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  1. #261
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    KellyS, I am an amateur for a reason. I have a doctorate, I work long hours, and I have my own farm and horses as a result. I made this choice because, at the time, I wanted to have a real life with college etc. But I would love to have been in a position to train and ride at Rolex, have a shot at the team, and all that. We all make choices. There may be better things for YOU to beg, borrow or steal for... but that is you. There are plenty of hard workers out there with high aspirations who will make it work to be a WS and then an employee, and then an assistant... and so on, and have a shot at the big dreams.

    Quote Originally Posted by KellyS View Post
    There are a lot better things in the world to beg, borrow, or steal for...

    But I've been a WS for a high profile trainer and judge (different discipline) and paid for the privilege; then decided to pursue a 4-year college degree.

    No contest between which one provided a better return on my dollar, and I was able to pursue paying internships in the horse world during summers that provided better experience and opportunities than the WS stint ever did.

    In the long run, it's a lot more fulfilling working long hours on my OWN farm with my OWN wonderful horses. And what made that possible was a college education and pursuing paid positions with top notch trainers and also paying for lessons with those trainers.

    Sure, I'm not going to be the next Olympic rider, but there's a lot, lot more that goes into that pursuit than just a WS stint.


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  2. #262
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    Some masterful trolling by Boyd here. Olympic level trolling. The only way he could have gotten more of a response would have been to march into a feminist bar and start cracking blonde jokes. Bait, line and sinker.

    As far as the working student position, I am sure some ambitious young student will figure out a way to do it. If I was a lot younger I would entertain it.... But at my age this beaten old body would certainly break.


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  3. #263
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahbaumgardner View Post

    I am so done with the whining on this thread.... probably because I would beg, borrow, and steal to have the opportunity to be a WS for someone like Boyd!
    Why? What would someone like Boyd teach you in three months? Seriously, lets look at the ROI between the the two. You, who would do almost anything to work for some BNR...what would be your expectations out of this deal? To move up two or more levels? To compete at Rolex? To compete at an FEI level consistently? What will you gain from working and paying Boyd Martin for his time? Will you become a Vet and understand everything there is to know about horses? Will you become a super groom, able to turn out a 4* horse in 30 minutes? Will Boyd somehow infuse you with his skill so in two, three, maybe four years you might run Burghley as well as he does? What does three months of Boyd working camp get you?

    It is easier to see what Boyd gets...a body that will (in theory) bust ass 12 hours a day doing lots of "stuff" with the potential for lessons (if the body and mind is still in good shape). You get to ride horses, even top level horses you'd not see other then riding with Boyd. Your own horse will get less time for the focus will be on Boyd's string, not your own, because he hired you to to work for him. If you ride 5 horses a day, one of them being yours how much are you really connecting with your own vs Boyds?

    Seriously looking at the numbers, I'd rather hire Boyd as an instructor, have his complete attention (for I am the customer) for three months and set a very clear set of goals that I'd expect to achieve since I Am Paying Him as a customer, not a indentured servant.

    I think y'all are star struck, because unless a WS program was something that lasted for one or more years, a short stint like three months does little for long term goals other then down the road one can say "Yeah, I worked for Boyd"...big whoop! You want to earn money in the "Horse" industry? Make money somewhere else and buy into it, or inherit it and buy into it, or save your money, work for a local trainer barn owner and learn everything you can, because Boyd is not looking to be a mentor, he is/was looking for a star struck laborer to muck stalls, clean, walk, and groom horses, and not have to pay $$$ for the time.

    I'd love to see a middle aged devotee apply (next ime) and get rejected so we can see that not only are we looking at discrimination, but the fallacy behind the promise. If I had a child interested in this type of offer I would steer them away and find them a good local trainer that truly needs the help, and can in return truly teach my child much about caring for horses. I spent 4 years at my trainers barn, 4 years and while I own my own barn now, I still turn to her for guidance...Better ROI in my book.


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  4. #264
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    Boyd didn't start this thread, he didn't resurrect it. How exactly is he trolling?


