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  1. #21
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    Jul. 15, 2003
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    Well, if it is THAT bad of a job, then I would gladly welcome Mike Rowe into my barn to do one of his "Dirty Jobs" TV shows. Hubba-Hubba! He can take his shirt off if he wants to....
    Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
    Bernard M. Baruch


    2 members found this post helpful.

  2. #22
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    May. 8, 2004
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    I would rather clean a thousand stalls than empty the dishwasher and clean bathrooms.



  3. #23
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    Jun. 9, 2012
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    You could pay to me clean stalls, but you couldn't pay me to clean up after people...therefore, yeah, it's not a bad job at all!!!

    I did the whole mucking out 10+ stalls several days a week thing in exchange for board, and it DID burn me out. But just helping do 5-10 stalls every now and then at the barn? Definitely nice. Some days I will surprise myself by itching to get my hands on a pitchfork and clean some stalls. Then after about 2 I'll have my fix! haha



  4. #24
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    Feb. 8, 2008
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    I love cleaning stalls and plan to do it full time when I retire from my real job (lawyer) It's good physical activity, gives you time to think, and you don't have to deal with people. For me the worst job would be any type of sales job. I hate lying and sucking up to people. Horse sales would probably be the very worst. Can't wait to be a stall cleaner one day.


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  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jan. 28, 2013
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    Southeastern US
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    It is the worst job if you are working for someone else. I worked at two boarding barns earning money for my own horse. I got to practice my Spanish at one barn because the other workers didn't speak English very well (they were learning). It was miserable. Not because of the twenty stalls I did (we used to race each other down the aisles). No, that was easy. They even had a few stallions that I had to watch like a hawk while I shoveled. There were some nippy babies, too. Then, there was turnout, which was simple to do for most horses. One horse had so many anti-fly gadgets to put on before turnout that it was actually pretty funny. He was a little neurotic and if you forgot one of his fly deterrents, he would stop in the barn aisle, LOL! The horses were fine. It was the HUMANS that drove us all nuts. They would ask us to do things for them, as if we were personal attendants. They would demand that we stop cleaning immediately and move the manure spreader out of the barn aisle completely so they could tack up right there (instead of us just pulling forward so they can get their horse out and tying him up in the front cross ties that were closer to the tack rooms anyway). They would accuse us of not filling a horse's water often enough. Accuse us of not cleaning often enough (once a day for everyone but some horses could really be messy and you would think they had not been cleaned up after). Complain about the horses next to their horse. Complain that we didn't clean up the indoor often enough (one horse pile in there, that was still steaming, while we were doing stalls). yeah, it was freaking miserable. I'd definitely put in on the worst jobs list.

    That is, of course, until you get your own barn with your own rules and no boarders. Now, it's my thinking time.
    Where the short cows roam.

    War veteran


    3 members found this post helpful.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayside View Post
    I'm kind of going to agree, but for a totally different set of reasons. I also enjoy cleaning stalls, but I used to work in the horse industry, and stall cleaners are often underpaid, have no benefits or paid time off (and sometimes little or no unpaid time off, either), and (depending on the type of facility) may be subject to the tirades, requests, and complaints of batshit crazy boarders, among other things. Maybe even stuff like rude dangerous horses laid up on stall rest with owners who never taught them any manners and don't beleive in chains or sedation, if you're extra lucky. So IMO, it can be a fairly lousy job, but not because of the poop.
    This exactly.
    "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England



  7. #27
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    Feb. 7, 2005
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    Eventing Heaven, VA
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    "But for us cat and dog lovers, it is hard to imagine getting paid practically a slave-wage to shovel our pet's poop on a daily basis for the "privilege" to walk them or take them to the park. This is what separates horse lovers from notorious animal caretakers, as horses require an extreme amount of care, money, and dedication, and the size of their bowel movements can be seen as a metaphor for the service they require."

    This really hit the nail on the head for me, and I appreciated its addition to the article. It's the recognition that there really is something that sets horse folks apart from the average person. We think it's perfectly normal, they just don't always get it.
    Failure is always an option*
    -Mythbusters

    *As long as you figure out what you f'ed up and fix it! -Me



  8. #28
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    Oct. 30, 2009
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    Whoever made up this list obviously has never cleaned out a chicken coop.
    "I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted". - Anonymous


    8 members found this post helpful.

  9. #29
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    Mar. 31, 2012
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    Coastal NC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Matson View Post
    Which is the "worst" job - stall cleaning or house cleaning? Or should I have asked?
    I pay someone to clean my house so I can spend all my time in the barn. Mucking the stalls is very cathartic to me!



  10. #30
    Join Date
    Apr. 4, 2007
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    Jasper, GA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
    Well... there is a diff between 'therapeutic' and a FULL TIME stall mucker that works at a big stable, off the books, with plumbing free 'housing' in a converted section of the hayloft... Mucking stalls as a JOB is generally a low paying, dusty, non healthful occupation.

    Who here has done the muck/mow-weedwack/boot-blanket-turnout type of job where you muck and bed 20, 30, or 40 stalls/day?

    (Waves hand and shakes vigorously.)

    It is dusty, breaks down your body, requires driving (often poorly maintained) tractors over sketchy ground, and often includes the handling of poorly mannered show horses back and forth from turnout.

