Why are horse people often expected to work for free? - Page 3
 
 

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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
  • Horse industry not worth working student

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    07-09-2012, 06:29 PM
  #21
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by COWCHICK77    
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.
When ya put it that way it does sound a little more cowboy. I reckon I'm just going on a tear today because of that crazy flaky ad.

How are things out west?
     
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    07-09-2012, 06:39 PM
  #22
Trained
If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
     
    07-09-2012, 06:54 PM
  #23
Green Broke
I don't think it's really that surprising.

Like you look on here and the first advice from a lot of people is to volunteer somewhere to get horse experience/time. So why are we surprised when barns don't want to pay, when we're sending all this free labour their way?

I don't mind the concept of a working student if they're working for someone real good, and the conditions are good. In some places board/lessons are expensive when compared real sort of minimum youth wage. When I was working full time at 17 I was only getting $300 a week, and then I had to pay all my living costs like rent and food. If I wanted to keep a horse in the city where I lived the minimum board would have been at least $120 week, so it was not even an option. If someone is offering you food, accommodation, horse board and lessons, if the place is of high quality it's a pretty decent deal for the unqualified.

I've seen a lot of working student positions that are based on a lot of riding and very regular competitions, which I think can be a good, short term way of getting started.

It's not just the horse industry though that this happens in. I'm going to begin a volunteer position at a family centre in order to get more experience in social work, as I plan to do a masters in it. Many people volunteer in the field of interest to get some experience in order to be employable.

It's a bit rough being a working student I think - but the horse world has never really been easy, especially now when horses are mostly a pleasure thing, they're not used for much work anymore. Back when they were used a lot on working farms or something, then there would have been more jobs around. People know the horse world is hard when they get in it, I've seen many unemployed people struggling to do something - anything really - with horses, and these were good, experienced riders. It's a choice they make.

I guess it boils down to the fact that a lot of people will work for near nothing in order to "get ahead" in the horse world. But this actually works to lower the overall conditions. If every horse person stopped working right now and demanded better conditions then businesses would have no choice but to improve or shut down. Not going to happen though.

Limited positions + many desperate workers = very low wages.
     
    07-09-2012, 07:03 PM
  #24
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian McDonald    
When ya put it that way it does sound a little more cowboy. I reckon I'm just going on a tear today because of that crazy flaky ad.

How are things out west?
No...it sucks. That is why I have had to switch back and forth between a "real" job and horse jobs...because I end up going broke and tired from working 7 days a week! But I just have done it enough times that eventually I worked my way up. And because of that, I had to really want it.

Things are good out here...we are still saving for a place in NV so we can do our own thing instead of working for someone else. All it takes is time and money!
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    07-09-2012, 07:04 PM
  #25
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by waresbear    
If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
LOL! For sure!
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    07-09-2012, 07:22 PM
  #26
Showing
Working student means barn slave. These barns seem to think we should feel priveleged to work for them, or stupid enough to. If one is that stupid then they aren't smart enough to learn about horses other than the grunt work so you remain a barn slave.
     
    07-09-2012, 07:33 PM
  #27
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
Working student means barn slave. These barns seem to think we should feel priveleged to work for them, or stupid enough to. If one is that stupid then they aren't smart enough to learn about horses other than the grunt work so you remain a barn slave.
While I agree it does suck, and sometimes you are treated like sh!t...I am proud that it didn't come easy. I was unable to take lessons and buy a suitable seasoned horse in my preferred discipline, this was my best option. It was the long hard road but I have never been known to do things the easy or right way! LOL!
Unfortunately too many think they are entitled to things they didn't work for. Not saying that taking lessons is the easy way out, that takes time, money and dedication as well. It just wasn't an option for me. Plus I thought I wanted to be a trainer for the public and realized that I don't have the personality/tolerence for it. Lol
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    07-10-2012, 01:06 AM
  #28
Green Broke
For the same reason many of the barns have immigrants working for them. Saves money, plus it is sort of a tradition for those who want to end up training to do this many places.

But not good for those who want to make living working with horses, but not training.
     
    07-10-2012, 04:49 AM
  #29
Showing
A year ago I would have told you

"OMG THE EXPERIENCE, THE HANDS ON!!! IT'S INCREDIBLE!!"

But after having worked long hours with crap pay and finally getting out of that situation, I wouldn't go back. I need money because life is not cheap.

Not to mention my body is kaput. Rugby + horse job = death to joints.. I'm a walking popcorn machine. You can hear the pops miles away!

I rather stick to earning more than 30 grand a year doing something so-so and leave horses for my indulgence at the end of the day :)

It's just.. not worth it. I've learned far more on my own and via lessons than I ever did on site and my body feels happier about it too.

You're all right.. they just want someone to do the dirty work for them and dangling horses in their face--something that they know the person LOVES-- as some sort of compensation.

Better not to go down that road.
Saranda likes this.
     
    07-10-2012, 05:13 AM
  #30
Trained
In Australia, the minimum wage is $15.96 an hour. Around my area, the private lesson rate is anywhere from $80 - $160 per hour lesson, depending on the quality of instructor. I am sure you can do the math on that
     

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