Work for Board -- What can I ask for? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 10-22-2013, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Work for Board -- What can I ask for?

Hi all... I'm in need of some advice. I just acquired a second horse, and I need to relocate both of them to another barn to save on board. I'm shopping around right now, and have mentioned that if possible, I will work for free or discounted board. What is a reasonable amount to ask for off each month? I was planning on working 5-7 days a week doing whatever needs to be done.

My ultimate goal is to own a barn, and work there every day. I figured this situation could help me out per month, but as well give me the skills I'll need to succeed later on down the road.

Any advice would be much appreciated!
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post #2 of 25 Old 10-22-2013, 10:15 PM
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Do the math. Say you work 5 days a week for 3 hours at $X per hour, how much money would you be making? Do that math and go from there. Keep in mind though that you aren't the one in the position to do the negotiating though- THEY are. You may want to work X hours and get $Y off board, and they may want you to work Z hours and get $Q off board. Do the math to see where you stand, and then talk to the folks running the barns. This way you make sure that you don't get the short end of the stick (where you'd be better off getting a part time job elsewhere and paying full board) and that way you don't tick them off by offering them little in return.

Then... there's the age old issue that I always have to bring up. Make sure that you have the money to spend in case emergency care is needed for either horse. I was recently contemplating the acquisition of a second horse- I can pay the monthly board- but a $235 vet bill for my horse's choke made me reconsider! Far too many people don't think about the issue when they find that they can cover a horse's basic expenses!
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post #3 of 25 Old 10-22-2013, 10:24 PM
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I'd leave it up to the BM- if they're open to letting you work off part of your board, ask them how much they'd allow you work off. I'd be surprised if any had enough work available for a boarder to completely pay off 2 horses' board. At my barn, for example, it's usually boarders who do the feeding and turn the horses in and out for a discount on board. If a new boarder came in, they'd only be able to do such work in exchange for board if there was an opening (e.g. one of the current working boarders moved away or just didn't want to do the work for the discount anymore). Until someone gave up one of their tasks, the new boarder could be a back-up (in case the regular person got sick or couldn't make it) but wouldn't be able to count on any regular work to offset the board bill.
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post #4 of 25 Old 10-22-2013, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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Absolutely understand. I'm a boarder, first and foremost.. and at the end of the day.. it's a business for them. I would never want to step on anyones toes, or "demand" an amount. I guess I was just looking for an average on lets say.. 3 days of work or something could come out to be
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post #5 of 25 Old 10-22-2013, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexmac156 View Post
Absolutely understand. I'm a boarder, first and foremost.. and at the end of the day.. it's a business for them. I would never want to step on anyones toes, or "demand" an amount. I guess I was just looking for an average on lets say.. 3 days of work or something could come out to be
I would approach every barn and ask what their price for board is, and then ask if you could make an arrangement where you work off some of it. If they say yes, ask them how much and how many hours of work it would require. Figure out how much money/hour it comes to, and decide from there.
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post #6 of 25 Old 10-22-2013, 11:09 PM
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For me, as a barn owner, a lot would depend on your actual knowledge. I have a boarder and occasionally allow her to work a little of her board off but it isn't a lot because she's very inexperienced. She can pick, she can fill waterers, she can place feed in the appropriate feeders and lead most of the horses in. But it's all under supervision. I wouldn't leave the place and expect her to cope, she couldn't handle an emergency.

So......someone who could, feed 2X/day, handle all of the horses including the stallion, do the picking, cope at least well enough to stop bleeding in a minor emergency or had enough knowledge to recognize a major vet emergency and get the vet headed out to the ranch and was capable enough to at least keep things calm til I got back or the vet got there, THAT person would be worth a LOT more to me.

How much do you know, how many horses do the barns you're looking at have? How good of a manure picker are you? I can pick 10 stalls in less than 1 hour unless someone got REALLY messy. My boarder takes 1 hr to do one stall kinda sos so.

Are you comfortable around stallions? Broodmares in heat? Broodies about to foal? Can you help with foal watch? Can you handle a broodie with a foal at side? Handle the foal? Can you handle deworming a horse on your own? Having a list of your actual horsemanship type skills will be handy for you.
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post #7 of 25 Old 10-23-2013, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you! That was very helpful. I've been around horses pretty much my entire life. I've helped run a barn before.. so I'm pretty aware of how things are run, and how to get them done correctly. I appreciate your input!
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post #8 of 25 Old 10-23-2013, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexmac156 View Post
Thank you! That was very helpful. I've been around horses pretty much my entire life. I've helped run a barn before.. so I'm pretty aware of how things are run, and how to get them done correctly. I appreciate your input!
If it's a one person barn, you could be invaluable. I know that if I had someone I could trust to spell me, it would be lovely! To actually be able to go on a vacation, or to just take 1 or 2 scheduled days off every other week or so......I'd be willing to discount the board a LOT for such a person.

It's my own fault, I had quit doing outside boarders and I met this sweet college kid and her half starved pony (NOT her fault) and knew she was strapped for cash so I'm doing a very cheap board for her. She's also in a Master's program so not a lot of time to spend with horses. Here's what we're doing, she pays for pasture board only and buys his grain which I feed him. She picks stalls when she has the time, fills waterers for me and helps me feed when she's here. In return, I bring her horse in to a stall when I bring mine in, I've loaned her one of my junior sized blankets so she won't have to buy one, and I'm teaching her horse his ground manners and teaching her how to teach him his ground manners.

So, for someone who knew what they were doing, and I could leave them in charge for a day or 2 every couple of weeks and maybe for a week's vacation every year, I'd do free full board & turnout and I'd probably find some other things that I normally would charge for and I'd toss them in for free. Time off , for someone who never gets any, is VERY valuable.
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post #9 of 25 Old 10-23-2013, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
If it's a one person barn, you could be invaluable. I know that if I had someone I could trust to spell me, it would be lovely! To actually be able to go on a vacation, or to just take 1 or 2 scheduled days off every other week or so......I'd be willing to discount the board a LOT for such a person.

It's my own fault, I had quit doing outside boarders and I met this sweet college kid and her half starved pony (NOT her fault) and knew she was strapped for cash so I'm doing a very cheap board for her. She's also in a Master's program so not a lot of time to spend with horses. Here's what we're doing, she pays for pasture board only and buys his grain which I feed him. She picks stalls when she has the time, fills waterers for me and helps me feed when she's here. In return, I bring her horse in to a stall when I bring mine in, I've loaned her one of my junior sized blankets so she won't have to buy one, and I'm teaching her horse his ground manners and teaching her how to teach him his ground manners.

So, for someone who knew what they were doing, and I could leave them in charge for a day or 2 every couple of weeks and maybe for a week's vacation every year, I'd do free full board & turnout and I'd probably find some other things that I normally would charge for and I'd toss them in for free. Time off , for someone who never gets any, is VERY valuable.
Can I come work for you?
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post #10 of 25 Old 10-23-2013, 12:24 PM
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When I was looking for a new barn, I wasn't looking for a work off board situation, just a reasonably priced barn (not easy to find in my area...) but ended up finding a work for situation that works out well. I feel like it's more in my favor than the owners, but they suggested it, so I took it

I go out Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri in the evenings, let the horses out (7 of them), do a second stall pick up, throw feed and fill waters. On Sat I go out in the mornings and do the same, plus some added chores that only need doing once a week (scrub water buckets, pick up the pasture near the barn, etc.). The owners have a second property that they like to go to every other weekend, so on those weekends I go out twice on Sat. On average it takes me less than an hour a day and I get to see my horse, so it works out well. For this I get free board, just have to provide my own grain.
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