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Working Students What Do You Pay?

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  • Working Students What Do You Pay?

    I would be interested to know what working students pay to be able to work for a BNT. I believe it usually involves horse's board and probably student's housing, but wanted to know what else, and what you get in return for being a working student.

  • #2
    I am not a BNT! But I usually have a working student, especially in summer months. I provide housing (a room) and board, if desired, for one horse (pasture board). The WS gets lessons, showing expenses on any horses I ask them to show paid for, and if they ride a sales horse that sells I pay them a small amount from the sale. Otherwise there is no "pay" per se.


    • #3
      What is a "BNT"????


      • #4
        Big Name Trainer

        I paid $20/day at one location - that covered a room for myself and board for one horse. I supplied my own transportation and food. Horse's feed was covered. I got lots of mini lessons whenever BNT and I were riding at the same time. Also scheduled private lessons for myself on occasion, at no cost.

        At the second place I was a WS, room and board was provided for both myself and my horse as well as regular lessons.

        It really depends on who you want to work for - generally speaking, I'd say that not quite so BNTs will generally be more economical. The first rider I worked for was a world champion and multiple time Olympian. The second has been running Advanced for years, but hasn't been on any teams.


        • #5
          I had an awesome working student position... worked for two young, but very good horsewomen, in the heart of eventing country. I got lessons, one horse's board and my room paid for (in addition to trailering to events). I got to sit on alot of amazing horseflesh, audit many lessons, groom at top competitions, and be in the heart of it all. I didn't 'pay' anything, but did have my own transporation and had to pay for my meals and entry fees on my horse (of course).

          I ended up doing some odd jobs like riding their client's horses when they were out of town, grooming for a polo player, etc... to help earn some money while I was there.


          • Original Poster

            So if I understand correctly, one usually receives board for one horse, room for student and sometime board, and lessons? How many lessons per week? Thanks


            • #7
              Originally posted by SLR View Post
              So if I understand correctly, one usually receives board for one horse, room for student and sometime board, and lessons? How many lessons per week? Thanks

              Nope. There is no usual. It is whatever the deal is for that trainer. Many will
              require you pay board although
              often at a discounted rate. If you are interested in being a WS, decide who you want to learn from and ask what their WS entails. You are there to learn from them. Not have them give you some great deal.
              ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


              • #8
                Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                Nope. There is no usual. It is whatever the deal is for that trainer. Many will
                require you pay board although
                often at a discounted rate. If you are interested in being a WS, decide who you want to learn from and ask what their WS entails. You are there to learn from them. Not have them give you some great deal.


                • #9
                  The answer to your question is the ever popular: it depends. Lol. The situation varies from one WS position to another.
                  Different Times Equestrian Ventures at Hidden Spring Ranch


                  • #10
                    At the last working student position I did (trainer was well known in our area, but not super famous at all) I got board for my horse, a lesson most days of the week, and a room in the trainer's house.

                    I was in charge of buying groceries for my breakfast and lunch, but we always had dinner as a 'family'. Whenever we traveled somewhere when my horse was in the trailer, I chipped in on gas
                    Cascadia- OTTB mare. 04/04-05/10
                    If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever


                    • Original Poster

                      Thanks all ,but let me rephrase. In your experience as a working student, what did you pay for and what did you receive in exchange for your work? in terms of lessons, coaching, etc., not intangibles.


                      • #12
                        I have done working student "stints" with a few people. Basically, due to my budget, I could not pay a per day fee, so I worked something out with the trainer to where I got room, board for the horse. I had to pay for horse's feed, and my feed, etc. I got at least one lesson a day- sometimes one on my horse, sometimes it was one on her horse. Sometimes It would be a lesson and then half of one on another. I got lots of saddle time. Normally the trainer did have WS pay about $20 a day, but she knew that it was not an option for me, so we worked it out. Sometimes trainers are willing to help you out if they know the desire to learn and work outweighs the money in the bank.
                        GO TARHEELS!


                        • #13
                          Board (private paddock + stable at night)
                          Stable Cleaned
                          Feed and supplements
                          Board for WS
                          Transport to events

                          In return this WS rides at a high level and can value add to horses.
                          She pays competition entries, and contributes to the household's food supplies. She pays for outside lessons (ie. specialist dressage). Works very hard at events (and also competes herself.)


