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Livin' the dream: if I don't find a horse-girl soon I'm havin' a psychotic break

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  • #41
    Originally posted by Windsor1 View Post
    To say "she makes out" kiiiiiiiinda reads to me like you feel you're doing her a favor.
    I'm a 34yo "horse girl" and I absolutely feel like I "make out." (But, I totally know what you mean, hence the green thumb to your post!)

    I work 3 weekends a month where I board, for an astonishing $75/day off my board. Considering I handle, feed, turn out/in, and clean stalls for 10 horses - all of which takes maybe 2hr 15min (1hr 30min AM and 45min PM) each day - yea, I'm totally making out! I'm the first person my BOs have had work off board. I believe they realized very quickly how great it was to have time away from their duties, all the while knowing that they could trust me and my abilities completely.

    As for how to find people like me, I second the Craigslist thought! I see ads on our local CL often for people looking to work off board. Always important to do a trial run and set all expectations up front immediately.
    “Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of Solitaire. It is a grand passion.” ~Emerson

    Comment


    • #42
      I really did love TX. But I think part of it was dedication to my TAP. Texas Assimilation Program. I promptly learned to say y'all, accept the "to go" cup at the liquor store (I truly thought they were pulling my leg) and not laugh when someone tried to sell me a front wheel drive pickup. (I didn't know they MADE trucks w/o 4WD!) Also, TX has brisket. Really good brisket.

      And the bluebonnets and indian paint brush. Who can not like bluebonnets?

      Anyway...

      I would ask your farrier about horse kids in the area. Surely your farrier will know someone. Farriers are the hairdressers of the horse world IMHO. ESPECIALLY in TX! They know everyone's business and then some!
      A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

      Might be a reason, never an excuse...

      Comment


      • #43
        Windor, yes, she "makes out". Sure, I do too. But she drives right past my house (honestly, I see her drive by every day) and my setup literally takes a half an hour, and that's being a poke! Three ponies' stalls? Takes no time. So to work for basically $20/hr? And I'm not strict on am feed times, to accommodate her doing it on her way to and from school. Yea, she makes out. She also has free rein to come over and ride any time she wants.

        If she had to be coming from somewhere out of her way, then yes, I would pay appropriately for her gas/time. And if an issue arose that caused her to work "overtime" she would certainly get paid for it.

        She doesn't complain. Emailed her this morning to do barn work and she immediately said of course!

        Heck, I'd do it if someone gave me $20 to stop by, do a few min of work and be on my way! Wouldn't be the first time I did barn work in my work clothes, under coveralls! I could pay her minimum wage, then she'd get taxed on it, and end up making about $5/hr....employers don't pay for you to drive to work, do they?

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        • #44
          Originally posted by spacytracy View Post
          Windor, yes, she "makes out". Sure, I do too. But she drives right past my house (honestly, I see her drive by every day) and my setup literally takes a half an hour, and that's being a poke! Three ponies' stalls? Takes no time. So to work for basically $20/hr? And I'm not strict on am feed times, to accommodate her doing it on her way to and from school. Yea, she makes out. She also has free rein to come over and ride any time she wants.

          If she had to be coming from somewhere out of her way, then yes, I would pay appropriately for her gas/time. And if an issue arose that caused her to work "overtime" she would certainly get paid for it.
          That's good. And you didn't state in your previous post that unlimited riding was part of your deal with your own horse girl, which changes everything. It sounds like you have a win/win situation.
          Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow.

          Comment


          • #45
            Originally posted by spotteddrafter View Post
            I work 3 weekends a month where I board, for an astonishing $75/day off my board. Considering I handle, feed, turn out/in, and clean stalls for 10 horses - all of which takes maybe 2hr 15min (1hr 30min AM and 45min PM) each day - yea, I'm totally making out!
            Yes, if you're getting paid $75 for 2 hours and 15 minutes' worth of work, you are making out like a bandit!!
            Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow.

            Comment


            • #46
              Coming from the ex horse girl...

              IMO, the best payment is riding time! If you have a horse that is beginner ridable, you can get anyone to do anything. I started out riding at my bus drivers house. I was 10. After a 3 lesson course I was itching to get back. They had offered me to come back the next day to help with grooming and help at the show they were off to. Eventually I started doing barn chores in exchange for lessons. When I got better at riding I was paid for barn chores and rode bad horses in exchange for lessons. I was also paid in tack, saddle, boots, half chaps, saddle pads, girth, polos, ect. I wouldnt have had it any other way. When kids are willing to work for riding time, they will work hard, they will be loyal and do things right.

              Nothing better than an OTTB.... Just Plan Partners,Penny, you have stolen my heart<3

              http://secondchancethoroughbreds.org

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              • #47
                Consider older folks. Our main horse sitter is 70 years old and the fact he is a former constable doesn't hurt. While he no longer has a horse, he enjoys doing it for us and won't let us pay him. We try to bring him a gift from the trip or do
                something in return. He works part-time where DH does and lives about 5 minutes away.

                Also a couple miles down the road is an older couple who are retired. They have
                horses, dogs and cats and sit for our neighbors and sometimes for us. We have
                also used one of our vet's former techs but got uncomfortable with her bringing her kid along and then the fiance. And she definitely didn't have a clue about how to wrap a leg.

