View Full Version : Am I crazy to work at the barn?

May. 29, 2011, 09:39 AM
Just curious what others think, have experienced. When I started working at my barn several years ago it made sense. Money was tight and I had no horse so it was a way to make some extra money and ride for free w/o feeling guilty.

Tons of things have changed over the last few years in my life and at the barn. I have my own horses now, I have more disposable income and the situation at the barn is very different.

I can't just do my shift/job I am always going above and beyond and spending way too much time on barn stuff which then takes away from my time riding my own horses. (my fault no one elses)

So my question is why am I doing this? I get paid very little for very hard work and lately all this seems to accomplish is less time for me to ride and enjoy my horses.

Problem is it will be hard to actually "quit." I don't work there that much (5-10 hours week) but whenever there is an emergency I am the go to person. I also work a full time job that entails travel and often very long hours, I am feeling like it is all too much. I just want to enjoy my time at the barn.

Should I just make it clear I don't want to work there any more? Of course in a true emergency I would still be there for the BO but if someone else was hired to replace what I do I think it would help take some of the pressure off of me.

May. 29, 2011, 10:34 AM
Seems like you have made this bed and will toss and turn in it(not sleep) until you make changes. Sounds like who ever is paying you is getting a lot more than stall help and tends to make you feel guilty if you are not "saving this farm". Decide if you want to be important/indispensible to these people or not. I suspect that they sure as hell aren't going to make it easy for you to get out of this situation. Be prepared to move your horses if they are at this barn. Just my cheap advice.

May. 29, 2011, 10:49 AM
As a barn owner, I can tell you from that perspective. I pamper my barn help, because I know what is like not to have reliable help. But, I also encourage them to find a 'job'...meaning if they are overqualified to muck, then they should be doing something else. Yes, in a sense it is shooting myself in the foot, but I care more about the person than I do my own needs at times!

Soooo, if you worked for me, we would have had the talk about you quitting but being there for me in necessity/emergency. Other than that, I'd ask you to help me interview and hire and train the next person.

My background in human services and staff development probably contributes to my talks to workers about getting education and skills so they can progress.

I also know how tough it is to find good help, so I can understand your BO's reluctance to see you go.

But, its your life, and you sound like a pleaser, not a self centered person. So, it makes it very hard for you to take an action that will benefit you but disappoint another. All I can say is talk to the BO, explain your need for more time, but that you would like to help the BO with the transition and of course be there for her in case.
That is a win/win situation to me, and I wish you the best.

May. 29, 2011, 11:25 AM
My BO and I are friends. I have boarded there off and on for many years. When I started working there it made sense but it doesn't any more and I just need to have that conversation with the BO. I will offer to find a new person and train them, etc. No she won't be happy but I am the one not happy now and I think if I am just honest and firm it will work out eventually. Thanks for the feedback! Yes my horses are boarded there and I know my board will be going up as I get a break being an employee, I can deal with that.

May. 29, 2011, 07:28 PM
My BO and I are friends. I have boarded there off and on for many years. When I started working there it made sense but it doesn't any more and I just need to have that conversation with the BO. .

THIS is where YOU need to STOP the conversation!! It is the BO's responsibility to get a new employee, make any "deals" like reduced board, pay scale they will be on. NOT YOURS. You finding a person can be construed as part of the problem, if they don't work out later. Made false promises.

You are trying to get uninvolved, so let BO do their job ALONE! Sounds like you are stretching yourself badly to please your BO and your full-time employer, with terrible time constraints. So you need to reduce what you offer to do, back off in "helping". I would love to have an employee like you, who gives WAY MORE than they get paid for. But as a friend, I need to help YOU get out of the web you keep winding yourself tighter into. Limiting your offer to aid, time available, teach yourself to say NO! You would not be able to help if you are out of town for your job. The BO would manage anyway! Perhaps you need to pretend to yourself that you ARE out of town "at those times" if discussion comes up and don't offer your aid. LET them manage the situation without jumping in to "save the day" for them.

Kind of a weaning process, for you and them. Sounds more hard for you because you WANT to be nice, but change will greatly reduce your stress, and perhaps give you more time to use your horses.

Good Luck.

As mentioned, you might have to change barns because BO can't change or gets resentful with your new thinking. Won't be able to deal with you not being always available or an employee anymore.