Abbotts View Livery

Barefoot and Back to Nature

Abbotts View Farm is a small family run farm based in the beautiful village of Aston Abbotts, situated between Aylesbury and Leighton Buzzard in Buckinghamshire.

Our farm is home to a variety of animals and we breed alpacas, and keep sheep, pygmy goats, ducks, rabbits and g-pigs! For more information please visit Abbotts View Alpacas.

Abbotts View Livery was created by me, Amy, the eldest daughter of three, as I felt there was need for a livery for like-minded people and their barefoot equine partners!

The 'traditional' way of keeping horses (shod, stabled and turned out onto lush grass) that has been performed for many years works for some, but for most has huge faults and negative impacts that need addressing, to enable horses to be healthier both physically and mentally. We need a way of keeping horses that provides more turn-out, decreased behavioural problems, more movement and better management of the high sugar and starch grasses of England that are detrimental to the health of the majority of today's horses (think EMS, Laminitis, obesity, cushings).

Being able to keep horses living out 24/7, year round, whilst still managing grass intake and your horses mental and physical well-being is a huge task, whether your horse is retired or in full ridden work. A track system is a new and exciting way of keeping horses that provides all of these things, and I believe, is the key to having mentally and physically healthier horses.

So after a lots of research, budgeting, planning and dreaming my vision of running a yard came to fruition! I feel so excited to be able to create a livery environment that I dreamed about for me and my horses, and I'd love to share it with you and your equine partner.

My mission is to create a livery yard for like-minded people where their horses are free to express their natural behaviours and is a place of retreat, where people challenge themselves to build on their relationships with their horses and offer encouragement, guidance and support to one another.

"The key to having physically and mentally healthier horses" Jaime Jackson

Track System Consultancy

Do you want to set up your own Track System? Whether it be for your own horses or as a livery? Do you want to make a huge difference to your horses and/or other horses in your area and do something that you LOVE everyday?

See Track Consultancy below for more information

Amy

Founder and Yard Owner

Joanne

Farm Owner

James

Farm Owner

Curtis

Partner and Maintenance

Megan

Saturday Groom

Hannah

Weekday and weekend Groom

Hannah

Freelance Groom

Em

Owner of Bloo

Louise

Owner of Dan and Lenny

Laura

Owner of Maggie

Claudia

Owner of Oscar and Inca

Charlotte

Bucks sharer

Izzy

Owner of Little Buck

Amy

Owner of Darroch, Ben and Owen

Nicole

Sharer of Dan

Jenny

Owner of Pepper

Lessons and horse training Lessons and horse training Lessons and horse training 
We are lucky to have a fantastic trainer and horsewoman as a livery at AVL who offers lessons locally and to the clients at AVL.

The following has been copied from Louise's website, please visit: Lous Horsemanship more information.

" I offer a horse-centred view of training to both horses and their humans. Many people feel nervous or frustrated because they don't understand or cannot predict how their horse is going to behave and they don't know what to do when things don't go to plan.

Every time we are with our horses we are training them whether we realise it or not, both while riding and day to day handling. We are all our own horse's trainer. I can help you understand how your horse is trying to communicate with you and learn to read their behaviour so you can develop a better, more harmonious relationship.

I have many years of experience working with hundreds of horses and have been fortunate enough to learn from some brilliant trainers, I can offer you advice on the best management for your horse in your current circumstances. Small changes in the management of your horse can significantly impact on their health and happiness and can produce big changes in their behaviour.

As my knowledge has deepened I have become increasingly aware of the importance of correct groundwork and postural training to develop good self carriage and the ability to carry a rider and stay sound. I can help you train your eye so you can recognise when your horse is working well.

Whether you're struggling with a specific issue or would just like some general help, please contact me to discuss you and your horse's needs."




I personally have lessons with Louise with my own horse Buck and I can't recommend her enough.
Worm counts
We complete all of the FEC worm tests for our liveries to ensure we are not worming horses unless required.

Faecal egg counts are essential to find out it your horse has worms, and if so how seriously they are affected. Routine worming is no longer recommended as this can lead to parasites becoming resistant to horse wormers.

We perform worm counts every 3 months and worm accordingly. This also enables us to keep track of each horse's individual worm count, and monitor whether they rise or decrease and be on the look out for any resistance issues. 

We can also offer worm counts for horses outside of the livery. All that's required is a faecal sample.

Please contact us for more information.


  • Aston Abbotts, Aylesbury HP22 4NF, UK
  • Abbotts View Farm

 How is a track and equi-central system different to grass livery?

Unlike grass livery, on this system horses only have limited access to grass and are fed a diet of ad lib hay instead, which is lower in sugar and starch and therefore a better forage for horses.

This system also requires a HUGE amount of maintenance, from winter proofing to making sure hay stations are never empty and the track/corral/paddocks are cleared of droppings. Surfaces are frequently needing to be topped up and new hardstanding’s are put in place as the weather dictates. Horses are encouraged to be on the move, eating little and often, as they would naturally.

What is a track system?

Rather than being turned out into paddocks, a track is fenced along the perimeter of the paddock, allowing for restricted grazing and increased movement. The horses are fed ad lib hay, and the track creates minimal grass. Horses are encouraged to forage as they would naturally and are fed a diet of ad lib hay from various slow feeding stations around the track.

See 'What is a track system' for more info.

My horse has never been on a track system before and I am worried about feeding ad lib. Surely he will just eat and eat until all the hay is gone?

