Our yard has recently changed hands and the new owner has introduced some new rules that are making the lives of the liveries pretty difficult. For example, as she lives at the yard, she won’t have anyone there before 9am, which makes it very awkward if we have a show to get ready for. She is insisting that we buy our hay and straw from her -at greatly inflated prices compared with other local suppliers, and we have to remove our own muck from the premises at the end of every month – where are we supposed to put it? She has also stopped winter turnout, so all our horses have to stand in every day – if we can’t get there to ride in the week, that’s a big problem. It’s not just me that thinks she is being unfair, but many of us are afraid to rock the boat as the hacking and facilities are very good there, and until she arrived, we had a wonderful yard atmosphere. What should we do?
Well this is a tricky one, for sure. If you had a contract with the previous owners, it might be worth showing her, but by the sound of it she may not be that sympathetic. We think the best course of action would be for a group of you to approach her and ask for a meeting to discuss a way forward. Ahead of the meeting decide amongst you the things you are happy to agree to and those that under no circumstances you will put up with. That way you can be seen to be reasonable by agreeing to some of her conditions whilst clamping down on those that are really a problem for you. As a new business owner, her priority, within reason, should be to keep her clients happy. Good luck with the negotiations!