Working For Board?
I work to ride at a barn in my area, and the owner offered me more work hours during the summer to have more ride time. They offer boarding there as well, and I was thinking about bringing Nell there so that I could have more help with her. She wouldn't need a stall, just a paddock, and I am able to buy her own feed. Would working for that kind of board be fair?
That's exactly what I do. My horses live outside because keeping them in a stall would be twice as much. I buy their food too because I use a specific feed rather than just oats.
Shrug. I prefer it to a regular job because even if I don't get to ride, I can still see them. If I were working the same hours at, say, a restaurant, I'd never see them between school and my "real" job.
How many hours do you work there?
Ha. I should add it up one day. I'm only actually paid for 4 hours, which realistically, if there are 2 of us working, it should only take 4 hours, if not less. But we tend to slack and it takes longer.
Since January, I've had the same schedule:
Mornings (stall cleaning, turnout, etc) I work Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Those take between 4-7 hours for us, depending on what crap goes down because nothing can ever go according to plan (ie, high maintenance boarders, our tractor hates us and frequently protests its job by just not working, etc).
And nights, where I just bring in the horses and feed everyone, I do Monday, Thursday, and Friday. That takes me all of an hour, hour and a half at most.
Sooo a guesstimation..maybe 20 hours a week on average? It covers the full price of board on one mare, the reduced price on my second one (which is a whole 'nother story, but I am more than appreciative of my BOs' generosity), and a check for whatever is left over.
I've done the work for board thing and it worked really well for me.
What I would recommend is sitting down with the owner and finding out exactly what they have in mind, before deciding if it will work for you. Lay everything out beforehand, the price, the expectations, how many hours you will need to work in exchange for board, what happens if you work more or less. Will you pay the difference if it's less, and will they pay you cash for the extra? You definitely should have a time sheet and keep track of everything, even they insist it's not necessary. Some places will want to do it by the hour, and some might want to do it by the job. Say mucking stalls on the weekends is supposed to take 2 hours a day, but what if it ends up taking 4 hours? What happens in that situation, anything like that should be talked about beforehand. If everything is discussed and agreed on up front, there will be no surprises and everyone will be happy. Neither party should be feeling used or taken advantage of in a situation like this, it has to be fair for everyone involved to work, it's so important to have that initial discussion that clarifies everything before you jump in.
And then to cover all the bases, might as well discuss how the situation should be approached if either party wants to discontinue it. Might save you a bit of a pain in the butt down the road, as well as a "How do I leave this situation thread?"
Just my 2 cents, having been there, done that:)
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