                Besides the vet and farrier, check with the local feed store folks. Some of their help are amazing. We order about once a month and ask for a heads up phone call so we can get the gates and horses shuffled. If we have the critters/gates
                shuffled already, and they haven't called, we go out to find they have put everything where it needs to go. Sometimes, the dogs fail to let us know two guys and a big truck out 100 feet away. Anyway, someone there might be a possbility.

                One of my fellow foster moms does pet and horse sitting, including stay in home,
                although I think she has a part-time she goes to. She's far from being a "girl."

                Comment


                • #48
                  Originally posted by Windsor1 View Post
                  Yes, if you're getting paid $75 for 2 hours and 15 minutes' worth of work, you are making out like a bandit!!
                  Agree with the above! I get roughly that to clean 12 stalls. Feed 2x, water, turnout, bring in, blanket, sweep, make feed, etc 1 day a week. I can do it in 3 hours, but I feel like I'm playing highway robber, so I usually find 6 hours worth of work to do. I also get to use the arena during the week, so I'm trying to stay 'employed'.

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    Ah yes... That was me and still is me... the horse-girl of the barn. BO is 68, but still is at the activity of a 30 yr old. I don't get paid hourly or even have set duties. More or less, I am home weekends from college, so I feed if I am around and clean stalls Sat and Sunday (8 horses in the barn). And fix the fence. and put up fence. and anything else I notice that has to be done. I pretty much pay at cost for board, so that is my way of making up the difference. It all started when I drove by and stopped to ask about lessons and BO said absolutely- payment can be made in stall cleaning. Since then, I have moved 2 horses into the barn, one pays full board and mine is at cost, with me taking an occasional lesson but mainly just keeping the barn going. I don't mind doing it one bit! If I was in TX way, I would be there for ya!
                    Who say's your best friend has to be human?

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                    • #50
                      OP - just read a few excerpts from your blog. What a crack-up!

                      As for the horse-girl - have you asked your horse neighbors, trainer, feed store clerk, vet (equine or dog/cat), or farrier? Those would be my go-to people.

                      If all else fails there is always Craig's List.

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        Dear Crone, how about an almost retired semi-senior who will be looking for a part-time job in or around Austin? That would be me. Own 4 horses myself, but enjoy the management of the horses, more than riding now.

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by Fred View Post
                          I did have a wonderful horse 'girl' - she was English (actually she still IS English), the wife of the Huntsman of the local hunt- a terrific rider, hard worker, great with horses both youngsters and the stallion.. kind and fun to be around. And she can clip and braid.
                          When she first started working for me I could not believe how lucky I was.

                          Sadly her husband got a job with another hunt an hour and a half away, and despite my entreaties to her to leave him and let us ADOPT her, she moved away....
                          Ha! I know this horse girl and she is beyond fabulous! Glad she resisted your offer of adoption as she's keeping all the horses in this neck of the woods looking mighty spiffy, very prettily captured by her photographically blessed hubby!

                          Think it would work if I sent my BF over to you for some farm sitting so *I* can get a vacation?

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                          • #53
                            Well if it wasn't for that pesky Immigration nonsense I could start on Monday!

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Originally posted by Mouse&Bay View Post
                              Ha! I know this horse girl and she is beyond fabulous! Glad she resisted your offer of adoption as she's keeping all the horses in this neck of the woods looking mighty spiffy, very prettily captured by her photographically blessed hubby!

                              Think it would work if I sent my BF over to you for some farm sitting so *I* can get a vacation?


                              I agree, she is beyond fabulous, and a terrific person.
                              I love her, and I was bereft when she left. Seriously.
                              And unfortunately she set the bar very high for anyone coming after her.
                              I envy all of you out that way.

                              Any ideas or solutions are greatly appreciated!
                              A Fine Romance. April 1991 - June 2016. Loved forever.

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                Our best farm helper was a possible boarder's friend; still shows up during college vacations despite being away at college now. More mature than many older people we know. We had done a craigslist ad well prior, got many, many responses. We were quite clear about the time and money(very little), yet received many applicants who were over 30 miles/many minutes away. Culled the list down to a nearby woman who bad-mouthed every body we knew in the local horse businesswners, retailers, you name it: she was non-discriminatory in her disdain. So we basically ended up with no one until the then high school neighbor came along. We also have slightly older horse/farm sitters who look after the farm while we are away. We can promote the college student now that she's older(not a fair expectation of a 16 year old to farm sit alone).
                                Regarding hiring/keeping farm help: I would suggest that you discover what motivates them(it may well not be just $$) and to keep them make sure that your own personality doesn't get in the way. I have to be careful not to do the stall cleaner's job when she's doing her thing...that was one lesson I needed to learn!
                                It always comes down to saying what you will do and doing what you say...and that applies to both sides. We also tend to tip a lot, so we aren't scrimping every penny when paying a small stall cleaning or farm sitting bill, especially when they are driving a long distance for turn in and feeding only(15 minutes work). Yes you could pay them only $3.00 for the quarter hour...but seriously, it took an hour of their time.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #56
                                  Originally posted by mizzaster View Post
                                  Dear Crone, how about an almost retired semi-senior who will be looking for a part-time job in or around Austin? That would be me. Own 4 horses myself, but enjoy the management of the horses, more than riding now.
                                  Greetings, mizzaster, I have sent you a PM. I have also sent one, albeit somewhat apprehensively on account of the name, to someone named Toxicity.

