Working at a local barn - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 14 Old 07-12-2012, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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Working at a local barn

Do any teenagers work at a local equestrian barn for the keep of their horses or for free lessons?? If so I would love to hear about it and what jobs you do there?!
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post #2 of 14 Old 07-13-2012, 01:10 AM
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I used to be a working student at a local eventing barn. Basically, I cleaned the barn, set up jumps, and taught the younger riders basic horsemanship. It was fun and honestly I would have done it for free. There is another barn in my area that has an even better working student and even an internship program. In it you do everything I just mentioned but can bring your horse to the barn and have one free lesson a month. They have an indoor exercising pool for the horses, large arenas, and a half mile track. It is a great deal, but I have a job and can't commit the hours every week to do it.
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post #3 of 14 Old 07-13-2012, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ninjahorse View Post
I used to be a working student at a local eventing barn. Basically, I cleaned the barn, set up jumps, and taught the younger riders basic horsemanship. It was fun and honestly I would have done it for free. There is another barn in my area that has an even better working student and even an internship program. In it you do everything I just mentioned but can bring your horse to the barn and have one free lesson a month. They have an indoor exercising pool for the horses, large arenas, and a half mile track. It is a great deal, but I have a job and can't commit the hours every week to do it.
Wow that's so cool!!! I would love to be a working student
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post #4 of 14 Old 07-13-2012, 03:15 AM
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"working off" board or lessons almost neverr makes sense. DO the math and add up the hours. You are almost always better off getting a regular hourly wage parttime job and paying for the board and lessons.
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post #5 of 14 Old 07-13-2012, 03:55 AM
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I don't know about that the last barn I was at had 3 teenagers that did work for board. All three worked their buts off mucking stalls and turns outs, feeding, watering and doing pretty much whatever was asked of them. I also saw them often sitting in on lessons, they watched several of mine, all three of them had learned the basics of just about everything from western pleasure to hunter and even driving. Not to mention the general care of horses how to handle emergencies properly, and learning how to deal with multiple different horses and their personalities. I think those three girls just about lived at that barn. You can learn all of that by working at a barn. I just personally don't see the replacement for that. If you work a job it takes you away from the horses, then you have to balance school work and your horse. Personally I am a bit horse nuts so I prefer to spend all of my free time with them even if it is mucking the poo. That is just my personal opinion on it.
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post #6 of 14 Old 07-13-2012, 07:36 AM
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Sort of.

I am a working student, I work 5 days a week, 8am - 5pm and in return I am getting the training for my B.H.S exams.
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post #7 of 14 Old 07-13-2012, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by lives2hope View Post
I don't know about that the last barn I was at had 3 teenagers that did work for board. All three worked their buts off mucking stalls and turns outs, feeding, watering and doing pretty much whatever was asked of them. I also saw them often sitting in on lessons, they watched several of mine, all three of them had learned the basics of just about everything from western pleasure to hunter and even driving. Not to mention the general care of horses how to handle emergencies properly, and learning how to deal with multiple different horses and their personalities. I think those three girls just about lived at that barn. You can learn all of that by working at a barn. I just personally don't see the replacement for that. If you work a job it takes you away from the horses, then you have to balance school work and your horse. Personally I am a bit horse nuts so I prefer to spend all of my free time with them even if it is mucking the poo. That is just my personal opinion on it.
That's all fine and dandy but what about those that have mortgages to pay or rent to pay. Working part time at the barn won't cover that. It may not even cover gas to get TO the barn.

Working part time may get you free lessons or whatever, which is great for young people that have parents to pay for everything else, but not older people living on their own.

If I had it my way I'd never leave the barn and hang with my horse and his buddies all the time. But I have to buy food, gas, pay for car insurance, health insurance, clothes, any other bills that come up.

And I think every horse person is horse nuts.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #8 of 14 Old 07-13-2012, 07:48 AM
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I think working off board/lessons is a great thing to do for a teenager who is really into horses, or can't get their own job though.

Although I think you really have to make sure you not being taken total advantage of. As mentioned before, the hours probably won't be worth it (compared to a real job) but if the conditions are reasonable that's okay. But not all conditions are good, some barns will get kids to work like slave labour. Make sure you are clear how much work you will be doing and what you will be getting in return. Don't do 20 hours a week for one lesson or anything.
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post #9 of 14 Old 07-13-2012, 07:58 AM
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Hmmmm, I have a good job but used to walk other peoples' horses for cash at the stables - $5 a go or $40 for a week (twice a day) - mostly I was just happy to help but others got their livelihood from that type of work and it would have been wrong in my eyes for me to undercut them.

The people who asked me were friends and trusted me to do it, and to handle their horses well (I think they saw me deal with Brock and realised their hot young TB or big warmblood wasn't going to pose a problem lol). I liked walking them, getting to know them etc. Each horse posed it's own little challenges. I used to do feeds too and would love it when the horses would learn to move over for me on voice command. It was nice to practice my skills with different horses. As someone who didn't have a horse growing up, I still appreciate the mundane tasks
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post #10 of 14 Old 07-13-2012, 08:20 AM
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I have to agree with Sky. I was once a full time barn manager and eventually with gas rising, I had to quit my job because it was costing me money to get there. They didn't cover health insurance and my husbands job doesn't do +1 so that was a big expense.

As a teenager, I spent all my time at the barn. I worked as a trail guide and lead the pony for pony rides. We did birthday parties. I'd also dump and fill water buckets, clean stalls, tack/untacked, hot walk and whatever else I was asked to do. I didn't get lessons - they didn't do lessons but I was able to full lease my own horse every summer.
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