To think that having two horses at livery is actually a luxury.....?

(235 Posts)
Marigoldfetish Sat 17-Nov-12 11:22:31

I know this is going to get me flamed etc. but I really don't care well I do a bit else I wouldn't have namechanged

I live near a large family of 8, the children range from 14 years to 18 months. The parents are lovely people, I often have a chat to them about the kids as they have some issues with their teenage girl pretty much the same as mine.

Recently the mum told me they have got two of their children horses, and my children could go and have a ride if they wanted, they are going to be kept at livery stables up the road.

The family's sole income is benefits - I know this as the mum is quite open about this, and that they don't want to work as a) they couldn't earn what the get in benefits and b) she wants her OH at home to help with the kids. Without being too specific so as not to out them or me, one of the parents gets a higher benefit allowance for depression (so the mum has told me). To be honest, fair play to them - if they have made that as a lifestyle choice and their kids are well looked after and happy, and they are only getting what they are entitled to.

I realise this will attract the usual suspects and talk of goats, plasma screens and the like, but..... somebody please tell me, in the name of my sanity, that I am not being unreasonable to think that benefits are not provided for somebody to keep two bloody horses at livery????

Marigoldfetish Sat 17-Nov-12 12:23:30

The children are always well clothed, if sometimes the clothes are a bit old and washed out but clean, what you would expect in a large family with handed down clothes for playing out. They all have new school uniforms. The kids seem to have all the various stuff kids want, bicycles, x boxes, wiis and the older ones and parents have mobiles. The 14 year old has an ipad, the parents have laptops.,I don't think they go without.

DeckSwabber Sat 17-Nov-12 12:24:34

My concern would be what happens if the horses need something expensive eg large vet bill. I think that anyone should think hard about that before getting any kind of animal.

Otherwise, well perhaps keeping the horses is a choice they are making over holidays, other hobbies, school trips, takeaways, which for family of eight would be enormously expensive.

Softlysoftly Sat 17-Nov-12 12:30:34

I think you have to take it in parts.

Yes 2 horses is a luxury and even on DIY livery you need to factor in insurance, vets, worming and vacs, tack and equipment, clipping and upkeep, feed, shavings, the list is endless. I had a horse on DIY whilst working and had to sell her on maternity leave as we couldn't afford it.

No benefits shouldn't find more than a basic lifestyle but whilst some on benefits struggle some seem to flourish, I have no idea why!

People should choose to work, benefits are for those who cannot, that Is a separate issue.

So looking at the whole of that specific family it's not fair, but that doesn't mean everyone on benefits is as lucky iyswim.

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 17-Nov-12 12:31:13

Yes some people do. A friend of a friend has just got pregnent again because her youngest is 4 and she doesn't want to work or sign on, she admits this quite happily.

It makes me really quite angry as there is so many people who end up on benefits and get stuck there. I don't blame my friends friend I blame te system where it's scary to get a job and leave the safety net. So many years you haven't had to worry about rent and suddenly you have to grow up and get a job. On the other hand if I lost my job and had trouble finding a new one (not from lack of trying) I don't think it's fair to live below the poverty level because of people who go and buy horses with their free money.

Maybe a sliding scale is what's needed, if you lose your job for the first 3 months you get quite a good amount and every 3 months it goes down.

Bathsheba Sat 17-Nov-12 12:31:27

I have a very woise friend who says "paying is not the only way to get things"...

Normally I'm livid about issues like this, but this seems to be the ideal scenario for some sort of barter dealing to be going on.

My very wise friend has a lot of "venture" pictures in her house - we were joking once about how she would have had to take out a mortgage when she advised that they cost "9 months of Tuesday afternoon book-keeping" - she discovered when she went to purchase her pics that the books and the general "business" side was an absolute mess - she runs her own business and has experience in a LOT of business sectors so sheused her skills to get her pictures.

I can think of a huge numnber of ways that someone not working could do jobs of benefit to a livery stables - from heloing with mucking out, to providing receptionist duties (maybe even from home), to doing the book keeping or marketing/advertising in exchange for free or discounted rates..

D0oinMeCleanin Sat 17-Nov-12 12:34:50

Yes keeping horses is a luxury, however last time I checked people receiving benefits were allowed to spend their money on whatever they chose, thank fuck.

It won't be long before that changes though <shudder>

LaQueen Sat 17-Nov-12 12:36:21

[kisses Bath email me, you damned woman, just email me...]

Full livery costs a fortune, even when off-set against allowing the stables to use your horse.

It's still going to be hundreds of pounds per month. I know, as my cousin keeps 2 horses in full livery, as does a work collegue.

I would assume (hope) that these people were off-setting the livery fees by several various means.

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 17-Nov-12 12:36:48

I don't think benefits should be so low you can't afford a treat now and again, the odd takeaway for instance. I don't know how you can have that mixed with people taking the piss though.

Anniegetyourgun Sat 17-Nov-12 12:36:52

This scenario is simply untrue. So report me.

