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Boyd's WS position listed on his blog...

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  • #21
    Originally posted by mugsgame View Post
    I find the US system of working students bizarre where you have to pay. In the UK there is no paying to work for top riders. You can either keep a horse and get lessons and accommodation or you get a small wage if you cannot to take a horse.

    ...

    I think the system is fairer in the UK as you do not have to have any money to train with the best just be willing to put in hard work.
    That has certainly not been the case in my (and my friends') experience.
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

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    • #22
      North Americans are cows to be milked the world over.
      "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
      Thread killer Extraordinaire

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      • #23
        viney, just wondering if you have ever tried running a WS program? I am not saying WS are being milked (although some likely are). But I can tell you that I am friends with my former WS employer, and now that I'm not 16 and really wet behind the ears any more, I can see how much having WS actually cost her. In the end it was often cheaper, easier, and far fewer headaches to just hire someone to muck, to drive, or to braid.
        Blugal

        You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

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        • #24
          About US working student positions vs. other countries:

          I will be working Jan-June with a WEG rider abroad. The set-up is:
          • Free board for your horse (you pay for their feed)
          • 4 lessons a week
          • A room in a house with the other working students/grooms
          • Travel to the all the competitions to help the team (but not room on their van for your horse)
          • Use of a car (how the heck will I drive on the other side of the road?!)

          in exchange for working hard on the farm and at competitions almost every weekend.

          I obviously won't be shipping a horse, so I will be using one of theirs in my lessons. This is a totally manageable deal for me as a kid who just graduated from college. All I have to pay for is the plane ticket and food when I am there, and I even get to travel around the country and neighboring countries for free.

          I do not understand paying for the privilege to work for someone. I would never be able to afford that. The only thing that rubbed me the wrong way was Boyd's comment back. He said that you work off your lessons and the $15 a day he pays for your horse. So he wants you to work 70 hours a week for free lessons? Sounds like Boyd just doesn't want to pay for a farm hand and would rather have a kid do slave labor for him. While it would be absolutely awesome to take a couple lessons a week from him, there are many other opportunities that are fair to the working student as well as the employer. This "slave for lessons" description does not suit my taste.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
            North Americans are cows to be milked the world over.
            Good grief Viney. Who widdled on your cheerios this morning? Holiday cheer, remember!

            Comment


            • #26
              Okmy math probably won't make sense but it does in my head so let's test this out. Let's think about it from a mathematical standpoint

              Say Boyd hired a barn hand for 3 months and paid minimum wage (this is theoretical of course). Minimum wage is, what, $7.25? So. That barn hand can bring a horse at the cost of $50 per day (which is what the going rate is. $35 was with Boyd picking up some cost). Let's say he charges $100 per lesson and you paid for 3 a week.

              That comes out to $4500 in board and with let's say 2 lessons a week $2400 in lessons. Add in feed etc and we will round and get $8000 total for 3 months. Working 70 hours a week will earn you roughly $6090 in income, pre-tax. That barely covers board and feed/shavings.

              So, if you go the WS route, with all of the same parameters, you are essentially working off more than what you would make were it a paid position. If you pay $35 a day for 3 months of board, that comes to about $3150. So really, you are earning minimum wage if you do the math. It's really not all that unfair.

              I will probably re read this and decide I sound like an idiot but does anyone at least see where I'm going?
              "Lord if we should fall, my horse and I, please pick my horse up first."

              www.thestartbox.wordpress.com
              www.useaiv.org

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              • #27
                Originally posted by Xctrygirl View Post
                Anyone else see the beating he's taking???

                Wow

                http://boydandsilvamartin.blogspot.c...udent-for.html

                I mean I get what folks are saying... It's a LOT of money. But are the leading US riders just supposed to give away their expertise and such to those who want to learn and can work????

                Thoughts?

