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Where to Look for Responsible and Reliable Farm/Barn Manager?

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  • Where to Look for Responsible and Reliable Farm/Barn Manager?

    We have a nice, private, 40 acre, 7 horse, eventing and dressage farm. We have had a single person living on the farm taking care of everything for us. Over the last 6 years we have established a very reasonable (to our worker) work routine. We felt comfortable leaving the farm on vacation knowing that everything would be taken care of. Well, our worker decided to leave on very short notice (1 week) that has left us scrambling around for a replacement.

    We renewed our listing on Yard and Groom but most of the interested applicants are either too young and inexperienced to trust leaving in charge all alone for a week or they want to ride and/or teach, neither of which is a workable solution for us.

    Is there another place like Yard and Groom we should be looking? I apologize if this sounds like an inappropriate solicitation, that is not my purpose. I sincerely hope to get some good feedback on where I should be looking to replace our recently departed manager.

  • #2
    How about on the COTH Classifieds?
    Barn rat for life

    Comment


    • #3
      There are a couple of equestrian job sites that are much more professional. Do a search for equine jobs. I can't really say one is better than the other, but they are better than Yard and Groom if you want a true professional!
      "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

      Comment


      • #4
        How about the workforce commission?http://www.laworks.net/

        You need someone familiar with farms and livestock it would seem, of course familiarity with horses is important.

        One farm I know of uses their's to find help.
        Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

        Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

        Comment


        • #5
          I would suggest asking vets, farriers and other similar professionals for recommendations. They often know of great people who are not necessarily actively on the job market but who might make excellent candidates.

          That said... is this person really charged with doing everything, every day? Just wondering, since it seems like a tough job if so. Might help your recruiting if you can offer a bit of regular time off.
          **********
          We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
          -PaulaEdwina

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          • #6
            I can tell you how it happened for my daughter from the other side. Due to her fiance accepting a new job (he works in college athletics marketing), they moved rather abruptly from Virginia to Arizona. She had been managing a fairly serious dressage barn in VA., and was despairing of ever finding a job in AZ, after calling and e-mailing various facilities and trainers.

            (I must say, having observed it from the outside for the over 15 years that my daughter has been a horse owner, the horse world seems to be pretty pitiful at being able to match up applicants with jobs. Horse people seem to me to be very territorial, sometimes to their own detriment.)

            She got her current job by taking some lessons at an eventing barn and keeping her eyes and ears open. Met a fellow lessoner who was talking about how she had placed an ad for a barn manager on CL, and had received resumes from over 75 people, none of whom had any appropriate experience. They struck up a conversation and voila, daughter is now her barn manager. She is very lucky in that her fiance makes enough for them to live on (but no luxuries), so was not under the gun from anyone but herself to find a job. But all alone in the house all day, across the country from all her old friends (and had had to put her own horse down a couple of months before moving), she needed desperately to get back into horses. And preferably get paid for it.

            Your barn sounds a lot like the one where she is - private -they have a few boarders, but the boarders are not particularly into showing or heavy training. BO and her daughter event their own horses.

            So I guess this is a long way of suggesting to check with trainers? Yours sounds like a great situation. Fiance had worked at LSU one job prior to the one in Virginia. He was thinking of going back there at one time, but of the negative factors was that the dressage scene seemed to be pretty scarce and involved lots of driving. Although marketing the football team at LSU wouldn't have been any great challenge.
            "I swear it happened just like this" - Leonard Cohen

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Needs A Nap: We do love our LSU football down here. Actually, we have a very active and competitive dressage community in Folsom, which is about an hour from Baton Rouge. Lots of ribbons every year at the regional championships, young riders showing at Gladstone, and then there is always the Heather Blitz/Oak Hill connection. Glad it worked out for your daughter.

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              • #8
                Hope you didn't take that LSU comment the wrong way! What I was trying to say was the team is so successful it sort of sells itself. I have two nephews at Tulane, and they go over to BR for games whenever they can.

                Where they are now...PAC 12, ASU is competing not only against powerhouses like So Cal and Oregon, but they are in a city with 4 professional sports teams. So harder to fill the stands.

                Will keep everything you said in mind because there is every chance he may go back to LSU in the future. He loved it there, and he was there in the Katrina era.

