Work for Board -- What can I ask for? - Page 2
 
 

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Work for Board -- What can I ask for?

This is a discussion on Work for Board -- What can I ask for? within the Horse Boarding forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category

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        10-23-2013, 01:39 PM
      #11
    Yearling
    When I was 16 years old, my girlfriend had a leased horse for the summer. Her dad paid for it. My dad wouldn't, so I approached the barn owner and asked if there was a way I could lease a horse too, and work for it?

    For that summer, I had a mare just for myself, but rarely had time to ride her. Thi s is what I did for my leased horse.

    I would be at the barn at 0600 hrs to feed the horses.
    While they ate, I would clean out the waterers.
    Then the ones with blankets on would have the blankets removed.
    Turn out the horses that were to be turned out.
    Place the blankets over the fence and beat them clean.
    Clean 21 box stalls, moving horses into the aisle if necessary.
    Sweep the asile clean, then keep it clean if any of the boarders dirtied it.
    Set up the evening grain in the trolly. (wheeled trolly, a godsend!)
    Brush the lesson horses.
    Clean the saddles and bridles for the lesson horses.
    After lessons, wipe off bits, put away the tack, rub down the horses.
    Evening feed, evening hay.
    Bring in the horses from the field, put on blankets.
    Sweep the aisle one last time, then head home for supper at 1800 hrs.

    12 hour day there. That was for full board on a leased horse. That was the agreement I made as a 16 year old girl with general experience. I learned a LOT from this barn, and actually got to go to the horse shows (which required me to be at the barn at 0500 hrs), learned how to properly groom for shows, braid, re-braid, be the gopher, etc.

    What you agree with the barn owner is what you're able to do and what they are willing to accept.
         
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        10-23-2013, 02:05 PM
      #12
    Weanling
    Someone mentioned it up thread, but make sure whatever you negotiate it's a fair deal.

    I've seen so many posts on here about people working off board (they work 30+ hours per week for $250 board per month...so $2.00 an hour or so). That is not right at all.

    Make sure you negotiate hours, tasks, and rates. Offer to track your hours and tasks on a time sheet so you can show you worked your hours, and make sure the hourly break down is fair (I wouldn't work for less than minimum wage).
    Posted via Mobile Device
    2BigReds likes this.
         
        10-23-2013, 02:18 PM
      #13
    Yearling
    I've always made sure that it was fair for me AND the BO (and since I'm horrible at math I just bartered it out with my skills....). For my two I made a list of my skills and presented it to the BO, I'm a competent rider/driver, can help her train, I did rough board for myself and others for years and so I can fix fencing, feed/water, and know if something's wrong, and also can give first aid if necessary, I also helped during her lessons (like helping kids get ready, being there in an accident, helping explain things, and being an obstacle with another horse). For doing all these things and working seven days a week almost all day during summer (during school I only came out 1/2 day) I asked off the following:

    -no handling fee for the farrier/vet/worming when I couldn't be there
    -no blanketing fee (but I provided her a blanket)
    -no tack room fee (long story why one was initiated but I was exempt)
    -the stall charge dropped from $25 a night to $10 because I mucked all the stalls
    -a little off of my board when I needed it (like for a couple of months we were running short of money so I asked for a little off and my BO was more than happy to comply.

    She added in that when she was giving a lesson I could jump in at any time and while she wouldn't give me her full attention, if anything was glaringly wrong she would talk me through it.
    We're a small barn, but she was the only one working there so between my honesty, hers, we came to a mutual agreement. I'll just say be upfront and honest about your skills, and above all be fair to everyone involved. Since then she has another boarder who comes out and feeds and for that she lets her keep her horse there at a reduced rate because the girl is out there without fail 3X's a day and never misses. Reliability is key.
         
        10-23-2013, 02:59 PM
      #14
    Green Broke
    Make sure that, no matter what you end up doing, you get a signed contract. That will protect both yourself and the BO from getting ripped off.

    Personally, I would always rather pay board and have a job job... No gray area there.
    2BigReds and xJumperx like this.
         
