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View Full Version : Can an ammy be a working student??



Eyemadonkee
Sep. 17, 2009, 09:38 AM
The title says it all... can you be an ammy and a working student according to the USEF rules?

myvanya
Sep. 17, 2009, 09:39 AM
In my experience, no.

Dirty Little Secret
Sep. 17, 2009, 09:41 AM
I've known them to- but they had considerable savings in the bank to be able to afford to do so. That is, because you'd have to be able to support yourself without another form of income while working the full time hours of a working student.

Giddy-up
Sep. 17, 2009, 10:00 AM
Sure you can.

But you pay all your bills (board, training, etc...) in full. No credits or discount given. No payment for riding or working. So basically you are working for free. I guess "working student" could mean "fancy title for free work from ammy rider that pays all bills". :winkgrin:

Honestly I don't think a "working student" really works for ammy riders if you are truly following the ammy rules.

myvanya
Sep. 17, 2009, 10:11 AM
In addition to everything mentioned as to still paying all bills and receiving nothing for free, I believe you have to be pretty careful about riding other people's horses as well but I may have misunderstood that part.

horsepoor
Sep. 17, 2009, 12:22 PM
Wouldn't it depend a lot on what the duties of the working student are? When I was younger (much!), I was a working student in that I groomed horses for the trainer to ride in exchange for lessons. I wasn't riding or teaching. I don't see at all how that would violate the amateur rule.

Giddy-up
Sep. 17, 2009, 12:28 PM
Wouldn't it depend a lot on what the duties of the working student are? When I was younger (much!), I was a working student in that I groomed horses for the trainer to ride in exchange for lessons. I wasn't riding or teaching. I don't see at all how that would violate the amateur rule.

Not sure how young you mean, but if you were a junior (17 & under) anything goes. You can even be paid for riding or teaching. It's once you age out that the ammy rules start applying.

It's not the duties--it's the fact you are being compensated either by actual pay or credit that violates the rules. No where does it say you can't ever ride other horses or even teach lessons--it's when you collect or receive payment for doing so.

hunter-eventer-hunter
Sep. 17, 2009, 12:30 PM
USEF is SO clear on this. If you receive ANY payment (money) or payment in Kind (trades) for work with/on (i.e. training/riding/exercising horse in hand or under saddle) YOU are not an AMMY.

You can keep AMMY status if you say for example, horse/house sit when an owner is out of town, collect fees for hauling a horse you don't ride, etc. If you a a 4H/PC advisor and don't collect any fees, etc.

So many people break this rule (in many areas, not just hunter jumper land :))that is a joke at this point and needs to be rewritten. I loved what USEA did for a while until the big bad USEF monster made them stop. There was a cap in how much you could earn and still be an Ammy. Allowed for the small lesson income or small fee for riding a horse now and then. I think that was about $2K a year.

I loved giving up my Ammy Status becuase as a working studnet at 16 because the BO and Trainer HAD to pay (not much) to be legal and in compliance with labor laws and her insurance.

Oh, well.

Giddy-up
Sep. 17, 2009, 12:39 PM
I loved giving up my Ammy Status becuase as a working studnet at 16 because the BO and Trainer HAD to pay (not much) to be legal and in compliance with labor laws and her insurance.

If you were a junior, you were exempt from the rules. Or was that in eventing?

Trixie
Sep. 17, 2009, 12:41 PM
I loved giving up my Ammy Status becuase as a working studnet at 16 because the BO and Trainer HAD to pay (not much) to be legal and in compliance with labor laws and her insurance.

? You're only an amateur rider AFTER your 18th birthday. You can get paid all you want as a junior.


It's not the duties--it's the fact you are being compensated either by actual pay or credit that violates the rules. No where does it say you can't ever ride other horses or even teach lessons--it's when you collect or receive payment for doing so.

Agree. If I recall correctly, you may get paid as a groom as long as you NEVER ride horses under that trainer's care that don't belong to you. But if you're grooming, getting paid in lessons, and riding school horses, you're not an ammy.

Beenthere
Sep. 17, 2009, 12:41 PM
so what about this scenario:

Person works as a groom handling and caring for X horses, none of which are his. He does not ride them. He gets paid a grooms salary of lets say $600.00 per week. He then takes that $2,400 per month and pays the bills on HIS horses, i.e. board, training, show expenses, etc. That seems to leave him in a ammy status, does it not?

so why not just pay the person instead of calling them a working student and let the working student pay their own bills?

hunter-eventer-hunter
Sep. 17, 2009, 12:46 PM
If you were a junior, you were exempt from the rules. Or was that in eventing?

Yep, I got to keep my junior status for H/J unitl I was 18 and then lost the Ammy. The Eventing was different and I showed some breeds that were covered by USEF and you lose ANY AMMY status quickly and you get in trouble if you get caught, and it is a big deal.

But at 18 or 16, 21 or 25 it is the same issue and the rules either needs to be enforced or re-written. It doesn't serv anyone at this point.

