How young? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 01-15-2012, 01:07 AM Thread Starter
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Question How young?

Just have a random question, how young would you be comfortable someone managing your horse's barn (as in where you board your horse)? Like feeding, mucking, turning out, etc., if they had considerable experience of course, and were responsible and had been around horses for oh.. 5-8 years. There are quite a few barns around here practically run by teenagers...

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post #2 of 18 Old 01-15-2012, 05:59 AM
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I'm one of those teenagers that practically runs a barn! Have been doing so for about a year now. Haven't gotten any complaints yet.

5-8 years of experience? Sure. Absolutely. Teenagers usually able to perform simple tasks like feeding, leading from pasture to pasture, blanketing, and turning out in proper places at proper times. Smarter breed than most give 'em credit for! Very good for stall cleaning. Somewhat poor attention spans, but can't have it all.

I've met a couple teenager "barn managers" who I'd board with in a heart beat.


As far as how young they could be... 16 would be my minimum age to work unsupervised.

Last edited by Brighteyes; 01-15-2012 at 06:02 AM.
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post #3 of 18 Old 01-15-2012, 06:16 AM
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I agree with Brighteyse. Although, I think you should at least be 21 before you are able to be the barn manager, and that to me is almost too young for some.

I started doing 99% of the work at a barn unsupervised when I was 16.
It was up to me to do all the care on Saturdays and Sundays, morning and night.
I had 40+ horses to feed then move from stall to pasture while cleaning all the 20-30 stalls both morning and night.
I also worked 20+ of them, sometime both days.
I also was responsible for all the water troughs, cleaning and filling.
I also had to bath 20+ each weekend during the summer.
Most days I would get there around 6 am and leave around 1 pm, go home eat lunch take a nap and do it all over again at 4pm. Most nights I was out of there by 9pm, but there where the rare nights that it was more around 11pm.
Luckily they had golf carts so those came in handy. I also would bring a buddy along from time to time, sometimes a horsey friend that would help but 9 times out of 10 they were non horse people there just to talk to.

I think the most annoying thing about it was the random boarders that would show up and add another thing to do to my list or just get in my way and cause me to run behind schedule.

But all in all I loved that job, I did it for about 3 1/2 years, not counting the 6 years before when I did it all for free (of course then I was not by myself).

I would almost take the pay cut and go from my now Emergency 911 Dispatching job back to being a stable hand, but I love my current job a little more :)
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post #4 of 18 Old 01-15-2012, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Okay thanks guys! Would you say 12 is to young to be feeding, mucking, and turning out? There is a stable I am thinking of going to board at in winter.. But 12 year old does a lot of the jobs, there is always someone else on property, that glances at her occasionally. Her parents own the place, but they aren't very horsey, although there is one other person that is a helper and lives there that knows horses, the 12 year old does some of the work (been around horses since she was 6).

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post #5 of 18 Old 01-15-2012, 03:01 PM
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It would not bother me. I would def have a conversation with her and see how much since she has before I would say yes or no. If anything screams bad things or makes you feel uneasy I would say look else where. But like I said before I had worked at a barn since about age ten, I just volunteered but I wad doing the same stuff I had to do once I started getting paid, but before I was 16 I was not left alone. I did not have eyes on me 24/7 either but an adult was always near by that was educated in everything horse.
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post #6 of 18 Old 01-15-2012, 03:43 PM
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I would say I would prefer someone with years and wealth of experience.

You learn by doing, and practise- my BO is in her 40's, and has been around horses since she was a child.

She has more knowledge and experience than a 16yo could possibly have, and even myself.

But then you get some BO's who have it for the money and don't know a thing about horses. You have to weigh up what it is you're looking for and what they provide.

I, however, wouldn't feel happy in the knowledge my horse was stabled at a yard run by teenagers.
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post #7 of 18 Old 01-15-2012, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caseymyhorserocks View Post
how young would you be comfortable someone managing your horse's barn
I'd say there is a large difference between being a barn manager and what you are describing, which is basically someone just doing the chores.

For me, as long as those chores are done well, it doesn't really matter how old the person is.
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post #8 of 18 Old 01-15-2012, 04:43 PM
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I wouldnt mind a teen doing those straight forward jobs... I was one of those teens and was barn manager of a foaling/breaking/pre training stable when I was 19. To be honest, you'd probably get more enthusiasm and dedication to from a teenager than you would an older person.

My biggest concern would be if nobody was supervising the 12 year old. 12 is still bloody young, possibly flighty and forgetful - I dont know the kid so I can't judge. If she was born into horses and the parents were horsey thats one thing, but if they don't have much interest you don't know how much "education" she has. Was it once a week lessons? the random trail ride? ect.
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post #9 of 18 Old 01-15-2012, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Well, according to her parents, she has owned a horse for 3 years, and has weekly lessons, and before she had a horse she had twice weekly lessons and cleaned stalls at her lesson stable once a week.

“Good things come to those who wait… greater things come to those who get off their ass and do anything to make it happen.” - Unknown
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post #10 of 18 Old 01-23-2012, 08:42 PM
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i wouldnt mind someone younger do the barn chores, like i do. i board my horse at a stable where the BM is older with a major wealth of knowledge, advice, helpful tips.. i learn so much just from having a normal, daily conversation with her. its soo reassuring to know that someone that knowledgable and experienced is watching over my guy 24/7, since i cant!
just my opinion though (=

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