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View Full Version : I swear some people looking for farm help are smoking CRACK



grandprixjump
Jan. 12, 2014, 04:36 PM
One ad that just came up today is taking care of a 35 stall barn with currently 17 horses, in exchange for board for 1 horse, a one room apt, and $400 a MONTH.... Good luck with that one...

And that's 6 days a week 11 hour days with a 1-2 hour lunch break.

beowulf
Jan. 12, 2014, 04:50 PM
Huh. That is extremely reasonable for someone out of HS if you ask me. I'd jump at that if I was a freshly graduated senior wanting to take some time to improve my riding and working repertoire.

TBH, when I graduated HS I went to work for a BNT in VT. My parents paid BNT 400$ a month for me to "rent" his tiny apt above the barn. In exchange, I worked 13-15hrs a day every day and "worked" off keeping my horse there. I got lessons a few times a week, with some lessons from his assistant trainer. I wasn't paid and my parents were paying BNT $$ to basically let me work on his farm in exchange for lessons.

It was a win/win all around, but totally unfair for anyone who is trying to *make* a living.

In my area, I see people who offer living quarters and board in exchange for work, but NO wages. At least these people are PAYING something, even if it's pennies to most horse people..

grandprixjump
Jan. 12, 2014, 05:02 PM
The difference is you said BNT, that makes it a learning experience, Not a barn slave... Huge difference...

jetsmom
Jan. 12, 2014, 05:14 PM
Caring for 17 horses, taking 20 min per stall (assuming they are stalled, is only about 5.67 hrs a day. Add another hr per day for feeding/turnout, and it is 6.67 hrs.
Depending on cost of board in the area, that could be worth 400-1000. mo. Depending on cost of housing add another 300-800. plus the salary. So they are actually receiving 1100-2200. mo in benefits. And there is still time for them to attend college night classes, or have a part time evening job. Sounds like a pretty good deal for a student. Not a job for someone supporting a family of 4 on their own, and making car pmts on 2 cars, but the right person may find it works at that stage of their life.

CHT
Jan. 12, 2014, 05:15 PM
My guess is they have found this to be possible in the past, so are continuing with the same offer. Also possible the wage goes up with time on the job. Jobs that require little/no formal education and possibly a high job satisfaction level (able to ride and keep horse) can take advantage of the poor job market and offer low remuneration. I imagine the wage will change if they can't find someone, and if they can then why not?

SquishTheBunny
Jan. 12, 2014, 05:16 PM
I agree, $400 a month means $100 per week which is unsustainable even if you have a free apartment.

Gas, food, phone, cable, car payments, farrier, other horse bills etc. $100/week isn't sustainable ESPECIALLY if they are requiring you to work 6 days a week 11 hour days.

The barns around here that offer accomodations generally pay an additional $250-$500 per week (plus free board/lessons on one horse).

mucky
Jan. 12, 2014, 06:07 PM
It is unreal the jobs out there that pay so little there is so much work involved with maybe a room in the hayloft!They usually get what you pay for!Why do people think they can do this is ridiculous!

SnicklefritzG
Jan. 12, 2014, 06:13 PM
and what about health insurance? I can't imagine doing anything in the equestrian industry without it, whether I was in it full time or just riding my one horse.

jetsmom
Jan. 12, 2014, 06:19 PM
I think this is the HUGE disconnect you see with people on the OT forums. In my mind, this is an entry level job for a teen young adult that is taking college classes to get the education to get a job that will lead to a career. This isn't a CAREER. The people on here that are "OMG! How can you pay for car pmts, cable, etc?!" are looking at this being a career that will allow you to sustain yourself solely on the income received, including having a car pmt.

Sure, lets pay him 20.00 hr plus health ins and watch your board rates triple.

Linny
Jan. 12, 2014, 06:31 PM
OP mentions that it is a 35 stall barn. There are 17 horses now, but what if it fills up?
In most board situations once you omit the very elite and the very shoddy, there is not much difference from barn to barn in terms of pure board. Training and ad on services make the difference and the ad doesn't specify if the horse gets more than basic board. At the listed rate of pay, a lesson a month would be a stretch.
At $100 week, even with a free residence doesn't leave room for much. Hope horsey is barefoot and never needs tack repaired.

It is easier now for barns to offer non cash arrangements but board as compensation requires a horse and that means cash remuneration has to be enough to cover horses expenses outside board. Under these scenarios, young people being partially funded by their parents or possibly a couple that can split some of the work are about the only options. Offering board means you want a "horseperson," which is fine, but most such people are not looking to make $100/wk.

SquishTheBunny
Jan. 12, 2014, 06:55 PM
I think this is the HUGE disconnect you see with people on the OT forums. In my mind, this is an entry level job for a teen young adult that is taking college classes to get the education to get a job that will lead to a career. This isn't a CAREER. The people on here that are "OMG! How can you pay for car pmts, cable, etc?!" are looking at this being a career that will allow you to sustain yourself solely on the income received, including having a car pmt.

Sure, lets pay him 20.00 hr plus health ins and watch your board rates triple.

Unless the place is on a bus route - how would said highschool student get to school?

The problem is, when people go off to LIVE ON THEIR OWN, they have expenses. Not many people will go off and live at a farm with no transportation, food, TV/internet or money for their horse.

kalidascope
Jan. 12, 2014, 08:30 PM
I think this is the HUGE disconnect you see with people on the OT forums. In my mind, this is an entry level job for a teen young adult that is taking college classes to get the education to get a job that will lead to a career. This isn't a CAREER. The people on here that are "OMG! How can you pay for car pmts, cable, etc?!" are looking at this being a career that will allow you to sustain yourself solely on the income received, including having a car pmt.

Sure, lets pay him 20.00 hr plus health ins and watch your board rates triple.
But they still need to support themselves. Even students need groceries, electricity, a vehicle, vehicle insurance, contents insurance, and health insurance should be provided (ha) or they'll need money to pay for that too. They also will have to budget for things like clothes and sundries (the odd new appliance or rug or whatever). $100/week is nothing, even for one person living out of home. I don't think anyone's saying it should be a career path, but they should be able to do it without relying on mum and dad or drawing on student loans just to live and work.

Unless this is a brilliantly located barn, how could the employee get by without a car??

If one was to argue that it's a stepping stone job while studying, then ought it not allow a student to study full-time?

This is why the poor stay poor ... bloody difficult to get ahead when every spare cent (or more) of your paycheque is tied up in basic living expenses.

Cindyg
Jan. 12, 2014, 08:56 PM
You're not going to be able to take many classes working 66 hours a week and clearing $100 a week.

alterhorse
Jan. 12, 2014, 09:19 PM
Is the position is for a manager, and are they are the only one taking care of the horses and doing the maintenance. And who is doing the layup care, the wrapping, the bandaging, sitting up with the colicing horse all night hand walking while waiting for the vet to arrive.

Are the horses blanketed? Who is going to go out and change, or pull blankets and sheets during the those spring and fall days when the temps start at freezing and go up to the mid 70's by afternoon.

Horses not getting along in the pasture, hope there's room for changing turnout companions. How will one know who gets along with whom, unless they spend some time keeping an eye on the pastures.

Crap! The TB with the eggshell feet pulled a shoe and is running around outside like a nut. Go out catch him, bring him in, call the farrier, wait for farrier to call back, he can't come till tomorrow. Look for hoof boot, can't find one that fits, get out the vet wrap and the duct tape and make your own boot.... Do we have dirt lots at this farm? Is crazy TB ok by himself in the dirt lot? Maybe we better go grab another horse to keep crazy TB company, but which one?? Rearrange two pastures to produce suitable combinations, and bring the resulting horse back to keep the TB company.

Crap! I still need to finish the last two stalls, add bedding, drop hay, and fill water buckets.

Cell phone is ringing..... Property owner wants to ride in an hour, can you have her horse tacked up and waiting in an hour?

I have to drag the ring too!

I still have to school three horses today!!!

I hear ya OP!

I did some working student positions when I was younger and learnt a lot. But it is so true that many people think it's "only" stalls, feed and turnout....

Trixie
Jan. 12, 2014, 10:15 PM
Most definitely out of their minds. Even if this person can feed themselves on $25-50 a week, they're not going to be able to pay for an insurance or a cell phone bill or gas for the car on top of that. It's simply not a liveable wage, no way, no how. This is really only possible if you have either a trust fund or mommy and daddy paying for you, and 11 hour days don't make time for class possible.

Further, if it's full care, that's not going to get done in short day for that many horses.

