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Rescue_Rider9
Jan. 13, 2010, 12:20 PM
Sorry for all the posts lately!

In my efforts to learn as much as possible on a budget, it got me thinking, Does anyone ever wish they had more hands around at a horse show?

I figured being someones do everything person would help me learn a lot and help them be more relaxed at shows. I am on a budget, so inorder to be someone "slave" for a weekend show, I couldnt afford to drive to the venue or pay for my own hotel. So, my question is, would you haul another person (not horse. Just me) to a HT and let them sleep in your room(totally comfortable on the floor!) in exchange for them helping you with whatever you need help with at a show (including grooming, stall cleaning, trailer cleaning, whatever else you want!)? There are a lot of knowledgable people in my area who I would love to learn from! I would love to watch them warm up and do course walks with them ect.

purplnurpl
Jan. 13, 2010, 12:26 PM
I would without hesitation!
I'd take a helper/groom in exchange for the ride, grocery food and sleeping quarters (for me that is either my trailer or a tent--unless it is super cold and a heater is needed. lol).

After all, if I'm going alone I would need a partner in crime!

Rescue_Rider9
Jan. 13, 2010, 12:28 PM
I would feed myself! lol I have to eat whether I am away or at home!

CookiePony
Jan. 13, 2010, 12:34 PM
Yes, that's called grooming for someone and it is very common for the rider to cover expenses for the groom. As you realize, the accomodations and food are not always palatial but there is much fun and education to be had!

scubed
Jan. 13, 2010, 12:35 PM
I think you should let the riders you know of in your area know that you are available for this. It could be worth having some cards printed up with your numbers, etc so people can call you if they realize their usual groom is not available or all of a sudden they are doing multiple horses, etc. I think you might find people willing to do this, especially if you can be available on short notice, etc.

Janet
Jan. 13, 2010, 02:00 PM
Sorry for all the posts lately!

In my efforts to learn as much as possible on a budget, it got me thinking, Does anyone ever wish they had more hands around at a horse show?

I figured being someones do everything person would help me learn a lot and help them be more relaxed at shows. I am on a budget, so inorder to be someone "slave" for a weekend show, I couldnt afford to drive to the venue or pay for my own hotel. So, my question is, would you haul another person (not horse. Just me) to a HT and let them sleep in your room(totally comfortable on the floor!) in exchange for them helping you with whatever you need help with at a show (including grooming, stall cleaning, trailer cleaning, whatever else you want!)? There are a lot of knowledgable people in my area who I would love to learn from! I would love to watch them warm up and do course walks with them ect.


Yes, it is not uncommon.

Anytime my sister takes more than one horse she takes along a helper.

You need to get the word out, and get some references.

It might even be worth showing up at a HT, talking to the secretary, and putting up note in the secretary's office.

Divine Comedy
Jan. 13, 2010, 02:23 PM
Oh man, would I ever love that. I usually am on my own (I have a trainer usually who hauls my horse, but I usually drive myself, even for 14 hour trips). My parents occasionally come to shows, but they are non-horsey, so I don't let them do too much.

I would love to have someone willing to come with me, help with the horse, tack cleaning, etc during the show, especially during an FEI event. I would willingly pay for all their meals, and usually my hotel includes two double beds, so that would be no problem. I just can't afford to pay anyone on top of that.

So yeah, would do so in a heart beat.

deltawave
Jan. 13, 2010, 02:37 PM
Crud, COTH ate my post. :p This is way more random as I'm on the phone intermittently on hold. :mad: Absolutely I think you could find people to make this work. I can handle one or even two horses at a show, but it's SO nice to have someone to help. My friends and I help each other out, but even then having someone along who's young and wanting to be a real help and a knowledge sponge would be fun, and definitely worth sharing a room and paying for the help. You might find that there are a lot of people (COTHers in particular) who go to shows in "packs"--being super-organized and available to help with things like stall set-up prior to everyone's arrival, getting packets, cleaning up after everyone leaves, helping with trailer loading/unloading would be a GODSEND for a lot of folks, myself included. In return for your work and being available, friendly and enthusiastic, make "wanting to learn" a part of the agreement, not just money. Ask to and expect to be invited to go on course walks. Hold jackets in warmup and listen to the BNRs coaching. I think charging something along the lines of $20-30 per day, per rider would be reasonable, but that's just off the top of my head and I have NO idea if that's completely off-base or not. You would probably be better off marketing yourself to large groups and barns.

