Health and Safety on yards

CT

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Hi

We are having a debate atm on the livery yard where I keep my horse about health and safety issues. The yard is also a riding school and so there are lots of people around and there has been a recent incident where a livery horse was tied up and kicked someone. Concerns have been raised as to how we prevent that sort of thing happening and atm all the horses are confined to their boxes save when turned out/exercised ie. no tying up on the yard for grooming/tacking/washing etc etc.

One of the suggestions (as part of the debate) is to make the livery yard a restricted area where the public are advised not to enter. Do other yards do this? Do other yards allow tying up outside the stable and in what circumstances?

All info gratefully received.

CT
 
well, our barn isn't public, but when we DO have guests we have a big sign with a list of rules about how to manage yourself around the horses. things like, No smoking, don't go near a boarders horse unless they say it's ok, don't go petting the horses through the paddock fences (it's hot wire that's always on), don't go into the paddocks, stuff like that. we've had very few problems with anyone doing things that are too stupid, the occasional accident will happen but nothing ever serious. I think the list of rules is a big help.
 

Rakeli

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Where I work, only staff are allowed on the yard, there's a gate and signs to stop them. Instead, there's a covered pathway along the back of the stables.

I really don't think that it's safe to allow strangers to walk up the yard. If they can't get on to it, no accidents can happen there with them!
 

jomills

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H & S

At our riding school/livery yard there are big red signs everywhere saying that riding is a risk sport, nobody whoudl go near horses wothout permission or supervision etc.
In the offcie our health and safety policy is displayed in all it's small print glory on the wall along with certificationf rom BHS, ARBS etc where it open for eanybody to read, and is updated accordingly.
If the livery yard is seperate from the rest, then warn that the public enter at their own risk onto property where animals (this is a good way of putting it) "not suitable for use in a riding school" are kept:) as this has warned them that a) they are int here at their own risk and b) the horses aren't Dobbin that liitle Elsa is boucning around on in the arena 9even if you have two happy hacking cobs that wouldn't hurt a fly then make sure that this is clear.
Re tying up outside a stable. if the liveryb yard has got the above on it then you should be able to tie up where you like when you like. An alternative to the old leadripeof any length is a stout length of chani fixed the the front of the stable with a leadrope clip attched to it by bialing twine. In a crisi the twine will break as in normal tying up, but the horse will only have certian amount of head movement. Also we have noticed that small people steer clear of horses who look they ahev tp be tied to chains becuase they're so wild!( hee hee)
Sorry I rambled,
JO:rolleyes:
 

Mehitabel

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our livery yard and riding school is all in one place, and we have a lot of field kept liveries, so it wouldn't be practical to keep liveries in stables. we try to educate the owners - they know when the busy days are , and if their antisocial horse is in the yard on a busy day, then we will clear out a stable for it or ask them to tie out of the way - we have a spot to tie that's fenced off by a chain, and some shelters that are not easily accessible by the general public. it has to go both ways - you can't just say 'no tying out' and not make other arrangements.

we also have the big red signs, as well as one that says something like 'horses are prey animals. although our ponies are well trained and friendly, if startled they may revert to natural instincts and kick out. for advice on how to approach a pony safely, please see a member of staff'. words to that effect, anyway.
how was the accident caused? was the person who got kicked doing something deserving of it, or was the horse completely unprovoked?

we prefer people not to tie up outside their stables, mostly as we have 3 stallions stabled and it gives them unnecessary stress! if they have a grumpy horse, we ask them not to leave it unattended when tied out if there are clients on the yard.

our liveries are very good about this kind of thing, as most of them started out as riding school clients with us. if anyone, staff or livery, sees something dangerous or someone pushing their luck with a pony, they will intervene.
 

ros

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I must admit we don't really have any hard and fast rules, but we're quite lucky in that our liveries are divided up into fairly small groups in separate yards, which means that everyone knows who's likely to be around when, we all know each others' horses and there aren't likely to be strangers knocking around. If we had lots of people mixing with lots of horses, we'd have to have some fairly strict rules.

