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How much do you pay your barn help?

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  • How much do you pay your barn help?

    What is the going rate for barn help? I have a farm located in the Midwest. Their duties would be to turn out, clean stalls and do some small chores around the barn. I have 7 retired horses so not much is done with them. Just curious.

  • #2
    The last barn I was at had about 18 horses and the BO paid $80/day for feeding, stalls and turnout. If the horses had been turned out the day before and the stalls weren’t wrecked it was definitely not 8 hours of work.

    I can’t speak for all employees at the barn before that, but they paid minimum hourly wage for the person that fed, turned out and readied the school horses. I did that job myself and did not think that was adequate compensation given all of the walking (very looong barn with tack, wash stalls and arena door at one end and turn out at the other, ~20 stalls in a single row) and scheduling difficulties of being expected to rotate turnout groups for 30-45 mins of turnout while completing chores and grooming/tacking horses for lessons at the same time.

    Comment


    • #3
      I've been at my current barn job for over 2 years, duties including (for 21 indoor horses and 5 outside) feeding, turnout/turn in, various barn chores, occasional med dispensing and wrapping. I get $14/hour, and its a 7 AM - 3:30 day, minus a half hour for lunch.
      Proud mother to Matt, a 18 year-old TB gelding.

      FOREVER

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      • #4
        If you want to keep decent staff, please pay a decent wage. A few dollars above minimum at least. Horses can be dangerous, and it is hard work You want someone with experience, who knows what they are doing? Pay them a decent wage.

        Comment


        • #5
          If you want to keep the same person / people coming regularly, round up.

          I worked at a farm (Sunday’s only) while I was in grad school. 7am-4pm about 20 horses. Feed, stalls, turnout (2 rotations), bring in, blanket and do some light chores (blow aisle, clean wash racks, tack up a horse). I did that almost every Sunday for 2 years and for $100 off my board. When she brought in outside help after I finished school and paid cash, it was closer to $75 per hour and there was a lot of turnover and a few no- shows.

          I worked at another farm - 4 horses, stalls, water, turnout or bring in and feed. Maybe 1.5 hours of work and I got $35 each time. But every time she called, I answered and showed up and did a good job.

          Im in Middle TN for reference.

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          • #6
            Weekend help is $10/hr independent contract. Our weekday ladies (two of them) get paid I think it’s now $12/hr - they both do morning and evening for approx. 32 horses (we have 17 stalls, the rest are young horses or retired that live outside). It’s usually a 6-7 hour shift per day.

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            • #7
              We are in Zone II and pay $15 to $17 an hour.

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              • #8
                $15/hr for stalls, feeding, turnout. Part time employee (2-3 hrs/day, M-F)
                A good man can make you feel sexy, strong, and able to take on the world.... oh, sorry.... that's wine...wine does that...

                http://elementfarm.blogspot.com/

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                • #9
                  $15/hr for weekend work... turn out / turn in / dump and fill waters for +/-50 horses. The regular guys very likely get more than that - and should as they do more work (feeding, mucking, maintenance, arena dragging, etc). Zone 7.

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                  • #10
                    $10 an hour for weekend work and feeding.
                    16 horses total on the property, 3 are self care, so only 13 head to care for.
                    Drop hay, grain and make sure water troughs are clean. Rake/sweep barn aisles. Feed chickens and bunnies.
                    11 of the 13 horses live outside year round, and the two who come in, are only in at night. So there are only two horses to bring in around 6pm and turn out around 9am. They are easy to catch and handle. Chores shouldn't take any longer than an hour to an hour and 15.

                    We pay per stall for stall cleaning. We pay $1.50 to turn over all bedding, replace bedding as needed and sweeping it all to the center of the stall. $2.00 to do the previous, as well as dumping/scrubbing water buckets. We found that hourly people waste time cleaning stalls to get paid more. Maybe it's our location but there are a lot of tire kickers out this way, even other experienced horse people have done this to us.

                    We do offer other things like cobwebbing, picking/watering/dragging the arena, picking the miniature horse dry lot, etc. for extra cash as well. We are located South of Detroit MI. "Downriver" if you will.

                    I’d rather ride on a Mustang, than in one.

                    BaileyAnn Neal

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                    • #11
                      The monday-Friday workers get $10/hr - drop hay and feed, stalls, turnout, blow the barn, sweep and rake, buckets, clean water troughs in paddocks, prep hay nets. They hose off horses after riding, tack walk/cool down training horses, help groom and tack, hand graze whoever needs, basic grooming. One more experienced worker drives the tractor, spreads manure, mows, and helps mend fences, gives meds. We have golf carts so getting around the property is super easy.

                      We have a hand who lives on the property, she gets a weekly salary and lives in a fifth wheel. She works Thursday-Monday. This is in central Florida.

                      i got paid 7,50/hr back in the mid-2000s to do stalls, buckets, and ride 4-5/day - and do performances. Slave wages, but I loved it.

