How much $ for Stall Cleaning, etc? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 33 Old 02-25-2012, 10:05 PM
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Another thing to consider, is to make it worth it to get help out.. the less hours they work, the more per hour they will probably be wanting. It's hard to justify driving somewhere if you are making 8.00/hr and they have 2 hrs worth of work/day.
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post #22 of 33 Old 02-25-2012, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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Okay... rant update (sorry, this is probably its own thread)

Thanks for the responses everybody. Eh... the situation I am referring to, the family was offered $3.00 per stall, and we told them that, on a good day, that should work out to about 3-4 stalls per hour (so $9-$12 per hour, so not bad, right?). They were shown and reshown how to perform what was expected of them. All they had to do was clean the stall (no water bucket scrubbing, etc... they didn't even have to re-bed them, we did it). Also, they were here everyday, regardless of stall cleaning or not and only lived about 8 minutes away. We also allowed them to work when it was "convenient" for them, which resulted in these people cleaning their own horse's stall almost every day because by the time they came, all of the other horses were in. Ended up being WAYYYY NOT helpful to us, at all.

Turns out, the family has a serious problem with being respsonsible, apparently. We finally had THE chat with them, after showing/explaining on an almost every-other week basis what they needed to do and what they were "missing". We told the people we couldn't afford to offer them the opportunity to work off board by cleaning stalls, and perhaps we could work out other options, such as picking up bulk bedding for us or something. We tried it... both times the guy went on his own to pick it up, he refused to tie down the load, which resulted in over a 2/3 loss of bedding in one trip (which is a lot when we pay by the lb). I had gone with the guy twice, including the first time during which I explained the need for tarping. Both times I went, I insisted on tarping and tying down the bedding so it didn't float away like loose cash in a tornado (not to mention the tickets you can get for losing your cargo on a road!!!!!). I explained that we couldn't afford to lose bedding on the road and it was necessary to make sure it was secured.

Finally, we told the family "Sorry, we can not afford your help"... we kindly left out the part that it was because really, we can't afford to pay for shoddy, substandard help. We put it in writing, too... and told them we'd understand if they couldn't afford board and had to leave, absolutely no hard feelings. Even invited them to come and use our arena for show tune-ups, since we knew their budget was for pasture board at a place without an arena. We try to keep an open door policy with our boarders, so they know they can talk to us about problems. These people had about 43 days notice that in April they'd be responsible for paying full board (for the month of March they'd still get the credit they'd worked off). We reminded them of their contractual obligation for 30 day notice if they chose to leave (because, you know, we were nice enough to give them time to do this instead of just screwing them and telling them they owe FULL board for 30 days notice, instead of pro-rated with credit for work performed). They came today, handed me an envelope as they were putting their horse on the trailer, smiling and chatting, as fake as can be, and left. I opened the envelope to find a nice and I mean NICE and nasty letter about us changing our contract (which we didn't do, I even gave them a copy of the contract), and a really bizarre and hard to follow "calculation" for additional work they didn't perform and a check for $152.00 less than what they agreed that they owed?!?!?! Not that I'd have wanted them to stay or even leave their horse here any longer (they were just kind of difficult people), but I kind of wish I'd have opened the letter while standing in front of their truck in our driveway so I could have at least claimed our lien on the horse AND equipment as specified in our contract, as a way to convince them to pay up.

My grandfather always told me to avoid horse people because they're crazy. It is has been my experience thus far that, for every 5-6 good ones, there is one really rotten, awful, discouraging one. Ah well... I suppose I'm hoping karma catches up with these people. People management issue, for sure...

Last edited by sillyhorses; 02-25-2012 at 11:47 PM.
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post #23 of 33 Old 02-26-2012, 12:11 AM
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Warm hugs and horsie thoughts!!

If it helps, I think that you did right by them, and they failed.

You are better off all the way around with them gone. Hope tomorrow is a better day!
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post #24 of 33 Old 02-26-2012, 04:49 AM
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I wish your barn was where I lived, I'd work hard everyday for the opportunity to have even a small slice of money off the board. I'd do anything you want, hell for the last 3 years I helped out at my pony club doing everything from bringing in horses, taking them out, cleaning, tacking up little kids horses, washing buckets and just anything that needing doing. If I were you i'd get onto those people as they should not get away with it, especially of how generous you really were to them. Your letting them walk all over you, choosing the time to work, choosng how to work, doing what they saw fit, not pushing them to do what you want, letting them pay only a bit of the money they actually owed you at the end? that shows no respect, obviously your way too generous for your own good(please come live here and bring your barn lol, i could do with a friendly barn owner and someone whos very willing) but you should honestly fight back. Horses arent cheap and these people need to realise it, especially for you to run it :/ I have you get your money back..

p.s I am 17 nearly 18 and i get paid at a fastfood place 12 dollars an hour so id say its would be 8-12 an hour but it could be different where other things are involved.

p.p.s When I worked for free at my pony club my instructor made me a deal that if i bagged poo at 2 dollars a bag she would let me have another lesson later on in the day. the lesson was 30 dollars so i had to do 15bags before I could even think about going and asking and we used to do a few more just because the money went to buying new items.