But let me guess - they're going to come on here and whine that they can't "keep good help" or that everyone they hire is "lazy" and quits because of the "workload."

yellowbritches
Jan. 12, 2014, 10:27 PM
Is the position is for a manager, and are they are the only one taking care of the horses and doing the maintenance. And who is doing the layup care, the wrapping, the bandaging, sitting up with the colicing horse all night hand walking while waiting for the vet to arrive.

Are the horses blanketed? Who is going to go out and change, or pull blankets and sheets during the those spring and fall days when the temps start at freezing and go up to the mid 70's by afternoon.

Horses not getting along in the pasture, hope there's room for changing turnout companions. How will one know who gets along with whom, unless they spend some time keeping an eye on the pastures.

Crap! The TB with the eggshell feet pulled a shoe and is running around outside like a nut. Go out catch him, bring him in, call the farrier, wait for farrier to call back, he can't come till tomorrow. Look for hoof boot, can't find one that fits, get out the vet wrap and the duct tape and make your own boot.... Do we have dirt lots at this farm? Is crazy TB ok by himself in the dirt lot? Maybe we better go grab another horse to keep crazy TB company, but which one?? Rearrange two pastures to produce suitable combinations, and bring the resulting horse back to keep the TB company.

Crap! I still need to finish the last two stalls, add bedding, drop hay, and fill water buckets.

Cell phone is ringing..... Property owner wants to ride in an hour, can you have her horse tacked up and waiting in an hour?

I have to drag the ring too!

I still have to school three horses today!!!

I hear ya OP!

I did some working student positions when I was younger and learnt a lot. But it is so true that many people think it's "only" stalls, feed and turnout....
This.

If the position is JUST the grunt work- stalls, buckets, feed, turn in/out- and absolutely NOTHING in addition to that- no handling for vets or farriers, no dealing with boarders, no dealing with the various vendors, no grooming, NOTHING else, than it is low paying but wouldn't take too much time. The 6ish hours someone mentioned would be reasonable.

But, if it is a "management" type position, it is ridiculous....and barn management is definitely not entry level.

My former job was a solid 6-8 hours of JUST care alone...and I didn't do stalls or clean water buckets! That was feeding, blanket changing (so many blanket changes), turning in and out (the most time consuming part of my day), making feed up, doing leg and feet checks. Adding in making orders, doing laundry, riding and grooming my employer's horses, helping clients, helping vets and farriers, answering the phone, answering emails, helping haul ins, and on and on and on and on. Depending on the time of year, I easily worked 10-15 hour days, 6 days a week. And my cell was always on my and I was ALWAYS available...even when I was out of town. $400 a MONTH would not have even gotten me to darken the doorway, even with housing and board.

So, it boils down to what is really expected, to how fair or unfair it is. But I think if it is anything beyond mucking a few stalls and throwing feed, it is unfair (unless there are lessons as comp that we don't know about, as well).

AlexS
Jan. 12, 2014, 11:23 PM
In my area, these positions are available for free board - without the $400 a month, and a free apartment.

copper1
Jan. 13, 2014, 06:23 AM
There was a time when young people would pay to take care of horses and it was easy to find barn help (slaves) These kids worked for a while then went on to college, marriage or life sustaining jobs so there was a lot of turnover. At some point in history it was discovered that it is possible to make a living and become one of the clients instead of the worker so the source of cheap help dried up and it is very difficult to find help of any kind and good help nearly impossible!
Only way to fix this is to offer a living wage. Housing may not be needed but would be a great perk for both BO and worker. It would open up a whole world of help when they were assured they could pay their bills!

gypsymare
Jan. 13, 2014, 10:22 AM
One ad that just came up today is taking care of a 35 stall barn with currently 17 horses, in exchange for board for 1 horse, a one room apt, and $400 a MONTH.... Good luck with that one...

And that's 6 days a week 11 hour days with a 1-2 hour lunch break.

Let's say one bedroom apartment rent is $800/month. Horse board at that stable $600/month. Plus $400/month cash so $1800 cash a month. If you had to work a normal job to pay for these things you'd have to make $2340 a month pre-tax (30% total including deductions for SS, medicare, income, etc) to afford it or $28,000 per year not to mention that there could be some great catch riding and learning opportunities. Not bad for a high school graduate with time left over to pick up a few hours at a restaurant.

OTTBs
Jan. 13, 2014, 12:25 PM
I boarded at a 38 stall barn, and one guy did stalls, feeding, turn in & out. He worked 8 hrs/day 6 days a week. So it seems to me this might be a 4 hr/day job with plenty of time to find another PT job.

jaysjmpr
Jan. 13, 2014, 12:48 PM
You did not mention riding time or lessons? This would change everything. Otherwise by the time you have your taxes taken out, that includes the board and the house as "income" to the IRS you are going to be paying them.

anmoro
Jan. 13, 2014, 02:20 PM
Thinking of crazy ads, I recently saw one on facebook that a friend shared from a local site looking for barn help.

Feeding 5 horses, turn in/out and cleaning stalls. NO PAY at all. The ad specified that a person should apply for this job because the love horses and would be doing it for that reason. FYI, definitely not a BNT or show barn.

ifiwereyou
Jan. 13, 2014, 02:32 PM
I would agree that $100/week is very little to cover other expenses, such as groceries, bills, car etc. but can we be reminded that you get board for your horse? I can't afford to keep a horse because of my day-to-day bills... so if $100 isn't enough sell your horse! There is going to be a trade-off when you are being provided the luxury of keeping a horse for free.

texan
Jan. 13, 2014, 02:40 PM
But they still need to support themselves. Even students need groceries, electricity, a vehicle, vehicle insurance, contents insurance, and health insurance should be provided (ha) or they'll need money to pay for that too. They also will have to budget for things like clothes and sundries (the odd new appliance or rug or whatever). $100/week is nothing, even for one person living out of home. I don't think anyone's saying it should be a career path, but they should be able to do it without relying on mum and dad or drawing on student loans just to live and work.

Unless this is a brilliantly located barn, how could the employee get by without a car??

If one was to argue that it's a stepping stone job while studying, then ought it not allow a student to study full-time?

This is why the poor stay poor ... bloody difficult to get ahead when every spare cent (or more) of your paycheque is tied up in basic living expenses.

However, what is it that you expect to pay a an entry level job. You make it sound like they should be getting 20.00 per hour. ANY entry level, non skilled job pays minimum wage, period. Lots of unskilled people start off at minimum wage. So what your saying doesn't make any sense to me at all.
Not sure what the min. wage is as i dont know where the job is, but even at
8.00 per hour, it doesn't add up to what they are offering.
The difference is, this is basically a working student job, I wouldn't think you would expect the same from them as you would a paid employee.
How do you expect any unskilled person to get ahead. Just because its the horse world doesn't make it special. What do you actually think fast food workers are living on. By the time they pay their rent, heat, hydro, phone etc... they probably are in the hole.
Truth is anyone who makes min. wage probably can't afford to own a horse, so
this job is probably geared toward a certain demographic. Whether the BO is a BNT or not, this actually can be a really good way to learn the business.
We have 1 working student who has been with us a year. Same sort of deal, only she gets a car and gas. She actually said the other day, at least now she knows she does not what to own a barn and has narrowed her interest in another direction. She loves her job and over the year, it has just gotten better and better for her.

HalteranAlter
Jan. 13, 2014, 02:51 PM
The ad was easy to find online (or there are two barns with the same amount of stalls and horses, offering the same salary with free board).
They are not looking for an unskilled person.

Text of the ad:
Full time live-in barn hand to help with barn chores and horse care, such as feeding, watering, turn outs, stall cleaning, etc., 6-8 hours a day 6 days a week. 35 stall horse boarding facility and we have 17 horses currently. Looking for someone to work in exchange for free living (room and utilities), horse board and a $400 monthly income. The working hours are from 8am until 7pm with a 1-2 hour lunch break. Looking for someone to start Asap

Requirements: Must have horse experience, reliable, able to work well independently, lift at least 50 lbs, and work well around people.

Skills: Equine First-Aid; Handling Youngstock; Sole Charge; Natural Horsemanship; People Skills

Accommadations: The live-in quarters are 9x13 with a closet, window, twin bed, and dresser. There is a detached bathroom with bathtub shower and kitchenette with refrigerator and microwave. Horse will receive the same accommodations as a regular boarder. One friendly dog welcome.

IPEsq
Jan. 13, 2014, 02:55 PM
I would agree that $100/week is very little to cover other expenses, such as groceries, bills, car etc. but can we be reminded that you get board for your horse? I can't afford to keep a horse because of my day-to-day bills... so if $100 isn't enough sell your horse! There is going to be a trade-off when you are being provided the luxury of keeping a horse for free.