Floralnomad Sat 17-Nov-12 12:38:36

doin I was thinking the same , if you smoke you could easily spend as much in a week on cigs as you would on keeping a horse . If you're entitled to the benefits it's up to you how you spend it .

Marigoldfetish Sat 17-Nov-12 12:39:42

Anniegetyourgun - I am glad you find it as unbelievable as I did.

Floralnomad Sat 17-Nov-12 12:40:20

They're on DIY livery not Full livery that's a whole different thing and worlds apart in cost .

At least they're in a livery. My parents live on a council estate and one of the families have a horse in their back garden confused

<pointless contribution to the thread, I know>

D0oinMeCleanin Sat 17-Nov-12 12:42:00

I believe it. My friend who is unemployed, single mum to one can afford to take her child on holiday (uk), pay for fancy x-mas presents and pays upwards of £40 per month on personal training sessions.

She doesn't smoke, she doesn't drink more than once a month, she cooks everything from scratch and meal plans, she eats at her mums once or twice a week, all of her own clothes and luxury's (bar the training) are second hand. A lot of her child's fancier clothes are hand me downs from dd1.

Fair play to her that she is able to budget so well, imo.

Dawndonna Sat 17-Nov-12 12:42:34

The thing is, you're all making assumptions without knowing the facts. My sister has two horses. She is a company director, has worked extraordinarily hard to get where she is and is on a very, very good income. She's also aware of the fact that due to my father's drinking etc, as children, we ended up on a council estate and on benefits for a while The horses are used by two families on income support and dla. As my sister says, she can't ride every day, so somebody should get the benefit and it's good for the horses. She pays the livery and the bills. One family was reported recently, for having horses, which, strangely enough they didn't actually have.

Marigoldfetish Sat 17-Nov-12 12:43:33

Fatimalovesbread - that made me laugh grin

Bathsheba Sat 17-Nov-12 12:43:44

[have emailed LeQ]

Softlysoftly Sat 17-Nov-12 12:44:09

Annie it's not several families at my ex stables had ponies for the kids and were on benefits. It's possible.

I do know one family the dad had a bad back so was on incapacity but took cash in hand jobs building. His back was genuine too, he was just willing to take the pain for cash work. That family also did the odd late night bring in for the stable owner and early feeds, so I assume got a reduction.

The others seemed decent and I have no idea what they sacrificed in other areas to make the cost.

LaQueen Sat 17-Nov-12 12:45:16

About bleddy time Bath tsk, tsk, tsk...

LaQueen Sat 17-Nov-12 12:47:05

Still waiting...checks Inbox...no email...tsk...tsk...

FrothyOM Sat 17-Nov-12 12:47:34

DEJA POO: The feeling that you've heard this crap before.

OpheliaPayneAgain Sat 17-Nov-12 12:47:43

A friend of a friend has just got pregnent again because her youngest is 4 and she doesn't want to work or sign on

I work in a environment where this is commonplace. All it has meant is more unwanted children are born in an attempt to keep money flowing in. Before, those sorts of women would have one at 16, another at 31, another at 45 and whoopee- that took them through to 'retirement' at 60 - never having had to work. The 14-15 year space was very common, now it's every 4 years. Every child is condemned to being a low achiever, purpetuating the cycle. It is tragic.

I was talking to my friend who works directly in these estates. It's horrific, multiple children, with multiple fathers. A couple of 'estate studs' running round imprgnating all over the place. It gets to a point where all the children seem to be half siblings - or worse where you have a mother and daughter, still of child beraing age but withinly 15 years between them, they seem to swap boyfriends shock and both have children to the same man.

The Tia Sharpe murder, poor little soul, was typical of that - the mother had been with the bloke before he moved up a generation and was with the grandmother. It happens. People like to pretend it doesnt, but it's common in areas of high deprivation.

TheOriginalLadyFT Sat 17-Nov-12 12:48:26

£70 for DIY is quite expensive, I'm guessing she's down south. We charge £85/week for full livery

Personally, it disgusts me when people on benefits with no intention of working think this is acceptable - why should my taxes fund them? To have two horses on livery using benefits to pay for it enrages me. I've had horses all my life and have worked very hard to maintain them, and still do despite now having my own yard. The thought that my 12-hour days, and the income they generate, go to pay taxes which are in turn used to pay her benefits makes me mad.

Horses are fabulous animals, and do help with depression, stress etc - but you don't have to own and keep them to gain that benefit

Agree with you OP. I have a horse and he is definitely a luxury smile.

Obviously you can't control how welfare recipients spend their benefits, and I've no idea how much money they would get, but I do feel benefits should be for the essentials of life. If you want the nice things in life, you get a job to pay for them. After all, where does the money for benefits come from? Taxation from the rest of us who are working, many of whom are struggling and couldn't imagine affording 2 horses.

<awaits flaming>

Marigoldfetish Sat 17-Nov-12 12:51:28

The £70 a week was for both horses, it sounded reasonable, but then i dont know much about horses. We are down south though.

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