    And there is a big difference in just learning to care for horses, and learning to work with international level horses in a serious, big time competitive way. Neither way is wrong, they are just pretty different, and appeal to different sorts of people.

    Good grief folks, there's an awful lot of RO* here for something that has no impact on most people's day to day lives. Sneer all you want, look down your noses, it won't matter a hill of beans one way or the other.


    *Ro= Recreational Outrage


    7 members found this post helpful.

  5. #265
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    Quote Originally Posted by saje View Post
    Yes, but you are one individual, and your dreams and goals are yours and no-one else's. What works for you may be the kiss of death for me.

    Again, there are a lot of programs out there, feel free to choose the one that suits you best. And leave others to choose their own path too, please.

    If ever thaere was a case where YMMV applies, this is it.
    Kiss of death is a little dramatic if you consider a home, food, and loving family (plus horses--bonus!) that bad!

    I guess what I'd beg, borrow, or steal for would be world peace...
    Kelly Soldavin Harvest Moon Farm
    www.harvestmoonfarmpa.com



  6. #266
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    Correct me if I'm wrong but isnt one of the biggest perks of being a WS for someone like Boyd the "networking" one could do if he/she played his/her cards right?
    Barn rat for life

    The Big Horse


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  7. #267
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    To build a good house, work from a good blueprint. In 3 months you may not learn to build a good blueprint every time, but you will have a much better eye for what it takes to build one. And even if you just build knock-off houses/horses, that's better than most of us manage! What you can learn from such a situation is limited only by your powers of observation. Glad for everyone if this thread has weeded out some of us who aren't in a place to make the most of this set-up, and opened the door to someone who is!


    6 members found this post helpful.

  8. #268
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    Quote Originally Posted by JP60 View Post
    Why? What would someone like Boyd teach you in three months?
    Food for thought: Kiwi Olympic team rider Jock Paget (who IIRC started riding at age 18 and is now all of 28) just got back from a three-week stint at Michael Jung's. More about that here.

    Paget wasn't mucking stalls but he was there to learn more about the Jungs' riding and training system. For three weeks. It sounds like he gathered a lot of information to incorporate into his own routine.

    Boyd's WS will learn his program from the inside. Horse care is a big part of it, just like horse care and barn work is a big part of the program at anyone's barn, including yours and mine.

    In three months, you may not be ready for Rolex, but you will probably have a very good sense of where you need to go for the next step in your education.


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  9. #269
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    Oct. 5, 2005
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    It does seem ridiculous to have to pay for accommodation and board. He says you work to pay off the $300-$400 of lessons you receive per week. But he also says you work 6-7 days per week and very long hours. So even if we're kind and average out that you'd be working 6 days per week for 10 hours per day, you'd have to be receiving a wage of about $6/hour to be equivalent of the lessons. You'd be better off just getting a job at Subway and paying for the lessons.

    I'm a working student right now for a Kiwi rider. I don't have a horse here and I also pay for my own rent (simply because my partner is with me and there wasn't room at her place for the two of us). So, really, I'm volunteering for the experience. BUT, I also work very lax hours, can take time off often to go travel around, get a car to use, and pretty much do no grunt work and only ride horses.
    I think more working students have to recognize that their time is worth something. Grooms have to get paid. Stall muckers have to get paid. Assistant trainers have to get paid. So why is it OK that we all accept that working students should get nothing when they do all of these jobs and more?
    Last edited by zorse; Jan. 2, 2013 at 12:09 AM.


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  10. #270
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    Again, IT ISN'T ABOUT THE LESSONS.

    It's about learning how a top flight eventing program runs, from the inside out. It's about the nuances of that life, and for some people it's more than a fair deal.

    Tell you what, if I were looking for a WS I'd be very interested in this thread, and wishing I could put names to the posters. It sure would tell me who not to hire.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  11. #271
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    Quote Originally Posted by JP60 View Post
    Why? If I had a child interested in this type of offer I would steer them away and find them a good local trainer that truly needs the help, and can in return truly teach my child much about caring for horses. I spent 4 years at my trainers barn, 4 years and while I own my own barn now, I still turn to her for guidance...Better ROI in my book.
    I'm sure your local trainer is wonderful. But I am guessing your local trainer does not have the background/experience at the 4* level. But he/she probably provided valuable training in caring for horses.