I really doubt you'd be getting $500 (or whatever board price is) in cash if you didn't exercise the free board option. You'd still be stuck with $100/wk.

SnicklefritzG
Jan. 13, 2014, 02:58 PM
a 9x13 living space sounds like a closet. Either that or a tiny dorm room.

I hope somebody was joking when they said that might be worth $800/mo.

IPEsq
Jan. 13, 2014, 03:13 PM
What is the worst is that it is ILLEGAL for private employers not to pay at least minimum wage (including OT). Would paying minimum wage be a better deal? Let's take the $8/hr minimum wage example. That's for 8 hrs of work/day. After that you get time and a half. Sometimes it's easier to figure it out by looking at a 40 hr workweek. So, 40 hrs at $8/hr is $320/wk. Add in the extra 3 hrs a day for this position and 6th day of work, you are up to 26 hrs of OT at time and a half ($12), or $312 more each week for a total of $632/wk or $2528/mo. That seems like a lot more than $400 plus the value of monthly board and housing provided. Even if the minimum wage in the area is a few bucks lower, paying it for this much work would be better than the deal offered.

I have worked as a groom and accepted the crappy pay because I was a student and (unlike most of the other grooms) got a good learning experience out of it because I got the opportunity to ride and take lessons in addition to performing all of the same work duties as everyone else. And as a student I was still on my parents' health insurance. So, not a bad deal for me, but would I have been able to support myself doing that long term? No.

I don't think anyone is saying that a job just doing the grunt work (none of the management type work) is worth a high wage, but if you want to find good, reliable workers for a long term position, then you need to pay a living wage. Period. At least pay them enough to comfortably cover their food, car (gas and insurance) and phone bills.

I've seen some ads offer housing but no cash for full time managerial or teaching jobs. Who would put 100% of their income into their housing (or housing and board)? No one. This ad isn't far off. That you'd need a second job to pay for your basic expenses is absurd.

gottagrey
Jan. 13, 2014, 03:14 PM
Basically the wages at $400 per MONTH = to $20 per day! so even if the work involved 6 hours that's comes down to approximately three dollars and 30/00 ($3.30) per HOUR. Even if the barn was $1200 per month barn - those prices include some time of training/full service arrangement in addition to the stall/feed/shavings/mucking. so the help's stall shouldn't be equated to that - so figure the actual cost of the stall is $600 (share of mortgage, feed/hay, shavings, electricity) that brings the daily wage up to a whopping $50 per day wage which at if the work an 8 hour day brings the wage up to a whopping $6 something per hour which is $1.25 less than Fed min wage.. throw in that apartment and I've seen some of the housing provided help - only 1 or 2 i can think of as nice apartments but even so, not worth the average area price for a 1 bedroom apartment.

KayBee
Jan. 13, 2014, 03:29 PM
Accommadations: The live-in quarters are 9x13 with a closet, window, twin bed, and dresser. There is a detached bathroom with bathtub shower and kitchenette with refrigerator and microwave. Horse will receive the same accommodations as a regular boarder. One friendly dog welcome.

What's a "detached bathroom"?

Also, no stove (microwave only) means a lot less ability to cook the majority of your meals without resorting to packaged stuff, which means more $$.

Even factoring the price of rent into the equation, I'm not sure how you live on $400 month.

kalidascope
Jan. 13, 2014, 03:35 PM
However, what is it that you expect to pay a an entry level job. You make it sound like they should be getting 20.00 per hour. ANY entry level, non skilled job pays minimum wage, period. Lots of unskilled people start off at minimum wage. So what your saying doesn't make any sense to me at all.
$20/hour is magnitudes above what the hourly wage works out to be for this job. I'm not saying it should be that high; I'm saying one ought to be able to survive on the wage. I don't know what the minimum wage is in that particular state but typically the US has rock-bottom minimum wages (and I count $8 as rock bottom), so perhaps yes this job should be above minimum wage. The hours tie you to the facility, so any potential employee would be very limited in working second jobs.

As a rule, I believe that a single person should be able to live on their wages from 40 hours (a full-time week) of work. Otherwise they are essentially there are a charity to the employer (except in special circumstances where there is distinct training provided e.g. an apprenticeship).


The difference is, this is basically a working student job, I wouldn't think you would expect the same from them as you would a paid employee.
How do you expect any unskilled person to get ahead. Just because its the horse world doesn't make it special.
...
this job is probably geared toward a certain demographic. Whether the BO is a BNT or not, this actually can be a really good way to learn the business.
There's no mention of a trainer, or the employee getting any training or lessons or such benefits from the position - or did I miss something? It reads to me to be essentially a manual labour position (which is what most barn work is).

yellowbritches
Jan. 13, 2014, 03:48 PM
Skills: Equine First-Aid; Handling Youngstock; Sole Charge; Natural Horsemanship; People Skills
Sole Charge. My guess is they want someone to deal with everything. With 17 horses (and boarders, at that) there is no way this is 6-8 a day. It just won't happen.

And a 9 X 13 room (I know how small this is....my bedroom in my little house measures 9 x 9. But at least I have a living room, bathroom AND kitchen!) with a DETACHED bathroom and no obvious mention of kitchen space??? Nope. I've lived in some pretty shitty living arrangements in my time as a WS and BM, but I always had a bathroom and AT LEAST a microwave!

This isn't a WS position. I'd sing a slightly different tune if it were. My WS days got me a bit more than this (I think it was about $600 a month, plus board, housing, and lots of lessons and riding. I worked like a crazy person, but the education was invaluable!). But, without the extra compensation of education, this really is ridiculous. So what if it covers board? I would spend half of that on shoes for my horse!

ponygirl
Jan. 13, 2014, 03:49 PM
What's a "detached bathroom"?



Going out on a limb here but I'm going to assume that the bathroom and kitchenette with frig and microwave are a common area within the barn. I'm also going to assume that the room is just that and might of once been a feed room given it's size. I'm also going to assume they are probably really looking for a migrant worker who really doesn't have a horse and will do this amount of work for this pay.

HalteranAlter
Jan. 13, 2014, 04:00 PM
The discrepancy in expected work hours is confusing. "6-8 hours a day 6 days a week" and "The working hours are from 8am until 7pm with a 1-2 hour lunch break".

MIKES MCS
Jan. 13, 2014, 05:22 PM
The salary is quite a bit off, even in our area ( which is pretty low rent ) living qtrs and $500.00 to $600.00 per week is about norm.. but no horse board. Even if you factor in 800.00 per month board and minus that out, the salary should be somewhere around $1600.00 per month , maybe they meant $400.00 per week.. which would be more reasonable considering the boarding package

shojumpin
Jan. 13, 2014, 06:04 PM
I boarded at a 38 stall barn, and one guy did stalls, feeding, turn in & out. He worked 8 hrs/day 6 days a week. So it seems to me this might be a 4 hr/day job with plenty of time to find another PT job.

Yes let's hope this is considered a part time gig. Otherwise, good luck finding someone who cares/pays attention at $400 a month.

Lady Eboshi
Jan. 13, 2014, 06:27 PM
To me this sounds like an internship or working student gig, which between the lines says, "Packaged living for Trustafarian Horse Bum."

A kid just out of Teikyo Post or the old Meredith Manor would consider a job like that a place to get their feet wet in the industry while escaping their parents' basement. :) Especially if Mummy and Daddy augmented that $400/month just a bit. A person who takes a job like this doesn't want "a normal life," they want horses, horses, horses! The burnout rate BTW is near 100%.

Linny
Jan. 13, 2014, 07:25 PM
The apartment is smaller than most of the horses' stalls. The barn is half full and what happens if it fills up. The requirements and the stall imply that they want a "horse handler" not just a mucker. The hours and lack of pay don't give you much time or chance to do other things. Hope the horse is barefoot.

If it were a BNT barn and they offered lessons and a chance to learn from a BNT, fine. A young person looking to try a horsey career might convince parents to support them at this position, in lieu of college. If it were a "real" apartment, even a small one, it could be suitable for a couple, but this ad makes it appear that you are really going to be living in the barn.

StrawberryFields
Jan. 13, 2014, 07:50 PM
hi....don't forget if this is enough for a "college" student that they will also need money for books and classes which is outrageously expensive. This person is insane if they think this is enough money for a person. I assume since they are living on the farm that they should also be available all day/night which would not be possible for someone who has to get another job to make bills and/or go to school.

Belmont
Jan. 13, 2014, 08:04 PM
LOL one of my college textbooks cost more than $400... You could count me out of this one if I was looking.