Rescue_Rider9
Jan. 13, 2010, 02:46 PM
I dont want to be paid for it. The place to sleep and the ride up would be my payment, along with all the knowledge I gain from it.

wsmoak
Jan. 13, 2010, 03:15 PM
That's pretty much what I do at shows, (though I don't generally need a ride.)

I simply find where my coach's group is stabled, show up, and ask, "How can I help?" I look at the schedule and park myself at the warmup to hold horses or run back and get what someone forgot. I watch and try to anticipate what someone might need.

I go on course walks, hanging back to let my coach concentrate on the paying customers, but listening to every word and studying the fences.

I love being involved, I just don't like to compete. For now, I play groom and sponsor. One day, I aspire to "owner". :D

SEPowell
Jan. 13, 2010, 03:30 PM
Boy do I wish you lived in Western NY! I'd snap you up in a minute and would even go to the three recognized events up here! And I'd give you lots of experience riding ottbs and fox hunting.:)

edited to add: Enthusiastic labor is hard for anyone in horses to pass up. And I agree with other posters, you should expect at least some monetary return for your efforts. Volunteering a few times is very generous, but be careful not to underestimate your value to those you're helping.

deltawave
Jan. 13, 2010, 04:39 PM
I dont want to be paid for it.Suit yourself. :) I don't think it would impact amateur status, would it?

But here's a (free!) tip: don't sell yourself short. I would insist on paying someone for their help if I gave them the type of job described above. Even if you volunteer; if you work hard, do a good job, and someone offers to pay you for your services, you smile and say "thank you very much!". :)

Equibrit
Jan. 13, 2010, 04:46 PM
Life as a working student; http://hotpinkheels92.livejournal.com/

http://www.yardandgroom.com/jobs/united-states/kentucky/working-student-in-eventing-barn/13922

wsmoak
Jan. 13, 2010, 04:56 PM
True. As a volunteer groom, I can go sit down whenever I feel like it, and I can sleep in and/or make sure not to miss the Advanced horses on XC or whatever I want to watch after driving all that way.

If you're going to be at their beck and call all weekend, that's worth something (more than transportation and the extra hotel room bed, that is.)

It Depends, though. If people start start to take advantage of you, then you either become unavailable, or start charging them. If you are learning a ton and enjoying yourself (most likely collecting tips and free meals along the way... *I'd* feed you at least!) then it may be worth working for "free".

bewarethechestnutmare
Jan. 13, 2010, 04:59 PM
I LOVE to have another set of hands, especially when I've got more than one horse to juggle! If you were in the Pac NW, you'd be more than invited along with us! Heck, if you want to come up, we'd be glad to have you along. :) When I can beg, borrow or steal a helper for the weekend, at the very least, i always cover dinners, drinks, coffee and the like, offer shelter with me and of course, thank them relentlessly all weekend long. :)
I think if I were you, OP, I'd start with asking people you know... folks from the barn or same trainer or friends. I can't imagine that you'd get turned down.
--B

enjoytheride
Jan. 13, 2010, 05:01 PM
The OP is already teaching riding lessons so it doesn't affect her current status (pro) if she takes money for grooming.

Since it doesnt, why don't you want money? What do you gain besides some lost sleep and some sore arm muscles? Are you getting lessons in exchange for grooming, free rides, are you schooling horses?

Rescue_Rider9
Jan. 13, 2010, 05:01 PM
Life as a working student; http://hotpinkheels92.livejournal.com/

http://www.yardandgroom.com/jobs/united-states/kentucky/working-student-in-eventing-barn/13922

I wish I could be a working student, but unless i find a summer one, I have to finish school first. If I dont finish now, I will never go back.

Rescue_Rider9
Jan. 13, 2010, 05:06 PM
The OP is already teaching riding lessons so it doesn't affect her current status (pro) if she takes money for grooming.