    On a serious note, the three months is the minimum, and like many have said, it can turn into more for the one with aspirations and the willingness to work extremely hard and listen very carefully. And like I've said, many many top UL riders have started out with the springboard of a WS position such as this. If you want to manage a boarding barn or teach pony clubbers, then go be a WS for someone who will help you learn how to do that. You will probably get paid and get housing and all the things that some here want Boyd to provide. You probably won't have to work as hard to "make it work." If you really do want to go to Rolex, then make it work and go be a WS for someone to get you started with the skills to help you make that happen.

    BTW, I have no background with a WS because I cannot have one. It would violate my amateur status (trading services is considered payment). So anyone I bring on board is paid with $$ and lessons are free. I still have a difficult time finding those who really want to work hard and learn but I've attributed that to my NOT being a BNR and living in a remote area. Those with the big dreams and those willing and wanting to work as hard as they need to in order to get there aren't going to come work for me.


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  12. #272
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    anyone applying for any WS position really needs to make sure they have an agreement worked out before they start! BNR or not, you will work hard and if you are smart, will learn a lot. It will not be your life's work, I would hope, but you still need to be sure you will get your sweat's worth of lessons.


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  13. #273
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    Important point! I have heard horror stories of WS who do not get any lessons or help... I would interview current and previous WS as well. That would be easy to do with Boyd, since there are previous WS and current employees who started out as WS.... Of course, if you interviewed some of my previous employees, you would hear that I confiscate cell phones, and hop up and down, insisting that they move faster!

    Quote Originally Posted by copper1 View Post
    anyone applying for any WS position really needs to make sure they have an agreement worked out before they start! BNR or not, you will work hard and if you are smart, will learn a lot. It will not be your life's work, I would hope, but you still need to be sure you will get your sweat's worth of lessons.
    Last edited by Winding Down; Jan. 2, 2013 at 07:23 AM. Reason: spelling



  14. #274
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    Sep. 2, 2008
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    I would do this. I'm not experienced enough for this particular position, but if I was I would do it in a heartbeat.

    I'm 25, so I'm not super young, but I also don't have anything tying me down yet. Right now I'm in a job that I like, but I'm currently saving up my $$, and if and when my job ends, I'm very seriously thinking about a WS position like this one.

    I can definitely see the value in this particular position. While I agree that a WS does a whole lot of work and that has value, I think the main thing I would want to gain out of this job is an insight into the intricacies of a top ULR program. If I were to take lessons from an ULR I wouldn't get that. It's the nuances, the little ins and outs that make the program successful.

    As some people have said, 3 months isn't a long time. It's possible to save up that money and think of it as a 3 month intensive program full of training, networking, and gaining insights into a really great program. And the ad itself stated that this could turn into a more full-time paying position.

    However, all that being said, I do think the COTH comment was in poor taste. Even if it was a joke. I can see why he posted it, but it definitely turned me off. And it would really bother me if I was one of those on COTH who support him financially through clinics and donations.


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  15. #275
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    "One of Silva's and my proudest accomplishments has been transforming the promising kid from down the road into a successful 3* rider who is on her way to Rolex in 2013. Over this time, Caitlin Silliman has had plenty of ups and downs, screaming and shouting, working in the sleeting rain, going weeks on end without a day off, but the hard work, dedication, and willingness to learn has made her into one of America's leading younger riders.


    If this sounds like something for you, please email Operations Manager Lindsey Taylor. If you are a person who posts comments on The Chronicle of the Horse's chat room, this job is probably not for you..."


    This is a direct quote from his blog from Lindsey Taylor, so none of you have to worry, although it seems the only ones willing to even entertain the idea of a WS are older . I personally have cliniced with him and he's funny, accurate and plan on being challenged. His farm is probably run the same way.

