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

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  • #81
    Originally posted by scubed View Post
    Pay is not at time and a half if you are salaried. When I worked for my start up company, making very little and working 100 hours per week, there was no overtime pay. Now that I am faculty and well compensated, I have still worked 50-60 hours per week for the past 15 years with no overtime pay. So that is not really true.
    There are labor rules about whether you would be an "exempt" or "non-exempt" employee. A barn worker with no management duties would not be exempt from overtime rules.
    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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    • #82
      Originally posted by poltroon View Post
      There are labor rules about whether you would be an "exempt" or "non-exempt" employee. A barn worker with no management duties would not be exempt from overtime rules.
      Actually most farm jobs are exempt from all those labor laws.
      ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

      Comment


      • #83
        So for people looking for a working student position, there's a lot to consider. Reputation of the barn. The cost. The opportunities. The networking after.

        Certainly you don't go into any without the intent of working very hard and spending every possible moment at the barn. The question is what percentage of those moments will be spent observing and learning new things, and what percentage will be spent doing grunt work, like mucking stalls, that the WS-To-Be already knows how to do. It's not that checking water and mucking stalls is undignified or unworthy. It's just that you can muck stalls in any barn in any town and learn the task just as well.

        If the costs to Boyd are truly $50 per stall, then maybe that means that the barn owner is providing all the mucking labor and our WS-TB is not expected to do anything like that, but merely to shadow Boyd and do stuff most of the day. Maybe the long hours are accounting for a lot of watching and observing. That would change the equation quite a bit.

        Working student positions are not uniform, and there are plenty of people who have been burned over the years, including very good, well taught, hard-working people. Sometimes people have written their stories on this board; sometimes you have to hear them only in person. The "I spent 8 hours a day mucking stalls and got a lesson from the assistant once a week" story isn't anywhere near the worst one I've heard.

        So a lot of this questioning is because we all have a different idea in our head about what it would mean to be Boyd's working student.

        One thing I'd say is that until and unless you're going around winning at Prelim level or higher, a high profile position like this is probably not the best path. I'd also suggest that as great a rider as Boyd is, that he's still fairly young and new in his career. Often horsemen on the ascent, as he is, are not as good at teaching and conveying horsemanship as people who have been there and done that. if I were advising someone young and looking for her first WS position, I'd probably send her to someone older with more experience, who has figured out the long view, even if there was a bit less cachet.
        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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        • #84
          Originally posted by PuraVidaEventing View Post
          Those comments are really ridiculous i must say. Yeah, it's a lot of money but it's Boyd Martin...hes on the high performance list 3 times! And you get to work for him, lesson with him, and be exposed to some really high quality riding. Chances like this are not readily available and for someone who wants to be a uset team member in the future this is an unbelievable opportunity.
          This. The motivated person who wants this experience will snatch it up.

          Comment


          • #85
            I read just the ad. It seems to me that he wants a certain type of person (energetic, committed, ambitious, focused, enthusiastic) and that his ad is designed to appeal to that type of person and weed out others. I think it does.
            I don't know him, but it looks like a great opportunity for the right person.
            In any industry a young person can be taken advantage of, but I don't see anything in this ad that raises that concern in me.

            Comment


            • #86
              Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
              Actually most farm jobs are exempt from all those labor laws.
              Yes but most equestrian student jobs aren't on facilities that meet the requirement of a farm for that purpose. Basically they actually have to be producing something. For horses the requirement is 3 foals per year for it to be considered a farm and the worker to be an agricultural worker and exempt. Otherwise it's get out the checkbook, you legally have to pay overtime. At least by federal labor laws.
              "I am sorry, I lead a bit of a complex life, things don't always happen in the right order" The Doctor

              Comment


              • #87
                I wonder if those defending this are those who had parents that footed the bill for their equestrian dreams for many years....

                I have been looking for a position for a while. I would leave my job, and my life to go for a year or 6 months to improve my skills, however everything seems to be a working PAID position, as in you work and PAY.

                Yeah, it is frustrating. You want to say to people who can't afford it "too bad, life's not fair, don't apply then", but I think there are some missing points here.

                I am an extremely hard worker, I know I am a valuable worker and would be an asset in any barn. I can't possible pay over $1000 a month AND work full time at the facility. I have a car, insurance, etc that I need to pay. BUT I could maybe swing it if I was living for free with free board.

                Whatever happened to giving those a chance who can't afford the top notch training? Whatever happened to being able to literally work your tail off and get somewhere? It seems more like those with $$ make it to the top and get most of the opportunities.