    Not too mention the 'rule breaking.' Dumping manure all over the property because the farm owner has no long term manure management plan for 100 horses. Burning plastic bags with paper because it's cheaper than paying for a dumpster. Emptying the spreader by hand because farm owner won't repair/can't afford. (Spending too much in stud fees, usually.....) To name just a few things.
    I have cleaned 12 DRAFT horse stalls a day for a decade. I am 52, my body looks 30. Cleaning stalls is great weight bearing exercise. You hve to switch it up, change arms -mix in cleaning water buckets, etc. It is not dusty -if your shavings are pine and large (not shaving dust). If you are breaking down your body cleaning stalls, you are doing it wrong! I get tired of it sometimes - but I get out there almost everyday and do it! It keeps me YOUNG!!!!
    Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IZPHDzgX3s


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  11. #31
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    Jun. 20, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amwrider View Post
    Well, if it is THAT bad of a job, then I would gladly welcome Mike Rowe into my barn to do one of his "Dirty Jobs" TV shows. Hubba-Hubba! He can take his shirt off if he wants to....
    I gotta tell you, few things are less classy and careless looking than male farm employees going around shirtless.



  12. #32
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    Jun. 20, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cielo Azure View Post
    I have cleaned 12 DRAFT horse stalls a day for a decade. I am 52, my body looks 30. Cleaning stalls is great weight bearing exercise. You hve to switch it up, change arms -mix in cleaning water buckets, etc. It is not dusty -if your shavings are pine and large (not shaving dust). If you are breaking down your body cleaning stalls, you are doing it wrong! I get tired of it sometimes - but I get out there almost everyday and do it! It keeps me YOUNG!!!!
    Am I right that these are your own stalls/horses/business?

    Farm employees often do not get to choose

    1) type of bedding
    2) type of pitchfork (gotta love those retro folks who still go for the steel forks!!)
    3) How, when, or in what order work is done.
    4) If you START mucking stalls at 42 this is very different from starting at, say, 10, 12, or 16. Then doing it for 30 years. And no, nobody told me there was a 'right' was to use my body when I was a teenager.

    The 'list' was about JOBS. Doing stalls for a LIVING. Very diff from folks who do it because they want to, feel like it, or for mind clearing therapy.


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  13. #33
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    Jul. 14, 2003
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    MA
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    I think that the whole "worst jobs" list was tongue in cheek. I mean "presidential press secretary?" Right. Boo hoo hoo all the way to the bank.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller



  14. #34
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    Nov. 20, 2008
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    NJ
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    I have to agree with the posters who said it depends on whether you're doing the stalls for yourself or working for someone else.

    People doing stalls for a living are usually used and abused because there are always a dozen starry eyed people willing to do the job and to do it for less than minimum wage. Think how high the turnover is at most barns and watch how poorly people tend to treat the help. These workers are expected to work hard and fast without regard to how hot or cold or miserable the weather is. They are expected to handle horses that can be downright dangerous. They have to work holidays but don't get paid overtime or double time. They are lucky if they are appreciated at all. I doubt many get pay raises even if they have been at the same farm for years.

    In regards to the hours required, the toll it takes on one's body, the lack of benefits and the measly wages, it does qualify as one of the worst jobs.

    That being said, I had to laugh when I read Discobold's post. I left a career in sales to do retirement boarding full time. My husband cannot comprehend why I would leave sales to clean stalls and do farm work full time for very little money when I'm in my 50s.

    The difference is that it is my barn, so I get to make the decisions on the care of the horses and the running of the farm instead of just following orders. Anyone with an attitude of treating me poorly doesn't last long here. I try to choose boarders who understand and respect what I do and it makes for a happy occupation.

    But in the past 5 years, I've only had maybe a total of three weeks off. It does get a little monotonous doing the same thing day in and day out and you have to have the personality for it and love the lifestyle.

    Maybe the take home message here is that if you do board at a barn where the help is good, be sure to thank them. Even a little cup of coffee or gift card is a huge gesture to someone who spends most of his/her time being ignored or treated poorly because the job is a menial one.

    This is especially true if your horse has required special care, or had a colic episode where this person is the one taking care of him, worrying about him, walking him, waking up multiple hours of the night checking on him. Honestly, if I were a boarder in this situation, I would be sure to really thank someone who did that for me. It is going beyond the call of duty for a job that pays less than minimum wage.

    Treat people with respect and most will go out of their way to help you.

    As others have pointed out,it is the attitude of the BOs and boarders that can make this job one of the worst, not the job itself.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  15. #35
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    Jun. 20, 2009
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    mkevent I think you summarize it pretty well.


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  16. #36
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    mkevent I think you summarize it pretty well.



  17. #37
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    mkevent I think you summarize it pretty well.



  18. #38
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    Jul. 19, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
    I gotta tell you, few things are less classy and careless looking than male farm employees going around shirtless.
    Most male farm employees aren't Mike Rowe. (Though from what I've seen, he usually suits up appropriate to the work.)

    And I don't mind cleaning A STALL. Just reading threads on here about 'why can't I find good barn help' there's no way I'd want to do for a so-called living.



  19. #39
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    Oct. 2, 2012
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    In the wilds of Northern Ontario, Canada
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    Having done both... 30 stalls/day - horses stalled 23 hrs/day (weekends as a teenager) vs. 4 stalls with 2 horses / 2 ponies with free access from the fields to the barn @50+ years old and working full time.... Each has it's own appeal. I loved what I was doing weekends as a teenager and you couldn't get me out of the barn. I love what I'm doing now, and know I probably couldn't do now what I did as a teenager, so it all works. I do know then or now, I'd much rather be mucking a barn than vacuum my own house or clean my own bathrooms. I think I need a cleaning person for the house so I can spend more time in the barn.


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  20. #40
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    Dec. 12, 2010
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    Kansas
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    Although I can see that cleaning 30 stalls every day could get tiring, I don't think I'd put it on the worst jobs list.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/NBChoice http://nbchoice.blogspot.com/
    The New Banner's Choice- 1994 ASB Mare
    Dennis The Menace Too- 1999 ASB Gelding
    Dreamacres Sublime- 2008 ASB Gelding



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