What makes a yard 'Posh'

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Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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So as not to veer off on the share costs thread, I figured I'd start another one :) What do you consider to be a 'posh' yard?
 

Skib

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Dec 21, 2003
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I learned at and helped at a posh yard. Its owner explained to me that if I ever bought a horse, I should not keep it with her as I did not need the type of service she offered.
The livery is expensive very very expensive. But the client can be sure that their horses is 100% looked after and exercised / schooled daily (only by staff in the school under her supervision). A wealthy businessman owner could be abroad and return after many months to find his horse perfectly cared for.
All tack was cleaned. Horse tacked up and ready for its owner/rider just as in Victorian times.

There was an equestrian class ranking on the yard as once described by eml. I was staff, not among friends of YO nor allowed to become friendly with them.
That is the downside. If one learned to ride there, it cost a massive amount but one always had an excellent horse and good teacher. My OH and grand daughter both learned to ride at the posh yard. Worth every penny. YO and our familyhave now known each other for years and years - so the poshness no longer excludes me. Or not quite.

I once went for lessons at a posh dressage yard a long way from home because we needed to go to that area once a week for family reasons. Very expensive WB horses for lessons and on livery. All the facilities very beautiful and a posh shop. I did splash out and buy my all time favourite Pikeur denim breeches there so never forgotten.
I am always posting that adult learners can pick and choose their schools. I went there for a purpose to ride posh dressage horses to see if i wanted to buy one and be a dressage rider. So mission accomplished. I was hacking Maisie twice a week and preferred that.
 

Jessey

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I learned at and helped at a posh yard. Its owner explained to me that if I ever bought a horse, I should not keep it with her as I did not need the type of service she offered.
The livery is expensive very very expensive. But the client can be sure that their horses is 100% looked after and exercised / schooled daily (only by staff in the school under her supervision). A wealthy businessman owner could be abroad and return after many months to find his horse perfectly cared for.
All tack was cleaned. Horse tacked up and ready for its owner/rider just as in Victorian times.

There was an equestrian class ranking on the yard as once described by eml. I was staff, not among friends of YO nor allowed to become friendly with them.
That is the downside. If one learned to ride there, it cost a massive amount but one always had an excellent horse and good teacher. My OH and grand daughter both learned to ride at the posh yard. Worth every penny. YO and our familyhave now known each other for years and years - so the poshness no longer excludes me. Or not quite.

I once went for lessons at a posh dressage yard a long way from home because we needed to go to that area once a week for family reasons. Very expensive WB horses for lessons and on livery. All the facilities very beautiful and a posh shop. I did splash out and buy my all time favourite Pikeur denim breeches there so never forgotten.
I am always posting that adult learners can pick and choose their schools. I went there for a purpose to ride posh dressage horses to see if i wanted to buy one and be a dressage rider. So mission accomplished. I was hacking Maisie twice a week and preferred that.
So in short are you suggesting it is the cost of the service provided that determines it as posh?
I worked on a yard like the first one you mentioned, the livery was high cost being Hertfordshire, but I wouldn't call it a posh yard, it was pretty plain, nice (large circle of boxes, clock tower arch leading to a nice school, nice flat well cared for post and rail fields, but I wouldn't call it posh
 
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Ale

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Feb 8, 2012
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I would say a bit of everything really. High standards of presentation, very well kept and high end facilities, staff in uniform and that all comes at a price.

Interestingly today at uni one of my class mates said the majority of horse owners are upper class and the tutor agreed. I certainly don't believe myself or very few people I know fall into that bracket.

But perhaps it is how we are perceived?

I think if you asked the general public the answer would perhaps be anywhere that horses are kept is posh.

I am fortunate to have a horse but I am certainly not posh for doing so. He costs me less than other people spend on finance for a car per month.
 
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Trewsers

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Oct 13, 2004
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I've only been on two yards.
First one - had indoor and outdoor schools. Gave lessons both group and private and offered diy or complete livery service. They had an on site tack shop which was large and well stocked. They didn't offer individual turnout and only very limited summer grazing - nothing at all in winter. The owners lived on site and you could basically come and go as you pleased within reason. When one of ours got colic they were really good about me being there all through the night and coming and going at weird hours.
They would order food in for you - or you could get your own horse feed. They didn't mind either way. You were left pretty much to choose your own bedding and preferences on hay / hayledge both of which could be provided.

