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

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

    Anyone else see the beating he's taking???



    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????


    "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

  • #2
    Thirty years ago, the Wage and Hour People would have been all over situations like this like a Guinea Hen on a tick. It would have been completely illegal, unless the "teacher" can show that the lessons/training were the equivalent of at least a full time minimum wage job with hours over 40 calculated at time and half.

    Reckon y'all can see where I'm coming from.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire


    • #3
      I saw it when the post went up. Sounds like an awesome opportunity for someone who has saved their pennies and is young and energetic enough to still want to ride after working those long hours.

      The person who complained is not really in their target demographic. Neither am I -- while I theoretically could afford it, no way would I survive 6-7 long days of manual labor!

      ETA re: vineyridge's comment... I pretty much look at it as a volunteer position. The concept of working off one's lessons notwithstanding, you're not really getting paid at all -- in fact you're paying for the privilege of being there.
      ... and Patrick


      • #4
        Have not looked at all the comments... But I can say his situation is not unique. Many of the BNTs charge for their "working student" positions. I dunno, maybe they should call them something else -- like, tenant, client, or just "student" -- to avoid confusion?

        Having had a few WS positions and spent the last few years casually keeping an ear to the ground, I can say that yeah, most of those gigs are geared towards the kids with a bankroll. I was NOT funded by Bank of Mom, but had a well-paying job for a few years before I tried my luck, and I ended up depleting my savings and running up a credit card bill in order to feed myself and my horse. Not my brightest move, but at the time, I had rather grand delusions. That said, it might have worked out better if I didn't have my own horse at the time.

        I did have to laugh at the comment that claims they weren't rich, only hard-working... I worked alongside kids whose parents spent five- or six-digits per year on their endeavors, and most of them did not consider themselves "rich," either.

        It doesn't seem fair but that's the sport these days. If you can't afford it or don't agree with it, there's a simple solution: don't apply, and scroll past.
        Member of the Standardbreds with Saddles Clique!
        They're not just for racing!


        • #5
          Just to be clear, is it $35/day for a dry stall?


          • #6
            I guess I don't really see what the big deal is. Any working student position with a legitimate BNT is going to cost you a fair chunk of change. Boyd is just being somewhat upfront about it. That said, I think any potential students should ask lots of questions - what constitutes extremely long hours? Are they really proposing working 7 hours a day, each with those extremely long hours? How many lessons? What are the costs involved for events during that period?

            Depending on how the answers to those questions (and others) shake out, it could be a good opportunity for someone. Just not a cheap one.

            I also don't think those blog comments are so horrible. It was basically one person who later acknowledged that her comments were coming from her own frustrations and not really related to the position.

            The person who complained is not really in their target demographic. Neither am I -- while I theoretically could afford it, no way would I survive 6-7 long days of manual labor!
            Agreed! I don't think I would actually end up having the necessary energy to ride well and actually learn after that sort of day. Probably would be ok once I got used to it, but with only 3 months....better off just paying for the lessons!


            • #7
              Now, a lot of people seem to be forgetting that many other jobs and professions have a period of apprenticeship/internship which are unpaid. Often these positions are hotly contested!

              I know someone who did about 5 years of WS (some paid, some not) gigs - and spent a lot of money - she and her parents considered it her "horse university" in preparation for a full-time career as a horse professional.

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


              • #8
                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.
                I was a working student for a trainer who's great, and well known, just not Boyd, and I was paying $500 per horse per month plus $300 for housing and some extra fees.
                An opportunity like this is absolutely worth it, and the comments on his post are just ridiculous.


                • #9
                  I don't think they are ridiculous comments at all and I agree with viney. It is expensive and it is certainly not open to everyone. It is also not true when people stump out "oh but if you want it bad enough, you can make it work." Well, that's just nonsense -- the truth is, it's a rather expensive type of camp for very young people. Those with other responsibilities need not apply. I would not call that either good or bad, it just is what it is. There is certainly more than one path to great horsemanship and many that DON'T involve abject poverty and slave labour, but if you have bank and you want to go this route, then knock yourself out. Just don't claim it is some equal opportunity or the only road to Rome.
                  Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by wildlifer View Post
                    I don't think they are ridiculous comments at all and I agree with viney. It is expensive and it is certainly not open to everyone. It is also not true when people stump out "oh but if you want it bad enough, you can make it work." Well, that's just nonsense -- the truth is, it's a rather expensive type of camp for very young people. Those with other responsibilities need not apply. I would not call that either good or bad, it just is what it is. There is certainly more than one path to great horsemanship and many that DON'T involve abject poverty and slave labour, but if you have bank and you want to go this route, then knock yourself out. Just don't claim it is some equal opportunity or the only road to Rome.
                    I don't think anyone is claiming that its "equal opportunity". Obviously, that sort of thing is easier if you are young, have no dependents and have someone supporting you financially. Most of those that have kids/jobs etc probably wouldn't be able to pursue this sort of opportunity even if it were free. I don't have kids, but I think I can take a guess how a 3 month leave of absence would go over in my place of employment. Um, like a lead balloon basically.

                    But even then, if I really wanted it...I could make it happen. Not this year, but next year or the year after. I could tuck money away, work out some arrangement with my work or plan to quit my job and find another. None of those options make sense for me and my career but if I wanted it badly enough, I could work toward a working student position with a BNT as a goal.

