Doing barn work at horse farm in exchange for free rent - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 08-07-2013, 05:25 AM Thread Starter
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Doing barn work at horse farm in exchange for free rent

Well I'm semi new to the forums since I tend to lurk.
I came across an ad in a local paper where I could live rent free in exchange for doing chores. Even permitted to exercise their horses. Sounds great to me since right now I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place! (No home, decreased work hours, living with a friend and have a disability...oh what a life)
I definitely want to work with horses. Right now I attend a equine therapy program for us veterans with PTSD where we learn so much about ourselves through the horses. I'm learning how to train horses and I'm going to start training my own barrel horse (with the aid of the man who is lending him out to me. He also started the equine therapy program.
I'm curious as to why barn chores entail. I know about mucking stalls but that's it. I'm used to pastured horses.
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post #2 of 15 Old 08-07-2013, 05:39 AM
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Barn chores are like 'other duties as assigned', i.e. anything that needs to be done. Can be mucking and bedding stalls. Watering, haying, and feeding the horses. Putting on/taking off halters, blankets, flymasks. Turning them out and putting them up, etc, etc, etc.

In my experience, these arrangements either work great or are disasters. Make sure you have a written agreement, especially detailing the hours and days you are to work, the duties, and what is covered by the 'free rent', e.g. utilities, etc. Caring for horses at a boarding barn is a 24x7, 365 day a year business, so getting weekends or holidays off is often a problem.
Good luck.

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On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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post #3 of 15 Old 08-07-2013, 06:15 AM
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Agree with the above... contract is SO important, no matter how nice they are. And also find out how much notice you have to give prior to leaving if you need to.
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post #4 of 15 Old 08-07-2013, 06:20 AM
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As PaintHorseMares said, a written agreement is really important.

It can be any range of things, so you'll have to ask that. Work out what your average wage would be, and then amount of hours their chores will take, and the market value of the rent. Make sure it all works out. You don't want to be doing $200 "worth" of work for $100 accommodation.

Get it worked out what will be included, like do you get a room or a house? What days are you expected to work and what are your duties? Is internet, power and water included? Horse agistment?

Also, I'd recommend you agree upon a rental price, so if you are sick one week, or you go away on holiday, you can pay the rent for those times, and then go back to working for it.
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post #5 of 15 Old 08-07-2013, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Saskia View Post
Also, I'd recommend you agree upon a rental price, so if you are sick one week, or you go away on holiday, you can pay the rent for those times, and then go back to working for it.
A good point, sick or injured. What happens if you are injured by a horse while working, for example. A lot of these arrangements happen 'under the table', but this really is an employer/employee relationship that is covered by work related (and tax) laws.
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post #6 of 15 Old 08-07-2013, 07:11 AM
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Will you be mending fences and barns or any other maintenance required?
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post #7 of 15 Old 08-07-2013, 07:36 AM
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First, THANK YOU for your service

Second, all great advice that I can't add to. Especially getting a contract that includes what would be required if you were to become sick or injured, in some way

I wish you nothing but the best, as you move forward
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post #8 of 15 Old 08-08-2013, 12:27 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Southern Indiana
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What everyone else has already mentioned, plus putting hay up during haying season and bush hogging the pastures would be two additional things I'd want a farm hand to help with. Having one is on my list of things I want if we ever win the lottery. LOL
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post #9 of 15 Old 08-08-2013, 07:24 AM
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While it may sound like a great deal? What exactly are you going to do for money?

I am assuming here that you have a cell, 'net, insurance, car, personal needs like shampoo and such? Without cash coming in how are you going to pay for those? Not to mention food?

The arrangement may sound fine, but trust me, it is usually to THEIR benefit, not yours. And a lot depends too on what type of barn it is, and their hours.

I know one family that right now is trying to find a place to move as their apartment in right above the barn, and BO allows boarders to be in barn all night long partying, slamming doors, screaming and laughing as well as BO herself is out there at 3 am 'training' to blasting rock music.

Pretty hard to not be able to sleep all night, and then have to work all day long.

Even with contract, you can still get shafted.

Not sure if you have your own horse yet, but IF you do, and IF you do this thing, make sure all papers on your horse clearly state that it IS your horse, bill of sale, Coggins, and also all things that you will be taking with you if you take the job, stereo, personal things, computers, clothing, kitchen ware and any furniture.

Another girl barely managed to get her horses out of the same situation you are considering, and yes I do mean BARELY. Had she not been able to get them out of there before law arrived, (called by BO because "her horses were being stolen") she would be trying to get back her own horses!!!

As it is? All of her tack and her personal things are still there at barn as the BO told sheriff that "everything in that apartment and barn is mine!", don't know what friend is going to do, as over 4000 dollars in tack is being held that she can't retrieve, as well as everything else she needs, including ALL of her papers on every aspect of her life. Diploma, birth certificates, laptop, everything she took there, she can't get to now.

While people always think "there are laws against that" and they are right, the sad reality is the LAWS don't pay the attorney, people do. And if you don't have the money to fight, the law does not help you at all.
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Last edited by Palomine; 08-08-2013 at 07:31 AM.
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post #10 of 15 Old 08-09-2013, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2013
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They're going to call me today so I will see what everything entails.

As far as rent goes I don't pay any rent because I will be doing the barn chores.

I will have to see if I can everything work around my job, if possible, but if not then I can't take it up though it sounds fabulous. But if not then I'll have to pass on it :-/

Contracts are definitely a must with a lot of details that covers all my bases.

I do not own a horse (but hoping to!)

This is the ad:
Live at no cost in a small, furnished efficiency apartment. Available Sept. 1st on beautiful horse farm in Elizabeth, CO. Trade doing barn chores/horse care for rent. Washer, dryer, cable TV and all utilities included. Boarding your horse here can also be included if desired. If you can also do exercise rides on our horses that is a plus. Only big enough for one person. Ideal for a young person without a lot of possessions that is looking for an economical place to live. References required. Non-smokers only.
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