However, you can't foresee every eventuality, and I certainly wouldn't expect people not to be able to tie their horses up outside their boxes. You have to draw the line somewhere and a bit of common sense goes a long way.
 

floppy

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Feb 25, 2001
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The riding school students all know not to feed the horses in the herd. that if they do want to give horses a treat then they give it to the hroses in the boxes that way not fights break out between the horses out of jealousy. No riding school student is allowed into the boxes/paddock unless they are getting a horse for their lesson.

if its busy and the livery peopel are there too then we just have to find a place to tie our horses up. there are 17 rings int he yard wher eyou can tie your horse up and when you go out riding you just leave your headcollar there so noone pinces your spot :D

The only real thing we have to be careful of is which horses are tied up near which horses because we have one herd where you can tie up any horse near one another and then we have the horses from the boxes which cant be tied up next to one of the herd.

with my mare i usually tend to tie her up a good distance from the nearest horse because she can be a bit ratty.

we havent had any problems.
 
could you set up ties in the stalls? like something that could unscrew out of the wall when it's not being used?

Usually if all the crossties at my barn are taken we just resort to tacking up in the stall. You give the people with the harder or younger horses cross-ties and the people who have well-behaved horses get the stalls. Usually we don't have to resort to that though so it's not a big deal every once in awhile.
 

CT

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Hi Everyone

The accident was caused by a person who tried to move a horse, who was tied up, over with one hand, while holding onto another horse with the other hand. The two horses had a bad history between them and the tied horse kicked out and caught the human not the other horse.

So, we are investigating good and practical ways of ensuring that accidents are minimised. I think the wording on the warning signs that some of your yards use is really useful and I'll pass it on.

Thanks for the replies so far and keep em coming.

CT
 

Mehitabel

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to combat things like that on our yard, all the school ponies have their own set tying places for saturdays, which is the only time they are all in the yard at once. so the ones that are in a field together all tie up next to each other, and the grumpy ones or ones who don't get on are kept well apart. all the helpers and staff know (or ask) where a suitable place is to tie horse x, so we can make sure they are with their friends. also, only the full time staff are allowed to handle the livery horses.
 

Lucy J

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we always are very careful with the horses that are likely to kick/don't get on.

there is also a disclaimer in the car park saying that hard hats must be worn and you ride at your own risk.

it is not always practical to tie horses in their stable for grooming, it is bad for the dust factor among other things.

my horse hates being tied in her stable and can pull back.

i think a lot of it is common sense, but when you are with horses all the time you forget that people who aren't sometimes don't have a clue.
 

MissFliss

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At my stable (yard?) the riding school horses are kept separate to the stabled horses, and no-one who is not a staff member or a border can enter the stables. There is also no tying up except in the wash bay. All the riding school horses have their own individual yards and access to the arenas and the office is on the outside of the stables. There are notices etc.

This is fine except when the general public decide to ignore you and the signs and simply saunter up the breeezeway, blissfully ignorant that a couple of the horses can be agressive and are not used to kiddies. I told one woman with 3 little kids that the breezeway was private, and she just smiled and kept walking. In this case. on her own head be it. I did try to warn her but it was hard explaining that the horses are young and flighty with my boy ruffling my hair behind me and looking as scary as a pussy cat!
 

Nickie

Happy and Horse Mad
I'm on a livery yard and we have separated standing areas that horses can be tied. Some are separeated by 4-5ft high walls and there are spaces with metal hoops and string in the yard walls that you can tie a horse to about 20 foot apart.

We're not allowed to tie horses in the gangways between stables as the gangways are small and nasty accidents could happen if a horse freaked out in such a small space.

Generally people know which horses kick at our yard. And everyone will move a 'kicker' over if someone needs to walk another horse past.

The only person I know of at our yard that ever got kicked is me. I got kicked leading my shared pony Bren past a horse called Cass (who was not known to be a kicker). Bren wanted to say hello to Cass - Cass didn't want to know and kicked out. Brennin spooked and threw his head up and as I was standing there trying to move Bren away I ended up getting kicked. It knocked me backwards about 20 foot and my bruise was a horse shoe shape - complete with horseshoe nail marks (he had new shoes) on my stomach for about 2 weeks.

I'm ok now - but I'm still wary of Cass!! If your yard won't let you tie them up outside then they have to provide you with an alternative.

Nicola
 

judyl

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I've never had Shade at a livery & riding stable, only at a livery yard. I've also led her past another horse tied up outside his stable. It's always been fine and if the owner of the tied up horse is around, then you shout for them to move their horse over.

It's difficult when there are riding school clients around with not much in the way of horsecare knowledge. You really only get to know how the horses react to each other by being around every day.

