A livery stable has come to mean a place where horse owners keep their horses in return for a fee. Levels of provision and service at a livery stable or livery yard vary greatly, as do the fees. The service is broadly broken down into the following bands:
- Full Livery - where the horses are managed by the stable yard staff and ridden for exercise or even trained and broken. The services possible in this band are endless.
- Part Livery - where some of the management is provided, but some is not. It often means that only perfunctory services like mucking out are provided, but exercising the horse is not.
- DIY Livery - this is 'Do It Yourself Livery', where only the facilities are provided to a certain level. There would not normally be any staff to do any work for you. It is common for running water to be provided, and sometimes an amount of hay and/or straw for bedding is included. Everything else needs to be done by the horse owner who will visit the yard two or more times a day to manage their horse.
Before the 19th century all inns and hotels were required to have livery stables.
Facilities at a livery yard normally include a loose box or stable and access for the horse to grass grazing.