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I swear some people looking for farm help are smoking CRACK

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  • I swear some people looking for farm help are smoking CRACK

    One ad that just came up today is taking care of a 35 stall barn with currently 17 horses, in exchange for board for 1 horse, a one room apt, and $400 a MONTH.... Good luck with that one...

    And that's 6 days a week 11 hour days with a 1-2 hour lunch break.
    " iCOTH " window/bumper stickers. Wood Routed Stall and Farm Signs
    http://www.bluemooncustomsigns.com

  • #2
    Huh. That is extremely reasonable for someone out of HS if you ask me. I'd jump at that if I was a freshly graduated senior wanting to take some time to improve my riding and working repertoire.

    TBH, when I graduated HS I went to work for a BNT in VT. My parents paid BNT 400$ a month for me to "rent" his tiny apt above the barn. In exchange, I worked 13-15hrs a day every day and "worked" off keeping my horse there. I got lessons a few times a week, with some lessons from his assistant trainer. I wasn't paid and my parents were paying BNT $$ to basically let me work on his farm in exchange for lessons.

    It was a win/win all around, but totally unfair for anyone who is trying to *make* a living.

    In my area, I see people who offer living quarters and board in exchange for work, but NO wages. At least these people are PAYING something, even if it's pennies to most horse people..
    AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Beowolf

      The difference is you said BNT, that makes it a learning experience, Not a barn slave... Huge difference...
      " iCOTH " window/bumper stickers. Wood Routed Stall and Farm Signs
      http://www.bluemooncustomsigns.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Caring for 17 horses, taking 20 min per stall (assuming they are stalled, is only about 5.67 hrs a day. Add another hr per day for feeding/turnout, and it is 6.67 hrs.
        Depending on cost of board in the area, that could be worth 400-1000. mo. Depending on cost of housing add another 300-800. plus the salary. So they are actually receiving 1100-2200. mo in benefits. And there is still time for them to attend college night classes, or have a part time evening job. Sounds like a pretty good deal for a student. Not a job for someone supporting a family of 4 on their own, and making car pmts on 2 cars, but the right person may find it works at that stage of their life.

        Comment


        • #5
          My guess is they have found this to be possible in the past, so are continuing with the same offer. Also possible the wage goes up with time on the job. Jobs that require little/no formal education and possibly a high job satisfaction level (able to ride and keep horse) can take advantage of the poor job market and offer low remuneration. I imagine the wage will change if they can't find someone, and if they can then why not?
          Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

          Comment


          • #6
            I agree, $400 a month means $100 per week which is unsustainable even if you have a free apartment.

            Gas, food, phone, cable, car payments, farrier, other horse bills etc. $100/week isn't sustainable ESPECIALLY if they are requiring you to work 6 days a week 11 hour days.

            The barns around here that offer accomodations generally pay an additional $250-$500 per week (plus free board/lessons on one horse).
            Last edited by SquishTheBunny; Jan. 12, 2014, 07:53 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              It is unreal the jobs out there that pay so little there is so much work involved with maybe a room in the hayloft!They usually get what you pay for!Why do people think they can do this is ridiculous!

              Comment


              • #8
                and what about health insurance? I can't imagine doing anything in the equestrian industry without it, whether I was in it full time or just riding my one horse.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think this is the HUGE disconnect you see with people on the OT forums. In my mind, this is an entry level job for a teen young adult that is taking college classes to get the education to get a job that will lead to a career. This isn't a CAREER. The people on here that are "OMG! How can you pay for car pmts, cable, etc?!" are looking at this being a career that will allow you to sustain yourself solely on the income received, including having a car pmt.

                  Sure, lets pay him 20.00 hr plus health ins and watch your board rates triple.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    OP mentions that it is a 35 stall barn. There are 17 horses now, but what if it fills up?
                    In most board situations once you omit the very elite and the very shoddy, there is not much difference from barn to barn in terms of pure board. Training and ad on services make the difference and the ad doesn't specify if the horse gets more than basic board. At the listed rate of pay, a lesson a month would be a stretch.
                    At $100 week, even with a free residence doesn't leave room for much. Hope horsey is barefoot and never needs tack repaired.