Second yard, Olympic size indoor arena, large outdoor arena, on site coffee shop / tack shop, no choice at all on bedding (you had to conform to their own private supply and not deviate on that), you had to buy their hayledge or hay, solarium, horse walker, toilets, changing rooms all provided. Very limited turnout in the winter, plenty during the summer including individual paddocks for extra cost. Horse box / trailer parking and long term parking rental available at extra cost. There were regular clinics / showjumping comps / dressage comps every weekend. Cross country course available to hire.

Both yards on paper looked impressive, both yards kept clean and tidy to a high standard. I would probably say the second one might be rated as "posh" but in some ways the people who boarded there were not! They just wanted the extra facilities that were available and could afford to pay for them.

Being totally honest, it costs me far more to keep my three in the individual bespoke lifestyles they are accustomed to than any yard! And I don't have a mortgage at that!
 

carthorse

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For me I'd say a lot of it was attitude as well as facilities.

I've been on a yard with good facilities and staff, where as a full livery I could have said have my horse ready for 2pm and just got on and ridden. But it was a friendly yard with no wish to portray itself as posh, my youngster was as important as the competition horses and there was no snobbery between the riders. The yard I'm currently on is the same - the aim is happy horses and riders, not status. I've been on yards that like to view themselves as posh too, often image was the most important thing and they weren't for me.
 

Jessey

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To me a posh yard is a bit like a show home, every little detail perfect and never looks 'lived-in' with staff hovering to see to the horses every need and with exceptional and aesthetically beautiful facilities maintained to a very high standard, of course the attitude of the owners/staff makes a huge difference too. I don't think I've ever seen what I would call a truly posh yard that is a livery yard/riding school, those are for the people who make their living with horses or are silly rich for the most part.

There a few competition yards near us, indoor schools, outdoor schools, X-country courses, solarium, wash bays, really nice airy stables, full livery, not cheap etc. etc. they're super nice, but I wouldn't call them posh.

I've seen many many yards that are posh-er than mine though :D I am a function over form person through and through, I don't care if it doesn't look the best, so long as it performs the job I need it to do, same goes for clothes, cars and all material things, if money were no object of course pretty might be more important but it isn't up there on my priorities.

Interestingly today at uni one of my class mates said the majority of horse owners are upper class and the tutor agreed. I certainly don't believe myself or very few people I know fall into that bracket.
I would say they really don't know much about modern equestrianism or don't understand what upper class means!
 

Kite_Rider

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May 18, 2009
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I’ve no idea what constitutes a ‘posh yard’ but I don’t think I’d like one, Im fairly sure I wouldn’t fit in on one either.
I’m a rough and ready kind of gal, so as long as my horse is healthy and happy I’m fine.
As for being upper class that made me laugh, I think some people have very odd ideas when it comes to horse owners.
 

Skib

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Dec 21, 2003
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I did not describe the yard as posh on money alone but because of the social grading.

A lovely lady who encouraged me to ride and was expert on horseriding history in London explained the back ground.
It may help you Ale.

Rich people sometimes owned horses, or hired them to ride. Money made riding no problem but didnt make it essential.But owning a horse always cost a lot, especially in towns.

Then there were tradesmen and debt collectors who needed horses for transport. My f.i.l. caught the horse to take the veg into market before he went to school each day. He would have passed out if he had known my OH, his son, paid a fortune to learn to ride for pleasure. These owners of horses might race them for bets at weekends.

In the middle were doctors and vicars who kept horses to do their rounds but censuses show often had a horseman or groom to do the hands on work.

In cities there were also owners of livery yards and cab yards.
It all came to an end with WW1.

My friend said most people who rode today came from one or other of these groups. My grandfather hunted and played polo and my dad had read Sassoon Foxhunting man, had officer friends whose daughters rode and wanted me to grow up the same.
Pity he didnt live to see me. He certainly thought it posh to ride.
 

carthorse

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Dear me, are people really still that concerned about social standing?