                                  Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. I have enjoyed reading about the vaunted English horse girl who knows no peer; the story simultaneously restores my faith in the whole Horse Girl Industrial Complex while reconfirming the Buddha's depressing maxim that nothing is forever.

                                  I will enlighten the group as to any new developments in this riveting saga as they emerge. And now, on the off chance that a horse girl with internet access even exists in my hood, I'm off to compose my Craigslist ad, lard help me.
                                  Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    Ms. Crone, I just read your blog and am pea-green with envy over your writing!

                                    Not to brag, well, yeah I'm bragging, we have Barn Women. At 57, I am the oldest. It started out, for me, a number of years ago when I realized that my BO/Trainer had to feed 20 horses, turn out, muck stalls and give lessons on Sundays. So, I started showing up to help clean stalls. Then it was earlier and I helped dump feed and make up the dinner feed. Then I just started dumping feed and making up dinner feed and turning horses out. At one point, we had a group of six cleaning stalls and it became a game to see how fast we could get it done. Record, pick, shavings, dump and fill water buckets, two hours.

                                    Several years later, I am still the same barn. On Saturdays and Sundays, I do the morning feed and turn out, and make up dinner feed. The rest of the crew (2) arrives and we, plus the BO between lessons, clean stalls, only 16 now. Sunday is the same.

                                    You may think my BO gets a good deal by having barn help - but I don't think so. I have learned more about handling horses, how to be when around them, what to look for in a possibly off horse, when is a roll not a roll, how to deal with a flighty horse, than I ever though possible - and I learned it all from my BO, who is amazing. It also helps that she demands that all of the horses in the barn have impeccable ground manners.
                                    And nothing bad happened!

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Well if you are serious and looking for a horse girl, I have been one for several years. I am 19 and will be moving to Texas from Florida early January and am not sure what kind of cut backs I'll need to make when it comes to riding. I am looking for a place to go to and work some. I'd love to tell you more about my experience and see if you think I could work for you, especially if you'll be nearby. My email is raeshanks@gmail.com and I check it several times a day so feel free to email me if it is something you're interested in!

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by The Crone of Cottonmouth County View Post
                                        Speaking of bias, that's not the first Texas diss I've read here. What's with the anti-Texas vitriol? It's sunny, the State Lege is a laff-riot, there's no annoying snow, and we have fabulous high-profile murders all the time. We produced Ann Richards and Molly Ivins. We've got beaches, mountains, deserts, swamps, pine forests, Austin, and three huge cities. The wine is starting to not suck.

                                        As it happens, Mosey, I've spent a lot of time in Illinois, north, south, and middle. If I were prone to pettiness -- which of course I'm not! -- I'd say the most captivating thing about the state is the giant ketchup bottle in Collinsville.
                                        I'm sorry, I meant it in jest I often forget that people can't really hear my tone of voice on the internet, I truly apologize. All I know about Texas is that it's hot and my brother is there, which is why I'm anti-Texas, but it's personal issues, not the state itself
                                        It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by Chief2 View Post
                                          Recently retired horse sitter here.

                                          Call your vet. Ask if he/she has anyone registered with them (that they trust) or in their office who can do the chores daily or can be scheduled for horse sitting. Ask the same of your farrier, equine chiro, masseuse, dentist, the competing vets, etc. If they come up empty, then call the local large and small boarding operations/trainers, FFA, Pony Club, 4-H groups, Ag. Colleges/vet schools, etc in your area. Someone should be able to help you out.

                                          ETA: some of my best accounts came from folks in this type of situation. One guy actually went 25 years without taking a vacation until he finally caved in and called his vet for a reference. His vet was my vet, I was registered at the office for horse sitting. Fifteen years later, I was still working the account regularly throughout the year for long weekends and vacations. Give it a try.
                                          This!! I have a miracle worker goddess horse girl who can wrap, medicate, train, is absolutely FANf'ingTASTIC to do horsecare so my mom doesn't have to. She does a BUNCH of stuff in addition to basic feeding and cleaning for a base rate of $350 plus extra.Worth every penny and a lot more. I am that crone out here in Montana-my husband is NOT a reliable "horse boy" although when I am gone he can feed and water but his job is waaaay too demanding to maintain a horse care schedule. And you are so right, managing Mt manure, dealing with the paddock and pasture (a nightmare athe moment, frozen rock solid, I hate it), fencing, hauling hay (husband is FABULOUS on that end) is a major lifestyle choice. I think "living the dream" every day I am hauling manure in knee deep mud, dragging 90 lb hay bales, trenching the paddock, buckling up a blanket with frozen little fingers, draining the hose....sigh. I ADORE them, cannot imaging my life without a "feeding schedule" but there are days.....

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