Trixie
Jan. 13, 2014, 10:50 PM
I'm not sure where we decided that being a sole charge barn manager is unskilled labor. That sounds to me like someone who can handle actually running a barn from the ground up - with a solid level of horsemanship skills AND the managerial skills to be handling boarders, not a working student or someone who should be making minimum wage. They're also asking for someone with equine first aid skills and handling young stock, not some kid who needs to learn to do bandaging and can't make up a decent feeding program.

Quality help costs money. I'm also pretty sure that "board" does not include veterinary care and shoes for your horse, so you're pretty much SOL if something goes wrong... or if your horse needs routine care. I would imagine the "same accommodations as a regular boarder" presumably doesn't include those extras.

And what about your own routine care? Most barns are not exactly helpful about paying for health insurance, and one small doctor's bill for routine care might easily set you back a month's wages. Or more. Anyone over the age of 18 years old will probably need to go to the OB-GYN, the dentist, and a regular general practitioner one or more times annually.

I don't see how working from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. is going to allow for a part time job. They specify full time.


There is going to be a trade-off when you are being provided the luxury of keeping a horse for free.

It's ignorant to pretend that this is "keeping a horse for free." It's a job incentive to avoid paying the employee an adequate wage. It's not "free." You're working for it.

ynl063w
Jan. 13, 2014, 11:14 PM
hi....don't forget if this is enough for a "college" student that they will also need money for books and classes which is outrageously expensive. This person is insane if they think this is enough money for a person. I assume since they are living on the farm that they should also be available all day/night which would not be possible for someone who has to get another job to make bills and/or go to school.



I'm not sure where we decided that being a sole charge barn manager is unskilled labor. That sounds to me like someone who can handle actually running a barn from the ground up - with a solid level of horsemanship skills AND the managerial skills to be handling boarders, not a working student or someone who should be making minimum wage. They're also asking for someone with equine first aid skills and handling young stock, not some kid who needs to learn to do bandaging and can't make up a decent feeding program.

Quality help costs money. I'm also pretty sure that "board" does not include veterinary care and shoes for your horse, so you're pretty much SOL if something goes wrong... or if your horse needs routine care. I would imagine the "same accommodations as a regular boarder" presumably doesn't include those extras.

And what about your own routine care? Most barns are not exactly helpful about paying for health insurance, and one small doctor's bill for routine care might easily set you back a month's wages. Or more. Anyone over the age of 18 years old will probably need to go to the OB-GYN, the dentist, and a regular general practitioner one or more times annually.

I don't see how working from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. is going to allow for a part time job. They specify full time.



It's ignorant to pretend that this is "keeping a horse for free." It's a job incentive to avoid paying the employee an adequate wage. It's not "free." You're working for it.

While I agree with everyone that $400 a month is not even CLOSE to being enough money for ANYONE to live on, regardless of the so-called "perks" that are offered, it is not any employer's responsibility to ensure that they are paying enough for an employee to afford tuition and books. Ditto for expenses like farrier and vet care for a horse. And I have never heard of a boarding situation where any of those expenses are covered under monthly board charges, so if board is included in this deal, I would not be surprised at all if it included the "same accommodations as a regular boarder", although if the employee is the sole charge, he or she will presumably be providing many of those services for him/herself.

I'm also not sure that just because the employer would like someone with all the experience they are requesting in the ad, that they are expecting to actually find someone with those skills who is willing to take the job. Employers ALWAYS ask for the "nice to have" skills in their ads, knowing that they will most likely have to settle for the candidate with the "have to have skills".

Someone mentioned that perhaps there was a typo in the ad and the monetary compensation is $400/week, not $400/ month. I hope that is true, but who knows?

Trixie
Jan. 13, 2014, 11:29 PM
It may not be their "responsibility" to pay vet and farrier expenses, I'm simply pointing out that with a $400 a month salary, there's simply no way that the employee COULD afford those expenses. This makes the offer of boarding accommodations practically useless, since the employee likely can't afford the basic expenses of a horse anyway.

ynl063w
Jan. 13, 2014, 11:40 PM
It may not be their "responsibility" to pay vet and farrier expenses, I'm simply pointing out that with a $400 a month salary, there's simply no way that the employee COULD afford those expenses. This makes the offer of boarding accommodations practically useless, since the employee likely can't afford the basic expenses of a horse anyway.

I wholeheartedly agree with you, and I misunderstood what you meant by this:


I'm also pretty sure that "board" does not include veterinary care and shoes for your horse, so you're pretty much SOL if something goes wrong... or if your horse needs routine care. I would imagine the "same accommodations as a regular boarder" presumably doesn't include those extras.

Prime Time Rider
Jan. 13, 2014, 11:57 PM
Let's assume that the barn owner paid their barn help $10 per hour ( a reasonable assumption in most parts of the US). If the hours worked are 11 hours a day, 6 days a week, at $10 per hour that would equal $2,640 a month. Technically, any hours worked over 40 hours per week should be paid time and a half, althugh I don't know any barn employers who comply with US Labor laws. If the rent for the barn apartment was $800 per month (might be on the high side) and board was $500 per month (reasonable if this isn't a BNT hunter jumper barn, then the barn owner would still owe the barn help $1340 per month in wages.

This sounds like a BO trying to get cheap help. The guy who works for me part-time is paid $500 per WEEK plus a mobile home to live in and works maybe 50 to 60 hours a week. Still not great wages, but sure beats $400 per month.

This BO isn't even paying minimum wage.

Prime Time Rider
Jan. 14, 2014, 12:01 AM
While I agree with everyone that $400 a month is not even CLOSE to being enough money for ANYONE to live on, regardless of the so-called "perks" that are offered, it is not any employer's responsibility to ensure that they are paying enough for an employee to afford tuition and books. Ditto for expenses like farrier and vet care for a horse. And I have never heard of a boarding situation where any of those expenses are covered under monthly board charges, so if board is included in this deal, I would not be surprised at all if it included the "same accommodations as a regular boarder", although if the employee is the sole charge, he or she will presumably be providing many of those services for him/herself.

It is, however, the responsibility of the barn owner to comply with US labor law, which mandates that employees get paid at least minimum wage and are paid time and a half OT. If living quarters are part of the compensation, it should be reported to the IRS as wages in kind.

Kyzteke
Jan. 14, 2014, 04:14 AM
and what about health insurance? I can't imagine doing anything in the equestrian industry without it, whether I was in it full time or just riding my one horse.

I don't think anyone posting on this forum has actually worked in the horse industry. Maybe things have changed ALOT since I worked there (10+ yr on the track & 3+ yrs in polo), but you didn't get health insurance. NOBODY got health insurance.

I wouldn't be surprised if it's still that way in many cases...working w/horses is considered to be a high risk job, so most barn owners/trainers couldn't afford to offer it.

Be curious to hear what is "standard" these days...maybe ask over at the Racing Forum...that is the place most likely to have have posters who actually work in the industry....

nycjumper
Jan. 14, 2014, 06:36 AM
I don't think anyone gets heath insurance. Hell, a lot of professionals in the horse industry don't have health insurance, much less providing for barn employees.

As for the rest, seems much more like a working student package (which would be reasonable IMO for a WS) than a job offer but the responsibilities are more than I would ask a working student to take on. Seems like there should be some adjustment one way or another.

trubandloki
Jan. 14, 2014, 08:48 AM
Is stable labor considered agricultural labor? The minimum wage for that can be lower than the regular minimum wage.

monalisa
Jan. 14, 2014, 09:21 AM
I would bet that most of the posters here have never owned a farm or rented a boarding facility and therefore have NO IDEA how much it costs to run a farm. By far, the biggest single cost is labor. In my area the typical nice barn for hunters charges $750 for board. I am not certain what the going rate is for labor (I do all my own labor) but rates here are not high (jobs are scarce). If the hourly rate went up to say $15 an hour, then that $750 a month board would probably rise to $1000. This is just plain board, not training board. No bells and whistles, just the basic stall, turn out, use of facilities, etc. I know I spend 1-2 hours a day caring for my horses (mucking, turnout) and I could not afford to pay someone to do it.

When labor costs go up, everything else goes up with it. Why is everything so darn expensive in Europe? Labor costs. The US is clearly headed in that direction but be careful what you wish for. It's all relative.

awkward alter
Jan. 14, 2014, 09:49 AM
I would bet that most of the posters here have never owned a farm or rented a boarding facility and therefore have NO IDEA how much it costs to run a farm. By far, the biggest single cost is labor. In my area the typical nice barn for hunters charges $750 for board. I am not certain what the going rate is for labor (I do all my own labor) but rates here are not high (jobs are scarce). If the hourly rate went up to say $15 an hour, then that $750 a month board would probably rise to $1000. This is just plain board, not training board. No bells and whistles, just the basic stall, turn out, use of facilities, etc. I know I spend 1-2 hours a day caring for my horses (mucking, turnout) and I could not afford to pay someone to do it.