Since it doesnt, why don't you want money? What do you gain besides some lost sleep and some sore arm muscles? Are you getting lessons in exchange for grooming, free rides, are you schooling horses?

I dont feel like I should get paid for it.. I mean, I dont think I would be that great of an asset...maybe I just dont know what goes in to it, but I have taken care of my horse at an event before and it didnt seem that hard.. It just would have been nice to have someone else do everything else for me..

Festivity
Jan. 13, 2010, 05:28 PM
If you are ever out in California, drop me a line. I would love to have help either when I am competing or volunteering. One thing you might want to try is contacting events that are fairly close and asking the volunteer coordinator if you can help. Often times they have volunteers coming from all over and maybe able to suggest someone to hitch a ride with. They can be miracle workers, especially if they need more people. Volunteering is great, it makes it so you can help everyone there at least a little bit. It also makes a great way to learn.

Divine Comedy
Jan. 13, 2010, 05:40 PM
I dont feel like I should get paid for it.. I mean, I dont think I would be that great of an asset...maybe I just dont know what goes in to it, but I have taken care of my horse at an event before and it didnt seem that hard.. It just would have been nice to have someone else do everything else for me..

Maybe not at first, but once you know the ropes of the particular person it would be worth charging. It's a lot more work than you think if the rider is OCD. Like me. I clean the stall every morning, afternoon, and evening. I'm obsessive about organization. Once you start braiding for the person, you should definitely be charging. I am super picky about my braids, so I won't let anyone else braid for me unless I've seen and approved their braids first. Same with quarter marks. I want someone who can take my horse from me after XC, and if it is an FEI event, knows how to handle the vet box. I would want you to help clean all my show tack, which gets taken apart, cleaned, and condition at every show after I am done using it. Etc, etc, etc.

My point is that while you were still learning how I liked things, and needed supervision, I would just pay for your food, let you share my hotel room for free. Once you could do unsupervised stuff without me asking, then I would be happy to pay you something, ESPECIALLY if you braided for me.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jan. 13, 2010, 05:51 PM
True. As a volunteer groom, I can go sit down whenever I feel like it, and I can sleep in and/or make sure not to miss the Advanced horses on XC or whatever I want to watch after driving all that way.

If you're going to be at their beck and call all weekend, that's worth something (more than transportation and the extra hotel room bed, that is.)

It Depends, though. If people start start to take advantage of you, then you either become unavailable, or start charging them. If you are learning a ton and enjoying yourself (most likely collecting tips and free meals along the way... *I'd* feed you at least!) then it may be worth working for "free".



I disagree a bit. I was an unpaid groom when first interested in eventing. Adv rider who became one of my closest friends paid my expenses at the show but not me. She made sure I got to go on course walks (with Jimmy no less) and I learned a ton. But I DIDN't just work when it suited me...sit down when I wanted or sleep in. I was a groom....and there to work. Paying expenses IS a form of payment...and as a less experienced groom...what you are worth.

When I became a very experienced groom, well then I did start to get paid. (and by experienced, I mean I knew how to run a vet box, cool out a horse, stud a horse quickly, braid well etc.......still can't do quarter marks but oh well.) But unless you have a lot of experience as a groom, I wouldn't hire you and pay you...there are experienced grooms I can hire. But if you wanted to gain more experience, I'd be more inclined to cover your expenses and make sure you got as much of a learning experience as possible BUT would still expect you to work. It is a very good way to learn a lot and make a lot of connections.....as well as good recomendations.

Rescue_Rider9
Jan. 13, 2010, 06:51 PM
I disagree a bit. I was an unpaid groom when first interested in eventing. Adv rider who became one of my closest friends paid my expenses at the show but not me. She made sure I got to go on course walks (with Jimmy no less) and I learned a ton. But I DIDN't just work when it suited me...sit down when I wanted or sleep in. I was a groom....and there to work. Paying expenses IS a form of payment...and as a less experienced groom...what you are worth.

