Horse riders and owners are coming under increasing pressure in Hertfordshire following a series of livery yard and equestrian centre closures.
The rising costs of living and builders buying up land has led to a number of equestrian centres in the area shutting their doors permanently. The high profile closure of Patchetts Equestrian Centre last year shocked the equestrian community, but many more yards have also been closed, including Bucks Meadow Equestrian Centre and Flaunden House Stables.
As a result of the closures, many people are facing the prospect of having to sell their horses, as there are not enough places at yards to keep them. There are currently waiting lists, but location, price and amenities all impact on the ability to find a yard.
There are fears that the closures could result in horse riding becoming a thing of the past in some areas.
One rider, who wished to remain anonymous said: “With the reduced land available for livery stables and riding land, we already face restrictions on where to keep horses.
“I have a tight budget to live on. Others do, too. With the loss of so many yards, riders are facing increased prices at remaining yards. For some, these fees are simply too high. It’s heart-breaking for them.”