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-   -   What would you want/look in/for a working student? (http://www.horseforum.com/english-riding/what-would-you-want-look-working-19786/)

horsesandponies 12-27-2008 04:45 AM

What would you want/look in/for a working student?
 
I applied for a position at a dressage barn (around here dressage lessons put you into sticker shock 0.0;. Seriously though, they will, and they have), and in exchange for barn work 3x's a week I get a lesson. I do know how to ride. I was just wondering what would you look for in a person. For me it would have to be how they treat the horses. I don't want some heavy handed person smacking my horses on their heads for every little thing that they did incorrect or wrong. Nor would I want some light handed person who thinks a horse who draws blood from biting is oh so adorable -.-;. So I'm looking for opinons in what you would look for. I would really hate to blow this opportunity because I didn't know how to do somthing or appeared to be incompetant.

highlander 12-27-2008 07:50 AM

love, attitude, natural ability. i currently have a working student who comes down and helps but i find she's a little two soft and paddie just takes the micky out of her. her attitude is i work for rides and it means she doesn't help mucking out, she grooms etc and this lets me down. your attitude sounds about right. any good yard will give you the training you need if you dopnt know how to do something.
good luck i hope it works out.

starlinestables 12-27-2008 11:06 AM

I have a girl who is working off board and the horse she is buying from me. I allot her a min of 36 hours a month.. its up to her if she works more or less than that. She is a sweet girl but here are some things that could be her down fall.

-She is not as experienced as she let on.. so be very honest about your ability and ask lots of questions

- She has been working for about 2 months now and she is starting to flake... If you say your going to be there.. be there! Don't be a flake because once you get that reputation its hard to undo.

horsesandponies 12-27-2008 04:49 PM

Starlinestables I agree completely with being a flake. I have a co worker, that needless to say has gained a reputation for lets just put it nicely, a person you simply can't count on to get the job done (how many people do we know of that is like this? And I know how this feels, about knowing the person left something not done.... And than won't tell you :evil:). If you say you'll do the job. Do it. Don't do it half way. Everyone there has a serious dislike for him, and we're just waiting to see what the bosses have to say about his general attitude. For me, I take the blame if it's my fault, if not I try and tell in who gave me the wrong information about what to do. I do admit though I have one flaw, I try and do more than one thing at a time (usually because the bosses know I will do what they ask, and it's usually multiple things at the same time.... And they know if I forget to do something, if this happens that I don't do it on purpose. Everyone knows that). And I usually make lists. I keep telling everyone this, but few ever do. I do reconize my flaws and always try and come up with a solution, to prevent myself from getting a reputation.

upnover 12-30-2008 06:35 PM

We've had to hire/fire so many barn help it's ridiculous! Yes, the way people treat the horses is absolutely crucial but honesty, work ethic, and willingness to learn are almost more important. I would SO MUCH RATHER get someone who's had little horse experience but is eager to learn and willing to work hard then some "i've had horses my entire life and don't care what you have to say" know it all. We just fired one of those that was completely ignorant and horrible and not a single boarder was sad to say goodbye. I could go on and on about the stupid things she said and did but I won't bore you with details. Just be honest with your abilities and make sure that they know you're willing to work hard! hard workers are hard to find...

moomoo 12-30-2008 06:47 PM

I would say friendly but not so chatty you get distracted too much, friendly to clients :-P and nice but firm with the horses, knows basic stuff. Get the jobs done, then find stuff to do, like brushing up/filling nets etc.

fedex 12-30-2008 07:43 PM

Be relaxed and humble in your ability. I see riders who think they are top material. Some, who think showing punishment to a horse is impressive. They ride with arrogance and forget that riding is a team effort, your teammate being your horse.

So I would look for natural ability. Your position should be correct and your signals clear. If I saw someone who was having a hard time doing something that should be relatively simple, I might second guess my decision. In no way should you interfere with a horse while they're working... ie: hanging on their mouth, unstable leg, bad balance etc.

I'm sure that's not you (: I am a working student at one stable and I just help exercise the horses, along with Ripley who is boarded there. I go out to ride him on a daily basis.

So I know that you might feel all eyes are on you (I know I did!)
But just stay calm, feel your horse and communicate. Be as helpful as you can without nagging. Use common sense. Logic. You'll be great.

PaintHorseMares 12-30-2008 07:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by upnover (Post 219764)
We've had to hire/fire so many barn help it's ridiculous! Yes, the way people treat the horses is absolutely crucial but honesty, work ethic, and willingness to learn are almost more important. I would SO MUCH RATHER get someone who's had little horse experience but is eager to learn and willing to work hard then some "i've had horses my entire life and don't care what you have to say" know it all. We just fired one of those that was completely ignorant and horrible and not a single boarder was sad to say goodbye. I could go on and on about the stupid things she said and did but I won't bore you with details. Just be honest with your abilities and make sure that they know you're willing to work hard! hard workers are hard to find...

I agree totally...work ethic and reliability.

BeauReba 12-30-2008 09:23 PM

Definitely someone who wants to learn - no matter how much experience they have! Someone with a good head on their shoulders full of common sense, and definitely good customer relation skills.

fedex 12-30-2008 10:00 PM

To add on..I had a sudden interest in sharing again.

Know the terms.
If my western friend needs help tacking and starting a horse for him, I ask which bridle he would prefer. When he says "a bit," I know he means a curb and not a snaffle. I haven't ridden western in years. But I have to know it because it's what he needs. I also use common sense to pick which bridle. There's a tack room full, of course. Knowing each bit's severity is important.
Try to remember everything you can. I always seem to forget which horses get joint supplements when feeding. Learn it early on, it will help you later on.


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