When labor costs go up, everything else goes up with it. Why is everything so darn expensive in Europe? Labor costs. The US is clearly headed in that direction but be careful what you wish for. It's all relative.

So...running a barn is expensive = barn owners shouldn't have to pay a fair wage for labor?

What if your boss said, "Well, running this company is expensive so unfortunately I can't even pay you the legal minimum wage. I hope that's okay with you!"

This thread is kind of unbelievable.

Trixie
Jan. 14, 2014, 10:53 AM
Actually, I run my own farm, albeit a co-op boarding situation. I think one of the issues is that most barn owners don't have the business acumen to be running a business and therefore factoring labor costs into their business plan. They squeak by with "working students" or put someone up in a hayloft with the bathroom hidden on the east side of forever and no kitchen and then complain that they can't find "good help."

The problem, of course, is that working students demand quality training, so then we look for the desperate homeless barn manager.

I have no doubt labor costs are high. BUT, it doesn't justify assuming your staff is willing to live practically below the poverty line while working full time for less than minimum wage to subsidize your profit margins, if there are any. And if there aren't any, you might want to rethink that business plan.

We're not even talking about $15 an hour here. If we assume a 6-8 hour day, which it isn't, and we assume the apartment with half a kitchen and a bathroom somewhere else is $500 and so is board, you're looking at $1400 in monthly benefits/salary. If you're looking at a basic 8 hour workday, 6 days a week, you're looking at a 48 hour workweek, or 192 hours a month. That's about $7.29 an hour.

Now, if we're going from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m., that's a 13 hour workday. Let's go ahead and not count that "hour or two" lunch break, bringing it down to 11 hours. 66 hour workweek, 264 hours a month. That's $5.30 an hour, and nobody takes a 2 hour lunch.

Do you really think skilled barn care should be $5.30 an hour?

Everythingbutwings
Jan. 14, 2014, 10:58 AM
We're not even talking about $15 an hour here. If we assume a 6-8 hour day, which it isn't, and we assume the apartment with half a kitchen and a bathroom somewhere else is $500 and so is board, you're looking at $1400 in monthly benefits/salary. If you're looking at a basic 8 hour workday, 6 days a week, you're looking at a 48 hour workweek, or 192 hours a month. That's about $7.29 an hour.

Now, if we're going from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m., that's a 13 hour workday. Let's go ahead and not count that "hour or two" lunch break, bringing it down to 11 hours. 66 hour workweek, 264 hours a month. That's $5.30 an hour, and nobody takes a 2 hour lunch.

Do you really think skilled barn care should be $5.30 an hour?


But YOU GET TO WORK WITH HORSES!!!11!!:winkgrin:

mvp
Jan. 14, 2014, 11:19 AM
While I agree with everyone that $400 a month is not even CLOSE to being enough money for ANYONE to live on, regardless of the so-called "perks" that are offered, it is not any employer's responsibility to ensure that they are paying enough for an employee to afford tuition and books. Ditto for expenses like farrier and vet care for a horse.

Yabbut, if the employer doesn't pay enough for a body to live, then what's the point in advertising the job? Arguing that an employer doesn't morally owe anyone a living wage is a waste of time. Our Dickensian England-style employer might win the "not responsible" argument and still not have someone to clean his stalls. After all, employees are not responsible for taking jobs that don't pay a living wage.

With regard to the offer of board for one horse as part of the compensation, it does stand to reason that the employee de facto can't benefit from that pay if he's also not paid enough to do the rest of the stuff you need to for a horse.

Linny
Jan. 14, 2014, 11:54 AM
While I agree with everyone that $400 a month is not even CLOSE to being enough money for ANYONE to live on, regardless of the so-called "perks" that are offered, it is not any employer's responsibility to ensure that they are paying enough for an employee to afford tuition and books. Ditto for expenses like farrier and vet care for a horse. And I have never heard of a boarding situation where any of those expenses are covered under monthly board charges, so if board is included in this deal, I would not be surprised at all if it included the "same accommodations as a regular boarder", although if the employee is the sole charge, he or she will presumably be providing many of those services for him/herself.

I'm also not sure that just because the employer would like someone with all the experience they are requesting in the ad, that they are expecting to actually find someone with those skills who is willing to take the job. Employers ALWAYS ask for the "nice to have" skills in their ads, knowing that they will most likely have to settle for the candidate with the "have to have skills".

Someone mentioned that perhaps there was a typo in the ad and the monetary compensation is $400/week, not $400/ month. I hope that is true, but who knows?

I agree but the argument is that by providing a stall they are acknowledging that the person they hire will have a horse. For most horses, routine maintenance would cost about 1/2 of this hire's monthly wage.

The problem I see is that most people with a horse to put in that stall are solidly middle class (or wealthier) and unless there is knowledge to gain from a BNT or such, they are not willing to live that lifestyle, even if family supplements their income. As mentioned above, the "Trustafarian horse girl" gets over herself pretty fast when the work is too much and/or daddy stops supplementing the income.

snaffle1987
Jan. 14, 2014, 12:25 PM
I agree with the original poster. When I boarded my horses at one of the bigger barns in the state, they had a husband and wife doing the work full timeit was about 45 stalls. they did mucking, turnout, general maintenance, paddock mucking, feeding. they had a large apartment and were paid 900 weekly. they were up at 4am everyday and worked 7 days a week.

NCRider
Jan. 14, 2014, 02:31 PM
I agree with the original poster. When I boarded my horses at one of the bigger barns in the state, they had a husband and wife doing the work full timeit was about 45 stalls. they did mucking, turnout, general maintenance, paddock mucking, feeding. they had a large apartment and were paid 900 weekly. they were up at 4am everyday and worked 7 days a week.

In NYC you can rent a spare bedroom (which is basically what this apartment is) in someone's apartment with access to a kitchen and bathroom for less than $800. Depending on where it is, $400 or less is more likely.

fatorangehorse
Jan. 14, 2014, 09:01 PM
Hell, a lot of professionals in the horse industry don't have health insurance, much less providing for barn employees.
.

I know more than 1 BNT with no insurance. Right or not this is almost never part of the package.

Trixie
Jan. 14, 2014, 09:19 PM
FWIW, I doubt this is even a legal residence. Most areas have code in place that prevents someone from renting out a place without, for instance, a kitchen or a bathroom, unless it's a room in someone's house.

rosebudranch
Jan. 14, 2014, 09:25 PM
I agree that most barns are looking for barn slaves.. but frankly.. $400 plus free room and board.. the rent for the room is easy on the low end saving you $800 not even including the savings for ultilities... then the board for one horse another east $200.. thats a total of $1400 a month... frankly its not enough to LIVE off of nicely.. but if I only had one horse I woulda jumped on that until I could find something better...

Trixie
Jan. 14, 2014, 09:30 PM
It's not enough to live off, period.

ambar
Jan. 14, 2014, 09:42 PM
In my mind, this is an entry level job for a teen young adult that is taking college classes to get the education to get a job that will lead to a career. This isn't a CAREER. The people on here that are "OMG! How can you pay for car pmts, cable, etc?!" are looking at this being a career that will allow you to sustain yourself solely on the income received, including having a car pmt.


How is this teen you posit supposed to buy food, pay for tuition, and cover transit to the night classes you suggest? Or are they supposed to be going into debt for these things while gaining experience?

Someone still living with their parents might not have food bills, but then they don't need the apartment at the barn, either.

jetsmom
Jan. 15, 2014, 02:22 AM
a 9x13 living space sounds like a closet. Either that or a tiny dorm room.

I hope somebody was joking when they said that might be worth $800/mo.

Have you paid a college for their dorm rm? It ran my DH about that for his son every mo. For a not prestigious university.