My current yard has a Lady as a livery, though I don't think she'd be at all happy if anyone used her title. Luckily she's also a lady in what I consider to be a truer sense of the word, being polite and gracious to everyone - indeed when I recently came back from a ride feeling ill and nearly fell over getting off (with hind sight I'd been stupid to ride) she was the first there to take my cob off me and put him away while her friend sat me down with a drink. I've been on a couple of other yard with either titled or extremely well connected liveries and, with one exception, I'd say they are far less socially pretentious than the "wannabees" - maybe if you have it you just don't need to flaunt it? Some of these also had London homes but preferred to keep their horses in the country where they spent more time anyway - better riding generally and certainly better for the ones who want to hunt.

ETA I forgot the countess, probably because I'd known her for a couple of years before I found out! And that was on a distinctly unposh yard.
 
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Skib

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Our stables are listed buildings. It makes me so sad when stables at stately homes are used as tearooms and giftshops.
 

carthorse

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Our stables are listed buildings. It makes me so sad when stables at stately homes are used as tearooms and giftshops.
At least they're used rather than falling into disrepair. Realistically if stately homes are open to the public then they're probably better used that way, there would be a lot of potential problems using them as livery yards or riding schools, and if the owners wanted to use them as their own private stables they would.
 
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Huggy

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To me, probably anywhere other than our yard is posh! I don't really know - I suppose lots of glossy, elegant horses, with glossy elegant owners in glossy elegant surroundings. Hmmm - definitely not ours. I did meet a Lady up in Northumberland, quite elderly, who actually said she was envious of me with my little NF, down here in the New Forest. She had all the lovely facilities, but outside of their estate was all roadwork, or bridleways through farm land.
 

Skib

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At least they're used rather than falling into disrepair. Realistically if stately homes are open to the public then they're probably better used that way, there would be a lot of potential problems using them as livery yards or riding schools, and if the owners wanted to use them as their own private stables they would.
They can be maintained and left with the original fittings please. Clearly you havent read that wonderful book the British Stable.
Clerarly also you still cant resist the urge to find fault with anything I post - -In this case Mrs Horsemanship know it all, I am the posh Oxbridge historian and you are not.
 
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Cortrasna

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Aug 5, 2009
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:eek::mad: Wow just wow! Skib I think you really go too far - extremely rude and totally uncalled for . Is making an apology to another forum member for being so damn rude beneath you ??? I suspect it probably is.
 

Pete's Mum

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To me, a 'posh' yard is one that provides additional extra's - like solarium lights, gallop tracks, indoor school(s), additional storage, a secure heated tackroom. I've been on/to yards with clubhouse facilities, an office with office staff, free wifi and showers en suite etc - I suppose they are posh yards?

I went to Newmarket and there were stables with actual gold plating. And all the stable plaques were gold ...!

Honestly? I'd have Pete on full livery on a yard with 'posh' facilities, if it would suit him, as it would give me the opportunity to focus purely on improving my horsemanship and riding. However, he doesn't do well with multiple people handling him - so it's a no go for him.

Instead, he's on a very non-posh yard with unlimited turnout and private hacking in the middle of an estate/farmland ... but not much else! Not even a toilet and the sandschool is blooming miles away ;)

I've met all sorts of people at a vast array of yards - I was taught a few times by a 'titled' Natural Horsemanship trainer, you'd had no idea by the car she drove and her attire! Equally, some of the people you think would be posh, well aren't ...
 

Pete's Mum

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They can be maintained and left with the original fittings please. Clearly you havent read that wonderful book the British Stable.
Clerarly also you still cant resist the urge to find fault with anything I post - -In this case Mrs Horsemanship know it all, I am the posh Oxbridge historian and you are not.
I'm going to ask, because I'm concerned, is everything ok Skib? I'm assuming it's stress for whatever reason that has caused that reaction towards another forum member.
 
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I'm from the states so what I am used to seeing that sets yards apart is that the really 'posh' places have competition sized covered arenas that are well lit and climate controlled.
 
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