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View Full Version : Where to advertise for NJ working student?



happyrider234
May. 10, 2012, 11:26 PM
I'm spending the summer in NJ, and want to arrange a working student. I can give her somewhere to live, and pasture board for a horse. I'll need her to groom for me during the Intermediare National Championships at Gladstone. I'll also need her to care for my two while I'm away, possibly hacking them if she rides well enough. If it works out, she could come down to Florida for the winter (I live near Wellington).
It seems like the Chronicle no longer has employment ads, so I'm wondering where to advertise for this? I was thinking of writing to the various Equine Colleges to see if there is someone in their programs who might want this. What do you think of that?
I am open to any suggestions. It would be a neat opportunity for someone just starting out...

xQHDQ
May. 11, 2012, 06:22 AM
Try the ESDCTA newsletter: newsletter@esdcta.org

Manahmanah
May. 11, 2012, 06:39 AM
Yard and Groom, also putting fliers at Horseman's and/or Skylands wont hurt. Also hunterdon horse news.

pony baloney
May. 11, 2012, 01:41 PM
Maybe you could contact a few high level dressage trainers in the area and see if they have any students experienced enough to care for and hack your horses. Heather Mason, Sara Schmidt and many others are in the Hunterdon/Somerset county area.

Velvet
May. 11, 2012, 02:28 PM
My problem with this entire topic is that the OP says it's a working student position but says nothing about horses to the student will be riding and how qualified they are to teach. People, people, people, working students require TEACHING and need the opportunity to ride TOP horses (super well trained FEI horses). They are NOT cheap or free labor/grooms. :no:

You need to stop looking at what YOU want and look at what THEY want and need. It sounds like the OP just wants a groom. Then be upfront about it, suck it up, and just pay for a groom and offer them pasture board as part of their compensation. But DO NOT say it's a working student when "if they are good enough they might get to hack my horse."

It's a committment on both sides--when you advertise for a working student. And you better be a decent instructor and have really nice horses. Otherwise, as I've stated, just get a groom. It's much easier to have a groom.

The other funny thing is that many people forget that the college is normally not a good place to go. They've been paying for a degree in horses and typically come out with very unreaslitic expectations and think they're full fledged trainers in their own right--and that they deserve a big salary so they can pay off their loans. :lol:

Velvet
May. 11, 2012, 02:29 PM
Maybe you could contact a few high level dressage trainers in the area and see if they have any students experienced enough to care for and hack your horses. Heather Mason, Sara Schmidt and many others are in the Hunterdon/Somerset county area.

This is a solid suggestion. Lendon might have someone, too.

TB7
May. 11, 2012, 02:33 PM
There are a few tack shops around the area where you could post a flyer. Like Bevals, CoachStop, Horsemen's (if that's not too far).

Isabeau Z Solace
May. 11, 2012, 05:59 PM
My problem with this entire topic is that the OP says it's a working student position but says nothing about horses to the student will be riding and how qualified they are to teach. People, people, people, working students require TEACHING and need the opportunity to ride TOP horses (super well trained FEI horses). They are NOT cheap or free labor/grooms. :no:

You need to stop looking at what YOU want and look at what THEY want and need. It sounds like the OP just wants a groom. Then be upfront about it, suck it up, and just pay for a groom and offer them pasture board as part of their compensation. But DO NOT say it's a working student when "if they are good enough they might get to hack my horse."

It's a committment on both sides--when you advertise for a working student. And you better be a decent instructor and have really nice horses. Otherwise, as I've stated, just get a groom. It's much easier to have a groom.


Good points, all. And really, this is a big part of the problem with the 'system' in the USA. "Working students" are used more as free labor than anything else.

Here's how it works. "Hey, I have a training business. I need help. I can't afford help. I need a WS !!"

Then the 'WS' is worked to death, in exchange for very little. They are told they should be ever so grateful.... that they learned to 'properly' muck a stall, clean out a horse trailer, clean mountains of tack, re-roll the never ending mountain of polos, and wrestle the trainers unruly, overfed, overstalled monsters around the show grounds.

