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What odd jobs have you done to support your horse hobby?

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  • What odd jobs have you done to support your horse hobby?

    This is kind of a spinoff off of the 'nervous about switching boarding barns' thread. I saw a lot of you had ideas as how to come up with some quick cash to help support your horse. Well, I recently purchased my first horse (I'm in my Senior year of college). Never intended to have one while in college, but I couldn't let this girl go.

    A few weeks ago my pay was cut somewhat drastically. Since then things have been tight financially - and they're getting tighter. So I'd love to hear your experiences in odd jobs/unusual ways you've come up with to earn money. I'm working a part time job and in school at the moment - I'd still like some time to get to see my horse that I work so hard to support! I was recently certified in equine massage, and am hoping that eventually I'll be able to do that to help support my horse, but I'm having trouble getting the business off the ground - finding clients is a challenge at the moment.

    Thanks everyone!
    Dapplebay - home of original equestrian clothing and accessories.

  • #2
    When things are slow here I work as a florist. I actually have a degree in Horticulture. It is s very specialized field and I could work 40+ hours a week solid 9 months out of the year - summer is very slow. But from homecoming through Prom with holidays & weddings & funerals I can be as busy as I want to be.

    Sadly if I am not very careful it cuts into my barn time. Primarily I am a riding instructor. But last winter was BRUTAL in my part of Illinois and lessons dropped off percipetiously. My lesson string was supported by my ability to put pretty flowers in vases.

    Consider driving a flower delivery van - no special license is needed and we need organized, clean, prompt drivers!
    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"


    • #3
      I was a beverage cart girl at a golf course for a summer in order to send myself to Nationals

      It was actually a lot of fun!

      I also started designing ads and websites for horse people to make some extra $$$... who knew it would transform into a successful business?


      • #4
        In my 'real' life I have a boring desk job. To help with Magee's bills I started making my ribbon quilts. Business is VERY good, thank goodness! It's nice to do something more creative and I love transforming a box of packed away ribbons into something people will look at forever- and get paid for it!
        see my ribbon quilts at: www.ribbonquilts.com


        • #5
          When I first started my business, I got a job cleaning at a small factory. It was great because I got paid for 5 hrs, no matter how long it took me. I could usually burn through there in 2.5 hrs and they were amazed at how clean the place was (I think the last worker must have been )
          Sadly it ended when the bitchy floor manager figured out I made more per hr. than she did!


          • #6
            I've got my day job...but for PT work to help support the horsey hobby, I tutor college bio (anatomy, physiology, microbiology, blah blah). I was a rep for a dog food company for awhile too....
            A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

            Might be a reason, never an excuse...


            • #7
              Donate plasma.
              Clean stalls for your BO.
              Work for Ticketmaster
              Clean/condition tack for a larger barn if yours if small.
              “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker


              • #8
                i have a boring desk job too.

                my 'fun' money comes from house/farm sitting, volunteering to work overtime at special events at work, and i also work sporadically doing data entry for a woman in my office who also has her own business on the side.
                Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique



                • #9
                  I have a herd of meat goats. I'm just getting started, but we have 6 does and a buck, plus some wethers we are finishing out. They should more than pay for themselves and help pay for the horses. Not to mention that they should help us qualify for CAUV on our property taxes. Plus, they are just cute, LOL!
                  I'd like to have a few more does and then we should have a complete herd, I just need to be careful not to end up with too many. Its becoming very easy to collect cute little goats


                  • #10
                    Not terribly odd, but I do work off most if not all of my board doing barn chores. And for the beaucoup bucks, especially for winter expenses (blanket repair, Xmas presents, anything else) there is clipping. A good clipper can make a pretty penny if they are willing to work for it.
                    Leap, and the net will appear


                    • #11
                      Fellow college student

                      Art Modeled ($6/hr clothed $12/hr nude. I was one of the few girls willing to do nude so I got lots of work it was in 3 hour class segments too)
                      *The Quietman ~ Irish Approved Gr.1 Stallion
                      Like Us on Facebook


                      • #12
                        I have worked at the vocalist in a "big band", waited tables, jogged racehorses, braided, clipped, been a veterinary assistant, groomed for an UL rider at the international level, worked at a green house, managed two tack shops, hauled cattle, cowboyed for local ranches (back in California) taken house and pet sitting jobs, and dozens of other things. Now, I just ride for the pure joy, and for the first time in my life, my career supports myr riding for the joy of it.
                        What would you try if you knew you would not fail?


                        • #13
                          Acting - mostly tv but some movies. Helped my by my first horse on my own when I was 22!!
                          Boss Mare Eventing Blog


                          • #14
                            Gee I have done everything from teaching lessons,starting horses,riding problem children (horses), barn pet sitting, mucking stalls, baby sitting, Working at Subway , clipping,braiding and had a blast holding for an equine chiropractor. I would think that would be great for you, it may open some doors for the massage theropy. Find the right person to hold for though, I learned a TON!
                            It\'s not the color of the ribbon that counts,but the color of the ride.
                            Oh My!


