Another 'Which Yard' Thread. Would you move?

KP nut

I'd rather be riding.
Dec 22, 2008
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I love my yard. It is 5 minutes from home, has good facilities and is very friendly. And has onsite staff who can offer assisted or full livery 365 days a year on a week by week basis which is great for me as I have lots of other commitments. The closeness also means that I can ride early myself, then turn out. Then drop the girls there after school, then ferry my son around, then pick them up. I am often up there 3 separate times a day. Or more!

BUT.......

After the latest strangles episode the horses who were exposed to Oscar and Amber are not being blood tested. Their owners don't want the expense, can't see the need and it is not being enforced.So it seems a high probability that some horses on the yard will now be silent carriers. And I just don't think I can stay on a yard where that is the case. Or is that likely to be the case everywhere?

Interestingly there was another strangles outbreak on the yard 2 1/2 years ago and again no-one was screened afterwards. When I came to sell Cally she tested positive for exposure though then negative on the guttural pouch test. Vet said the outbreak we knew about was too long ago for her to still be testing positive on the blood test, so she picked it up more recently than that - presumably a silent carrier as she was never exposed to an ill horse as far as I know. My vet said that big yards like this one are notorious for having silent carriers and outbreaks tend to occur when a new horse moves on and gets infected by the carrier. Invariably the new horse is blamed! But actually the established herd has some immunity so does not show symptoms but the new horse is vulnerable so gets ill.

So 4 of my horses (if you include Cally) have had direct exposure to strangles strong enough to either make them ill or to trigger an antibody response. I don't want that to keep happening!

No other yard is anywhere near as convenient as this one. But would this be a deal-breaker for you. Would you move?
 

KP nut

I'd rather be riding.
Dec 22, 2008
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ETA YO is saying everyone MUST be tested but I know a lot of people are saying they won't. I would be delighted to be proved wrong but I do not think it will be enforced as YO has a history of avoiding conflict when difficult owners ignore her. Lots of 'MUST DOs' are ignored on the yard by longstanding owners who just won't accept changes!
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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Being on the yard hunt myself, your current yard sounds ideal in terms of facilities, location, cost etc. and that would make me loathe to move, if YO is saying all have to be tested that's good as long as she follows through, could you perhaps lead the way by posting your clear results publically on the yard to encourage others to do the same and guilt those who don't test?

In terms of the risk, I think all large yards always have some risk, especially if there is a riding school/lessons/comps and lots of people/horses coming and going. Would it make me move? well it would certainly make me wary, I think my first port of call might be to chat to my vet about vaccination for any of mine who haven't got natural anti-bodies now, I know its not the most effective and doesn't last that long but perhaps doing it now will allow time for any other silent carrier to be identified in the coming months? but in the end, I don't think I would move as the risks are everywhere, including possibly the next yard, comp venue, rented trailer etc. etc. I would probably continue as is, stick with some extra hygiene protocols like regular disinfecting yours tools/areas and be vocal about not being near any horse who hasn't been tested in the wake of the outbreak (I would be verbal if they were tied up outside my stable, 'borrowed' any grooming equipment etc.).
 

KP nut

I'd rather be riding.
Dec 22, 2008
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Mine are fairly safe now anyway as they have some immunity. But the other issue is that every outbreak leads to extended yard shut down which affects ALL the horses on the yard. As the arena is often busy with riding lessons we go offsite about 3 times a week. We have a weekly offsite lesson, a weekly hack out and compete or go to a clinic most weekends. Being confined to barracks is therefore a real pain, plus we lose lot of money in cancelled clinics and comps that don't offer refunds! But like you say, that could happen anywhere really. And future outbreaks are less likely if YO gets a grip of it now.
 
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Skib

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Dec 21, 2003
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I understand your questioning your existing yard. It reminds me of my questioning our lccal schools and yards too. However my conclusion is that proximity to where I live over rides almost everything else and also that no yard anywhere is ever perfect. Just familiarity with a place and its YO can be an advantage. You have a job and other things and people in your life as I do too. So one learns not to fret.
 

squidsin

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Feb 16, 2013
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It sounds like you've got a problem with strangles in your general area. I don't think that changing yards is going to solve it, from what you've said.

Incredibly selfish of those owners who won't test their horses, knowing they've been exposed to strangles. That makes me really cross. That's only OK if they never leave the yard, or no horses from outside ever come onto it.
 
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Lissie

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Jan 18, 2016
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I think I'd stay, you say you're really happy with the yard other than this. But as Squidsin said it seems like there's a problem with strangles in the area so you may have the same problem on another yard. Can you speak to YO stress that all horses must be tested? I don't understand why you wouldn't want your horse tested.

You might move somewhere else and regret it 6 months down the line, yards where you're really happy are hard to find.
 

lauren123

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2007
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Just going to repeat what everyone else has said really. I would stay. Though I can see why you would question it. I would say many of the horses in the UK are at risk of strangles. Just reading what your vet had said about big yards and all that. I was on a yard for... 6 years plus and we had 60-70 horses there. Makes you think.
Interestingly when I went to the strangles talk my vets did one of the questions was can't everyone just test for strangles when they first move onto the yard and I think it was more would people pay out the money for it to be done,which I doubt they would.

Having said that if I was on a yard that had had an outbreak I would want to get my horse tested.
 

chev

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May 7, 2002
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right here, right now
Can only echo what others have said really. I think strangles is going to be a risk wherever you are and in everything else your yard sounds ideal. I'd stay to be honest.
 

Mary Poppins

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Oct 10, 2004
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My yard is very strict on strangles and that is how I found out that Ben was a carrier. But, no other yard has such strict rules as we do and you would be hard pressed to find another yard in my area who insists that all horses have a clear blood test before being allowed out of isolation. When I told the previous yard that Ben was on that he had to have his guttural pouches flushed, they said that I could bring him back there and my yard were being completely over the top.

So while in a perfect world all yards would test for strangles and eliminate the carriers, this doesn't happen on a practical level which is why there are so many strangles outbreaks. You are very likely to find the same situation everywhere that you go, so my advice would be to stay put if you are otherwise happy at the yard.
 

Kite_Rider

Cantering cabbage!
May 18, 2009
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Another who would stay put, if you love the yard in every other way you may well regret moving.
 

Cortrasna

Grumpy old nag
Aug 5, 2009
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Yes stay put - if every other aspect suits you then I think the strangles issue will probably be pretty much the same on yards where ever you go. There will always be risks and draw backs of some sort on professional livery yards I think - you just have to weigh up which ones you are prepared to put up with and also have little chance of altering wherever you go.
 

MrC

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Unless you lock a yard down no leaving to go to shows and no new animals then you will always risk contagious diseases.

If the yard suits your needs stay. If you have reservations and other liveries have openly stated hey aren't treating the. You have a duty to tell the YO.
 
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