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When did working student become title for UNPAID BARN SLAVE....

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  • Originally posted by Pennywell Bay View Post
    At the risk of "dating" myself age wise, I raise an eyebrow at some "kids" sense of entitlement, in this case the WS.

    The OP deal cited seems average, person is unknown, to the OP. I don't think that's really the point. You get board for your horses, lesson and experience you are looking for. If you "feel like a slave", don't do it. But for giggles, go price board at a farm that would offer a WS position, put in a private lesson - maybe add in an extra because if you're not a WS, you have to PAY to get the exposure and training. (Did they include housing? Doesn't matter..)

    I was a working student without the designation for a BNT- wait- no I was a paying customer who also mucked, groomed, went to shows , worked my ass off, and still paid my own way, for the most part. Sounds like I was taken advantage of? Eh, what I got back was ten-fold. A trainer who has "done me a solid" through my adult life: screening horses, giving me free evals ( that he charges $150 for clients), hooked up with other trainers if he could not go to a show I was at, the list goes on and on.

    Some of his true WS (you know, the ones who weren't boarders and wanted to do it as a career), went in to work for Beezy and get to travel internationally with her, hook up with the Chapots and go on to a career as a trainer and one who runs a lesson/ show barn. 3 kids who worked their asses off and it paid out for them. ( I chose a different path than going pro).

    Work ethic gets you farther in this business than a sense of entitlement.
    It's a mistake to equate a WS position with an entry-level job in the "real world." A better comparison would be an internship--you are there to apprentice, to gain skills under the watchful eye of someone whose reputation will be the first stop on the way to yours. Chances are if you're in a position to be contemplating this, you're already a bit "entitled" vis a vis the townies waiting tables!

    Back when I did it I was found humming the tunes from Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Cinderella" a lot . . . and it took less time than I thought to have my day as the belle of the ball!

    Expect nothing, work hard and show sincerity. Hey, you never know . . . !

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    • Originally posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
      It's a mistake to equate a WS position with an entry-level job in the "real world." A better comparison would be an internship--you are there to apprentice, to gain skills under the watchful eye of someone whose reputation will be the first stop on the way to yours. Chances are if you're in a position to be contemplating this, you're already a bit "entitled" vis a vis the townies waiting tables!

      Back when I did it I was found humming the tunes from Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Cinderella" a lot . . . and it took less time than I thought to have my day as the belle of the ball!

      Expect nothing, work hard and show sincerity. Hey, you never know . . . !
      I never equated WS to a job in the real world.
      Come to the dark side, we have cookies

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      • Originally posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
        It's a mistake to equate a WS position with an entry-level job in the "real world." A better comparison would be an internship--you are there to apprentice, to gain skills under the watchful eye of someone whose reputation will be the first stop on the way to yours. Chances are if you're in a position to be contemplating this, you're already a bit "entitled" vis a vis the townies waiting tables!

        Back when I did it I was found humming the tunes from Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Cinderella" a lot . . . and it took less time than I thought to have my day as the belle of the ball!

        Expect nothing, work hard and show sincerity. Hey, you never know . . . !
        Truly - as someone who has sponsored many internships and also has observed many WS students positions - they are not the same. Most internships give students (or recent graduates) their first or at least early experience in the workforce. The work they perform is generally highly supervised. If they have more experience they become employees rather than interns.

        On the other hand, most of the WS I have observed (especially those at BNT or MNT) come to the job with quite a bit of experience in certain aspects of the horse world. Most of the WS I have observed can among other things 1) muck a stall 2) administer meds 3) provide basic horse care including caring for wounds and wrapping, 4) turnout, 5) lunge, 6) cool out a horse, 7) prepare feed -- many can also do 7)basic barn management including coordinating vet and farrier visits. Not saying that all WS have these skills but many do. These bring real value to the barn. Certainly, they have more advantages than the townies waiting tables but most have supported their horse interest by the the things mentioned above (and most started doing so by age 12 or so).

        The kinds of WS described above have real value in a barn -- and while they take the job to gain experience and training they could not otherwise afford -- the value they bring should be recognized as well.

        Sort of tired hearing about these types of WS being referred to as "entitled". A basic premise is that you get what you pay for when you hire people. Pay is a broad based concept - it includes things like housing, a stall, instruction and riding time. When the exchange is fair it works for everyone. When it doesn't, sometimes its a WS who does not want to work (they should be fired) and sometimes its a trainer who wants something for nothing.

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        • [QUOTE=loshad;6784671]This would be fraud.

          Generally speaking, in order to collect benefits, you must have lost your job and be unable to find another even though you are looking (generally speaking, you must prove that you are making every effort to find work).

          It is not The Man's job to subsidize a volunteer experience.


          Actually, there is no prohibition against collecting unemployment benefits while doing volunteer work. If you are collecting unemployment benefits you must be looking for paid work, making at least 5 job search efforts a week, and available and able to work. So, if you are volunteering at a barn but not receiving any income, you could legitimately collect unemployment benefits if you are actively looking for work, don't turn down any job offer or referral and are available to work. Available means if you are offered a job, you are available to accept it.

          Many career counselors encourage unemployed persons to volunteer as a means of networking while seeking employment. A friend of mine was recently offered a paid position with a not-for-profit agency that she had volunteered with over the past year.

          If you are eligible for unemployment benefits you can legitimately work part time so long as you report the hours worked and your income. So, if you are eligible to collect $300 a week in unemployment benefits and you work 10 hours in a given week earning $10 per hour, your unemployment benefits are reduced by your earnings ($300 - $100).

          The issue would be how the unemployment office would view the benefits you receive in exchange for the unpaid work that you perform. I'm not sure if the value of the housing you receive or horse board would factor into the equation. To collect unemployment benefits you must report all earned income (wages, tips) but I don't know if housing would count.

          The question that no one has addressed in this thread is how much are trainers paying their grooms to perform many of the same tasks? Around here grooms earn between $350 and $400 per week plus crappy housing. If the working student is being asked to perform the same tasks in essence as the grooms (grooming, mucking out stalls, tacking up horses) shouldn't working students earn roughly the same amount of money, minus the cost of horse board if the working student is allowed to keep one horse?
          Last edited by Prime Time Rider; Mar. 24, 2013, 07:12 PM.

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