                    It is easier now for barns to offer non cash arrangements but board as compensation requires a horse and that means cash remuneration has to be enough to cover horses expenses outside board. Under these scenarios, young people being partially funded by their parents or possibly a couple that can split some of the work are about the only options. Offering board means you want a "horseperson," which is fine, but most such people are not looking to make $100/wk.
                    F O.B
                    Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                    Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jetsmom View Post
                      I think this is the HUGE disconnect you see with people on the OT forums. In my mind, this is an entry level job for a teen young adult that is taking college classes to get the education to get a job that will lead to a career. This isn't a CAREER. The people on here that are "OMG! How can you pay for car pmts, cable, etc?!" are looking at this being a career that will allow you to sustain yourself solely on the income received, including having a car pmt.

                      Sure, lets pay him 20.00 hr plus health ins and watch your board rates triple.
                      Unless the place is on a bus route - how would said highschool student get to school?

                      The problem is, when people go off to LIVE ON THEIR OWN, they have expenses. Not many people will go off and live at a farm with no transportation, food, TV/internet or money for their horse.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jetsmom View Post
                        I think this is the HUGE disconnect you see with people on the OT forums. In my mind, this is an entry level job for a teen young adult that is taking college classes to get the education to get a job that will lead to a career. This isn't a CAREER. The people on here that are "OMG! How can you pay for car pmts, cable, etc?!" are looking at this being a career that will allow you to sustain yourself solely on the income received, including having a car pmt.

                        Sure, lets pay him 20.00 hr plus health ins and watch your board rates triple.
                        But they still need to support themselves. Even students need groceries, electricity, a vehicle, vehicle insurance, contents insurance, and health insurance should be provided (ha) or they'll need money to pay for that too. They also will have to budget for things like clothes and sundries (the odd new appliance or rug or whatever). $100/week is nothing, even for one person living out of home. I don't think anyone's saying it should be a career path, but they should be able to do it without relying on mum and dad or drawing on student loans just to live and work.

                        Unless this is a brilliantly located barn, how could the employee get by without a car??

                        If one was to argue that it's a stepping stone job while studying, then ought it not allow a student to study full-time?

                        This is why the poor stay poor ... bloody difficult to get ahead when every spare cent (or more) of your paycheque is tied up in basic living expenses.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You're not going to be able to take many classes working 66 hours a week and clearing $100 a week.
                          I have a Fjord! Life With Oden

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Is the position is for a manager, and are they are the only one taking care of the horses and doing the maintenance. And who is doing the layup care, the wrapping, the bandaging, sitting up with the colicing horse all night hand walking while waiting for the vet to arrive.

                            Are the horses blanketed? Who is going to go out and change, or pull blankets and sheets during the those spring and fall days when the temps start at freezing and go up to the mid 70's by afternoon.

                            Horses not getting along in the pasture, hope there's room for changing turnout companions. How will one know who gets along with whom, unless they spend some time keeping an eye on the pastures.

                            Crap! The TB with the eggshell feet pulled a shoe and is running around outside like a nut. Go out catch him, bring him in, call the farrier, wait for farrier to call back, he can't come till tomorrow. Look for hoof boot, can't find one that fits, get out the vet wrap and the duct tape and make your own boot.... Do we have dirt lots at this farm? Is crazy TB ok by himself in the dirt lot? Maybe we better go grab another horse to keep crazy TB company, but which one?? Rearrange two pastures to produce suitable combinations, and bring the resulting horse back to keep the TB company.

                            Crap! I still need to finish the last two stalls, add bedding, drop hay, and fill water buckets.

                            Cell phone is ringing..... Property owner wants to ride in an hour, can you have her horse tacked up and waiting in an hour?

                            I have to drag the ring too!

                            I still have to school three horses today!!!

                            I hear ya OP!

                            I did some working student positions when I was younger and learnt a lot. But it is so true that many people think it's "only" stalls, feed and turnout....

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Most definitely out of their minds. Even if this person can feed themselves on $25-50 a week, they're not going to be able to pay for an insurance or a cell phone bill or gas for the car on top of that. It's simply not a liveable wage, no way, no how. This is really only possible if you have either a trust fund or mommy and daddy paying for you, and 11 hour days don't make time for class possible.

                              Further, if it's full care, that's not going to get done in short day for that many horses.

                              But let me guess - they're going to come on here and whine that they can't "keep good help" or that everyone they hire is "lazy" and quits because of the "workload."
                              ---
                              They're small hearts.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by alterhorse View Post
                                Is the position is for a manager, and are they are the only one taking care of the horses and doing the maintenance. And who is doing the layup care, the wrapping, the bandaging, sitting up with the colicing horse all night hand walking while waiting for the vet to arrive.