I don't think it's right that now no horse can be tied up outside its stable - just that more care needs to be taken by everyone as we all know, horses are unpredictable!
 

eml

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We used to have liveries in our yard and although they were kept seperately from the school ponies I still was concerned about safety as we are mainkly a childrens riding school. We did two things. First only allow people who are actually riding at that time onto the yard with the instructors supervising and secondly to ask the liveries to try to avoid lesson changeover times for catching, tying up outside or riding out of the yard. This worked very well but we were fussy about the sort of liveries we had. On balance now we have gone to school horses only in the yard I am much happier about safety
 

CT

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Hi Everyone

Thanks for all the replies which have been really useful and fascinating. It's very good to hear about the different safety approaches that are taken at different yards.

Eml - why do you think the yard is safer now you only have school horses? I ask this because I think that the yard I am at might want to go that way prehaps for similar reasons but I just don't see that a yard of school horses is any safer than split yard. Even horses that are familiar with each other - turned out together - will fight if in too close proximity. Maybe it's just that with school horses you can control the use of them, so you know where they all are, who is handling them etc? Is that the reason?

One last question for anyone who has the answer, on your split riding school/livery yards, do all staff/helpers and livery owners/sharers receive a safety talk/safety instruction?

CT
 

CT

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Hi Everyone

Thanks for all the replies which have been really useful and fascinating. It's very good to hear about the different safety approaches that are taken at different yards.

Eml - why do you think the yard is safer now you only have school horses? I ask this because I think that the yard I am at might want to go that way prehaps for similar reasons but I just don't see that a yard of school horses is any safer than split yard. Even horses that are familiar with each other - turned out together - will fight if in too close proximity. Maybe it's just that with school horses you can control the use of them, so you know where they all are, who is handling them etc? Is that the reason?

One last question for anyone who has the answer, on your split riding school/livery yards, do all staff/helpers and livery owners/sharers receive a safety talk/safety instruction?

CT
 

eml

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Hi CT you are right .
With just school ponies and horses in the yard we have total control over who comes and goes and when horses are moving about we can make sure no inexperienced people are likely to get in the way by mistake. We are very...very strict on our yard discipline but we do cater for kids...150 riders under 16 and a 'stable club' of about 30 teenagers who spend most of the weekends and holiday times with us so you can see the need for CARE. I am also very careful about the sort of horse in the yard because even carefully supervised children have a desire to pet everything..I even had to sell a horse of my own because he was very child unfriendly!..not something you could ask a livery to do!

If your yard has adult riders mainly it should be much easier to have both school and livery, although it still needs a lot of give and take both ways...as an owner you would not believe some things non horse people will think of doing! My own family horses are stabled at a far end of the yard where no one needs or should venture but we still need to rescue them from the well intentioned riders with sliced of carrots etc!!
 

Mehitabel

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we have a h&s induction q and a sheet that all staff/trainees/work experience people fill in on their first day. it runs to about 4 pages and is quite detailed - they go through it with a member of staff (normally me!) and talk about all the questions in detail.
weekend helpers on their first day get partnered with an older and more experienced helper for the day, who shows them which horses not to go near etc. they don't start getting riders on on their own until they can consistently do it safely when supervised by a full-time member of staff. they also get given a 'green cottage health and safety policy' to take home and inwardly digest.
 

Wally

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We got a visit from the HSE last month I think it was, or was it December? He was only interested in the general HSE basics as his horse knowledge was non existant.

We tried to have liveries once, but we knocked that one on the head very quickly as other folks' idea of good maners and reliable temperament are not our idea!

We took on one livery who was an ex riding club horse, who we thought would be a reliable horse since she had been owned and used by the riding club for years. She was a BIG highland..... and she kicked, big time. She kicked once and got the lass who helps us at weekends, I thought she'd broken her leg the kick was so sharp. Thankfully she didn't break her leg, but nevertheless it was a very nasty injury, so the horse had to go. My kids and Frances' kids work around our horses, if I am not prepared to let my kids round a horse why should I let other parents' kids?

We will no longer take liveries as we cannot vet the horses to the same degree we vet the horses we buy for the school and trekking. My nerves would not stand it, I pride myself on having 100% trustworthy horses and I would put a very large sum of money on betting the horses we have would NEVER kick.