                ~Emily
                Julie Winkle does the same thing, only they are called "interns" for $1000 a month, 6 month minimum you get to train with her, that includes housing. You learn, you teach, you still get to ride as an amateur since you are a paying client of sorts not being paid, you ride and show. She has a breeding farm as well so one gets to learn the ins and outs of breeding and birthing and young horse training, summer camp running, learning the business end of things, organizing horse shows, going to horse shows, PR, marketing. After 2 years there assistance will be provided finding a job in the industry.

                http://mwstables.com/internship.php

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                • #28
                  Here's an example of a WS-type contract from 2003. I am not sure if the coach in question had to make it a "coaching exam prep course" for some tax or business reason, or if that was genuinely the way she wanted her program to head. I know that she had a very successful YR and coaching program (with many students hanging around as barn rats/WS) for many years before she started offering this "prep course."
                  Blugal

                  You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by mustangsal85 View Post
                    Okmy math probably won't make sense but it does in my head so let's test this out. Let's think about it from a mathematical standpoint

                    Say Boyd hired a barn hand for 3 months and paid minimum wage (this is theoretical of course). Minimum wage is, what, $7.25? So. That barn hand can bring a horse at the cost of $50 per day (which is what the going rate is. $35 was with Boyd picking up some cost). Let's say he charges $100 per lesson and you paid for 3 a week.

                    That comes out to $4500 in board and with let's say 2 lessons a week $2400 in lessons. Add in feed etc and we will round and get $8000 total for 3 months. Working 70 hours a week will earn you roughly $6090 in income, pre-tax. That barely covers board and feed/shavings.

                    So, if you go the WS route, with all of the same parameters, you are essentially working off more than what you would make were it a paid position. If you pay $35 a day for 3 months of board, that comes to about $3150. So really, you are earning minimum wage if you do the math. It's really not all that unfair.

                    I will probably re read this and decide I sound like an idiot but does anyone at least see where I'm going?
                    I see where you are going with this, and this is my take on the math.

                    Assumptions:
                    - Stall would cost Boyd $1500/mth ($50 x 30 days) per his blog

                    If the WS got paid and paid for lessons
                    - Value of work: $7.25 x 10 hours a day x 6 days a week = $1885 (and I'll note that that figure is likely conservative given Boyd's description of extremely long hours and 6-7 days a week)
                    - Value of lessons: 5 lessons a week @ $100 = $2166
                    = before paying board, student is "up" $281. That's assuming that he/she actually gets 5 actual lessons/week. After student has paid $1050 in board, the student is "down" $769. Presummably that value is in the rest of the learning the student gets from being around the barn, watching Boyd ride and teach (if he/she has time!).

                    From Boyd's end
                    - the listed price on Boyd's site is $60/day for training/board. Its not entirely clear, but it sounds like that includes some training rides or perhaps lessons. Thats a cost of $1800. If Boyd's post on his blog is correct, he has $50 in costs into each stall, so allowing a working student to have a stall at $1050 is $450 out of his pocket + $300 in potential profit from a horse in for training. So, by having a WS, Boyd is "down" by $750 from the get-go.
                    - But Boyd doesn't have to pay $1885 in labor, plus any worker's comp or payroll taxes. So, lets call it $2100 for now. Boyd is "up" by $1350.
                    - But if Boyd takes hours he would otherwise have spent teaching others and making money and spends it with the WS, he is down a potential $2166.

                    In theory, Boyd is "down" $816 by having a working student.

                    This obviously relies on a lot of assumptions! And I may be forgetting something.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      From the worker's point of view, I think you'd have to reduce potential "profit" by accounting for the fact that they are going to have to pay for housing somewhere as that is not included and there is no pay to accommodate that. Unless you are allowed to pitch a tent behind the barn, but somehow I doubt that.
                      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                      Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                      We Are Flying Solo

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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by wildlifer View Post
                        From the worker's point of view, I think you'd have to reduce potential "profit" by accounting for the fact that they are going to have to pay for housing somewhere as that is not included and there is no pay to accommodate that. Unless you are allowed to pitch a tent behind the barn, but somehow I doubt that.
                        Well, there was not profit for the WS. The student would always be out more than the lessons, hence the value of the rest of the learning experience.

                        In any event, I sort of figured it was going to be a wash. Housing isn't included in the WS gig so it will cost something. Unless its REALLY cheap, I'm going to guess that similarly priced housing could be found independently of the WS position. That might mean further away or some other compromise, but either way the "WS" has to live somewhere. And I didn't have enough information to even start to make some comparisons.