H-E-H

Giddy-up
Sep. 17, 2009, 12:59 PM
so what about this scenario:

Person works as a groom handling and caring for X horses, none of which are his. He does not ride them. He gets paid a grooms salary of lets say $600.00 per week. He then takes that $2,400 per month and pays the bills on HIS horses, i.e. board, training, show expenses, etc. That seems to leave him in a ammy status, does it not?

so why not just pay the person instead of calling them a working student and let the working student pay their own bills?

Because most "working student" jobs you are given riding opportunities. And when you are a junior, it doesn't matter which is why most juniors are working students.

I agree--if the person in your example just calls themself a groom & gets paid as one, they are still an ammy. But they can never sit on any horse owned by or in the care of the person that is paying them (so no hacking the trainer or barn owner's horses if that's who pays them).

Janet
Sep. 17, 2009, 01:07 PM
It's not the duties--it's the fact you are being compensated either by actual pay or credit that violates the rules. No where does it say you can't ever ride other horses or even teach lessons--it's when you collect or receive payment for doing so.
To clarify.

It is the being paid for SOMETHING (could just be baby sitting), and then riding horses owned, trained, boarded by the person who pays you for the baby sitting) that makes you a non amateur.

horsepoor
Sep. 17, 2009, 03:27 PM
I think for one thing there are a lot of different ways one can be a working student, so you can't just make a blanket statement that says any working student is violating the amateur rule.

I still stand by my own example that I (as an adult) was a "working student" of sorts in that I prepared (groomed and tacked up) and put away trainer's horses on days that he rode them in exchange for my lessons on a horse that I leased (a true lease in that I paid all the bills) and later a horse that I owned. It is the same as being a paid groom, braider, horse hauler, etc. I really can't see that it violates the amateur rule.

Beenthere
Sep. 17, 2009, 03:42 PM
this stuff is tricky.

So a groom in my example above works 40 hour week. Gets off at 5:00pm. Day and work over. No more pay.

Even though NOT paid and NOT compensated in anyway, he can't ride other peoples horses for shear pleasure after work? He can't ride his bosses horses for shear pleasure after work? if so he loses amatuer status? he can't sit on a horse at wellington and walk it from one side of the show grounds to the other on its back or he looses amatuer status?

Seal Harbor
Sep. 17, 2009, 03:50 PM
this stuff is tricky.

So a groom in my example above works 40 hour week. Gets off at 5:00pm. Day and work over. No more pay.

Even though NOT paid and NOT compensated in anyway, he can't ride other peoples horses for shear pleasure after work? He can't ride his bosses horses for shear pleasure after work? if so he loses amatuer status? he can't sit on a horse at wellington and walk it from one side of the show grounds to the other on its back or he looses amatuer status?

Not if the person who pays them also either accepts money for training or showing said horse or owns them. Some completely random horse that has nothing to do with the trainer/employer yes. The problem is getting paid to do one thing - groom and then riding horses in training with employer or boarded with employer, it then implies that you are being paid to RIDE not groom. That is how people tried to get around the ammy rule before the additional subsections were put in.

You may however ride your own horses or any horses leased by you with that lease being recorded with the USEF which then makes you the owner of record until the lease expires. This doesn't let you show in Amateur Owner classes but does allow one to show in Adult Amateur classes.

Trixie
Sep. 17, 2009, 03:52 PM
Even though NOT paid and NOT compensated in anyway, he can't ride other peoples horses for shear pleasure after work? He can't ride his bosses horses for shear pleasure after work? if so he loses amatuer status? he can't sit on a horse at wellington and walk it from one side of the show grounds to the other on its back or he looses amatuer status?

Yup.

It's not because said groom is deliberately trying to break the amateur rule. But, if he rides his boss's horses "for pleasure" one could easily argue that he's "training" them.

He's being compensated for working around the barn, but there were plenty of people who were paid "as a groom" or "as a bookkeeper" and rode all day, even though they said they weren't being "paid to ride." The USEF cannot make a distinction between those "riding for shear pleasure" vs. those riding to train. So, if you're getting paid by the barn, no riding the barn's horses or horses in training at that barn. It's not set out to screw the poor, hardworking groom who just wants to ride for fun - it's set out to enforce those who were deliberately using terms like "groom" to break a rule.

The groom may then ride horses for free all he wants at other barns, or ride his own horses.

Janet
Sep. 17, 2009, 04:16 PM
this stuff is tricky.

So a groom in my example above works 40 hour week. Gets off at 5:00pm. Day and work over. No more pay.

Even though NOT paid and NOT compensated in anyway, he can't ride other peoples horses for shear pleasure after work? He can't ride his bosses horses for shear pleasure after work? if so he loses amatuer status? he can't sit on a horse at wellington and walk it from one side of the show grounds to the other on its back or he looses amatuer status?
Yep.

Because of one bad apple, a couple of decades ago, who was paid to be the barn's "book keeper", but rode the barn's horses most of the day, every day, and competed as an amateur on the weekend.

When they changed the rule to close that loophole, they also shut out a lot of legitiamte amateurs. But I can't see any other easy way that they couold have cloesed the loophole without shutting out the others.