And most college students get some kind of financial help from their parents, and often a car.

rosebudranch
Jan. 15, 2014, 05:14 AM
no, its not enough to live off of, but let me put it to you this way. .. I graduated college this spring.. I used financial aid (not my parents money) to pay for college ... So yes, I have that debt, I also worked my whole way through college.. at best making 12.30 an hr working as a manager at a licensed starbucks store. I recently relocated to VA from CO, was living with my boyfriend, had 4 horses, and two car payments... I was making $8.50 an hr, lucky to get 32 hours a week. Thats approx $272 a week... so my after tax take home money was about $700. I was lucky and worked 20 hrs a week at the barn I boarded my horses at to work off board, and thankfully had no rent payments, but I did just fine. I had health insurance thankfully through my parents still.. more than most kids have these days.. had I not had two car payments I would have squeaked by just fine (and I even showed my horses some).... its possible to LIVE if you have people helping you, but in comparison, I wasnt living much differently then this situation suggests.. It's not just the horse industry that is virtually impossible to live off of... the economy just stinks.

lockedoutalter
Jan. 15, 2014, 08:16 AM
I had a job like this where I was afforded an apartment, horse board (but I didn't have a horse) and 100/week. Luckily, the job did not require me to work 11 hours a day so I also had a side job. With that said, still with the additional income, I was eating $1.00 bags of vegetables that I had to ration out for the week from Walmart. There are still things like car insurance, health insurance (which my job required but would not help with) and I had to take on a low car payment because mine died while I was working at this job. Luckily, I had a great support system from my family that paid for my student loans and phone while I was working. But I could not be that selfish anymore so I left the job and got a real job so that now I can take care of myself.

You can SURVIVE but you cannot LIVE on this wage.

veezee
Jan. 15, 2014, 08:27 AM
It offers a home with I'm sure utilities paid for, the hours are not that bad, and it would allow them to get another job or prove to the owner that they do a great job and could ask for an increase in the pay. Definitely not a "career" job but for someone that needs a job and place to live it would be good.

foursocks
Jan. 15, 2014, 08:46 AM
But a person could find another job (or two) that pays substantially more per hour, is not as physically exhausting/dangerous, is in an urban area so they wouldn't need a car, close to shopping, etc., and possibly have money left over after rent and such is paid. Waitressing is a hard, hard job but you can make a lot of money, and if one of the diners colics it isn't your problem!

Working on a farm is rarely for set hours- the day is done when the work is done- and when there is a horse emergency whoever is living there is the person on the spot. It requires a lot of commitment and unless one has endless reserves of energy "getting another job" would mean working from early in the morning until late at night, going from the country into the suburbs or the city, and then back again to start all over early the next morning, most likely. Why would anyone who is truly on their own, without an independent source of income (i.e. mom and dad), do that for so little reward?

mountainhorse
Jan. 15, 2014, 08:53 AM
I think that is also the reason why jobs like this (taking it for face value,.....barn help, room available for another horse, nothing more-ie: lessons, BNT, training (giving lessons to make $$) opportunities), are so replaceable. They have a high turnover rate in situations like this because of the low pay, high demand. What are jobs like this going to attract??
Then take a look at the same job, same barn, but better benefits? There are barns out there with barn help that have been there for 10+ years and LOVE it. Either that is what they want to do, or it was someone who needed the opportunity and this is all they CAN do. Either way, you have a loyal employee who will stay with you because you treat them correctly ($ wise). and then, to add in more opportunities? Business venture for them to add onto, make more $$, and be loyal to your barn,.....
all I have to say is:.....you get what you pay for Barn Owners!.....

yellowbritches
Jan. 15, 2014, 09:09 AM
It offers a home with I'm sure utilities paid for, the hours are not that bad, and it would allow them to get another job or prove to the owner that they do a great job and could ask for an increase in the pay. Definitely not a "career" job but for someone that needs a job and place to live it would be good.
How does working from 7am to 8pm allow for another job?? I mean, yeah, you could work an overnight shift somewhere, but, honestly, I don't know how it would be humanly possibly, as a 13hr work day in a barn is physically and mentally exhausting. I did work a small part time job for a couple of months a few years ago on top of doing horses full time. I could barely function, and I only worked until 10pm the nights I did it.

I do wonder how many people who are so sure this job is reasonable, or say there's time for a second job, have really worked in the horse industry. Not just mucked a few stalls here and there, but actually did it as their full time job. It is back breaking work, even when you aren't the one mucking stalls (my last BM position had me walking, on average, 4 miles a day. On top of everything else I did that was very physically demanding). It is also mentally exhausting, even when you are in a position you love. And, if you're a true horse person and not some poor immigrant worker, it takes a huge emotional toll on you. There is a reason that after 12 years of doing it, I didn't go back to doing it once I was healed. My brain and my heart needed a break!

The ONLY way this job would be ok is if part of the compensation was lessons. It is a WS type gig without the student part.

THIS type of stuff is what causes all the horror stories we all hear or experience in boarding barns and is why I had to deal with so many of my boarders having PTSD from bad boarding experiences. Being a sole charge for a barn full of 17 (or more!) horses is NOT an unskilled labor kind of job, and anyone who thinks it is should run a big boarding barn for a week or two and get back to me.

tja789
Jan. 15, 2014, 10:48 AM
Yellowbritches is absolutely right. It’s hard to believe that people are defending this position and saying it’s a pretty good gig. Being full-time, live-in barn help in sole charge of 17+ horses will never be an easy part-time job. There’s no way a person could cover their living expenses on $400/month whether they owned a horse or not. Maybe you could cover gas and groceries, but your parents or someone else would have to pay for a car (insurance, maintenance, inspections; yes, a car is necessary given that barns generally aren’t associated with public transportation), health insurance or health/dental care, phone/internet (yes, necessary in this society), and various other expenses that come up in normal lives. And why in the world would parents want to subsidize their child to perform hard manual labor and live in a closet in a barn?

Oddly enough, my daughter had a position somewhat similar to the one advertised in that she lived in an apartment at the barn, got board for a horse, and received $400/month. I helped her financially as described above (car, health insurance, phone, farrier, etc—there’s more $$ to keeping a horse than just the stall). BUT it was a nice apartment, she never mucked more than 4 stalls/day, and her boss was an FEI trainer. DD received lessons on her horse and the opportunity to ride other upper-level horses every day. In other words, it was a good working student position with much opportunity for learning. So I was happy to make it financially possible for DD to have the position.

In the ad being discussed, there is no mention of lessons, qualifications of the trainer (if there is one), or opportunity to ride. This is not a working student position, it is just plain work with almost no compensation. I agree: they’re smoking crack.

Willesdon
Jan. 15, 2014, 11:01 AM
Research in Europe in 2009 identified that 3-4 horses in Germany create one full-time job, while in the UK it is 5-7 horses per full-time job. http://www.wbfsh.org/files/EU%20Equus%202009.pdf

So it strikes me that one person looking after that many horses is not going to be doing much horse care. You get what you pay for.

stillknotreel
Jan. 15, 2014, 12:30 PM
And I thought I was the only one complaining about these farm jobs..

Back in the beginning of the summer I went on a job interview at a local up and coming hunter/jumper facility. Everything seemed peachy and ideal... Until I asked the owner to put everything down on paper for me so I could get a breakdown.

Job was a management position with an opportunity to teach. I was responsible for a 20 stall barn (stalls, feeding, turnout), maintenance of the facilities (kitchen, lounge, ring, fencing, paddocks). I had 6+ lesson horses I had to school a minimum of three days a week. The lesson breakdown was $15 for an hour lesson, $10 for a half hour lesson. Since 80% of the lessons were beginners I was also responsible for tacking/untacking the lesson horses. There were a few girls (3) that rode 3-5 days a week and lessoned at least twice a week, but I wasn't allowed to charge them.

I would be allowed 1 or 2 days off depending on schedule and not always a guarantee. When I asked about compensation I was told I would be given a 1 bedroom studio apartment valued at $500 (included utilities). I asked about board on my horse, I was told it would be $500 a month per horse. So Essentially the only money I would be making was lessons, which after all was said and done with the work I'd only be able to reasonably complete on my technical "days off". The owners saw nothing wrong with this, considering they had a $9,000 mortgage they had to cover.

I was also a groom/management for a local trainer and was paid $12.00. I was responsible for feeding, turnout, grooming, management of training horses, tacking/untacking for trainers and working students. I worked from 6am-2pm most days with no lunch break. But on top of that I also had to work 2 other jobs in order to halfway cover my bills... When I originally inquired about the job they wanted to trade off shared housing and lessons for the work, to which I opted out of.

I've been attempting to find some kind of job where I could keep my horse and get in hours to cover SOME bills... Not necessarily a full time job. Sadly most people want full time workers at a part time price.

I was never offered nor have I ever seen advertised benefits or health insurance with any of these jobs. I've been a WS/groom/manager for almost 10 years now.