                I agree with the sentiment the mentality is different in the UK. I worked in both Scotland and Ireland and boths jobs included; rent, board (if I had a horse there), lessons with BNTs, all showing costs, and about 250 pounds/euros a week pay. You just can't find that here in North America, and I think it's sad that people think it's ok for the BNTs to do this.

                Advertise as a training internship, education, just don't call it a working student position, it's very misleading.

                Going back to my job now....getting to the top the slow way
                Fillys By Vibank - 2017 Road to RRP
                https://www.youtube.com/user/jealoushe

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                • #88
                  Jealoushe

                  I was never a WS as I couldn't afford it. But I still worked and rode for some top top BNT. How. By working as a groom and working my way up. Showing I was interested in learning and taking every opportunity that came my way. Those doors opened as I was out there and people got to know me. If you are not out there, strangers are not typically going to go out of their way to help you.

                  That was my point.

                  Being a WS is NOT the only way. But I still have no issue with Boyd or others who offer this sort of "job." It's one way to see who really has the desire and the right kind of attitude before investing too much time helping someone they don't
                  know. If I couldn't afford to be a WS (and I never could), I would find a paying groom position, and get out there and meet more people, including people like Boyd. Show a positive attitude, interest in learning and watch for those opportunities to learn. As people get to know you, they are more willing to give you more opportunities. But those type of opportunities will NEVER be advertised.
                  ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                  Comment


                  • #89
                    Jealoushe, I thought JudyRedHorse was offering almost
                    exactly what you describe as usual in the UK: room, board,
                    board for a horse, lessons with a BNT and paid entries at
                    shows (when riding her horses, not your own) and a small
                    salary. Yet, people told her she was exploiting riders and
                    she kept getting responses from riders who were either
                    not interested or had unreasonable restrictions. Seems
                    like even when such opportunities are offered, they still
                    don't find traction.
                    Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
                    Elmwood, Wisconsin

                    Comment


                    • #90
                      I agree that for the right person - ie, someone hard-working who is both dedicated to learning AND has the money in their bank account (through saving up or simply having solid financial resources) - this is probably a very good opportunity. Boyd is a brilliant rider and horseman and I'd love to work for him, but fall into the ranks of those who can't afford it - simply because I'm 20 years old and completely self-funded.

                      That said, there ARE similarly incredible opportunities out there that won't cost an arm and a leg. I worked for Phyllis Dawson and for 5.5 days work a week (starting at 6.30 or so and finishing whenever, as is often the case in a stable!) I received housing, board for my horse, 6 lessons a week, and rode several horses a day. I had to pay my own entry fees, vet and farrier bills (at the 'working student rate',) my own food, but there were always opportunities to earn money cleaning extra stalls, braiding for clients, things like that.

                      I know people have pointed out how having a current "big name" like Boyd's on your resume is really useful in the industry, so to counter that I'll use a WS position interview I went through recently as an example. It was for William Fox-Pitt - I'd argue that he's the 'biggest' of the big names - and offered free housing and a small salary in exchange for working in a serious Olympic barn and getting to ride some of the most famous horses in the world. I'm horseless at the moment so do not know what his rate would be for a student horse but almost all of the horses on the property live out a lot of the time so I can't imagine it would be ridiculous.

                      Anyway, this is just my .2; as a young person with a lot of drive but not a lot of support being a WS is my best bet, and as much as I may want to work for Boyd, it's not going to happen.

                      Comment


                      • #91
                        I worked for incredible horsemen who were not big names, catch rode, groomed and galloped TBs and learned a ton because I was not ever in a position to be a working student. My parents quit footing the bill when I was 14. I sent horses with working students to BNTs in 1999-2002. They all paid something. Yes, some working students are exploited. I have not seen that to be the case at Boyd's.
                        OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!

                        Comment


                        • #92
                          Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                          Jealoushe

                          I was never a WS as I couldn't afford it. But I still worked and rode for some top top BNT. How. By working as a groom and working my way up. Showing I was interested in learning and taking every opportunity that came my way. Those doors opened as I was out there and people got to know me. If you are not out there, strangers are not typically going to go out of their way to help you.

                          That was my point.

                          Being a WS is NOT the only way. But I still have no issue with Boyd or others who offer this sort of "job." It's one way to see who really has the desire and the right kind of attitude before investing too much time helping someone they don't
                          know. If I couldn't afford to be a WS (and I never could), I would find a paying groom position, and get out there and meet more people, including people like Boyd. Show a positive attitude, interest in learning and watch for those opportunities to learn. As people get to know you, they are more willing to give you more opportunities. But those type of opportunities will NEVER be advertised.