                            • #15
                              Well lets see.....I work full time which pays all my expenses, but the ponies have to maintain themselves so I body clip in the winter, braid at shows, I own my truck and trailer so I do local hauling, and hauling to shows for my barn, plus pick up and drop offs of new boarders. I also pull manes, clean sheaths, and teach pick up lessons when the trainer is gone. I also help people sell unwanted horse items and get a commission off that. Basically I will do anything to get money that can be done on my schedule. I hear people have good luck waiting for catering companies for quick easy cash that is flexible. Have a girl now that typically makes $200-$300 a week "bartending" (i.e. pouring wine and beer) for a local caterer one to two nights per week for like 3 hours. Pay is crap but she always gets tips.


                              • #16
                                If you are office-savvy and have presentable front-office clothing, register with an office temp agency. Like Kelly, but I actually don't recommend them. The local or regional temp agencies are often the best at keeping people assigned.

                                Right now temp agencies are doing well. Companies that have laid off workers discover the work did not go away when the people did. They don't want to commit to a long-term employee with benefits. They use temp agencies for "flexible staffing."

                                You can accept long or short term assignments, from days to weeks to months. If you are just minding a receptionist desk sometimes you can even do other work on the job, as long as your assignment's needs come first.

                                Especially when you start out and haven't yet built a reputation with the agency, you can help yourself get work by letting the agency know you will go out on a moment's notice. If you can be at a client office in less than an hour after you are called, the temp agency will think you are pure gold. In the morning get up and get ready as if going to work, except for your work clothes - do hair & make-up. Phone in by 7.30 or 8 am and let the temp agency know you are ready to go (actually tell them the afternoon before so you are high on the list.) Then do whatever else it is you do, with work clothes handy. (I guess that means - don't go to the barn! :lol ) If they haven't called by noon or so you can call back and tell them you are offline for the rest of the day ... but will be ready to go the next morning.

                                At one point for several months I worked close to 40 hours a week on an on-call basis, on the weeks I wanted to. That was in a major city, and with 5 minutes to slip into clothes I could be downtown at an office in under and hour. And I rode the bus. I tended to get calls from the agency between 7.30 and 9.30 am to work for the day, or a few days, when some office worker was unexpectedly unavailable. Companies regularly do this for front reception desks.

                                The pay isn't huge but it is a check. And it's flexible and the responsibility is light.


                                • #17
                                  Well I quit my job working for a trainer to clean stalls, odd I know but trainer paid $8 hr, 3-4 hours a day three days a week, did not always cover board. cleaning stalls I got $275 a mo. for two stalls 5 days a week, only one hour a day! but she had to move her horses out of state so now I am working my BO horses to lower board, and help my pastor teach math classes and science classes, but my favorite is making little saddles for Breyer horses! so much fun, I work from home on my own time and it makes good money for something so small!

                                  If you are at all creative you can come up with something!


                                  • #18
                                    Another one ... I know of a pet-sitter or two who get more than I would expect. The best expand their service beyond feed and clean-up. They will visit more than once a day to put animals out and in. They will spend an hour a day with the pets, playing and petting. There are travelers who will gratefully pay a little more for that kind of care.

                                    I used to be one of the travelers, and at first I thought the rate was "just too much." But later wouldn't have anyone else.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by OverandOnward View Post
                                      Another one ... I know of a pet-sitter or two who get more than I would expect. The best expand their service beyond feed and clean-up. They will visit more than once a day to put animals out and in. They will spend an hour a day with the pets, playing and petting. There are travelers who will gratefully pay a little more for that kind of care.

                                      I used to be one of the travelers, and at first I thought the rate was "just too much." But later wouldn't have anyone else.

                                      and once you build a reputation you won't know what to do with the offers you get. i started house/farm sitting for coworkers, they loved how well i took care of their animals, how clean i kept the house, how overall responsible i was, etc., and then started offering my number to their friends.. and it snowballed. i don't advertise at all, but have made probably close to $1500 extra this year just through sporadic word-of-mouth jobs like this.
                                      Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique



                                      • #20
                                        I work solely to support my horses as a recetionist at a vet dermatology center.
                                        Before this, I was a stay at home mom, but once I went from one horse to more, and my kids were older, I did substitute teaching. I really enjoyed it and loved the hours. I wish I still did it except the reliabliity of getting jobs started to get questionable when the economy started to tank. Thus, I took the job at the vet derm center.
                                        I also worked at a kangaroo and exotic bird farm..that was fun but the pay was lousy!
                                        Lori T
                                        www.facebook.com/LTEquine for product updates on the lines I rep