It depends highly on your location and number of horses.
I pay $35/day for someone extremely reliable and horse-knowledgeable to stay here and feed my 4 horses and 3 cats (Indiana). When I lived in DC $200/day was going rate for 6 horses, someone else cleaned the stalls.
I also try to tip well and often as my horsesitter is invaluable to us.
I paid a friend $50 to sleep at our house for 5 days and just take care of our two (very well-behaved) dogs. It was actually closer to work for her, gave her a break from her roommate, and we have great TV options (and left a fully-stocked fridge!). Didn't involve any leash-walking or poop-scooping, just let the dogs into the backyard before work, after work, and before bed, and make sure they have food/water, that was it.
If there's ANY real work involved, particularly farm work, I can't imagine not offering to pay someone at least $20/day for it. Heck, my vet charges $27/day just to kennel one dog!!
I'm asking for a friend who, IMO, was pretty much taken advantage of by her BO. BO and family went on vacation, and my friend house- and farm-sat for them for a week. No payment, no board discount... the only "compensation" was allowing use of her truck/horse trailer (not the gas, which was expected to be filled as used). Considering that BO has always allowed use of her truck/trailer even before their vacation, it wasn't exactly "compensation."
Oh, and their dogs? Not exactly house-trained. Left messes in the house multiple times per day.
*friend of bar.ka
"Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"
I pay $100 a day to my farm sitter when we are away. This includes: five horses that go out all day and are stalled all night (we clean stalls once daily (when they go out) and we clean turnouts once daily(when they come in)), one dog and one cat. I have always thought that we paid very well, but now that I read this, I see that she could charge me double and it would still fall in the going-rate category! Yikes!
I am. Although when we lived in Alvin, we paid $35/day and the farm-sitter offered to stay the night at our place (I declined - I just don't care for other people living in my house, even temporarily!).
That was a bargain at $25/day - but cowgirljenn, you top my bargain, you have a winner!
I do - and I do my best to treat her well! We do Christmas gifts for her, little things here and there, etc. She is the best farm-sitter I've had... I never worry about the critters when she's gone. AND she's my 'on call' person if something bad happens and DH is out of town (and if she knows he's going to be out of town, she calls and checks on me). Obviously she's become a great friend as well!
I've told her if we ever have to move for some reason, she's going to have to move as well. I can't imagine having someone I trust more!
I charge $10/animal/day. That includes stall mucking, feeding, watering, turn in and out and feed barn cats. For dogs that includes two feedings, water and walking if needed. People have been kind enough to pay that on the few occasions the horses have only come in to eat and go back out, eliminating the stall cleaning, to make up for the times I've had to do major hoof care or medicating. For all but one family, I stay at the house, bring in mail and newspaper, and on the last day I wash all the linens and remake the bed, run the vacuum cleaner, wash all the dishes I've used and put them away. If needed I'll hold horses for the farrier if needed.
The stall cleaning for that many horses would make me price it at $100/day or more. I pay $25/visit for someone to feed my horses when I'm away. There's three of them and they live out with access to stalls. I leave a full stock tank and don't require the run-in stalls to be picked, so all the person has to do is toss grain and hay and check on the water and fencing. I've been paid $50/day to farm sit for a couple horses, goats, and cats and they were all super easy (only took about 15 minutes 2x/day). If the person has to physically handle the horses and muck stalls, that increases the rate a lot IMO.
Whoever is paying $200/day tell me where to sign up! I join the chorus of people that say they would NEVER be able to leave town again at that price.
I have a house-sitter that is awesome. We have 3 horses that all live out so they just need to be fed twice a day. We have 4 dogs, two of them are quite geriatric and one has constant accidents because of his age, and 2 barn cats.
She stays at our house and it is normally cleaner when we get home than when we left.
We have been paying $40 a day but since the 16 y.o. dog has become so accident prone we will pay $50 a day when we go out of town later this month. (Cleaning up after him isn't too bad since they stay in a dog room when we are gone with a concrete floor and drain in the middle. All she has to do is scoop the poop and hose anything down the drain. It does get tiresome but the poor old guy just can't help it anymore.)
This summer, I was paid $250 for 6 days of farm-sitting. I did not spend the night, but was working for about 3 hrs a day.
Three horses were fed hay, grain, and supps morning and night as well as picking out an acre and a quarter-ish of paddock (no stalls). Also, watering a massive garden and bringing in mail. I had to make sure that everything looked perfect because the day after I finished, the place was used as a set for a major director's movie.
$60.00 per day (no house sitting) for two hours work in the AM (turn out 6 horses, clean stalls, feed dogs and let out, feed cats) and about two hours in the PM (bring in horses, check horses, feed, water, feed dogs and let out, feed cats). We have never been gone for more than 3-4 days. I would probably up the day rate if we were going to be gone longer and additional work was needed such as cleaning out water troughs, etc.