                          I would say my positions in the UK/Ireland were groom/rider positions and not working student positions but I did get a lot of experience from some top level instruction.

                          I guess I just find it frustrating that the big names in North America don't offer the groom/rider positions for people who have horses. Almost all of the spots I have seen are non riding and/or do not have room for a horse.

                          My frustrations are more for the common theme I am seeing and not the Martins in particular.
                          Fillys By Vibank - 2017 Road to RRP
                          https://www.youtube.com/user/jealoushe

                          Comment


                          • #93
                            I really think the question is more the extraordinarily high cost to have your own horse with you in Aiken, as well as charging for shared housing. I figured the WS would be paying $35 per day board for 92 days--that's $3220 for the 92 days or $1073 per month. Is that anywhere near the cost of board in Aiken in the winter? How does that figure compare with Aiken? But he says that board will actually cost with his $15 per day contribution is $4600 for 92 days or 1533.33 per month. How does that figure compare with Aiken? (I haven't discounted anything for the fact that February only has 28 days). As someone said, if the difference between $1800 training board with BM riding your horse 20 times per month is less than $300 per month, either he will be riding the WS horse some or he only charges $15 per ride on the Training Board horse.

                            So now you have a "WS" working 10-12 hours per day 7 days a week for 92 days to pay off board and lessons. That's a minimum of 920 hours of work. At minimum wage WITHOUT time and half, that would be $6670 over the 92 days. At $100 per hour for lessons, if that's his private lesson rate (and he could well charge more), that would be 66.7 PRIVATE lessons during the 92 days--or 22 lessons per month. With minimum wage and time and a half all hours over 40 go for $10.80. Slightly less than 550 of the 920 hours are at $7.25 and would be $ 3987.50; the other 370 are at 10.80 per hour. That $3996 for 13 weeks. So an employee would get $7983.50 if she were being paid minimum wage. Then you have the employer's contributions to unemployment insurance and payroll tax for Social Security and Medicare. Therefore the number of lessons would need to increase to cover the extra half time and the extra payroll taxes that he's saving. Take the $1380 he claims he'll be kicking on the alleged $50 per day board cost, and you're still talking about $6600 his lessons and "training" for three months would need to be valued at to equal a fair exchange--at minimum wage.

                            AND one presumes, perhaps wrongly, that a person with experience and knowledge would make more than minimum wage. Heck, I pay $10 per hour to a general handyman and actually feel guilty about it much of the time.
                            "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                            Thread killer Extraordinaire

                            Comment


                            • #94
                              Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
                              I really think the question is more the extraordinarily high cost to have your own horse with you in Aiken, as well as charging for shared housing..
                              ummm why would you bother with taking your own horse? they don't teach you as much as 10 head of different lesson horses...

                              Tamara
                              Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                              I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

                              Comment


                              • #95
                                If you don't take a horse, then he's not contributing the $15 per day difference that he is claiming between the $35 per day and his $50 per day charge. So then he'd have to provide almost $8000 in value over the 92 days for the student to break "even". Let's just say his lessons are worth $400 per week; for 13 weeks, that works out to $5200. The student needs another $2800 of value to break even.
                                "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                                Thread killer Extraordinaire

                                Comment


                                • #96
                                  Being an adult with a real job, I'm not ever going to be applying for this, or probably ever even riding at a level where it would be worth it. If I was going to shell out that kind of money, it would be for three months intensive full-training, sans gruntwork.

                                  That said, I would assume that many/most of those who would be interested in applying and riding at the level appropriate to do so, are probably already paying more money than they'd be required to pay for this each month for full training board somewhere. (At least this would be the assumption I'd make coming from a hunterland background, perhaps not so much the case with eventers.) From that point of view, it might be a bargain for someone who can afford full training regularly, but can't quite afford to go south for the winter.

                                  It might not be a deal worth taking with anyone, but with an elite level trainer, I can see how it would be worthwhile for someone who wants to go on to work/ride in the upper eschelon of the industry.
                                  A Year In the Saddle

                                  Comment


                                  • #97
                                    Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
                                    If you don't take a horse, then he's not contributing the $15 per day difference that he is claiming between the $35 per day and his $50 per day charge. So then he'd have to provide almost $8000 in value over the 92 days for the student to break "even". Let's just say his lessons are worth $400 per week; for 13 weeks, that works out to $5200. The student needs another $2800 of value to break even.
                                    well me personally I'd not waste time with any of my own stock (assuming I had one)

                                    I'm there to learn to be better not get "free" training for my personal riding horse

                                    Tamara
                                    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                                    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

                                    Comment


                                    • #98
                                      I'm a little bumfuzzled by all the drama over this?

