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How do I ask to be paid?

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  • How do I ask to be paid?

    Last weekend, I went to a show with my barn. I was there for five days and functioned as a groom. I (obviously) groomed, braided, tacked, mucked, fed, hayed, watered, ran back and forth from the show office, and did other little tasks for seven horses. I slept on a cot in a tack stall and literally did not leave the show grounds for five days. I paid for my meals when we went out, and ate my share from the communal crock pot and candy bowl. I showed one class and paid for it myself.

    I didn't ask for money, nor did I receive any. I've been doing this same thing for two years at five or six shows per year. I'm getting kind of tired of taking time off school to be a slave. How do I ask to be paid (in actual money or, in the case of my trainers, board/lessons)? Is it too late to start charging, since I've been doing this pro bono for two years? Is it even a good idea to change the status quo three months before I leave for college?

  • #2
    This is the perfect time. Decide how much your time is worth, or ask around and see what the going rate is. Make a spreadsheet showing the breakdown of how much time at shows you spend doing each task.

    Tell your trainer you need to save money for college and if your trainer doesn't want to pay cash, ask for trade for board/lessons.

    You have allowed yourself to be taken advantage of. The worst they can say is no, and then good luck to them in finding someone else to take over.
    Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!
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    • #3
      I don't mean to be rude, but why have you let it go on for so long without being adequately compensated?

      Comment


      • #4
        You said you showed one class and paid for it yourself. Did you pay for the rest of the fees relating to shows? Class fee is only a fraction of the total show cost. If you did not pay for any of those, the trailer might be thinking you were already compensated; if not, well, how exactly did it get about you starting to do these pro bono works?

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        • #5
          A per day rate of $100 to $150 plus meals plus the braiding at the going rate per time

          My son would do what you have done, be he was doing so with honorable people who overpaid him ... He like you would have done the work for nothing but the owners greatly appreciated his oversight of their stock

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            The problem is, I'm replaceable. What I do could easily be split up and done by everyone without too much trouble. My trainer can braid; one of the other juniors can do manes but not tails; everyone has the ability to muck their own stalls, groom their own horses - and it wouldn't even be that hard. I am a luxury.

            When I started, I did more classes and I got slightly more recognition. I was both catch rider and groom, but now there's a girl who is best friends with the barn's biggest clients, so she gets the nice rides while I wipe her boots. So now I go to shows because I'm asked to. I keep hoping something will change, but of course nothing ever does.

            I paid the entry fee. The horse was already there and showed by my trainer, an amateur, and another student.

            It's just so hard for me to ask anything of anyone. I'm one of the suffer-in-silence, deal with what's given to me, "if life gives you lemons, eat them and fake a smile and a thank you," girls who won't do well in the real world.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by alteralterpantsonfire View Post
              The problem is, I'm replaceable. What I do could easily be split up and done by everyone without too much trouble. My trainer can braid; one of the other juniors can do manes but not tails; everyone has the ability to muck their own stalls, groom their own horses - and it wouldn't even be that hard. I am a luxury.

              When I started, I did more classes and I got slightly more recognition. I was both catch rider and groom, but now there's a girl who is best friends with the barn's biggest clients, so she gets the nice rides while I wipe her boots. So now I go to shows because I'm asked to. I keep hoping something will change, but of course nothing ever does.

              I paid the entry fee. The horse was already there and showed by my trainer, an amateur, and another student.

              It's just so hard for me to ask anything of anyone. I'm one of the suffer-in-silence, deal with what's given to me, "if life gives you lemons, eat them and fake a smile and a thank you," girls who won't do well in the real world.

              As someone who spent six months working for someone and never saw a dime, but kept doing it because I 'loved the kids and ponies so much' I feel I can say this with love and sincerity: time to grow a pair!!!!

              If you're replaceable, let them replace you. At the point that you're not even being recognized, you aren't doing anything to help yourself....there are a lot of barns out there where you could do this and get structured teaching/board/lessons/pay/internship credit/etc. Right now, you're just getting a whole lot of frustration.

              As much as you may enjoy spending time with the horses, you have to think about yourself -- if people have seen your handy work, put fliers up and start braiding for the going rate...or someone could hire you. You clearly do what you do well (otherwise they wouldn't keep having you back), but at your age and this point in your life, it's time to stop doing it for free unless it benefits you with an increase in money/skills/etc

              (And feel free to PM me if you need some more butt-kicking. I sure as heck know I did!!)
              To be loved by a horse should fill us with awe, for we hath not deserved it.

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              • #8
                I can muck up my own stalls, but I sure love someone else to do it so I don't have to. I can braid my own horses' mane, but I sure love someone else to do it so I con't have to. The same goes for feeding/haying/watering/whatever.

                Yes, you are a luxury but a luxury many want, so stop thinking that your service is not worth anything - it IS worth a ton. This is not getting lemonade out of lemon - what you don't want is getting nothing out of an apple. If you are not being compensated in any way, speak up.

                Also, regardless whether that horse is already at the show, if you show it, you are still "responsible" for a portion of the fees so think about how much that is and think again whether you are really getting no compensation.

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                • #9
                  It's never too late to learn how to stand up for yourself. I have to ask, what are YOU getting out of this arrangement? If you can't come up with a really positive answer to that question, time to take a close look at your goals. If you need to make money, either ask to be compensated or start looking for a non horsey or horsey job that pays actual hard cold cash.

                  You are not an indentured servant. You are obviously a hard working and committed young woman who deserves to be treated better. If you can't face up to these folks, time to make yourself unavailable and just kind of fade away because you are working at a job that PAYS you.

