Why are horse people often expected to work for free? - Page 2

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Why are horse people often expected to work for free?

This is a discussion on Why are horse people often expected to work for free? within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    07-09-2012, 02:26 PM
Originally Posted by MHFoundation Quarters    
I see the occasional "working student" ad, here they are exactly what it sounds like. Someone to work under a trainer and do the grunt work in exchange for room & board but mostly for the learning experience. They can then take that knowledge gained and start their own training business or work as the trainer at an established barn.
I understand the theory of the working student as a kind of internship and there are certain people for whom I actually would be willing to do that for. I'm just talking sh*t because it seems like everyone with a horse has jumped on that bandwagon so that they can get slave labor to do their hard chores. I'm on the soapbox today because there's this ad by a dude who has a trail riding outfit and wants a head wrangler who can do it all and full-time. Then he goes on to say "when we start turning a profit then I can pay". COME ON!
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    07-09-2012, 02:30 PM
On my local equiery.com (as well as ads in tack store) there is always some kind of pay offered from what I see: either money, or boarding/lessons. Not a lot - that's true, but not for free either.
    07-09-2012, 02:33 PM
Oh wow, that's pretty bad. I'd guess he doesn't have too many people banging his door down wanting that job
    07-09-2012, 02:56 PM
It is supply and demand. There are more people who want to work with horses than owners who want the service.

It is kind of like when I got my BS in Biology in 1979. In my area of specialty, there were 100 applicants for every job. I gave up trying to make it as a biologist when the Division of Wildlife in Utah advertised their first job in 3 years. They wanted a Master's degree, a minimum of 5 years experience, and (IIRC) were willing to pay $13K/year.
    07-09-2012, 03:06 PM
In the business world I work in there has been a large increase in non-paying intern positions also. The theory is that if you're unable to find a job for a long enough time, you'll consider a non-paying position to just get experience.
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    07-09-2012, 03:11 PM
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working for free

If you get a free ride that's instructional in return for so many hours work then at the cost of a paid lesson it doesn't sound so bad, just depends on how much work they expect of you and how good the riding experience is if you're just cheap labour to school a green horse, problem horse then not so great
    07-09-2012, 04:18 PM
If some of these wealthy breeding/show barns want and expect knowledgable and experienced people to care for their precious show horses, why is it they do not pay a decent wage? It is a lot of work, something for nothing.
DancingArabian and stephshark like this.
    07-09-2012, 06:16 PM
I agree, it's infuriating! I would give anything to be able to work with horses as a full time job, even if most of it was mucking out and doing the dirty work. Unfortunately the only way that would work is if my landlord, mortgage company, and utility companies were cool with exchanging weekly riding lessons for my expenses :)
    07-09-2012, 06:19 PM
I ended up having to quit being a barn manager because it was starting to COST me money to work there. Gas kept going up and up and I had to replace my vehicle. They kept pushing me to buy new tack too because my stuff was all no name. HULLO how am I supposed to afford a $4,000 saddle? No one was ever able to answer that.
    07-09-2012, 06:32 PM
Well you also have consider that most decent horse jobs are not advertised! The ones that do are crap to work for...in my experience. You may have to start there in order to meet some people.

That is where getting the foot in door and meeting contacts is so important in the horse industry. That is how you hear about the better jobs.
Also like bsms said....there are so many people who would love to take your place, so why pay worth a sh!t? It weeds out the weak hearted too. If someone is not completely invested and wants to make a go of it, they are not going to make that sacrifice.

It is a tough row to hoe for sure.

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