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                        • #32
                          The math is really interesting. When I was a WS in the mid 1980s I worked for 2 people. One had been on an olympic team and was heading for more, and one was working up to what is now the WEG (wrong time to peak for Olympics).

                          Version 1: I lived in a house trailer with the other WS at a cost of about $45/month. I had to buy my own food. Horse lived in a field, but had a stall. There may have been a small charge for him - not more than $50/month. So my parents paid for my food and a grand total of about $100 for my roof for the summer. The farm would rent their station wagon to us for 30 cents a mile to go grocery shopping or the occasional movie. Because we were so far out in the boonies there was little opportunity for spending any other money.

                          There were 6-7 of us and we worked 6 days a week, but see above sentence about boonies and lack of transportation, you did stuff on your day off. Day was 7am-6pm, once a week you did night check at 9pm.

                          You got: one group lesson per day with olympian, and the chance to ride a second time, sometimes with instruction, but mostly not. There were no paid staff at the farm and about 40 horses. 20 of which were on "full care". We cared for all of them.

                          Version 2: I was the only WS, lived in the house with the family. Worked 7 days a week, 7-whenever, doing all care for about 10 horses, tacking up and grooming horses she rode, and whatever else needed to be done - weeding the vegetable garden, mowing the grass, the occasional minding of owner's 2 small children. Basically it was just being part of the family and doing what had to be done to run the farm.

                          I got 1 lesson per day and opportunity to ride a second horse - usually for conditioning purposes of her other competition horses. And whatever other knowledge I sopped up. There was supposed to be a small board charge for the horse, but apparently I worked so much when she and my mom tallied it up at the end, she said "we're even" and if money was exchanged it was small beer.


                          I guess I object to the cost of board for the horse- obviously you have to live somewhere and eat, but horses can live in a field, and do not cost $1000 in feed per month (at least mine doesn't). Maybe there are other options if someone was very serious?

                          But if I worked for someone for lessons? 8 hours per day of work = 1 hour of group lesson? I would hope I worked it all off!

                          If Boyd's time is 100/hour, and I'm in a group lesson of even 2 people who work for 7.35/hour, he's coming out ahead.

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                          • #33
                            I'm sorry, I just can't grasp the concept of having to PAY to be a WS(read:slave who gets to sit on a horse) to anyone. Ever. I've been a WS for several different professionals(H/J and Eventers) and never, ever had to PAY to work and ride there. I had a house for free, got free lessons, and was paid a salery. On the eventing side, I got to watch/aduit lessons with Jimmy Wofford and David O'Connor.......
                            "And my good dreams? They all come with a velvet muzzle and four legs. All my good dreams are about horses."--In Colt Blood

                            COTH Barn Rats Clique!

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                            • #34
                              I find it hard to believe that it costs Boyd $50/day to keep a horse in raw cost at his facility. I've boarded at creme de la creme in the city of Los Angeles, and board alone was never anywhere near that high; it was even less than the $35/day.

                              Certainly you could get it to $35/day by paying all the a la carte elements... but your WS will be able do do her own blanketing, feeding, holding for vet, etc., because she's going to be there working 7 hours a day 6-7 days a week before she even gets on for her lesson.

                              And there's no housing, and who knows how far away the housing is. Presumably no workman's comp either.

                              I think you'd be better off just being a client and paying in cash. Way better off.

                              I don't care how good Boyd is, this is not a fair deal for the student. Expecting people to work 6-7 days a week, long hours, at a physical job, is how people get hurt and burned out. Having them burn through thousands of dollars in savings at the same time adds insult to injury. I hope for the sake of the student that there is a contract explicitly stating a minimum number of lessons.

                              Working student positions are a great way to learn and grow. But there are better deals out there (at least including housing and either some days off or horse board or use of a nice horse), and from some really top horsemen too.
                              If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

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                              • #35
                                I think that working with Boyd under the specified terms would be a great opportunity for any rider aspiring to pursue Eventing at a professional level. There are many professions that require individuals to "pay" for the ability to learn alongside licensed/certified professionals. For Example: Individuals who are going to school to become primary or secondary teachers are required to pay college tuition while they are student teaching in the classroom. One could argue that many student teachers perform nearly all the essential tasks of a certified teacher, but they must pay a semester's tuition for that opportunity. "Internships" are not always paid positions in other career areas. Medical Students pay outrageous tuition fees during their 3rd and 4th 'clerkship year', despite the fact that many students are already in the process of managing patient care and could argue that their knowledge and time are worth something. The same holds true for Residents in medicine. Having completed a Residency program myself, I can tell you that your salary does not nearly compensate you for the ~80 hour work week, not to mention the extreme amount of stress that you carry around for 3+ years.