                It was totally random how she got her job, however. She was lucky to be in the right place at the right time.
                "I swear it happened just like this" - Leonard Cohen

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Needs A Nap: We do love our LSU football down here. Actually, we have a very active and competitive dressage community in Folsom, which is about an hour from Baton Rouge. Lots of ribbons every year at the regional championships, young riders showing at Gladstone, and then there is always the Heather Blitz/Oak Hill connection. Glad it worked out for your daughter.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
                    I would suggest asking vets, farriers and other similar professionals for recommendations. They often know of great people who are not necessarily actively on the job market but who might make excellent candidates.

                    That said... is this person really charged with doing everything, every day? Just wondering, since it seems like a tough job if so. Might help your recruiting if you can offer a bit of regular time off.
                    I second all the above.

                    IME, the best hires come from word of mouth, and most experienced people I know in the horse buisness don't use classified services to find new jobs. ....of course, in order to get your vets/farriers/etc to referr good people to you, they have to think that you're offering a good work environment. With 40 acres and 7 horses, whether or not this job is desirable would depend on what is expected of your manager exactly, and what help they have in getting the job done.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just a question - why is someone who wants to ride not workable for you? I cannot imagine anyone with the skill set you are looking for who does not ride... unless, of course, they have an injury/disability that precludes it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        There are plenty of managers that don't ride, or if they do, only do so occasionally for pleasure. Managing the horses and facility is a specialty in itself. The best managers I know hardly ever get on a horse. I actually know a number of people that love horses and caring for them, but have limited (or no) interest in riding.

                        ETA:
                        Most employers don't want managers riding their horses. If they want riders, they hire riders.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I would be all over that if I wasn't tied down here... as long as I could bring my horse.
                          Boyle Heights Kid 1998 16.1h OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
                          Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason
                          "Once you go off track, you never go back!"

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                          • #14
                            How about mentioning this to your vet, farrier, etc? Vet techs may be available to make extra money for when you go on vacation, but unless it is a great money-making situation I'd only advertise locally.
                            Now in Kentucky

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                            • #15
                              As someone who works full time in the industry as a barn manager / do everything girl i can tell you there is no way i would even consider a situation without a stall for my horse. I can also tell you that of all the barn managers in the area i know personally (densely populated horse area) would not consider it either.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I suggest you have a child, preferably a girl, raise her right, and in 18 years or so, you might have yourself a stellar barn manager! Its about that difficult to find someone. The best way I know is to pay really well, and include benefits (housing and health insurance). The highest quality people are looking for this in order to stay somewhere long term.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I agree with finding someone that already has experience - perhaps network around with other barn owners and find out if they have anyone they would recommend - perhaps a boarder, or an experienced student or rider that is looking for work. Someone vested in the best interests of the barn is defintely an elusive thing....most people are generally out for their own gain at the expense of all else. :/
                                  Teaching Horseback Riding Lessons: A Practical Training Manual for Instructors

                                  Stop Wasting Hay and Extend Consumption Time With Round Bale Hay Nets!!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Well I really don't know what are the conditions you are offering for the job, but if you don't find what you want (too young or inexperienced postulants...) perhaps increasing the salary or the bonuses (free boxstall, free appartement, 2 days off instead of 1, etc.) might do the trick.

                                    I know a lot of unreliable people and a friend of mine offers good conditions and has an hard time to find the proper employee for her 18+/- horses farm.

                                    But... It is common knowledge that jobs in the horse business are underpaid and without benefits. So older, more experienced employees, reliable, etc... are usually already taken or will take a non-related horse job because... they have a life to live and want to be able to afford more than the bare minimum. Then you are left with the youngs and the inexperienced who would do anything to "be" with horses. With all the problems that comes with.

                                    I wish you good luck in your seach. I hope you will find the perfect person. But then when you do. Be sure you have enough honey to keep her around
                                    Les Écuries d'Automne, Québec, Canada
                                    Visit EdA's Facebook page!

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                                    • #19
                                      I'm writing this from the job seeker point of view. When I've talked to people I've noticed they really don't offer enough benefits. Most of the time the pay is not even enough to live on. I don't know your situation or what you are offering but if you were able to offer housing/enough pay to afford housing, health insurance, stall if needed also utilities could be nice to add depending on the situation. Good Luck in your search!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I would like to revive this thread. Looking past the OP working conditions and benefits, I too would like to know if there are other good options to look to find the the reliable, responsible, hard-working, equestrian employee that has had a few years of real experience.
                                        Greymeadows Farm
                                        Breeding Sport Ponies to Win!

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