    I had one lesson a long time ago with an ULR and in the first few minutes he pointed out a really important problem that was minute. 3 months can teach you a lot. . . JMHO And by the way Ann, I don't take cell phones away, I just fire them.

    I am not applying for the job, so it's safe for me to post here.
    RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

    "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."


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  16. #276
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSjumper View Post
    Seriously? Doesn't anyone else think it's funny? Flame suit on, but I thought it was witty and most certainly did not take offense. Not something meant to be taken quite so literally, and definitely not something worth getting your panties in a twist over...
    Yes, I just quoted it as well, thinking what a great sense of
    humor!!! But then after clinicing with him you have to appreciate a bit of sarcasm and not meant in a nasty way. There needs to be a reverse panty button to untwist. . .
    RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

    "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."


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  17. #277
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    Quote Originally Posted by JER View Post
    Food for thought: Kiwi Olympic team rider Jock Paget (who IIRC started riding at age 18 and is now all of 28) just got back from a three-week stint at Michael Jung's. More about that here.

    Paget wasn't mucking stalls but he was there to learn more about the Jungs' riding and training system. For three weeks. It sounds like he gathered a lot of information to incorporate into his own routine.

    Boyd's WS will learn his program from the inside. Horse care is a big part of it, just like horse care and barn work is a big part of the program at anyone's barn, including yours and mine.

    In three months, you may not be ready for Rolex, but you will probably have a very good sense of where you need to go for the next step in your education.
    Now that I can accept. I was thinking of that Rider, but had forgotten the details. The two big differences I see though are (1) Jock Paget was already in the upper levels of riding so this was closer to a peer to peer education moment and (2) I doubt (like you said) that he was mucking stalls and doing grunt work. The focus was on training with the added benefit of observing the business structure MJ has in place.

    Overall I could see the benefit of being a WS when the focus is on Student more then Worker. If I went to Boyd Martin and said "here is $4200 (@ $350 per week of lessons for three months), I want to learn how to be a better Rider and learn the business of running a 4* operation. I get to hang out and watch how you run your business, how you care for your 4* horses. I wont muck stalls (I already know how to do that), sweep barns (same), groom horses except for learning purposes. I will be around at any time to learn what ever you can teach me (which may be a lot).

    Now the emphasis is on education (Student) and not labor (Worker) and makes the most out of what can be learned (similar to Jock I suppose). Jock most likely paid for his three weeks of education, and not by working 10/12 hour days.

    Many here seems to view WS (a misnomer) as a right of passage, a test of character that if you do well will elevate one's position in the equine world. The poor slobs that can only take (pay for) lessons, learn what they can from lowly trainers will just never have that chance to run in the upper levels. In general a more clear expression of the position would be as a farm laborer (not as glamorous) with more access to the Master. Would not a fair approach be that someone like Boyd pay the Worker in dollars for time worked, then the Student can decide how much and how often they will spend their hard-earned dollars for direct education?

    My last thought, I got spanked a ways back talking about (or agreeing about) supplements, because those scientists here strongly stated that there were no official studies done and with no scientific research the benefits are just subjective. Okay, I agreed. So why do we just assume that being an indentured laborer...I mean Working Student reaps oh so many benefits when there is only subjective responses to results.

    it would be interesting if a study was performed (hmmm, were I still in college and working on a thesis for business) to see if there is an actual benefit (ROI) between a WS program and those who could not or did not try that option. Did WS go on to be better then the non-WS riders? Did they last longer in the industry, Was/Is there a difference in contributions to the industry between the two approaches? Is age a factor such that older Riders need not apply, because they wont reap the long term benefits of what can be taught?

    In the end it may show some light on a rather gray area between what constitutes unfair labor (working long hours with little breaks) vs what constitutes education (set goals, measurements to determine results). Thia is not (for me) about Boyd and his offer, it is to shine a light on a process that has rabid followers and detractors and validate the benefit in a measurable way. Otherwise the whole thing is subjective and left to the individual to determine what they may think they get out of the effort.