                      Basic barn help is manual manual labor and fairly easy to master. A good groom is skilled labor and usually paid more (in my experience).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Wow, these rates seem low to me. I am in the southeast and have a small private barn - just 4 horses. I have a person come for morning chores (feed, muck, light grooming and turnout) which takes less than 2 hours. I pay $300/week and offer two weeks paid vacation.
                        **********
                        We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                        -PaulaEdwina

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                        • #13
                          I've worked in most barns I boarded in, on top of professionally.
                          One thing I always ask, especially when we're talking about dozens of horses: am I mucking out by myself or with a crew, and if a crew, how many?
                          I also want to know how I'm mucking out... is this by wheelbarrow loads, over hill and Dale to a heap somewhere miles away, via a tractor and spreader, or something in between?
                          ​​​​​​The details do matter.
                          Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014

                          http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/...m-a-sanctuary/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Angela Freda View Post
                            I've worked in most barns I boarded in, on top of professionally.
                            One thing I always ask, especially when we're talking about dozens of horses: am I mucking out by myself or with a crew, and if a crew, how many?
                            I also want to know how I'm mucking out... is this by wheelbarrow loads, over hill and Dale to a heap somewhere miles away, via a tractor and spreader, or something in between?
                            ​​​​​​The details do matter.
                            That is a really good point. I am lucky in that my farm is set up to be pretty efficient. The hay and shavings storage is in a separate building but it's just steps to the main barn and we muck directly into a spreader so no need to wheel it out to a muck pile.
                            **********
                            We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                            -PaulaEdwina

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Barn I was at for years until about 8 years ago, started full time staff at 10 an hour for the first 6 months with a raise to 12 an hour if they worked out. Modest annual raises up to 17. Week paid vacation first year. Two weeks vacay after that. After two years there was a paid personal day provision. Don’t know how many, 3 I think. Modest 401k and basic health plan at a group rate each employee could opt to pay for.

                              In other words regular employees. Eligible for state disability. Yes, it cost more to board there but it was worth the peace of mind. There was little turnover and almost no staff related drama. Select clients could work off expenses but only off lessons and show services not operating costs/ meaning the board, , and they had to record their actual hours and have the BM sign off on them, credit was $10 an hour. And they could be “fired” if they proved irresponsible.

                              Of course many barns can’t afford regular employees as their boarding clientele can not afford to pay for it.

                              For OP here, you need to define what kind of business you want to have and who your target boarder will be. Fewer, better paid workers treated as employees can often do more then more under the table, low paid workers or part time or barter clients can. Often end up more economical for BO and clients then paying for staff related screw ups like no water, skipped feeding, sick or injured horses. Think about it.

                              These days I would check references on anybody working for you and run a background check. Especially with kids in the barn. Barn help is not a place to cut costs.
                              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by fatappy View Post
                                . . .

                                I worked at a farm (Sunday’s only) while I was in grad school. 7am-4pm about 20 horses. Feed, stalls, turnout (2 rotations), bring in, blanket and do some light chores (blow aisle, clean wash racks, tack up a horse). I did that almost every Sunday for 2 years and for $100 off my board. When she brought in outside help after I finished school and paid cash, it was closer to $75 per hour and there was a lot of turnover and a few no- shows. . . .
                                .
                                Am I reading this correctly? You worked 4 Sundays per month, a full day with 20 horses and received a credit of $100 towards your board bill? This is $25 for a full day's work?

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  People who can afford 5 or 6 figure sums, or more, for a horse can afford to pay for professional, educated staff to look after them. That means a contract, employee benefits and a living wage at least. It is really odd that people are happy to pay staff peanuts but then express surprise at the poor care their animals receive.
                                  "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Like Lucas, I pay $300 for approx 15 hours. It may be high for some areas, but, when he is in town on Sat, he comes and mucks and feeds. And, last week, when I found my little doggie dead, Johnny was the first person I called. He was at my house in 15 minutes, gave me a hug and buried her with much love and care.

                                    And that kind of employee is priceless.
                                    "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism" https://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/c...lies/smile.gif

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Lord Helpus View Post
                                      Like Lucas, I pay $300 for approx 15 hours. It may be high for some areas, but, when he is in town on Sat, he comes and mucks and feeds. And, last week, when I found my little doggie dead, Johnny was the first person I called. He was at my house in 15 minutes, gave me a hug and buried her with much love and care.

                                      And that kind of employee is priceless.
                                      I'm so sorry about the loss of your little dog. And you are right about some employees being priceless and they deserve a living wage at the very least. It is too bad so few seem to feel that way.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Curious what everyone is paying show grooms vs regular barn help? Been out of horses for some time and not sure what to pay. Any advice would be appreciated.

                                        Also, curious if the rates above for barn help are including housing? That makes a big difference.

                                        Comment

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