If we treat the 'up and comers' in our industry this way, how do we ever, expect, to strengthen our industry?

happyrider234
May. 11, 2012, 06:47 PM
Eh-hem. I was trying not to appear as though I was placing an ad here, as I don't think it is the place for it. So I did not put full information about the job, dear Velvet. Having been a working student myself, I am fully aware of what is required and expected. Mine end of ready to be professionals if they stay with it. But, no, they don't ride my horses until they are good enough. They have daily lessons on their own, from a highly qualified teacher. In addition to board for their horse, housing and pay. Yes, pay.

Down girl, down!

Thanks for the excellent suggestions from everyone else.

NotGrandPrixYet
May. 11, 2012, 06:50 PM
Totally agree with everything Velvet said.

NotGrandPrixYet
May. 11, 2012, 06:53 PM
You can also put an ad in the Equiery. There are plenty of young riders in the DC area, and NJ is very close.

Velvet
May. 11, 2012, 07:33 PM
Eh-hem. I was trying not to appear as though I was placing an ad here, as I don't think it is the place for it. So I did not put full information about the job, dear Velvet. Having been a working student myself, I am fully aware of what is required and expected. Mine end of ready to be professionals if they stay with it. But, no, they don't ride my horses until they are good enough. They have daily lessons on their own, from a highly qualified teacher. In addition to board for their horse, housing and pay. Yes, pay.

Down girl, down!

Thanks for the excellent suggestions from everyone else.

I still think you want a groom and not a WS, and you were one of those who were fooled into thinking this is what a WS job is by someone else--if this is what you think qualifies.

Why would someone come to you to groom and get lessons on their own horse when they can do that at home? There's no up side here. It's not a working student job. It's a grooming job with some of the benefits being pasture board for one horse and lessons with your instructor (or you, if that's what you're talking about). :no:

Twisted River
May. 11, 2012, 08:31 PM
They have daily lessons on their own, from a highly qualified teacher. In addition to board for their horse, housing and pay. Yes, pay.

I hope the pay is adequate to make up for the lack of saddle time. My definition of a working student (and I have been one myself) rides lightly supervised 3-4 of your horses per day, plus a lesson on their own horse 5 to 6 days a week, depending on show weekends.

You state that they'll get saddle time if they're good enough. If you can only provide saddle time for a 3rd level rider (as an example) then that's what you should be looking for. I think it's a bit unfair to take on someone that you won't let ride. There are plenty of trainers prepared to take on less skilled working students, it doesn't sound like you are one of them and I think you should be up front with that fact.

agree with yardandgroom.com

EnzoDbr9
May. 11, 2012, 11:25 PM
My problem with this entire topic is that the OP says it's a working student position but says nothing about horses to the student will be riding and how qualified they are to teach. People, people, people, working students require TEACHING and need the opportunity to ride TOP horses (super well trained FEI horses). They are NOT cheap or free labor/grooms. :no:

You need to stop looking at what YOU want and look at what THEY want and need. It sounds like the OP just wants a groom. Then be upfront about it, suck it up, and just pay for a groom and offer them pasture board as part of their compensation. But DO NOT say it's a working student when "if they are good enough they might get to hack my horse."

It's a committment on both sides--when you advertise for a working student. And you better be a decent instructor and have really nice horses. Otherwise, as I've stated, just get a groom. It's much easier to have a groom.

The other funny thing is that many people forget that the college is normally not a good place to go. They've been paying for a degree in horses and typically come out with very unreaslitic expectations and think they're full fledged trainers in their own right--and that they deserve a big salary so they can pay off their loans. :lol:

This, a million times this. As a student who has been in "Working Student" situations before, I agree with you completely. What I am about to say will make me look extremely un-greatful, this is not the case.
My first "Working Student" experiance, turned into me being stall cleaner and feeder, and maybe hack a horse or two per day. This further developed into me being a groom, in exchange for infrequent lessons, and mild dis-respect. The trainer I worked for later turned out to be a little off their rocker.
Regarding respect. My personal view of it is as follows: I try my best to treat everybody respectfully, that will change when I am treated disrespectfully. Never treat a working student/groom like poop. Just like you don't F with your waiter/waitress... they handle your food.
I am not sure where I am going with this post.

