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Working Too Hard For Reduced Board

This is a discussion on Working Too Hard For Reduced Board within the Horse Boarding forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category

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        11-09-2012, 02:17 AM
      #11
    Super Moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians    
    I pay barn help $8/hr.

    Is that a typical amount? I am always amazed at how cheap things are in other parts of the US. If we had a place that had stall board, with hay and grain fed daily for just $375 it would be the deal of the century.

    However, as to your situation, I think you should do as Dream said, calculate your hours times the going rate for barn work and see if it is a fair deal or not.
         
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        11-09-2012, 09:28 AM
      #12
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tinyliny    
    Is that a typical amount? I am always amazed at how cheap things are in other parts of the US. If we had a place that had stall board, with hay and grain fed daily for just $375 it would be the deal of the century.

    However, as to your situation, I think you should do as Dream said, calculate your hours times the going rate for barn work and see if it is a fair deal or not.
    Tiny, OK is one of the least employee friendly states in the Union, everything is in the employer's benefit. It's what Right to Work brings you. We have a law on the books here that says if you are being taught (apprenticeship) a trade, then the employer only has to pay $3/hr and that is exactly what most BO's around here are paying. I have had upset BO's tell me I'm 'spoiling' my barn help and ruining it for them. So, for my area, I OVERPAY. I don't like the quality of help $3/hr gets you and at the time I needed all the help, I was travelling a lot and not at home to supervise. I needed good, trustworthy help and because of what I paid, I was getting 4th year vet students, I was LOVING that!
         
        11-09-2012, 09:38 AM
      #13
    Foal
    I pay the neighbor's kids around $10 an hour to help me at my barn. I clean the stalls down to the bottom every two weeks. The rest of the time I clean the stalls myself. My horses come and go as they please so they don't mess up the stalls that much. The kids are 13 and 11 years old. They are very hard workers and deserve the pay.

    I would definitely let someone work off their board by giving me a hand. I would talk to the BO and see if there can be more compensation towards your boarding fees.
         
        11-09-2012, 04:57 PM
      #14
    Showing
    Where I live everybody has to pay an employee minimum wage of $10.25 hr. Even an apprentice gets that. If one withholds pay, a government agency gets involved. There are too many BOs try to turn barn help into barn slaves and how much money did the slaves make.
         
        11-09-2012, 05:27 PM
      #15
    Green Broke
    My board bill runs a little over $400 month, but I work every cent off. This is what I do 4 days a week every week, plus I also fill in for other workers when needed which adds another 4 or five days to the month.

    Part 1:
    -Bring in all horses with stalls from turnout(11).
    -Feed all stalled horses (13).
    -Feel all pastured horses (11).
    -Turnout, and blanket in winter.
    -Hay all stalls, which takes forever because we have hay nets.
    -Fill water in stalls.
    -Clean barn aisle.
    -Feed/Water barn cats.
    Part 2:
    -Walk to the back of the property and feed older/injured/retired horses (6). Takes forever because one horse is very geriatric and eats extremely slowly.

    This is for PM feedings, in AM feedings I do things in different order since different horses have AM or PM turnout schedules.
    I get paid $20 a job.
    It generally takes me 2 1/2 hours, so you can do the math at how much I make an hour.

    I think I am a little bit overworked as well because of just how manual this labor is. It is VERY tiring. Also, the BO usually has me do extra things (bring this horse in, turn this one out, etc) and some of the pastures are REALLY far from the barn!

    But, I take it because it allows me to keep my horse.

    I think the main question you need to ask yourself, "Is it worth it?"
    Simple, but that's how I've figured that, to me, it is most definitely worth it.
    Plus, it gives me a lot of horse experience.
         
        11-09-2012, 07:29 PM
      #16
    Weanling
    Wow, lots of replies! I appreciate all the insight and advice, similar ideas have been going through my mind for a few months now.

    I forgot to mention last time that I also volunteer at my barn. I assist with some of the lessons by bringing in the lesson horses, grooming and tacking them up, and taking care of them afterward. I also do the same at the 4H meets, and I help set up and tear down at the shows we have at the barn.

    I really enjoy the work, it's not that I am miserable. I love the horses, I love taking care of them, and every day that I'm there, I get to spend time with my horse. It's like I said, I just feel like my BO is leaning on me a little too hard now days. I am planning on talking to her about fixing this situation, but I'm not sure if I should ask for more of a discount, or less work. Either way, I still will feel awkward.
         
        11-09-2012, 07:42 PM
      #17
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by QuietHeartHorses    
    Wow, lots of replies! I appreciate all the insight and advice, similar ideas have been going through my mind for a few months now.

    I forgot to mention last time that I also volunteer at my barn. I assist with some of the lessons by bringing in the lesson horses, grooming and tacking them up, and taking care of them afterward. I also do the same at the 4H meets, and I help set up and tear down at the shows we have at the barn.

    I really enjoy the work, it's not that I am miserable. I love the horses, I love taking care of them, and every day that I'm there, I get to spend time with my horse. It's like I said, I just feel like my BO is leaning on me a little too hard now days. I am planning on talking to her about fixing this situation, but I'm not sure if I should ask for more of a discount, or less work. Either way, I still will feel awkward.
    Not counting your volunteer time, how much time per day and thus per week are you doing in the barn? How many days in a row or how many days off do you get? If you wanted to take a 2 week vacation with your family how would she deal with it?
         
        11-09-2012, 07:52 PM
      #18
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians    
    Not counting your volunteer time, how much time per day and thus per week are you doing in the barn? How many days in a row or how many days off do you get? If you wanted to take a 2 week vacation with your family how would she deal with it?
    I work about 3 hours a day, Tuesday-Friday. The lessons are on Saturdays and Sundays, so I'm there most weekends, too. The only day off I get every week is Monday.

    She has told me before that if I want to go out of town, to just give her plenty of notice. She knows I work hard and she appreciates my help so I think she would understand if I wanted time off.
         
        11-09-2012, 09:47 PM
      #19
    Started
    Not including your volunteering with the lessons, I think that puts you at roughly $3.60 an hour... where I live $10.25 is minimum wage, but I get that most of the states is different and I have no idea what your 'minimum wage' standard is. Working as much as you do, I would expect at least $250 off board, which is still only making around $5.25 an hour.
         
        11-11-2012, 12:26 PM
      #20
    Yearling
    I found myself in your situation not too long ago. I was offered free board in exchange for occasional help around the barn. The occassional help turned into cleaning every stall on the barn, spreading manure, feeding and watering all the horses, taking care of the chickens, cleaning the chicken crap out of the barn everyday, training a 2 yr old, and a yearling. I didn't have time for my own animals, and I didn't even have a place to ride other than the pasture, which involved me putting the horses up to ride. I . Them the owner had the nerve to tell me I was only working off board for one horse, and I had to start paying for the second. I moved my horses two days later. The new place is great. I have to pay board, bit not having to work, and having time with my own animals, is so worth it. The new bo even built me a chicken coop so I didn't have to leave my hen at that horrid place. Good luck with any decision you make, its hard sometimes!
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