                                If an individual is truly serious about finding a niche in the Eventing world, than I believe that they should expect to have to pay for the opportunity to learn from the best riders in the sport. Personally, I'm impressed by the fact that a working student doesn't have to pay for the entire daily cost of the expenses in Aiken. Would this position be conducive for an amateur rider with a job in a non-horse related field? Yes. I think it's quite possible given the fact that it's not a year-long obligation. It would require a creative savings plan and significant preparation to find ways in which one could consolidate vacation days or apply for a personal leave of absence for an "educational sabbatical", but where there's a will, there's a way!

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                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by goodmorning View Post
                                  Just to be clear, is it $35/day for a dry stall?
                                  Boyd mentioned that the $50 a day included hay, grain, insurance, etc. So I don't believe it is dry board. Because hay is so much more expensive in Aiken, I have figured our monthly expenses per horse is just under $500 and at a more expensive place would run up to $750...however, that is not at a barn with a BNT where the BNT is actually foregoing business, because your horse takes up a stall where they could be making money with a client's horse.

                                  Also, people drop $300 for a two day clinic all the time in which they only get a couple of hours with six or seven other riders. Look at OCET camp ($2000 for five days of training with 20 other students), I'm not saying you don't get your money's worth, but actually, paying Boyd $3150 for three months of experience sounds like a bargain in comparison.

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                                  • #37
                                    I had a long, drawn out, mathematical answer, then hit the wrong button and erased it.

                                    Basically, working student costs him about $100/week (what he's losing in stall payment). A stall mucker/general labor at minimum wage costs about $200/week, at 4 hours a day.

                                    I fail to see how he does not make out in the deal.

                                    I can understand a working student not getting paid for the experience, but having to pay such a high cost in board, along with paying for room and food, seems outrageous. I guess I am just not his demographic.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      The difference with various kinds of internships where you are paying tuition is that you are working within an established educational program designed for the benefit of the student. It is true that you may be doing some work and providing some labor, but because you are a paying student, the experience is supposed to be tailored and created to provide learning opportunities and professional guidance.

                                      For example, student teachers are under close supervision of a mentor during the experience. They are not taking the place of a paid teacher. Their assistance may be valuable, but it is not displacing a regular worker.

                                      It sounds to me like in this case the working student is meant to be brought on in place of a paid worker.

                                      A riding program designed to create learning opportunities would not be a full time grunt work position - you're not going to learn a lot mucking stalls all day. Ideally, you'd spend a lot of time just sitting and watching as your mentor went through his day. Sure, you could do some stalls and sure you'd do things like moving heavy stuff and tacking up and whatever, but your day would be structured not for the benefit of the barn getting its chores done, but set up so that you would get substantial opportunities to observe and learn and benefit. You would be there 7 days a week because you wanted to be, to have time to just sit and watch, not because you were obligated to be.

                                      Now, maybe this is what Boyd would have in mind. Or not. It's hard to know without a direct and specific conversation about duties and obligations by both parties.

                                      It seems to me, though, that I could pay full freight to board my horse, then buy a minimum number of lessons with cash, and hang out the rest of the time watching on my own time, and benefit far more for about the same out of pocket cost.
                                      If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

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                                      • #39
                                        If every WS who showed up actually put in the hours and labor, I have no doubt that Boyd would quickly waive the board fee (which does cover everything included in normal board, feed + hay, necessary turnout and use of the facilities). But in my experience with a BNT and as his working student, most of the students who come cause more work and putting up with them is quite tolling on the trainer. The first time I was a WS for my trainer, you bet I was paying board and rent. The next three times he knew I was coming to work, to make his life easier, not harder and was happy to provide a stall for my horses, turnout, feed and a room for me.

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                                        • #40
                                          Very, very good point, Savvyupgirl.
                                          Blugal

                                          You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

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