KMErickson
May. 11, 2012, 11:56 PM
This, a million times this. As a student who has been in "Working Student" situations before, I agree with you completely. What I am about to say will make me look extremely un-greatful, this is not the case.
My first "Working Student" experiance, turned into me being stall cleaner and feeder, and maybe hack a horse or two per day. This further developed into me being a groom, in exchange for infrequent lessons, and mild dis-respect. The trainer I worked for later turned out to be a little off their rocker.
Regarding respect. My personal view of it is as follows: I try my best to treat everybody respectfully, that will change when I am treated disrespectfully. Never treat a working student/groom like poop. Just like you don't F with your waiter/waitress... they handle your food.
I am not sure where I am going with this post.

I ended up in this exact same position when I took a year off before college to be a 'working student.' I was a relatively accomplished rider (CCI* eventing), avid Pony Clubber, and had grown up on a family farm so was already quite well-versed on the ins and outs of running a horse property. I wanted to become a working student to become a better rider, and ended up in a situation where I was not allowed to ride any horse except my own and got an average of one lesson a week... in exchange for mucking 20 stalls a day, taking meticulous care of every horse on property, tacking and untacking for my employer and her clients, grooming at horse shows, paying bills and entering shows for my employer, running errands/buying groceries for my employer, and generally working 10 hours a day, seven days a week, for six months straight. I was too naive to realize how sucky of a situation this was until much later.

Now, when people ask me what I did on my year off, I say that I was a 'groom.'

So long story short: want a groom? Advertise for a groom. Don't get some poor soul into a situation that isn't what they're signing up for.

ise@ssl
May. 12, 2012, 12:13 AM
Interesting reading here. I've spent time riding in Germany and the working students there assume they will do stalls, groom, etc. They also understand that working with the upper level horses is something they earn by proving they can work with starting or riding young or lower level horses. And I think in Europe they would laugh at this insisting that the stable owner MUST look at what the working student wants and needs. In many farms they just don't care. It's a process and a job. The working students EARN the rides on the top horses they are not entitled to them.

And KMErickson - you should actually turn your attitude about your working student experience around. What you were doing is what you would have to do if you owned your own barn, plus much more.

Twisted River
May. 12, 2012, 12:18 AM
I'll also need her to care for my two while I'm away, possibly hacking them if she rides well enough.
hacking 2 horses when trainer is out of town just doesn't say "working student" to me. But... happyrider stated that she didn't list the full details of the position, so hopefully she has several other horses that get ridden daily by the working student. Or the included pay is enough to make cleaning tack and stalls instead of riding worth while.

When posting to ask where to advertise for a working student, either list the full job description or none at all. Cause the impression we're all getting from the limited description is not a good one.

Twisted River
May. 12, 2012, 12:29 AM
And KMErickson - you should actually turn your attitude about your working student experience around. What you were doing is what you would have to do if you owned your own barn, plus much more. I suppose she'll want to answer this one herself, but I would like to point out the difference here:

She did all that work for FREE And if she was like me, when I was a WS, she had to use her savings and money from her parents to pay for her groceries, gas, car insurance, phone bill, entry fees, farrier, vet, etc., etc.

If she owned her own barn, she would be getting paid to do all these things. I'm not saying she'd be getting paid a lot as we all know running boarding and training barns is a labor of love. But she would be getting paid enough to put a roof over her head, pay for gas and groceries, a horse of her own hopefully, etc.

Also will point out a statement you made. European riders earn the right to ride top horses by riding younger, greener mounts. RIDING!!! And, most of the American trainers that take on working students adopt the same method as the Europeans, you work your way up to the great horses via younger, greener ones. Riding is the key word here and that's all we former working students are trying to say. It's unfair to take on a working student and not develop their riding and training abilities.

KMErickson
May. 12, 2012, 12:30 AM
And KMErickson - you should actually turn your attitude about your working student experience around. What you were doing is what you would have to do if you owned your own barn, plus much more.

...except that, as I previously stated, I grew up on a horse farm and so these were all things that I already knew how to do, quite well in fact. I did not 'learn' anything new at all, but was instead merely used as a constant source of free labor in exchange for the promise of riding and instruction opportunities that never came.