IPEsq
Jan. 15, 2014, 12:53 PM
I agree that anyone who is saying that this person could have another part time job has never been at a farm for 11+ hour work days as sole charge for horses.

monalisa
Jan. 15, 2014, 01:46 PM
I am not defending this but people need to look out and see what's out there. Go on Elance.com and see what people are getting paid to write, to create websites, and other stuff- $5 an hour is very typical. People are paying what apparently some people are willing to work for. The world has changed. Ask me how I know? I recruit people to fill jobs. Recruiters, if they can find work, will work for 40% less than they did even 7-8 years ago. And it's going to get MUCH worse as technology takes the place of more people. Just saying what I see in the real world so please don't flame me for telling you what I see every day. You'd better get a skilled profession that technology cannot encumber.

IPEsq
Jan. 15, 2014, 05:33 PM
I am not defending this but people need to look out and see what's out there. Go on Elance.com and see what people are getting paid to write, to create websites, and other stuff- $5 an hour is very typical. People are paying what apparently some people are willing to work for. The world has changed. Ask me how I know? I recruit people to fill jobs. Recruiters, if they can find work, will work for 40% less than they did even 7-8 years ago. And it's going to get MUCH worse as technology takes the place of more people. Just saying what I see in the real world so please don't flame me for telling you what I see every day. You'd better get a skilled profession that technology cannot encumber.

This is why we have labor laws in the United States. Just because the demand is so great that people will work for nothing or next to nothing just to have a job doesn't mean that those people don't deserve a living wage.

rosebudranch
Jan. 15, 2014, 08:06 PM
I agree, Im in no way defending it.. I've worked at several barns... I had two jobs in CO at one point.. cleaning stalls, feeding, and turnout with 20 horses then would go into work at night at starbucks.. Through highschool I was a h/j show groom full time .. got pay $35 a day... horrible.. and I worked 12 hr days.. I was homeschooled so I could do work at the barn while she rode between tacking up horses for her, but the pay was NOT worth the work. The point I was just trying to make earlier was that if someone NEEDED a job.. this would suffice for a starter. BUT Many great points have been made... people want good help they need to be willing to pay for it. I talked to several barns in VA when I was looking to move here.. I had one woman tell me she needed someone to clean stalls, feed, turnout, and there was riding invovled and even showing of her horses. No room for board, you got a room in the house on site.. and you got paid $100 a month, but were expected to show her horses .. and you were expected to pay entry fees... so in other words.. she paid you, to show her horses and pay for it too... I wanted to laugh at her. But frankly, there are a ton of opportunities liket his in VA... hard work, and youll love it for a while, then it will burn you out.. and you wont even have time for your own horses. This is why I decided it was time to pursue a real job so I can enjoy my horses on the side... its sad that the people who really have a passion for the animals are not valued high enough and therefore those who are just the "left overs" are those given the hands in care for our precious animals.

BUT I will tell you something, after working in a barn and finally being able to just pay for board... I am a terror of a boarder.. because I know what was expected of me and get extremely irritated when my horses are not being cared for in that way. Can't wait til I can afford my own place :+) and care for them myself again.. even though it makes vacations etc difficult and stinks on cold wintery days.. I wouldn't have it any other way.

SnicklefritzG
Jan. 15, 2014, 08:21 PM
I'm amazed this thread is still going.

It honestly wouldn't be worth it unless the position was working for a BNT and lessons were included.


Regarding health insurance, I don't think most of these positions like this offer it. I think we take that as a given. However, horse riding can be a dangerous sport so how are these people getting insured as an individual? What are they having to shell out to make that work, assuming they aren't young enough to be on their parent's policy? Or are they simply going without it? and then what happens if they fall and break a bone or worse yet, have a serious head injury?

BABYGREENTB
Jan. 15, 2014, 08:53 PM
Going out on a limb here but I'm going to assume that the bathroom and kitchenette with frig and microwave are a common area within the barn. I'm also going to assume that the room is just that and might of once been a feed room given it's size. I'm also going to assume they are probably really looking for a migrant worker who really doesn't have a horse and will do this amount of work for this pay.

I'm not even sure they could get a migrant worker for that...many of the grooms in barns I am familiar with make $400-500/week in cash.

OverandOnward
Jan. 15, 2014, 10:08 PM
I find it fascinating that this discussion is focused on a job candidate as someone from a middle / upper-middle -class background, a student or recent graduate, at a transitional stage of life ... Well, the horse-board does lean that way. But someone with that background and education will have alternatives that look better than this position. If they take the position, likely they will not be in it long. Possible the BO knows that and this is just how they do it.

This below ...


But a person could find another job (or two) that pays substantially more per hour, is not as physically exhausting/dangerous, is in an urban area so they wouldn't need a car, close to shopping, etc., and possibly have money left over after rent and such is paid. Waitressing is a hard, hard job but you can make a lot of money, and if one of the diners colics it isn't your problem!

Working on a farm is rarely for set hours- the day is done when the work is done- and when there is a horse emergency whoever is living there is the person on the spot. It requires a lot of commitment and unless one has endless reserves of energy "getting another job" would mean working from early in the morning until late at night, going from the country into the suburbs or the city, and then back again to start all over early the next morning, most likely. Why would anyone who is truly on their own, without an independent source of income (i.e. mom and dad), do that for so little reward?




So far only 2 posters acknowledged the other side of how barns run in this country (that I saw) ...

My first thought when I read the text is that a "migrant worker" (a euphemism, obviously) is someone more likely to see an opportunity in this job.


Going out on a limb here but I'm going to assume that the bathroom and kitchenette with frig and microwave are a common area within the barn. I'm also going to assume that the room is just that and might of once been a feed room given it's size. I'm also going to assume they are probably really looking for a migrant worker who really doesn't have a horse and will do this amount of work for this pay.


I'm not even sure they could get a migrant worker for that...many of the grooms in barns I am familiar with make $400-500/week in cash.


Right. :yes:

A great many barns and horse owners are dependent on the 'migrant worker' cost factor to keep horse-owning and horse sport affordable. The ad does illustrate why that is.

Re the title ... nah, they aren't smoking crack, they just didn't limit their options to, well, a certain economic class of job candidate ... probably.

Prime Time Rider
Jan. 15, 2014, 10:52 PM
I beg to differ.

I own a small private barn and I pay my PT help $20 per day to clean stalls and water buckets. Since it only takes my PT help about an hour a day (5 stalls), it works out to $150 per week for essentially 7 hours of work each week.
The guy that I employ is a "migrant" worker (although he does have a green card, I believe). He is paid $500 per week PLUS housing at his fulltime farm job.

My trainre pays her guys between $350 and $400 per WEEK plus housing. Her grooms also receive tips from boarders at horse shows.

By any measure, the person who expects to pay $100 per week plus housing and board for one horse for 11 hour days, six days per week isn't paying the going rate. Forget about middle class and upper middle class kids, the undocumented workres are making more than that.

yellowbritches
Jan. 16, 2014, 12:21 AM
BUT I will tell you something, after working in a barn and finally being able to just pay for board... I am a terror of a boarder.. because I know what was expected of me and get extremely irritated when my horses are not being cared for in that way. Can't wait til I can afford my own place :+) and care for them myself again.. even though it makes vacations etc difficult and stinks on cold wintery days.. I wouldn't have it any other way.Oy! Tell me about it! I had no intentions of boarding my two once I was figuratively and literally back on my feet and was looking for a small farmette to rent for the three of us. But finding rentals here right now is next to impossible and I lucked out in a big, huge, massive way and ended up getting a stall in one of the very, very few barns I would ever consider boarding in (my retired guy is with a friend and is much less of prima dona!). I try hard NOT to be obnoxious, and thankfully the BO knows me and knows the standards I kept as a BM, so she is great for me.

All my ranting and raving aside, I had two very well compensated jobs in a row and a long term one before them that, while not as well paying was still a very good job. All three gave me a stipend for HI, my horse(s) had stalls, and the two earlier ones I often had clinics and lessons paid for by my employers. I also got great bonuses from all of them (my long term job sent me on a nice vacation after dealing with the barn and horses, mostly alone, during the blizzard a few years ago. Some of the boarders pitched in by paying for a few of my meals or even a night in a B & B!). So, I've had GREAT jobs and have always been well compensated. The good jobs are out there and it can be done. None of the places I've worked at have had huge barns, either.

It is still a tough, demanding, exhausting job, even under the best circumstances. And those who do deserve being well compensated and knowing they are appreciated.

Silver Silence
Jan. 16, 2014, 04:38 AM
I did this. Took the job as "Barn Manager". For $400 cash a week. 19 horses stalled, and my two that lived out. I worked 80+ hours a week, lived in a small bachelor apt attached to the barn "free rent", and kept two of my horses on the property outside "free board" - where I wasn't even allowed to put a water heater in their water during the winter months (Canada! I had to fashion a straw and poo insulated trough, with a wood/foam lid, and filled it with buckets of warm water each night that would stay just about unfrozen overnight).

