I was also confused about the distraction concern if the worker had their own horse elsewhere. Workers are entitled to time off to do as they please. I know one barn manager whose employer expects him to drop everything when he is 'off' to come hook up their trailer, or pick them up when they've drunk too much.
If you're looking for an experienced worker who doesn't ride, are you near any areas where any expatriate Amish or Mennonite youngsters might gather?
As someone who has hired for non-horse related positions, I have found age and experience to be over-rated! Honesty, work ethic, and character are key. We lucked into our best employee because he had interned with a colleague. We would have never hired him based on his resume. Good luck!
I believe strongly, along with others upthread, that you would widen your pool of applicants by being more flexible with the perks. Pasture board or a shared stall so employee could have a horse. Or heck, it is possible you might get someone who enjoys horses but does not want to compete if s/he could at least do some light hacking on your retirees. You want a horsey person to come and be knowledgeable and responsible - but not get to enjoy even recreational riding? And then you add that you are not happy with him or her even going somewhere to ride during off hours? How many horsemen are going to want that gig? You may well find another great person but I think you are making it hard for anyone to find the position attractive.
I do not mean at all to sound harsh but I am trying to convey how very, very unappealing your offer sounds, esp when you hint at not giving any true time off - time when you will not wonder at all what the person is doing and judging whether she is committed or not. After all, you are wanting time off yourself, hence your desire to hire someone, so it seems reasonable that even a BM would need some time off, too.
Last edited by Rallycairn; Feb. 9, 2013 at 12:22 AM.
As other posters have stated, I think you are going to have to be quite patient in finding someone who meets your expectations on age, experience and expertise who does not want to ride. I know you are not looking for input on the position you offer, but I do think that particular detail (very limited options for having a personal horse) is likely a major reason that you are having such a difficult time filling the position. I have known people in the industry that would enjoy the position you describe, however they are few and far between. You will have to be patient.
Are you offering housing as part of your position? If the heavy physical labor is minimal, maybe try to network with some retired trainers- I know a few managers/caretakers who spent most of their lives training racehorses or sporthorses and are very knowledgeable and happy to spend time with the horses.
I appreciate everyone's input but, as is often the case with these things, this thread has gotten somewhat off topic. The position is for a full time employee, which means 8 hours a day working on the farm. What they do with their time off is their business and if they want to ride during that time we'd be happy for them to do so. I don't know why some of you seem to think we don't want them to ride. They can do whatever they want on their own time. We just don't have a suitable horse for them to ride nor do we have room for their horse on our farm. We'd much prefer a happy employee than an unhappy one. If the position was a part time one, I would have absolutely no qualms with them riding on their own time during the day. But, just like I can't take 1 1/2 hours off from my day job in the middle of the day to go do something fun I expect my full time employee to put in their 8 hours as well. I don't think expecting a full day's work for a full day's wage is expecting too much but then maybe I'm just old fashioned.
Calling me control-freaky without knowing the facts is a bit childish and unfair. Since the thread was not intended to be about the position, I did not include all the information relevant to it, such as the number of paid vacation and sick days provided, the fact that a 2,000 sq.ft. non-shared living accommodation is provided, the fact that we have tried to connect a previous worker with a local FEI rider and instructor for lessons on her day off, the fact that we are willing to move our horse's day off to another day of the week to allow our employee to take lessons at another farm on a day when they are giving lessons, the fact that last year we worked on Thanksgiving so our employee could spend time with her family (who, by the way, we've had as dinner guests in our house), the fact that our wage package is worth over $35,000 a year, etc.
We are not horrible, uncaring, overly demanding people as some have suggested. All I was doing was was simply asking for other places to look for people who wanted horse related jobs. I was not interested in discussing the job we were seeking to fill. If that had been the purpose of the post I would have included background information pertinent to that discussion. I assume most of the posters above were responding in good faith but some of the more personal and petty responses did get a bit tiresome. Rant over.
P.S. The "distraction" comment had to do with taking time off during the required and agreed to work day to do personal things (i.e., riding) rather than doing their personal things on their own
OP, Human Resources is part of my job. I think I see where people didn't understand what you meant: Post 29 is the first time you've mentioned that this is an 8 hour a day job. The vacation relief/ distraction comments early on (which to many people = on call for far more than one shift of 3) and not mentioning the 8 hour/day part is probably where people confused this with a 'live in on-call' arrangement.
Specifying it's a regular work shift makes things much clearer. Good luck with your search!
To OP: Your offer sounds wonderful and sounds like you have been pretty helpful with your workers finding ways to ride, etc. Even with knowing all the wonderful things about the job I still find the comments about person riding at a neighboring farm might be distracting and your unwillingness to even address possible pasture board for a worker a little inflexible. From what you indicated this is a live in arrangement (and a very nice one at that) so that would mean more than likely the person is at the facility a lot even when not "on the clock." Inevitably that leads to the person helping out with things that just happen, just the nature of life on a farm. So here is where I am confused. I work part time at barn with twice as many horses and there are clearly "peak" times that work must be done. So assuming with this nice compensation package the person has no other job I am trying to figure out how taking an 1 1/2 to ride in the middle of the day would distract from the 8 hours the worker puts in? For instance feed horses at 7 am, clean stalls, scrub water troughs/buckets, clean tack, etc. For 7 horses, stalls, even with grooming, fly spray, blankets I am pretty sure I could get this done by noon. So I take a break from noon to 2 and grab a bit to eat and go ride my horse at the neighboring barn. I come back at 2 pm and clean tack, fill shavings, drag arena, etc, whatever chores need to be done. Feed the horses at 5 pm, again grooming, blanketing, etc. as needed. Done by 6 pm. So by this calculation I have actually put in 9 hours and still had time to ride my own horse, doesn't this make sense? I am sorry not trying to over analyze but still feel like I am missing something and quite honestly I bet you would have some superb candidates if you could be a little more flexible on the horse thing.
I do want to add that I understand on certain days it might not be possible to take an extended break such as when the farrier is there or hay is being delivered but I would suspect on most days a 2 hour break in the middle of the day would be a suitable thing.
Last edited by bizbachfan; Feb. 12, 2013 at 04:29 PM.