Welcome to Sparrow Oast, the home of the “Happy” horse. Our aim is to provide a relaxed and friendly environment for you to enjoy your horse whilst receiving a professional and caring service. Great care is taken to understand fully the individual requirements of each horse and rider. Full training livery is available all year round.
Our training centre specialises in postural awareness of both horse and rider. The fully interactive training simulator has made a fantastic addition to our facility. By working closely with other practitioners such as osteopaths we can provide an all round service of care to horse and rider. With the installation of a Cyclo-ssage Pro Personal Therapy System we are able to offer riders every opportunity to help relieve tension and improve their posture both on and off their horse.
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22 hours ago
Love the chap in the middle. V handsome
2 days ago
How sad that Dressage at Hickstead can no longer run as it’s not economically viable and Dane Rawlins and his family can not, and should not continue to prop up the business.
How sad it is that so many centres and venues across the country are closing due to the running costs exceeding the income.
Here at Sparrow Oast our business rates are huge, our monthly outgoings ever increasing, yet we are unable to charge what it actually costs to keep our yard and grounds in super condition and to keep improving our facilities. We strive to break even but that seems to be a mission impossible.
Why do we, other livery yards and equestrian centres continue? Because we are passionate about our sport and our horses. Because we absolutely love what we do.
I fear for the future of our sport in the UK and I am sure we will continue to see venues closing around us.
We have a wealth of talented riders, trainers, horses and so much more but where are we if we do not have the competitions, both locally and nationally to give our horses the exposure they need.
Our industry needs help to grow. Dressage especially in this country is not considered a spectator sport. We battle constantly against being considered “elite”, a sport for the wealthy alone.
If only they knew what so many horse owners sacrifice to own, keep and train a horse.
We are on duty 24/7 , 365 days a year.
Our grooms work tirelessly throughout all weather conditions, many with little opportunity to step up the ladder as our sport does not offer the same amount of personal and financial development that most other industries offer.
Why do they do it? Because they are passionate about horses. Many however can not afford to do it long term.
I don’t know what the answer is.
I know the BHS speak on our behalf to the Government.
I know we need our business rates reviewing.
I know we should be under the “agricultural” banner.
I know we need to help our young riders to be more than riders. They need to be commercial and confident both on and off the horse, they need to be confident in the world of commerce. To understand that sponsorship is not one way.
I hope that our industry will continue to produce top class athletes and horses and that they will have the venues to showcase their talents, and that we can adopt a European sense of occasion to our big shows. We need to attract the non horsey set, welcome friends or families of riders that don’t ride, let them feel they are at a party, somewhere they can eat good food, enjoy a G&T, glass of fizz or a glass of wine and watch and learn about our sport.
How we achieve this.... I have no idea but I hope we can start working together to encourage our centres and venues to keep going and help them be a commercial success.
Sorry for the long post, I couldn’t stop
Once I started 😂!!! ... See MoreSee Less
Well said. Our business rates are crippling. Then there is care custody and control insurance to handle the horses. Plus public liability insurance employers insurance. Buildings insurance x. Xx
Business rates should be under agricultural use with the same soil and land regulations as farmers are obliged to follow with stewardship options for land management Petition the NFU to support the equine industry and the Ministers. I fall into both camps
The south east is in a dire position for equestrian facilities. We’ve just lost our only international venue. Until our government views equestrianism on the same level as other sports we are stuck. I do not envy anyone running a facility it’s unforgiving work and so many people assume it will always be there so treat it with disdain or moan about costs. I salute all those people running venues. I detest the rates our councils make out of our struggling businesses. I am sad Hickstead has closed but totally understand the decision taken. Soon it will not be viable for the top sports people to be here and they will move to the countries that do support them. Thus Britain loses talent. It’s not just the BHS that needs to campaign but the BEF. Unless we maintain the grass roots the new talent won’t come through and those that can afford it will become few and far between. Can’t wait to see you on the 25th and thank you for hosting Andy locally. It’s an amazing opportunity for my daughter 🙏🏻 who may or may not continue riding into her future but who knows 🇬🇧
Excellent post, very well said and absolutely spot on! A very interesting and poignant post that highlights the current business climate within the industry and exacerbated by COVID-19. Cx
Well said Nicola! It is crazy that places are closing so frequently at the moment. The income generated from equestrianism doesn’t compare with the outgoings, the potential income from changes in use to alternatives or development of the land.
Maybe the lottery should be funding an equestrian facility to benefit all equine sports not individuals. Hand equestrian near Bristol was ideally placed for an national equestrian facility . Now belongs to police. Do they really need that big a facility with only 12 horses when they could have part of it ?
Absolutely spot on, livery yards, studs & competition centres are all in dire states being crippled by rates, insurance & taxes before they even employ anyone, riding schools are closing, see properties for sale in H&H.
So much change going on In the South East for BD venues. Livery yards barely covering there costs and hay prices all going up this year as well. Such a tough time for so many. xx
All this is so very well said, the south east is no place to live if you want to be able to enjoy competing at any level!!
But very well said..no apology necessary 😍
Well said. You should send this to your local mp x
Brilliant post x
Here here 👍💖😁x
Very heart felt post. 😳
Well said! X
Well said x
Well said x
Well said x
Well said Nicola. To be brutally honest. The services offered by many a livery yard have not been valued enough by horse owners. (That’s from a horse owner, on livery!). It’s hard work being a groom/yard owner and providing a service that people expect for minimal cost. To be a groom/yard owner equates to working many hours to provide a high end service. Horses are expensive. We are all aware of that. And I feel the whole equestrian community has just accepted that grooms/yard owners/ venues should just work hard and appreciate the position they hold, regardless of if it can pay the bills/cost of living. But in reality, in a few years - the good grooms will move to other jobs that pay more, as the yard owners will no longer offer livery because those with horses don’t want to pay more, and the venue owners will cease to hold shows, as it not financially viable. As we all know, the horse industry is renowned for low wages for those that work within it, but I feel it’s now time for change. Horse sale prices have surged since lockdown, which is great as it places more value on what we all do and the work that goes into our horses. I think we really need to value our show centres, yard owners and staff so they can live their equestrian dream without ‘doing it for love’. We all need to pull together to support each other. ♥️
We earn about £4 a day per horse. Less than the minimum wage. My teaching subsides the yard and the liveries
3 days ago
HGV DRIVER/GROOM REQUIRED FOR
10 or 11th September
Pls contact 07803 255221 for details. ... See MoreSee Less
Claire Scott? X