When I became a very experienced groom, well then I did start to get paid. (and by experienced, I mean I knew how to run a vet box, cool out a horse, stud a horse quickly, braid well etc.......still can't do quarter marks but oh well.) But unless you have a lot of experience as a groom, I wouldn't hire you and pay you...there are experienced grooms I can hire. But if you wanted to gain more experience, I'd be more inclined to cover your expenses and make sure you got as much of a learning experience as possible BUT would still expect you to work. It is a very good way to learn a lot and make a lot of connections.....as well as good recomendations.


This is exactly what I was thinking.

deltawave
Jan. 13, 2010, 07:05 PM
As a volunteer groom, I can go sit down whenever I feel like it, and I can sleep in and/or make sure not to miss the Advanced horses on XC or whatever I want to watch after driving all that way.
Hmm, not if you want to work for me more than once. :) </br>
This is precisely why I'd much prefer to pay someone--to make it clear that they're there to WORK, and not to take off if they feel like it, or if they find something better to do. If someone is there to spectate or have a good time and is willing to help me out for an hour here or there, I call that "doing me a favor", but wouldn't elevate that person to the status of "groom". And I would owe that person a similar favor, but would certainly not pay their hotel, travel or food bill. And frankly if someone who volunteered to help me wandered off to sit down because they were tired, leaving the person they came to help with a pile of work to do, I'd pretty much give up on them as a groom, a horseperson, or a potential future show companion.</br>
If you want to watch, by ALL MEANS watch. But not if you've agreed to help someone out for the weekend and doing so will leave the other person in a bind. If there's something you want to see, make arrangements beforehand.</br>

WakeRider
Jan. 13, 2010, 07:52 PM
If i have to "teach" students who are grooming for me, i give them a ride to the event, pay for their food, pay for the hotel. When they become experienced, and still want to groom then they can work off lessons.

wsmoak
Jan. 13, 2010, 08:03 PM
Hmm, not if you want to work for me more than once. :)

To clarify since a couple of people have commented... I'm paying my own way. No one is covering expenses or expecting anything from me. Quite often I'm also a sponsor of the event. :)

I find "my" group and ask if I can help, and if I commit to being somewhere/doing something, then I'll absolutely do it, but I'm not there dedicated to a particular rider.

I probably shouldn't have said 'groom' -- more like generally helpful hanger-on. ;)

bornfreenowexpensive
Jan. 13, 2010, 08:19 PM
To clarify since a couple of people have commented... I'm paying my own way. No one is covering expenses or expecting anything from me. Quite often I'm also a sponsor of the event. :)

I find "my" group and ask if I can help, and if I commit to being somewhere/doing something, then I'll absolutely do it, but I'm not there dedicated to a particular rider.

I probably shouldn't have said 'groom' -- more like generally helpful hanger-on. ;)


That's totally fine...but the OP was talking about having her expenses covered. That is a different situation than you have described for yourself......and very different expectations. You can learn a lot with what you are doing as well.....and people usually LOVE having your type around:D.

VicariousRider
Jan. 13, 2010, 08:19 PM
I would just like to add that it might be best for you to groom for a professional or UL rider if possible. You mentioned that you had some in your area?

While there are LOTS of well-informed and well educated ammies, you may find that creating a relationship with a pro or an up and coming rider will serve you best when it comes to looking for that WS position. Their expectations may be higher, consequences of mistakes more severe, but the benefit to you might be greater in the long run. A huge part of the horse world is networking!

bornfreenowexpensive
Jan. 13, 2010, 08:28 PM
I would just like to add that it might be best for you to groom for a professional or UL rider if possible. You mentioned that you had some in your area?

While there are LOTS of well-informed and well educated ammies, you may find that creating a relationship with a pro or an up and coming rider will serve you best when it comes to looking for that WS position. Their expectations may be higher, consequences of mistakes more severe, but the benefit to you might be greater in the long run. A huge part of the horse world is networking!


Good advice....but I do disagree just a little bit in what you describe.

There are UL riders who are Amateurs. Quiet a few actually.....and also there are many amateurs who while perhaps competing at Prelim...might actually know MORE people than your average Pro......or have more experiences that can be more helpful. (and give you more connections). Those amateurs are also more likely to need help...and not already have a professional groom or WS assisting them at the events.