                                      I didn't read anything in Boyd's ad that is different than I would expect for a WS position at that level? To be at the barn of the biggest of the big dogs, you pay for the privelege, it's ALWAYS been that way. Denny, Bruce, Mike, etc. those WS paid to be there. (and in fact I remember a great piece Bruce wrote back in the dark ages for Practical Horseman about the difference between a WS and a worker, and why he charged for one.)

                                      Now, in my experience, a WS who shows the necessary initiative, work ethic and skill, will often be offered or moved to a more financially equitable situation fairly quickly. But as someone who did a lot of interviewing, hiring, and yes, firing, at a biggish barn, I can tell you, the people who deserve to be paid for their work are not exactly thick upon the ground. Sorry, but that's reality. And if the BM or trainer has to hold someone's hand every minute of the day, they're not going to pay them for the privelege. But barns WANT long term, good, help, and if you prove your worth, a smart barn will cling to you like a remora clings to a shark.

                                      Now, there are plenty of trainers who take on WS, that either charge them nothing including housing, or even a small stipend. But they aren't the ones with three horses on the training list. They are like me.

                                      So if you are not in a financial position to take THIS offer from someone like Boyd, what can you do? The answer is you start as a WS for someone small, and work your way up (within that barn, and then at other barns), until you have the experience necessary to take a paying job with someone you want to work with. This will take a long time, but it CAN be done. One of my former WS is applying for a paid job with a VBNT right now. She was with me for 2 years, and then moved to another barn for the last 2 years. She's now ready to bring skills to the table to be of value for someone at that level. Before this, she was not.

                                      I will also add, when looking at WS now for my barn, the "package" that I offer does depend a lot on what the person wants to get out of the experience and what they are bringing to the table. The person who wants to come for three weeks, and have the weekends off, and oh yeah has to have every day end at 4:00 because they have summer school? Honestly, yeah, I'll probably charge that person $10 a day to cover their horses food. The person who is coming for a year, and is looking to work six days a week, and wants this as a career? They might get all their stuff for free and a small stipend.

                                      I worked for my horses pretty much my whole life. I started as a teen age working student, became a paid member of staff at that barn, worked my way up to teaching all the kid lessons, then up to teaching adult and kid lessons and having a few training horses that were "mine". Then I moved to the east coast, and started again as a groom, then a baby starter, then an instructor, and so on, until I was managing a BNT barn, and riding horses and teaching for them. Now I have my own business. I am 38 (as in, I'm not 25). Oh yeah, I also got a college degree, and have worked outside the horse world in there too.

                                      You can get the education with out the finances. But it does require dedication, and most of all PATIENCE. Financial backing is required for certain things: making it to NAYRC, WS position with VBNT in your college years, being a 16 year old phenom, etc. etc. However NONE of those things have any bearing on whether or not you can become an equine professional, and you do not need extensive financial backing to have a career in the horse world.
                                      Phoenix Farm ~ Breeding-Training-Sales
                                      Eventing, Dressage, Young Horses
                                      www.phoenixsporthorses.com
                                      Check out my new blog: http://califcountrymom.blogspot.com

                                      Comment


                                      • #99
                                        Originally posted by Tamara in TN View Post
                                        ummm why would you bother with taking your own horse? they don't teach you as much as 10 head of different lesson horses...

                                        Tamara
                                        I really doubt Boyd has lesson horses. I don't know of any programs even approaching that level that do. Additionally, most everything there is, I suspect, there for Boyd to ride. If you demonstrate yourself to be really competent in the saddle, you might get to tack walk or do fitness work. This isn't something to fault Boyd for - if someone is paying his rates, they're paying for him to ride. So, to learn and get better, you'd need to ride your own.

                                        Frankly, and having seen working students from a few BNTs (including Boyd) - not everyone is competent and deserves more compensation. They're ok for the summer, whatever, but it honestly takes more than just hard work to be good at grooming multiple horses at a CCI. The ones that prove their mettle (if in the right place at the right time) end up kept and with more of a living wage.

                                        Comment


                                        • I'm with PhoenixFarm... I don't get what the uproar is about.

                                          Boyd's offer is very much in line with all the other's I've seen. Not to mention, if this was an opportunity I wanted bad enough, but couldn't afford, then I'd spend the following year working my a$$ off and save save save. Then I'd contact Boyd to see if had any openings or knew of someone...
                                          You know you're a horse person when your mother, who has no grandchildren, gets cards addressed to Grandma, signed by the horses, cats, and dogs.

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