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Questions for FT grooms / Barns with FT grooms

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  • Questions for FT grooms / Barns with FT grooms

    I'm working on a business plan and was curious to know how other barns handle groom schedules and duties. If any of the grooms, BOs, or BMs out there would be willing to answer these questions here or by PM, I'd greatly appreciate it! If you would like to indicate where in the country your barn is, great. If you prefer not to, no problem.

    I'm curious to know how many horses each groom is responsible for on a daily basis and what your duties are -- i.e,. is it just stalls, feeding, sweeping aisle, and general barn chores -- or does it involve full care, grooming, tacking, wrapping, cooling out, etc. as well?

    Are there other staff on site who have different duties? (If so, what?)

    How many hours per day and days per week do you work?

    How much vacation time do you get (paid or unpaid)?

    How are your duties covered on your days off? Do the other grooms on the property cover the horses or is there a PT staff on those days?

    If you don't mind sharing, what is the compensation? (salary, hourly wage, housing + wage?) If you mind sharing the type of accomodations or the actual wage, I would appreciate it. I understand if you want to keep it private, though.

    This question EDITED FOR CLARITY: If you live on site, is it required that a groom sleep on the premises every night (as opposed to at a friend's house, e.g.)? I've worked at and boarded at barns where someone had to be on the farm overnight every night in case there was an emergency, but obviously not the same groom every night. I was curious if your farm requires that and, if so, how it is handled scheduling and pay wise...

    If you live on site, do you have a private apartment or do you share it with other grooms?

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by half seat; Jul. 21, 2010, 08:53 PM.

  • #2
    grooms

    OP

    Originally posted by half seat View Post
    I'm working on a business plan and was curious to know how other barns handle groom schedules and duties. If any of the grooms, BOs, or BMs out there would be willing to answer these questions here or by PM, I'd greatly appreciate it! If you would like to indicate where in the country your barn is, great. If you prefer not to, no problem.

    I'm curious to know how many horses each groom is responsible for on a daily basis and what your duties are -- i.e,. is it just stalls, feeding, sweeping aisle, and general barn chores -- or does it involve full care, grooming, tacking, wrapping, cooling out, etc. as well?

    Are there other staff on site who have different duties? (If so, what?)

    General answer to all your questions, IT DEPENDS.

    Business owner usually offers what they can afford to offer. If you can afford to hire people just for land maintenance, mowing, fence painting, etc. then you do. Otherwise, if $ is tight, business owners usually try to get as much out of each employee as they can.


    How many hours per day and days per week do you work?
    At nice barns with nice $ and nice clients grooms often work 9 hour days, maybe 7:30 or 8-4, or something similar, with a break for lunch.

    How much vacation time do you get (paid or unpaid)?

    Fancy barns with $ (often private) OR a business that is large enough, may offer paid vacation, or a combo of some paid and some unpaid. Smaller businesses, less money, etc, zippo.

    How are your duties covered on your days off? Do the other grooms on the property cover the horses or is there a PT staff on those days?

    Varies. Often grooms rotate so they take turns feeding on Mondays. If you are lucky enough to be in a town with a equine college, you can have a supply of part timers, and your staff can get a REAL day off.

    If you don't mind sharing, what is the compensation? (salary, hourly wage, housing + wage?) If you mind sharing the type of accomodations or the actual wage, I would appreciate it. I understand if you want to keep it private, though.

    Varies. A LOT. Not uncommon for $200/6 day week, maybe with workman's comp but no health insurance. Maybe cash. At that price, you have to house them, they can't afford to pay rent... $300 range very common, often with housing also. Without housing, you need to pay people about $600/week in my area. Unless you have a steady supply of young folks living with their parents or boyfriends.

    Much depends upon how skilled you need these people to be. Do they need to speak English ?? Do they need to be really skilled with recognizing illness, injury, etc ? Drive a tractor ? Drive a trailer to shows ? Or do they just need to knock the dust off, clip, tack, rinse and repeat ?


    If you live on site, is it required that you sleep on the farm every work night in case there is an emergency? (i.e., you wouldn't stay over a friend's or boyfriend's house so you could be there in the event of an emergency?)

    You do know that slavery has been outlawed, right ??

    If you live on site, do you have a private apartment or do you share it with other grooms?

    Depends on what farm owner has available. Do they want to keep help long term ? Or do they not mind rotating staff every 6-12 months ?



    Thanks in advance.
    "Friend" me !

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    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thanks so much for your thorough response and thanks to those who sent me a FM.