It is finding the right person in general. My friend was an amatuer at the time....working a full time job and competed at the *** level bringing more than one horse up to Adv. And more particular and a perfectionist about things than most Pros I've met;) But I also learned a lot from her on how to manage to event and work an office job at the same time.....that skill has been very important in my life.


But I do agree that you will learn more working with/for people who are competing at Prelim and up....especially working at a CCI....but you have to start somewhere.

SEPowell
Jan. 13, 2010, 08:30 PM
You might be able to find a working student position for the summer. Why don't you make a resume of sorts, submit it to some eventers and see where it takes you? Just make sure you get some background on the people. Years ago I was a working student with an UL eventer who was toxic, yuck. I'd hate to see anyone as enthusiastic as you make that mistake.

VicariousRider
Jan. 13, 2010, 09:37 PM
There are UL riders who are Amateurs. Quiet a few actually.....and also there are many amateurs who while perhaps competing at Prelim...might actually know MORE people than your average Pro......or have more experiences that can be more helpful. (and give you more connections). Those amateurs are also more likely to need help...and not already have a professional groom or WS assisting them at the events.


BFNE: That is my sentiment exactly... I just didn't word it as clearly or specifically!

In my experience, I learned the most from the UL riders that I groomed for. If the OP has the ability to find someone like you (and I) describe, I think that she will be best served. It's worth spending a little time finding the right person.

Rescue: FYI my screen name is actually an inside joke with my horsey pals because I am a VERY low level ammy eventer but I have groomed for riders through CCI*** (and ran a few barns after that). The joke was that I vicariously rode the upper levels through them. :lol: While I am not an aspiring pro, I got a TON out of those experiences on many different levels and you never lose the knowledge that you gain working with the best!

Rescue_Rider9
Jan. 13, 2010, 10:06 PM
How would I go about putting together a resume of my riding? I mean when I was like 12-14 I had a kinda WS thing going on.. I worked my butt of for just lessons. haha I have a friend who I boarded her horse, should I add that was well? Does anyone have a sample horse resume I could see? I haven't really accomplished much...

VicariousRider
Jan. 13, 2010, 11:33 PM
I would have the following sections (or something like this):

Name & Contact info (as heading)

Riding History: Include when you started riding, what level you have competed through, your IHSA experience, the WS thing you describe.

Awards: Don't need a separate section if you feel you don't have enough but include awards from your college riding experience (like coaches ward, most improved, sportsmanship... they show good character traits).

Relevant Skills: Stable management, mention that you have cared for your own horses (it sounds like you even had a friend's horse at your barn?), the work you did for lessons, braiding (?), etc. You might want to call this section "Employment" if that fits better (or do a separate section for that). I bet you have a lot more than you think.

Keep it to 1 page and put each section in chronological order.

Then when you sent your resume send a cover letter as well stating why you want to work for the person and highlighting your assets that you think make you a good fit through examples (such as: My experience riding on my IHSA team has developed my ability to be a team player. My experience keeping my horses at home has developed my work ethic.) Close by saying that you would be happy to send more info/meet with them/whatever.

Try to make it look nice and professional (not corny- no pictures, etc.)

bip
Jan. 13, 2010, 11:44 PM
But here's a (free!) tip: don't sell yourself short.

Ditto! After you do it a few times, enough that you have a little experience under your belt, you should feel very comfortable charging the going rate. After the "fun" of the first few times wears off, you will do a better job if you are being paid, and your clients will trust you more too.

quietann
Jan. 14, 2010, 12:11 AM
I would without hesitation!
I'd take a helper/groom in exchange for the ride, grocery food and sleeping quarters (for me that is either my trailer or a tent--unless it is super cold and a heater is needed. lol).

After all, if I'm going alone I would need a partner in crime!