But he can ride, for free, horses from a DIFFERENT barn all he wants.

Giddy-up
Sep. 17, 2009, 04:21 PM
I think for one thing there are a lot of different ways one can be a working student, so you can't just make a blanket statement that says any working student is violating the amateur rule.

I still stand by my own example that I (as an adult) was a "working student" of sorts in that I prepared (groomed and tacked up) and put away trainer's horses on days that he rode them in exchange for my lessons on a horse that I leased (a true lease in that I paid all the bills) and later a horse that I owned. It is the same as being a paid groom, braider, horse hauler, etc. I really can't see that it violates the amateur rule.

What you did I would call "grooming". And no that doesn't violate the ammy rules. If you don't ride any other horses in your trainer's barn.

I think the term "working student" is used too loosely & that's what causes a lot of confusion.

MHM
Sep. 17, 2009, 04:24 PM
But he can ride, for free, horses from a DIFFERENT barn all he wants.

So all you have to do in Wellington is find a neighbor who is trail riding up to the ring at the same time, and ride up together, but switch horses, so you're not riding a horse from your own barn. Voila, still an amateur! :lol:

It's a shame they have to make the rules so narrow due to the cheaters.

Horseshowaddict
Sep. 17, 2009, 07:59 PM
As long as your boss is cool with that kind of mess or doesn't find out and fire you. Then you'd be riding nothing.

I know thats a joke. But seriously there is pretty much no way around it. If you are an adult and want to get more time in the saddle, and more experience etc etc, but cant afford it. You get to pay the price by giving up your ammy status. It all pays off in the end though. You can always get your ammy status back if you REALLY want to. Just a matter of choices.

gottagrey
Sep. 18, 2009, 12:05 AM
There are probably some variables missing w/ the working student - the rule is pretty specific but I would suggest contacting the USEF and be very specific about the job/duties etc and what horses WS will be riding. Some places offer WS positions which include a stall for their horse & lessons in exchange for work - this is one of the best ways people became professionals but they have to be able to ride/compete somewhere first... So if the WS is riding their own horse, they might still be an amateur; if riding trainer/BM/employer's horses or even boarded horses probably a no.

Again, email the USEF - they have a staff of people there to answer and address these issues

Ravencrest_Camp
Sep. 18, 2009, 12:46 PM
As long as your boss is cool with that kind of mess or doesn't find out and fire you. Then you'd be riding nothing.

I know thats a joke. But seriously there is pretty much no way around it. If you are an adult and want to get more time in the saddle, and more experience etc etc, but cant afford it. You get to pay the price by giving up your ammy status. It all pays off in the end though. You can always get your ammy status back if you REALLY want to. Just a matter of choices.

I think the problem lies in the fact that if as an adult you need more time in the tack and more experience, you will have a hard time finding classes to enter as a non-amatuer.

At least that is the case around here. :cool:

Giddy-up
Sep. 18, 2009, 01:46 PM
But seriously there is pretty much no way around it. If you are an adult and want to get more time in the saddle, and more experience etc etc, but cant afford it. You get to pay the price by giving up your ammy status. It all pays off in the end though. You can always get your ammy status back if you REALLY want to. Just a matter of choices.

I don't know. I am an adult. My trainer says "want to hack this one?" & I do. I don't get paid. I don't get a discount on my bill. I do it only for the extra saddle time. I am not having to give up my ammy status for it.

Trixie
Sep. 18, 2009, 03:42 PM
I don't know. I am an adult. My trainer says "want to hack this one?" & I do. I don't get paid. I don't get a discount on my bill. I do it only for the extra saddle time. I am not having to give up my ammy status for it.

Yes, but you're probably an experienced rider, and you have a generous trainer. Riders with less experience often don't get offers of free horses to ride.

Horseshowaddict
Sep. 18, 2009, 04:04 PM
Yes, but you probably own a horse, and pay the trainer to teach you. You do not get compensated for this in anyway, and that is NOT a violation of your ammy status. However, some people cannot even afford to pay the bills on a horse, maybe can only take a lesson or two a week. Then trying this kind of trade off turns into something entirely different. I toiled away throughout college, as a working student and did keep my ammy status fair and square. Once I graduated though, I had to start working at the farm, and teaching some lessons. This meant if I wanted to keep riding the amount of horses that I was before, I had to give up my status. Was it worth it? Heck yes, I still got to ride, and got to have my OWN horse. If I ever get into the situation where I can get my ammy status back, Ill be a helluva good one :-D.


And in the case of finding classes to show in. Yes it is tough. Especially at local shows, where there are maybe 1 or 2 divisions to show in as far as hunters go, and maybe only a single open class at each level in jumpers. At the bigger shows, you then get thrown in with the "big fish". I used to get frustrated with this until I did just start showing in what I could. Some shows I wouldnt pin at all (sometimes for no good reason, sometimes for a REALLY good reason...we all miss sometimes LOL), and other shows if I had good trips, I was rewarded for it. I just focus on doing a good job with my horse and riding to the best of my ability, a ribbon is a bonus.