                          • #14
                            I have been a WS for several trainers. Some I need to pay my board but spend most of my WS time in the saddle or working with the horses. Some include board for me and my horse, but I do a lot more work, stall cleaning, tack cleaning, sweeping the barn , then riding. I enjoyed most WS opportunities. One was not so good. I do believe that the more you know/ can do, the more valuable you are. If you are a novice eventer that gets her lessons inconsistently from a local trainer then be prepared to pay to work for a BNT. If you are a serious competitor that works closely with a reputable upper level rider, then a free WS position is more likely to open up to you.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SLR View Post
                              Thanks all ,but let me rephrase. In your experience as a working student, what did you pay for and what did you receive in exchange for your work? in terms of lessons, coaching, etc., not intangibles.

                              Personally...If this is what you are concerned about with a WS position...don't do it. You will be miserable. Being a WS isn't about getting X in exchange for X. It is about YOU giving and YOU making the effort to learn....it is ALL about the intangibles. You will get out of it what you put into it.

                              MOST trainers I know dislike WS positions....really dislike them. They would rather have employees that they pay....and clients that pay them...so if you are WS, it is usually because they view this as a way to give back to the sport and give an individual some additional knowledge....and it is often only worth it to them if they get some cheap labor out of it.

                              If your goal is to improve your riding on your own horse....go get a paying job (waiting tables or what ever) and pay for lessons. If what you want is to learn about what it is like to run a barn, train horses for a living....and learn the "program" of a trainer you respect....then you call that trainer, ask them if they offer any WS positions and what the details are and see if it is something you can do. Don't be concerned with whether their deal is like other deals.....it is the deal that they offer and see if it is something you can afford to do or not.

                              It is generally more about what YOU have to offer them to give you this opportunity.

                              If you are a trainer trying to decide what to offer a WS....that is a different question. But again...I don't think I've ever seen two WS positions that were the same (I was one a few times and have known tons of them)....and I don't think I could ever say that there is a typical program. A lot depends on who the trainer is and the individual WS and the skills that they arrive with (whether they are an asset or a PITA).
                              ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                              • #16
                                I cannot stress enough how right bornfreenowexpensive is. She could have taken the words out of my coach's mouth. (Said coach has been more than generous with me even though she strongly disliked even having WS - and it took me a while to go from the OP's point of view, to understanding the BNT's point of view and REALLY seeing what I "got out of being a WS" and what that cost the BNT in terms of time, money and effort.)

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


                                • #17
                                  I think most positions include "working off" your board and lessons. You usually get to do schooling rides on client horses, which can be fun. And lots of odd jobs around the barn. Bigger trainers often offer "bunk style" houses for 3-4 students at a time. You basically get to learn the industry from the inside.
                                  Rural Property Specialist
                                  Keller Williams Realtors

                                  Email Me for Horse Property!


                                  • #18
                                    I had the best WS opportuinity in the world!!! She taught me SO much!!!

                                    The position included a barn apartment for me, full board for 1 horse and pasture board for my retired horse (including feed), 5 lessons per week and coaching at events.

                                    I was responsible for my own food, I brought my car so I had my own transporation, entry fees at shows, my portion of gas for trailering and working 40+ hours per week in addition to grooming when at shows.

                                    It was hard work, but TOTALLY worth it. I was able to take so many lessons that the improvement came really quick. I was able to audit several lessons and clinics and grooming for her really provided me with an understanding of how things worked on at home can be applied to the shows.

                                    Unfortunaley, I had to return to the real world, and actually work an 8-5 job. These horses are expensive! I would gladly go back for another WS opportunity!!!

                                    One tip: Make sure you check the person out thoroughly before committing to actually living/working with them for an extended time period. See if it's possible for you to come and observe/work for a few days prior to actually moving there. That way, you can get an idea of what your actual role is there, and if you really would be interested in making a commitment. Sometimes people's personality conflicts don't allow them to work together harmoniously.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      First off let me say the OP doesn't have a point of view. And thanks to everyone who replied with their experience. Working student threads have been done to death. I'm sorry, but I thought my question was a simple one. I get all the great things that one learns, and how taxing it is for the trainer to have one of them around. Just wanted to know monetarily what have you paid to be a working student and in exchange for your work what did you tangibly receive? Just a note, its not for me. I'm an old lady.


                                      • #20
                                        Well in that case, I will reply by saying that the specific details are between me & the BNT. Probably the best thing for a potential WS to do would be to call up someone she knows who has been a WS, or even through the YRs program, and ask people personally. She may get answers that are more specific to the area she is looking in or to the people she is considering working for.

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