        10-23-2013, 11:38 PM
      #15
    Showing
    In Canada it is considered a job, therefore the worker is entitled to minimum wage. My preference was to pay the worker by cheque for hours worked, then she paid her board by cheque. We both had records of payment. What she did with her wages was up to her but her board had to be paid monthly. A gal, in early June asked if she could work in exchange for pasture board. I told her to pay a visit and we'd go from there. There would be almost nothing for her in the winter so I'd had in mind she could bank time. Summer is a good time to get stuff done, painting, repair, (never ending). She didn't show. In mid Sept. She contacted me again. I let her know I could have used help over the summer but that I no longer had enough work for her. I could use someone for about 2 hrs and that's about it until next spring.
    2BigReds likes this.
         
        10-24-2013, 12:46 AM
      #16
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 2BigReds    
    Can I come work for you?
    LOL! Well, you might freeze to death in winter. It can get pretty darned cold here and windy on top of it. One thing you wouldn't do down here is starve to death. My husband went to some training in AZ and came home complaining because they didn't put out any FOOD for the seminar students. Here in OK we tend to feed you because we're happy, because we're sad, because you're happy, because you ought to be happy...whatever, it's a good excuse to have a party.

    I have considered actually advertising for a barn helper that wants to work for board for their horse or even a full time one who wants board and care for themselves and their horse, but I just haven't figured out yet how to work it.
    2BigReds likes this.
         
        10-24-2013, 12:49 AM
      #17
    Started
    My BO pays hourly wages, even if it's in exchange for board. Workers get $8.00 per hour.
    Posted via Mobile Device
         
        10-24-2013, 01:00 AM
      #18
    Trained
    I've always paid a minimum of $8/hr, I figure if you're willing to work that hard and really, risk your life handling strange horses, you deserve it. There's a place not too far from me that pays $3.50 or less per hour and puts the workers in an "apprentice" program which allows her to pay less than minimum wage. I just totally can't do that to someone. Bad enough I normally don't have full time hours, and to pay that tiny amount on top of no hours? NOOOOOO! That's just wrong on so many different levels that I just can't stand it. Bring me someone who KNOWS what they're doing and I want to treat them GOOOD, and keep them HAPPY! Cos if they aren't happy and leave, I don't get even a 1/2 day off.
    2BigReds likes this.
         
        10-24-2013, 03:23 AM
      #19
    Green Broke
    As others have said, you want your exchange to be roughly around minimum wage.

    If you're doing it tight I have always found that people with their own farms and such were willing to offer a lot cheaper agistment. All through my undergrad study I had free agistment and in return if they went away I'd keep an eye on the horses. Now I rent a room on a place that agists horses and because of the rent+agistment I end up paying only $10 a week per horse. I'm just saying there are always options out there that are usually a lot more flexible than the business run boarding barns!
         
        10-24-2013, 04:45 AM
      #20
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians    
    I've always paid a minimum of $8/hr, I figure if you're willing to work that hard and really, risk your life handling strange horses, you deserve it. There's a place not too far from me that pays $3.50 or less per hour and puts the workers in an "apprentice" program which allows her to pay less than minimum wage. I just totally can't do that to someone. Bad enough I normally don't have full time hours, and to pay that tiny amount on top of no hours? NOOOOOO! That's just wrong on so many different levels that I just can't stand it. Bring me someone who KNOWS what they're doing and I want to treat them GOOOD, and keep them HAPPY! Cos if they aren't happy and leave, I don't get even a 1/2 day off.
    Ugh. People who do that crap make me so angry! You can't even live off of minimum wage (MOSTLY true, anyway) and horses are inherently dangerous. I can understand how some BOs can't afford more than that, but to actively seek out loopholes that allow you to pay LESS THAN HALF THAT??? Insanity, I'm telling ya! The people taking those positions are only cutting each other off at the knees as well... If nobody would take that rate, I guess they wouldn't keep offering it, either.

    *sigh* The state of the current job market in the U.S. Is ridiculous right now and I am so terribly done with it. Sorry for the slight segue, I'm in the middle of job hunting right now and it's really frustrating. I'll quit threadjacking now, lol!
         

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