                  You can do it! Big girl panties pulled up and all that. Horses are great fun but it sure can't be much fun when you're treated like dirt.

                  You deserve better!!!!!!!!

                  /end of Mom rant/

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                  • #10
                    If they replace you because you need to be paid----and I do not blame you for that----get a job. I do not know where you are but working as a server with a catering company or a hotel that does conventions is a great job. I do it p/t at night. Many companies work like the ones I do-----you get a calendar of events before the month and sign up for the times you are available to wk. This is especially great work for students and horse folks. It's not rocket science and the pay is usually very good. I'm just say'in. But if yu ever want to come work for me for free, contact me---those folks have been real lucky IMO.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by alteralterpantsonfire View Post
                      The problem is, I'm replaceable. .
                      there are graveyards full of people who thought they couldn't be replaced

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                      • #12
                        I think you could ask to be paid...and accept that they decide not to replace you. It is a perfect time, with you needing to make some money for books in college and all. Perhaps to make things clear about your professional service, you don't do that one class. This does allow you to avoid those always tough discussions about the value of bartered work.

                        Let them try showing without you for weekend or two and let them know that you would be happy to be hired on as their groom if they find they'd rather have one.
                        The armchair saddler
                        Politically Pro-Cat

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by alteralterpantsonfire View Post
                          How do I ask to be paid (in actual money or, in the case of my trainers, board/lessons)?
                          Stop working for free.

                          Originally posted by alteralterpantsonfire View Post
                          I'm one of the suffer-in-silence, deal with what's given to me, "if life gives you lemons, eat them and fake a smile and a thank you," girls who won't do well in the real world.
                          If you say so.

                          And if you keep saying so, it will keep being true.

                          You decide.
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                          I can ride my horses without a sharps container.

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                          • #14
                            It sounds like you're taking time off of school to do this. Maybe next time they ask, just say, "I'd love to come, but I can't afford to take any more time off of school for free."

                            You could also approach the trainer and say you're hoping to get a job as a groom this summer. Does trainer have any connections who might be looking for someone? You'd really appreciate the help finding an employer...

                            That would be a non-direct approach.
                            "I'd rather have a horse. A horse is at least human, for god's sake." - J.D. Salinger

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I am always amazed that people like you describe are only too happy to take advantage . . . and not even offer to pick up your meals as a thank you. Sheesh.

                              If they aren't willing to pay you, then maybe another barn would like an experienced handy helper
                              \"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it.\" Anne of Green Gables

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by alteralterpantsonfire View Post

                                So now I go to shows because I'm asked to.
                                As has been pointed out so many times, "no" is a complete sentence.
                                "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple” – Barry Switzer

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  i mean, really now. You know the answer. You simply say the words. Practice with a friend, to a mirror, whatever you have to do.
                                  Those conversations never go as badly as you fear it will, quite the opposite usually.

                                  But: Absolutely ZERO resentment or anger is warranted, about your donated work at the prior shows. You willingly offered all the work you did. You didn't ask for anything in return, and therefore they didn't do a single thing wrong in accepting it.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by alteralterpantsonfire View Post
                                    I am a luxury.

                                    So now I go to shows because I'm asked to. I keep hoping something will change, but of course nothing ever does.
                                    I would say no if asked to go again. If you are a luxury and they don't need you they wouldn't ask. They ask/expect because you are free and haven't said no or demanded more.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by HungarianHippo View Post
                                      i mean, really now. You know the answer. You simply say the words. Practice with a friend, to a mirror, whatever you have to do.
                                      Those conversations never go as badly as you fear it will, quite the opposite usually.
                                      quiet true.


                                      But: Absolutely ZERO resentment or anger is warranted, about your donated work at the prior shows. You willingly offered all the work you did. You didn't ask for anything in return, and therefore they didn't do a single thing wrong in accepting it.
                                      but:
                                      If a person has any type of breeding he/she won't take advantage of a young person.
                                      Maybe I am old fashioned, but at least I feed people who work for me!


                                      Ok, OP: You braid? that's $$$
                                      You groom? More $$$

                                      The thing is, you have to put a value on your skill and your time, because nobody else will (yes, I will buy you a 5 dollar happy meal for a 30 $ braiding job! )

                                      Your time is the absolutely most valuable thing you have. It cannot be replaced by anything or anybody!

                                      And yes, there is school. Sorry people, finals are coming up, I can't come.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by alteralterpantsonfire View Post
                                        I am a luxury.
                                        LOL, Darlin, LOTS of things are luxuries and people pay very well for them.

                                        Any meal you've ever eaten at a restaurant/fast food joint = a luxury, and a HIDEOUSLY over-priced one. But I've never seen even the smallest town without some kind of resturant.

                                        Yes, they certainly have he ability to do all this themselves - what they lack is the desire. So they can either find some poor schmuck to do it free or pay someone.

                                        You're looking at it like you don't want to offend these folks. Why the heck not? They are taking advantage of you!! Worst thing that will happen is they will go off in a huff - in which case you find some folks who appreciate you.

                                        Listen - these people are rude. Don't be worried about offending rude people - they aren't worried about it.
                                        Good decent people - even if they were oblivious to the fact that folks get paid to braid and clean stalls and etc - would still feel some gratitude and do you favors in return. Pay for your food, make sure you get rides, etc.

                                        You find it difficult to ask anything of anyone because your sense of fairness is skewed. Would YOU ever assume it was ok to have someone else braid your horse's mane and give them nothing for it? Here this person has spent an hour of their time to make you look good and you brush by them with barely a "thanks" and go on about your day without a second thought. Of course not!

                                        So why is it ok if someone else does it to you?

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