DIY livery yard agreement

This is a comprehensive agreement for yard owners providing do-it-yourself livery services - the yard owner provides a loose box and basic facilities, and the horse owner feeds, exercises and cares for the horse. The agreement sets out the yard owner's reduced responsibility for the horse or pony while it is on the property, details and prices of services (including additional services the owner may choose to buy), and of course, details of the animal.
Suitable for use in: England & Wales and Scotland
  • Solicitor approved
  • Plain English makes editing easy
  • Guidance notes included
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About this document

This is an agreement for yard owners who provide a loose box and basic facilities to enable an owner-client to look after his or her horse.

It provides a broad framework covering every aspect of your prospective requirements for your contract with your owners. By using this agreement, we are sure you will spend far less time wrestling with client issues, great and small.

This template can be edited for any yard, to suit the exact way you do business. Although it is drawn to protect your interest as strongly as possible, we have considered what your clients will think when you send it to them. Your owners will not worry that they have to see a solicitor before they sign. However, as you read it, you may decide to soften some of the strictest suggestions we have made.

You can also use the agreement to explain how the yard works and to set out your practical rules and expectations. Yard procedures are given at the end of the document, and you can edit these to your exact requirements.

The British Horse Society publishes an example livery agreement. To be fair to the BHS, they do not suggest that it is a perfect version. However, we believe that it is unsuitable as a contract for two reasons.

Firstly, the wording is legalistic. This makes the document much more difficult to consider for a client, without adding any strength.

Secondly, the BHS livery agreement is sponsored by the British Equine Vets Association, the ILPH and the RSPCA. Unfortunately, the entire document is slanted towards care of the horse and legal protection of the horse owner and not the yard owner.

These welfare organisations are trying to nudge yard owners into doing things properly. We have no problem with that agenda. The ILPH is based just up the road from Net Lawman and we admire their work greatly. But the aim of the ILPH is to protect horses whereas our aim is to protect our clients and customers. We think that it is devious and disingenuous to give the equestrian world a draft agreement which is actually quite unsuitable for yard owners.

The BHS does provide very useful "guidelines for a livery contract" which is effectively a memory jogger for matters to include. We have included those points so far as it is in your interest to do so but we have not included matters which we believe might restrict you excessively, particularly when the services that you offer in a DIY arrangement are fewer than for full livery.

The law relating to this type of document

The law in this agreement is common law, so you can make the deal that fits both parties best.

A good, readable agreement provides a marker to your efficiency just as much as a tidy yard and contented horses. We advise that you should edit the document to exactly what you want, then print copies out ready to give to potential clients.

This agreement is suitable for a DIY livery. For full livery see this agreement.


  • Contact information
  • Terms and conditions of yard use
  • Use of facilities
  • Use of services
  • Care of the horse or pony
  • Limit of the yard owner’s responsibility
  • Veterinary call-out
  • Payment
  • Horse owner’s indemnity
  • Termination of the contract
  • Safety considerations
  • Yard procedures notice

This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current English law.

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