                    If I was still a student or young adult, I could work for a year to save up the money for a 3 month stint. I graduated high school a semester early to sock money away so I could afford to keep my horse while I was in university. I could have taken those same steps and put the money toward a working student position. In fact, I often wish I would have. I think I was a bit too rushed to get through school and get a job so I could better afford horses. I didn't realize at the time that the adult responsibilities that go hand-in-hand with a career also mean that horses are still hard to afford (after mortgage, utilities, etc) and that finding time to ride would become an epic battle.


                    • #11
                      What a great opportunity! Obviously, those "grumbling" have no idea what it is to pursue a career in horses, or even the ambition to further oneself in a chosen hobby path.

                      It takes work, dedicated work, attention to detail, and passion! Without those things, one would simply be going through the motions without the heartbeat to their actions.

                      Caring for horses 6-7hrs a day is a cakewalk (to the pro's).
                      Theres plenty of time to attend to oneself, ones horses and still find time for outside *work*...as suggested, braiding, clipping, so many options! When folks see a person willing to be part of the whole, it all falls into place.

                      This is a chance to walk away with a once in a lifetime experience -- but then, I guess its all in how you look at Life.
                      IN GOD WE TRUST
                      OTTB's ready to show/event/jumpers. Track ponies for perfect trail partners.


                      • #12
                        Not entirely sure that wage & hour wouldn't be interested in it today, Viney...

                        From a business standpoint, I can see it. Make money while your name's in lights, and build relationships with people who're going to help you fund your riding. Back in the day, anyway, you paid to be a w/s for Denny.

                        I expect there are still w/s positions out there with very good trainers where you can bring your horse, live there, work your butt off and learn a ton, without paying for the privilege. I could be wrong - it's been a long time since I was in that market. These weren't slacker trainers - one of them brought a friend and her horse from P to Rolex ***.

                        Maybe I'd be more offended if it were the only option.


                        • #13
                          The comment from "Sally" is me. I got a little upset with some of the comments about WS jobs only being for the rich. I'm sorry, but that's not the case at all. It's a very sore subject for me so I had to say something. I would kill to work for Boyd, and I would have applied had it not been for the fact that I have not saved enough yet for my WS ambitions.
                          "Lord if we should fall, my horse and I, please pick my horse up first."



                          • #14
                            Bull Hockey. Any stable has to have barn chores done. The work is not optional. And one supposes that BNT and BO aren't going to be the ones out there mucking stalls, etc. They can get the work done one of three ways--they can hire someone in the US legally and comply with wage and hour laws, or they can hire illegals and comply or not, or they can run what has been well described as "a camp" for rich, young people who aren't going to be trying to support themselves or anyone else during the experience. It's a lot better for the bottom line to get paid to let someone to do your dirty work than to have to do it yourself or PAY someone to do it.

                            In most cases, this system is just exploitation of a willing and free labor supply in exchange for some coaching and training. The period is so short than the WSs cannot learn "the profession". It has nothing to do with a real internship or apprenticeship which often last for years--and the intern and apprentices are paid a modest living wage that complies with Wage and Hour Standards--thinking here of medical internships and craft apprenticeships.
                            "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                            Thread killer Extraordinaire


                            • #15
                              Keep in mind that this position has the option to extend. I began as a WS for a BNT and after my 3 month stint, it turned into a PAID position. Granted, I came along at the right time and got really, really lucky; however, for the right person, I wouldn't put it past Boyd to hand out priviledges for hard working people. I was pretty high on myself from coming out of another position, where I managed the WS's and barn, and thought I was pretty hot stuff. But, I got an interview and once my foot was in the door, I worked my butt off and was in. I saved for a while before going, ate like crap, and didn't go anywhere other than work. I had to ask for my first paycheque in advance, so I could drive back from Aiken at the end of the winter season - I was flat broke! Looking back, it was entirely worth it, but I wish that I had stayed longer. My horse ended up going on 1+ year of stall rest shortly after I began working there. I moved him to a cheap stable nearby, so I could use my 'one free stall' for a young horse. I would be up at the crack of dawn to hand walk my stall rest boy, hurry back in time to start work at BNT's barn, go again to hand walk after work, then rush off to a third barn to teach lesson kids to help cover his vet expenses. I was plain burnt out and feeling sorry for myself that my boy was on stall rest, but if I could go back and do it again, I would slap a smile on my face and be grateful just to be there!

                              Having been in that position, I would stress that it's designed for a rider who wants to build a career in horses OR has the money to be there for 3 months. Look at Caitlin Silliman - she began as a WS for Silva, paying her way. Now look where she is!
                              Last edited by *Trinity*; Nov. 23, 2011, 05:08 PM.


                              • #16
                                It does seem like "Amy," the first critical poster, has come back and apologized multiple times for her first comment... and people are bashing her now more than they are bashing Boyd. Neither deserve it.

                                I agree, it's a great opportunity for someone with the resources to pursue it. And not a lot of people will have those resources. There is nothing wrong with that.
                                You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                                • #17
                                  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 recommend anyone who wants to learn from a master look at Bill Levett because he provides you with a horse to compete and pays all competition costs, small wage and accommodation! http://www.billlevett.com/team-levet...-opportunities

                                  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.
                                  The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.


                                  • #18
                                    A fine example of think twice send once. . .

                                    "So paying in horse boarding what I pay in my mortgage payment for a 15 acre farm is so far out of my realm of reality. . . "

                                    Can we trade mortgages?



                                    • #19
                                      It's not a job, it's an educational opportunity, and needs to be viewed as such...
                                      "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."


                                      • #20
                                        If you can't afford it, don't do it - but don't grumble about those who can!