      I know it all depends on the particular business. What I'm interested in, though, is how different farms handle their staff, scheduling, etc.

      As for your slavery comment, I obviously wasn't clear in what I was getting at... Rereading it, what I wrote was incredibly unclear, actually, so I'm sorry for that. I've worked at and boarded at barns where someone had to be on the farm overnight every night in case there was an emergency, but obviously not the same groom every night. I was curious if farms require that and, if so, how it is handled... I edited the OP to be clear, as the way I wrote it the first time, it just completely came out wrong.

      Comment


      • #4
        Here's a story about the change of times! Back in "the old days" - about 30 years ago - I was a full time groom. We never considered it slavery....we considered it DUTY.

        I was paid $75 a week and a room for a six day work week. Seven if one of "my" horses needed me. There was a barn manager and between us we worked out extra duty time if one of us wanted to have some vacation or stay out over night. It was basically a 24 hour a day job from hand picking the hay out of the gravel courtyard to mucking, all care, and some riding. We worked with young race babies and the owner had show hunters too. Generally the barn manager went to the shows and I had home duty. There were from 4 to eight horses each with one person doing all duty on the other's day off. I'd say that without emergencies I'd be up at six and finished with basic day chores by seven at night. Night barn chores were shared.

        Funny - I never felt overused. I was trained to work this way as a working student for a top notch farm and it was simply that the horses were most important. I couldn't physically do that kind of day now but back then it was easy to do.

        Comment


        • #5
          Slavery/duty whatever you want to call it without much pay is one reason that illegals are very common in the horse industry.

          Comment


          • #6
            I can't touch this subject or I'll get really upset...

            Comment


            • #7
              I just wanted to add, that at my barn, there are guys who clean stalls, feed, water and bring horses in and out (T/O). I've also seen them doing grounds maintenance. Then there are the guys who only groom. They have horses ready to ride, groom and put them away, bathe, clip, pull manes, clean tack, and will lunge or hand-walk. These are the same guys who go to the shows. Sometimes one guy will pitch in if someone's absent, but the two jobs are separate.

              Comment


              • #8
                Sent you a PM.
                "Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don't know and I don't care." ~Jimmy Buffett

                Comment


                • #9
                  It varies as per need of barn.

                  Originally posted by half seat View Post
                  I'm working on a business plan and was curious to know how other barns handle groom schedules and duties. If any of the grooms, BOs, or BMs out there would be willing to answer these questions here or by PM, I'd greatly appreciate it! If you would like to indicate where in the country your barn is, great. If you prefer not to, no problem.

                  I'm curious to know how many horses each groom is responsible for on a daily basis and what your duties are -- i.e,. is it just stalls, feeding, sweeping aisle, and general barn chores -- or does it involve full care, grooming, tacking, wrapping, cooling out, etc. as well? Full care- stalls, tack up/down, bathe, wrap legs if needed.

                  Are there other staff on site who have different duties? (If so, what?) One non horse staff to maintain the place.

                  How many hours per day and days per week do you work? Busy season- 7 mornings and 5 afternoons. 7am-1pm and then 3-5pm. Longer if farrier/vet is there.
                  Slow season - 5 full days. 7am-1pm and then 5-6pm.


                  How much vacation time do you get (paid or unpaid)? Unpaid as needed. Usually 2-4 weeks during slow season. One groom takes 5 months every summer to work elsewhere and comes back for busy time in fall/winter.

                  How are your duties covered on your days off? Do the other grooms on the property cover the horses or is there a PT staff on those days? Other grooms cover work

                  If you don't mind sharing, what is the compensation? (salary, hourly wage, housing + wage?) If you mind sharing the type of accomodations or the actual wage, I would appreciate it. I understand if you want to keep it private, though. Both with and without housing are used. Obviously less salary if housing provided.

                  This question EDITED FOR CLARITY: If you live on site, is it required that a groom sleep on the premises every night (as opposed to at a friend's house, e.g.)? I've worked at and boarded at barns where someone had to be on the farm overnight every night in case there was an emergency, but obviously not the same groom every night. I was curious if your farm requires that and, if so, how it is handled scheduling and pay wise... Overnight not required, as farm owner/manager lives on site. Employees w/housing are required to stay overnight in if owner is out of town. That duty is included/expected in the salary.

                  If you live on site, do you have a private apartment or do you share it with other grooms? Housing is private. Though it's best to hire a few that are friends so they can bunk together and all can live on site. Works best for everyone involved.

                  Thanks in advance.

                  Comment

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