The facility was beautiful, the board was high, the care was expected to be bar-none. Which is what I was most excited for, to be able to work in that environment with owners who want that for their animals. I pride myself in being a dedicated worker, especially in the equine industry. Everything done properly, thoroughly and timely and nothing goes unnoticed. The boarders expressed their gratitude heavily.

The barn owners were the cheapest people I have met in my life.

I stayed for 8 months. The B/Os were absolute slave drivers who did not seem to notice, or possibly care, about the experience I had or the care I gave to those animals. The most important thing to them was lawn maintenance, which was not fully divulged when I first signed on to the task. The grounds were to be immaculate. Acres and acres of lawn mowing/weed wacking/leaf raking/branch cleaning. For the farm (which I had assumed was on the list of chores), and also their fathers neighbouring yard, and their neighbouring rental property. You had to cut grass for hours daily, to stay on top of the length of grass they deemed acceptable.

I was never doing enough, and I was FAR from a barn manager. I was a stall mucker, paid as such, and then I did everything else on the farm as well, and it was always dictated. Only thing I didn't do was bring in hay, we fed off large squares so I never had to throw and stack.

If I were left to my own devices, I would have been as happy as a pig in shit. But the B/O was on my case about everything, as if she did not trust I could even complete the daily chores. That is what wore me down, and I gave my notice before they broke me. Balls to the wall right to the end, and they sure laid it on thick trying to kill me near the end there. I didn't break, and I did every last thing they asked me to. I also would have been happier if I learnt a single thing I hadn't already known, seeing as I was working for a 'Olympic level' rider, but I didn't, she didn't teach me one damn thing that grew me as an equestrian.

The worst thing about this kind of situation is trying to get out. Trying to find a new job, a new home and a new place to board your horse(s). Just think about this before you jump into something like this....

I was better than how they treated me, I had been told this by previous employers (and Ill never forget those words, "don't you ever sell yourself short"), don't ever let an employer take advantage of you like that.

The only thing these people did for me, was give me a real kick in the ass. There I was, less than a year later, after taking a job as a stepping stone for a short few months to get out of that place - I landed myself an amazing job, with the region, and Ill never look back. The next farm I work on, will be my own. :)

MDMarr
Jan. 16, 2014, 10:27 AM
The only thing these people did for me, was give me a real kick in the ass. There I was, less than a year later, after taking a job as a stepping stone for a short few months to get out of that place - I landed myself an amazing job, with the region, and Ill never look back. The next farm I work on, will be my own. :)

Great ending! Good for you for getting yourself out of that situation before you burned out. Lots of lessons to be learned from your story, thanks for sharing it.

Out of curiosity, did they tell you why exactly they wouldn't allow you to use a water heater?

rosebudranch
Jan. 17, 2014, 04:11 PM
Oy! Tell me about it! I had no intentions of boarding my two once I was figuratively and literally back on my feet and was looking for a small farmette to rent for the three of us. But finding rentals here right now is next to impossible and I lucked out in a big, huge, massive way and ended up getting a stall in one of the very, very few barns I would ever consider boarding in (my retired guy is with a friend and is much less of prima dona!). I try hard NOT to be obnoxious, and thankfully the BO knows me and knows the standards I kept as a BM, so she is great for me.


Yellow Britches .. I hear ya.. I looked for a place to rent all year last year.. but I had four horses.. now I only have three (well.. four total one is leased out).. and finding a place to rent with a pasture (mine live outside I prefer it that way) and that allows pets (i have a dog too).. that was closely in my price range was impossible as was finding a roommate who was 1) reliable and 2) didnt want to live in town... haha.. so I'm renting a room not the nicest place but I know the people and theyre letting me rent a pasture for my kids for $150 self care.. so it works out.. and my dog is welcome. And I'm spending less than I was before pasture boarding them $600 total when I was living with my bf's parents... for rent and board.. so Its a good situation that allows me to save for now.. until I get my own place.

ReSomething
Jan. 17, 2014, 04:29 PM
What's a "detached bathroom"?

Also, no stove (microwave only) means a lot less ability to cook the majority of your meals without resorting to packaged stuff, which means more $$.

. . .
I've heard of people advertising travel trailers as "housing". You have to hike to a bathroom, probably the same one the boarders use, and the kitchenette the same, some corner in a feedroom or the viewing area. If this is a trailer maybe it's in one end of that. Sometimes worker housing is pretty rank.

OverandOnward
Jan. 18, 2014, 02:52 AM
As a comparison ... there is a classified ad in the local paper for "farm workers". 3/4 time @ $10.38/hour, plus housing in the nature of a small room. So the money is about $310/week or about $1,240/month. The room being offered in the thread topic I do not think is worth very much at all, perhaps $150-$400/month at the most, and I think for sake of discussion we can say it's comparable in value to the one in the classified ad.

So, anyone looking at the $400/month WS position could do considerably better as a "farm worker" and board her horse, and (on the WS budget assumed in the op ad) still have money AND time for lessons and maybe a schooling show here and there. And time for attending college if someone else is paying those costs. Well, maybe no schooling shows, after taxes.

abrant
Jan. 18, 2014, 09:40 AM
I feel like it should be mentioned that the board would not be included in the estimate at full market price - you're doing all the work. It's not worth the $800/month that the other boarders are paying. ;)

Also as far as rent goes, the on-site housing is something I considered an asset is actually a burden of being "on call" all the time. Especially in a room the size of a stall, lol. If it was just being there to cater to the horses, I would never have minded as much but it always seemed to have more to do with the barn owner's emotional neediness.

I was lucky to survive working in the horse industry with my mind and body intact. I can afford rent and board and a terrible week is only 50 hours after which I am rewarded a huge paycheck with tons of glorious overtime ;)

ladyj79
Jan. 18, 2014, 08:39 PM
The full board at the facility listed is 500. As others have noted, the barn hand is actually doing the labor, so let's say the value of stall and feed is 250.

I have rented rooms in major metropolitan areas (which this is not) for as low as 350, complete with utilities. This included access to a full kitchen, which this position does not, so let's add another 250 "value".

Add that 500 to the 400 offered in "salary" and you get a maximum value of 900 per month for an average of 270 hours of labor per month (10hr per day, 6 days per week, 4.5 weeks a month).

This brings us to a compensation package with a MAXIMUM value of 3.33 an hour, presuming the employee owns a horse.

If the employee does not own a horse, the compensation package would be approximately 2.41 an hour.

I don't think anyone who feels this is an equitable or even marginally acceptable position FOR ANYONE, ANYWHERE in any way did the math.

cwdridr
Jan. 20, 2014, 02:31 AM
this payment sounds right if the op was going as a working student. this means the horse they own gets training, the op has a place to live, and takes care of and rides other horses for the trainer's clients. but in my experience the working student isn't responsible for barn duties unless they are at a show.

it takes a lot of sacrifice to get enough experience to get past entry level position, but my first working student job paid this back in 2000. by todays standards, i would offer a bit more. and if the op is under 26, they can stay on their parent's health insurance.

ladyj79
Jan. 20, 2014, 02:45 AM
This is not a working student position, it is a barn help position. The farm offers no lessons or training (at all, let alone as part of a compensation package), there is no horse professional of any kind at this facility. This is strictly a 60+ hr a week labor position, offering a "room" in the barn and a stall and 1.66 an hour.

Silver Silence
Jan. 20, 2014, 06:56 AM
Great ending! Good for you for getting yourself out of that situation before you burned out. Lots of lessons to be learned from your story, thanks for sharing it.

Out of curiosity, did they tell you why exactly they wouldn't allow you to use a water heater?

To be honest she never told me a good reason, said that I couldn't put an extension cord across the lane way. Though I offered that it could be unplugged, and taken in during the day (I was the first up and last to bed each day of course! So would be no issue with that). But I assumed that it was due to the hydro that would be used. She told me I could just bring in my pasture boarded horses, twice a day, to allow them a drink of water. I told her she was nuts, and I would never forgive myself if either one of them coliced. So I did it the hard way, but they both managed through that winter just fine.

cwdridr
Jan. 20, 2014, 08:13 AM
This is not a working student position, it is a barn help position. The farm offers no lessons or training (at all, let alone as part of a compensation package), there is no horse professional of any kind at this facility. This is strictly a 60+ hr a week labor position, offering a "room" in the barn and a stall and 1.66 an hour.

sounds like slave labor to me then. run for the hills.

ladyj79
Jan. 20, 2014, 02:06 PM
I actually think positions like this are worse than slave labor, because slave labor at least included food. People like this make me absolutely furious, and there are too many of them in the horse industry today.