And Twisted River, your comment on expenses was completely accurate. I was extremely fortunate and thankful that my parents were willing to support me, but we all left the experience shaking our heads a bit at the fact that we had essentially been paying for me to have the opportunity to do the chores for someone else that I had grown up doing for my parents for free.

cadance
May. 12, 2012, 02:06 AM
FML, if only I knew how to braid...and clip...waa :(

Velvet
May. 12, 2012, 09:36 AM
Interesting reading here. I've spent time riding in Germany and the working students there assume they will do stalls, groom, etc. They also understand that working with the upper level horses is something they earn by proving they can work with starting or riding young or lower level horses. And I think in Europe they would laugh at this insisting that the stable owner MUST look at what the working student wants and needs. In many farms they just don't care. It's a process and a job. The working students EARN the rides on the top horses they are not entitled to them.


Working students know that they will muck stalls, groom, etc., here too. No one said you don't. It's HARD work. You expect that, but you also will be riding. And you will be riding horses that will teach you something you can't learn any other way. If you are a paid groom, you spend all day mucking stalls, turning horses in and out, feeding, etc., without riding. And you are compensated with an apartment (shared or not) and often a stall for a horse (which will impact your pay, but you are still given a wage so you can survive and pay some bills).

A working student, on the other hand, works for nothing or VERY little (maybe enough for groceries each week). They do all the grooming, but they also get to ride and if it's a teaching barn, they often get to learn how to teach. They work more than 10 hours a day a lot of the time because they get to ride. They do have to earn a ride on TOP horses, but they needs lessons on top horses to learn more. So, the horses must be there and must be available to be used to give the WS lessons in a controlled way. I'm not talking Olympic horses here, I'm talking proven well trained FEI level horses. Ones that can show someone how it's done so they can advance their riding more quickly. Otherwise, why would you be a slave--often for NO money? You're trading hard labor to learn. You should also be learning to train young horses, but if you don't know where they should be headed and what anything beyond a baby horse feels like to ride, how can you do a good job at that?

WS position requirements: Opportunity to ride and learn from experienced horses as slave labor. But without the chance to really learn from those horses and have lessons on those horses with a really good trainer/instructor, it's not a WS position.

Oh, and many WS could not afford to have their own horse, even with the board paid for them when they are a WS, since there's basically no compensation they cannot often afford the vet and farrier on their own--especially not with top trainers in an expensive part of the country.

You cannot just hang out a shingle saying you want free labor in this country. I doubt that would work in Germany unless someone is going to work with a top trainer AND has a source of income outside the slave position.

EnzoDbr9
May. 12, 2012, 11:50 AM
Interesting reading here. I've spent time riding in Germany and the working students there assume they will do stalls, groom, etc. They also understand that working with the upper level horses is something they earn by proving they can work with starting or riding young or lower level horses. And I think in Europe they would laugh at this insisting that the stable owner MUST look at what the working student wants and needs. In many farms they just don't care. It's a process and a job. The working students EARN the rides on the top horses they are not entitled to them.

And KMErickson - you should actually turn your attitude about your working student experience around. What you were doing is what you would have to do if you owned your own barn, plus much more.

To me, It's all a matter of job description. If the job says that you get to ride x horses a day, in exchange for y, then sure, thats cool. But if the student ends up having to do abcdefg, then it's unfair. The working student is not supposed to be the trainer's scape goat, or whipping boy, nor should they be burdened with every conceivable emotional problem of the trainer's... that's a therapist's job. What I think employer's need to understand is that their are 24 hours in a day, I ended up in a situation where I would do a fair amount of barn work, then ride a horse or two. rarely did I have the energy, or mental patience to get anything out of those rides, almost to the point that it would be unsafe for a tired person to ride. Then I (I have heard of this type of thing happening to others) would get crap about not riding more horses. /rantover

I am completely okay with starting younger or lower level horses first, before moving onto more experienced horses, that emplies that the student has some responsibility, and is not just hacking horses.

On a different note: call me bitter, but if I hear the old "I walked to school in the snow, up hill both ways, barefooted when I was your age, suck it up" I might lose it. Anyway....

tja789
May. 12, 2012, 12:33 PM
I agree 100% with Velvet. The only reason to become a WS is to learn to be a better RIDER. This requires lots of saddle time on very decent horses and excellent, regular lessons. Of course WS should be willing to work hard at the barn chores. But if that's mainly what the job offers, why should anyone be expected to do it for free? No one needs extensive training in mucking and sweeping the barn floor. It's awful when people take on WS and subject them mainly to this type of low level manual labor and call it education.

In fairness to the OP, it's not clear that she has any intention of doing this. Possibly she plans to offer a fair, high quality position.