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  18. #278
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    If I was in my early 20s and really wanted a position like this, it would be something I would plan for. Start saving every penny now, eat and live cheap, put my horse at a farm with basic riding facilities and a good outdoor board option. Reduce or eliminate lessons / showing this year.
    Then when a similar WS position comes up in 6 months or a year, I would have the savings to be able to apply for the WS position.
    This is not the sort of thing that anyone without relatively wealthy family support can just jump into. For the rest of us, if you want it, plan / save / prepare for it in advance.
    It is no different in theory than planning a large purchase like a truck (or a house). Start packing away $100 or $200 off every paycheque for 2 or 3 years so you have a good chunk of money to put down as a deposit.

    I don't need nice clothes, restaurant meals/ fast food or coffee, a iphone or even a blackberry. The $10 bucks saved here and there can add up quite nicely over time.


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  19. #279
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    Quote Originally Posted by JP60 View Post
    Many here seems to view WS (a misnomer) as a right of passage, a test of character that if you do well will elevate one's position in the equine world.
    I don't think it's so much that as it is that you need to know how to run/manage a barn and a group of horses, and still find time to train and ride. Not everyone has the opportunity to do that growing up. Having one horse at a boarding barn is quite different from managing six or seven or more in your care. You also have to manage the riding rings, the pastures, etc.

    Animal management and farming is true multi-tasking. You have to keep a running, changing list of what needs to be done and when. You have to know the signs of when you need to think about doing A because it's almost time to do B and it may or may not rain for five days at the beginning of next week -- and then you also have to know that if it's not going to rain next week, you need to do B before A. This is a thought process that needs to be experienced in order to know if you're the right kind of person for that lifestyle.

    A WS position is a good way to expose yourself to program management. You might decide you love it so much you want to be a pro barn manager. You might decide you hate it and go back to school to get a degree that means you'll make enough money to pay other people to do all the barn work while you ride your horse. But at least you'll know what it is and if it's for you.


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  20. #280
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    Quote Originally Posted by JER View Post
    I don't think it's so much that as it is that you need to know how to run/manage a barn and a group of horses, and still find time to train and ride. Not everyone has the opportunity to do that growing up. Having one horse at a boarding barn is quite different from managing six or seven or more in your care. You also have to manage the riding rings, the pastures, etc.
    I see your point, but not as it applies to a "Work Student" position. Learning how to manage a barn, manage horses in a medium to large setting is a pretty big task. Is that what a WS position is all about? Is a late teens, early twenties somebody able to grasp all that while taking lessons, conditioning horses, cleaning stalls/stuff, and all the other cruft jobs that are part of Barn/Equine ownership? Are we then talking about the "Hands on" vs book knowledge approach to education (again we use the term student here).

    Lets take the name Boyd out of the equation for a moment and look at this just in terms of education? If the offer came not from a BNR would the experienced gain be the same (BO seeks 'WS' to do lots of 'stuff' in exchange for learning how to manage a large operation). The applicant still gets the experience of animal/barn management (multi-tasking), but no lessons from a Big Name...The question is then, is that a WS position, or a jr manager position with little to no pay, but lots of practical experience? Would a WS for Boyd be making decisions about his horses? If so then they are coming in with a lot of experience already.

    The honey in this pot is more about the potential lessons and networking from Boyd, not barn management. Boyd is capitalizing on his Name (and he has earned that ability, no doubt) to get a deal where someone will take care of his stuff while away from his home turf in exchange for lessons from a champion which from his POV is a low effort exchange. Put it another way, the Worker pays 60- 80 hours a week in hard physical effort while Boyd pays 3 to maybe 4 hours in light "training" work a week plus some management moments. The student part is pretty low priority while the working part is huge.

    Boyd is taking advantage of the existing system, but it does not mean it is a good system (no measurable results). In the past Boyd Martin struck me as a decent fellow with a sense of fair play so I'd give him the benefit that any person who takes on this role will gain knowledge from the time...but not everyone is Boyd, and that's what concerns me.



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