I learned so much by being a friend's helper when she went to HTs. I rode in her truck with her and she paid for my food and we shared a motel room if we went overnight. She liked my company and liked knowing I could drive the rig if needed (she gave me a few lessons first and had a simple combination of a BP stock trailer and a pickup truck.) I held her horse for her, lugged tack, carried her water bottle and asthma inhaler to meet her at the end of X/C, and all sorts of other little tasks that she could have done herself, but she appreciated the help. She took me on her course walks. She's no big timer, just an adult ammy, but she's evented on and off for 30 years and really knows the ropes.

Very kindly, she and/or her daughter came to a couple of my dressage shows to help me with maresy. The company and extra pair of hands were very useful.

deltawave
Jan. 14, 2010, 08:30 AM
It's good to know how to put together a resume (although I'd put awards LAST) but for marketing yourself as a part-time show groom, maybe a nice, laminated half-sheet with some simple, colorful graphics and a brief description of what you have to offer would be best. Hang them at the show office and (let's face it, this is a great place to advertise) in the porta-johns at shows. Staple some little slips with your name and cell phone number on there for people to take.

For instance . . .

SHOW GROOM--availabe Thursday through Sunday

Services offered: Trailer unloading/loading, stall set-up, hand-walking, stall cleaning, feeding, braiding (only if you're GOOD at it), tack cleaning, warmup assistance, bathing, stall stripping. Anything else you need, I'm happy to help!

Available early or late, a few hours or the whole day, willing and able to help you in any way. Call RR (555) 555-5555 Very reasonable--I'm an experienced horse person looking to increase my skills and knowledge of eventing and am happy to work and to learn.

patterson
Jan. 16, 2010, 09:32 AM
Another financially challenged but hardworking and committed horse person here--chiming in to see if I can find someone who needs an extra pair of hands in connection with events, HTs, OTTBS, whatever either in NJ ( Far Hills area) or possibly in Westchester/Dutchess country.

I split my time between New York and D. C. for professional reasons. In D. C. I've been lucky enough to connect with the completely fabulous Asterix and her amazing critters:) (thanks COTH!), and have learned a ton--but I'm still looking for a similar situation either in NJ or Westchester/Ct/Dutchess for the periods when I'm in New York.

Don't need a pro--in fact, I'd probably be better off working with an ammy as I certainly have no UL aspirations ( and that's an understatement!) and can both learn more and be more helpful to someone else who has to balance the horse/work/life thing. BFNE, I'm a lawyer as well and I am in complete awe of how you put all the pieces together so early in both your professional and your horse life.

Certainly not looking to be paid and you don't have to feed me:lol:--just looking for an opportunity to help out, work, and learn.

All ideas welcome, and feel free to PM me!

KateWooten
Jan. 16, 2010, 11:32 PM
I would just like to add that it might be best for you to groom for a professional or UL rider if possible.

Nooooo, no no, no.... I think you would definitely learn more from a hopeless old lady bimbling along at BN on little ponies with sticky up manes that are completely impossible to braid. Yep, that's what you should do. Now, I wonder where you could find one of them close to home ?

Rescue_Rider9
Jan. 17, 2010, 12:48 AM
Nooooo, no no, no.... I think you would definitely learn more from a hopeless old lady bimbling along at BN on little ponies with sticky up manes that are completely impossible to braid. Yep, that's what you should do. Now, I wonder where you could find one of them close to home ?

If you are in need of a helper I am around!!!!

Kairoshorses
Jan. 17, 2010, 10:19 AM
My point is that while you were still learning how I liked things, and needed supervision, I would just pay for your food, let you share my hotel room for free. Once you could do unsupervised stuff without me asking, then I would be happy to pay you something, ESPECIALLY if you braided for me.

I'm with DC. I have a friend who rides my "anyone can ride" horse as often as she wants--and she comes to a show or two a year and helps groom for me. I feed her and put her up, and I would pay her except that she rides for free, so SHE wants to help me.

But I would LOVE to have more regular help. Wanna move to TX? ;)

FoxChaser
Jan. 17, 2010, 11:19 AM
Why don't you post an ad on the Area III website (www.usea3.org)? You could post it under the "Services" area of the classifieds. You could also post on the MSEDA site (www.MSEDA.org). It would be a good place to start! I admire you for getting out there and trying to learn more. :)