether it's appropriate to make a charge to them to cover the use of your facilities. The same theory could be applied to those using other provisions at the yard such as water, lights or electric. There is no right or wrong answer with this, it’s entirely your choice as the yard owner.

In considerations around electricity use, it is sensible to make sure that anybody using any type of electrical equipment or tools at your property is using PAT tested equipment and taking the necessary precautions such as using circuit breakers, and ensuring loose cables are protected.

About SEIB

SEIB have been arranging livery yard insurance and riding school insurance for over 60 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.