                                Are the horses blanketed? Who is going to go out and change, or pull blankets and sheets during the those spring and fall days when the temps start at freezing and go up to the mid 70's by afternoon.

                                Horses not getting along in the pasture, hope there's room for changing turnout companions. How will one know who gets along with whom, unless they spend some time keeping an eye on the pastures.

                                Crap! The TB with the eggshell feet pulled a shoe and is running around outside like a nut. Go out catch him, bring him in, call the farrier, wait for farrier to call back, he can't come till tomorrow. Look for hoof boot, can't find one that fits, get out the vet wrap and the duct tape and make your own boot.... Do we have dirt lots at this farm? Is crazy TB ok by himself in the dirt lot? Maybe we better go grab another horse to keep crazy TB company, but which one?? Rearrange two pastures to produce suitable combinations, and bring the resulting horse back to keep the TB company.

                                Crap! I still need to finish the last two stalls, add bedding, drop hay, and fill water buckets.

                                Cell phone is ringing..... Property owner wants to ride in an hour, can you have her horse tacked up and waiting in an hour?

                                I have to drag the ring too!

                                I still have to school three horses today!!!

                                I hear ya OP!

                                I did some working student positions when I was younger and learnt a lot. But it is so true that many people think it's "only" stalls, feed and turnout....
                                This.

                                If the position is JUST the grunt work- stalls, buckets, feed, turn in/out- and absolutely NOTHING in addition to that- no handling for vets or farriers, no dealing with boarders, no dealing with the various vendors, no grooming, NOTHING else, than it is low paying but wouldn't take too much time. The 6ish hours someone mentioned would be reasonable.

                                But, if it is a "management" type position, it is ridiculous....and barn management is definitely not entry level.

                                My former job was a solid 6-8 hours of JUST care alone...and I didn't do stalls or clean water buckets! That was feeding, blanket changing (so many blanket changes), turning in and out (the most time consuming part of my day), making feed up, doing leg and feet checks. Adding in making orders, doing laundry, riding and grooming my employer's horses, helping clients, helping vets and farriers, answering the phone, answering emails, helping haul ins, and on and on and on and on. Depending on the time of year, I easily worked 10-15 hour days, 6 days a week. And my cell was always on my and I was ALWAYS available...even when I was out of town. $400 a MONTH would not have even gotten me to darken the doorway, even with housing and board.

                                So, it boils down to what is really expected, to how fair or unfair it is. But I think if it is anything beyond mucking a few stalls and throwing feed, it is unfair (unless there are lessons as comp that we don't know about, as well).
                                Amanda

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  In my area, these positions are available for free board - without the $400 a month, and a free apartment.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    There was a time when young people would pay to take care of horses and it was easy to find barn help (slaves) These kids worked for a while then went on to college, marriage or life sustaining jobs so there was a lot of turnover. At some point in history it was discovered that it is possible to make a living and become one of the clients instead of the worker so the source of cheap help dried up and it is very difficult to find help of any kind and good help nearly impossible!
                                    Only way to fix this is to offer a living wage. Housing may not be needed but would be a great perk for both BO and worker. It would open up a whole world of help when they were assured they could pay their bills!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by grandprixjump View Post
                                      One ad that just came up today is taking care of a 35 stall barn with currently 17 horses, in exchange for board for 1 horse, a one room apt, and $400 a MONTH.... Good luck with that one...

                                      And that's 6 days a week 11 hour days with a 1-2 hour lunch break.
                                      Let's say one bedroom apartment rent is $800/month. Horse board at that stable $600/month. Plus $400/month cash so $1800 cash a month. If you had to work a normal job to pay for these things you'd have to make $2340 a month pre-tax (30% total including deductions for SS, medicare, income, etc) to afford it or $28,000 per year not to mention that there could be some great catch riding and learning opportunities. Not bad for a high school graduate with time left over to pick up a few hours at a restaurant.
                                      Doubled Expectations (Roxy, 2001 APHA)
                                      Al Amir (Al, 2005 OTTB)
                                      Ten Purposes (Rosie, 2009 OTTB)

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I boarded at a 38 stall barn, and one guy did stalls, feeding, turn in & out. He worked 8 hrs/day 6 days a week. So it seems to me this might be a 4 hr/day job with plenty of time to find another PT job.
                                        That's fine, many of us have slid down this slippery slope and became very happy (and broke) doing it. We may not have a retirement, but we have memories ...

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