Before I first trialled my horses on the mini track this was one of my main concerns too, especially as one of my horses is a rescue, a case of neglect who was found starved and malnourished. I thought he would see the hay and eat and eat until he keeled over with colic! However, I needn't have worried. It didn't take him long to realise that because the hay never ran out he didn't need to scoff it as soon as it appeared! Within a few days I was returning to half full haynets and happy full horses who would never have to feel the horrid and unnatural pains of hunger again!

Plus, all of the hay stations on the track are fed through small holed nets/slow feeders, to slow the eating process, waste as little hay as possible, and avoid new trackies from gorging on the hay. If you are really concerned about your horse adapting to track life, please don't hesitate contact me and discuss what we can do to help- we can even double-bag haynets for a few days until your equine friend realises that the food is always available and he/she doesn't need to gorge.

But horses are just supposed to eat grass and it can't do them any damage, right?

Wrong! Our grasses today can be extremely dangerous to horses, especially in the Spring, causing common problems such as obesity and laminitis and can even cause fatalities if not restricted. Our grasses have changed so much when compared to grass that the wild horse would graze; Grass in England seems to be predominantly cow grasses, which are rich in sugar and high in starch = not the best forage for horses! The horse is designed to move a lot and eat little and often, but alot of the time our horses are seen just standing and eating, and not really doing much moving at all.
The wild horse would travel miles per day, stopping to eat a little grass and graze plants as they went. Our system mimics this natural behaviour, and reduces the risks of health problems caused by non-restrictive access to sugary grass, that are becoming more and more common. The horses kept at here are allowed access to grass during the winter months when it has stopped growing and to restricted grazing during the summer, alongside ad lib hay and hedges to browse.

Do the horses have to be barefoot?

The clue is in our name! Yes they do. This is not only because we believe this is the healthiest and best option for your horse’s all round longevity, health and welfare, but also because it minimises risks of injury in a herd environment. We also feed our horses from ground nets, which the horses could potentially get a horse shoe caught in.

Do you have stables?

Yes – we have two huge airy stables in an indoor barn that is directly opposite the farm house. The stables are only for ‘emergency’ use, such as if a horse has an injury that requires box rest, or for the vet/farrier/grooming etc. We also have two surfaced pens on the main yard that can be used instead of stables in a box rest situation that we are currently in the process of building shelters for (Dec 2020)

Do the horses live out all year?

Yes - Our horses live out 24/7 365 days a year. They always have access to the large hardstanding’s/corrals situated at the front of the track’s with a walk in/out barn.

Are the tracks open all year round?

Yes!

Do the horses have access to grass?

A very small amount yes. Our tracks are not surfaced apart from the big hardstanding’s at the front, which we feel is more natural and beneficial to the horses. This means that some grass roots do grow on track which we find encourages the horses to move more and provides enrichment. There is never more than short sprouts of grass so no horses that are at risk of lami etc. will be affected.

If your horse requires grass this can be arranged and he can be given access to our carefully managed track middle paddocks. 

What if I want my horse to have some grass?

We are very flexible here at AVL. If you have a young or old horse who can eat grass, we always have one of the paddocks in the centre of the track free for them to go into as you please. At the moment, we have one old retired boy who goes into the field overnight to enjoy the Spring grass and help him keep condition.

What if my horse or I don't get with this type of horse keeping?

As much as I think keeping horses on tracks and/or equicentral systems is the way forward, I understand that it may not work for every horse, be it for a medical reason or behavioural problem or an owner problem!! Some horses (or owners!) may be so set it in being kept 'traditionally' that they may struggle to adapt, or some horses may be too food aggressive and a danger or threat to other track members. For this reason, any new member is required to complete 3 month's trial - this way you can decide whether the livery is right for you and your horse, and I can decide whether you and your horse are right for the livery!

Why do you have two herds?

We have two herds because we found two smaller herds of 6-8 horses works better than one big herd. This is because not all horses get along, lots of geldings have stallion retained behaviours so cannot live with mares, and because from a management and safety point of view, it works better! We have one herd of geldings only, and one mixed herd.

Do you have a farrier/ trimmer/ep?

Yes, we have an excellent equine podiatrist called Katherina Jay who has been coming to AVL since we opened - see her website. You can however, use whoever you like, whether this be a barefoot trimmer/ep or a farrier.

Do any of them get a feed?

Yes, in fact all of our horses get a feed every morning. It is entirely dependent on the owner as to what they have and whether they get fed, but we recommend that all horses are fed a vit and min balancer, and salt daily. Some horses also require medications and supplements to help with various issues. However, none of them get fed any feeds that contain molasses, or high sugar. The majority get a handful of chaff, and a balancer and salt, and only a few have more bulk or linseed to help maintain condition.

Does anybody ride?

Yes!! The majority of horses here are ridden.

Do you have local hacking?

Yes – see facilities for more info or our gallery for pictures. We also have a huge surfaced round pen for riding and ground work all year round, as well as the choice of two neighbouring schools if required.

Do any of the horses wear rugs?

Yes if they require it. A lot of it is owner preference but we try to encourage the owners to not over rug. The horses don’t need rugs unless they are clipped, underweight, old, young, or have a lack of immunity/on-going condition.

Do you have worming programme?

Yes. Our horses are worm counted and only wormed if required. I am trained to do faecal egg counts, so samples are collected and tests done on site. We also saliva test for Tapeworm and/or treat for tapeworm once a year.

Do you quarantine new arrivals?

Yes. As instructed by our vet, horses have to be blood tested for strangles 2 weeks before arrival, and are then quarantined for one-two weeks once they arrive, and have a second blood test two weeks after the first to ensure they are strangles free. Don’t worry though, your horse will not be required to be stabled for quarantine as we have appropriate surfaced pens where they can see other horses.