edittedp.p.s.s sorry for all these... you could also try this. we had a competition when you picked up a bag of poo you got a green ticket, the ticket went in to a draw to win something such as a lead rope, a soft brush, currycomb etc and the little kids loved it and would bag poo all day to get as many tickets and as many chances as possible. heres just a few odd thoughts for you, dont know if they will help at all but anyway goodluck!! :)

Horseriding- The art of keeping a horse between you and the ground.
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post #25 of 33 Old 02-27-2012, 12:51 AM
Green Broke
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Location: Louisiana
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I clean stalls in trade often for lessons. I get one $40 lesson for stripping and rebedding 8 stalls most times. Sometimes it's heavy picking, always adding new bedding.
Barn owner / trainer is a close friend, I'd do it for free, so I don't know what the "going" rate is, this is just how I do it so i can help her out and she can help me, ya know?
Generally takes me about 3 hours to do them really well, sweep the barn up and wash water buckets in each stall
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post #26 of 33 Old 02-27-2012, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for allof the responses!
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post #27 of 33 Old 02-27-2012, 03:40 AM
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Hello. :)

I work cleaning several different stables in my area. I get paid between $2.50 and $3.50 per stall in NW Washington. I think it is a reasonable rate. I have several suggestions for you.

First, as has already been stated, you need to be very clear with your employee. They are working for cheap. You learn really quick what kind of a person they are when they're getting small pay. When you are the boss, it's not "You need to do XYZ." It is "You need to do XYZ because I am paying you, and as your boss I will fire you if you are a bad employee." Put that threat out there, don't be afraid to do it. You really should have told your hand that he did a bad enough job that you fired him. Don't beat around the bush with this next time.

As you look for someone else, try to find someone motivated. There are people out there who aspire to become a professional horse person. Find someone with equine goals, professionally or competitively. Are you experienced in training or competition? Find someone who wants to learn from you and they'll give you the best efforts. I'm working towards becoming a trainer in WP and Reining. I clean stalls for a world class trainer in my area, and I learn from her just from chatting while we work around the barn. She pays me cheaply but I appreciate the knowledge more than the pay. I also clean at other stables around the county too. Working around horses is what I want to do, and so I'm doing it at any price. I realise that I've traded a job with money for a dream job, they are not the same thing. A lot of good people are around, sometimes you just have to look. Don't go for the backyard horseman who barely does anything with his horse, he is not invested enough in the hobby to work hard for it.

DON'T PAY AN HOURLY WAGE unless you want a full time employee. A stall cleaner might start out taking 30 minutes per stall, but as their skills and stamina increase it will only take them 15 minutes. If your barn has 12 stalls, 6 hours of work suddenly becomes 3 hours. At an hourly wage, the employee starts getting paid less and less as they work faster and more efficiently. They'll start taking longer and doing a worse job in the stalls to soak up more work hours, which will not be profitable to you. That is, unless you want a full time 7 am - 3 pm employee and you have jobs for them once the stalls are finished... then, by all means, pay by hour. If not, $3 per stall is reasonable imho.

Don't shy away from exchanging your board for their work. This is the easiest way to find that person who wants to invest and work around their horse. Be clear about how much of the board will be knocked off for how much work. Don't give them discounted board until the beginning of the second month. Think of it like a paycheck - you don't get it until after you have put in the hours. If you discount the board for your cleaner, they need to clean this month for a discount on next month's board. This way, if they waffle out on you, you haven't already paid them AND they have already paid the month's board! Even if it's not "real money" you are handing over, you need to make them work for it before you give it to them or you're setting yourself up for a pickle.

I've worked cleaning stalls at various stables for 9 years now, and I've been through various set ups. I hope I helped you in some way, I think I addressed the important parts! :) If you have any questions I'll be glad to answer.
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post #28 of 33 Old 03-02-2012, 02:04 AM
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Right now I have 3 boarders work off part or all of their board at the rate of $8.50 an hour. They clean stalls, feed, hay, sweep. They keep track of their hours and what they do during those hours. I've done it so I know how long this stuff takes... if the hours don't add up, then I say something. I love my girls...they make barn ownership bearable.

A lot of the area farms have live on site help (some illegal some not). The accommodations vary greatly. Some have single wide trailers for a family or for 3 or 4 guys to share while others have a small one bedroom apartment. The going rate so far is between $300-400 a week plus a place to live and utilities and that gets you 8-10 hours a day 6 days a week. So Mexican or no Mexican.. they are not cheap. A place to live plus $1200 a month. For them, that works out to be around $2000-$2500 a month or $10-12.5 an hour. I would LOVE to have live on-site help. I just don't have a place for them to live yet.

~ Starline Stables ~
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post #29 of 33 Old 03-02-2012, 02:28 AM
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At all the places I've worked I've made $10-$14 an hour. However, as someone who owns horses and is and always has been particular about their care, I've learned how to clean a stall very well in a short amount of time and even one little poop kernel left in a stall drives me bananas. The place I board, and where I worked regularily for about 2 years there are 26 stalls, all bedded with shavings and mucked out/hauled with wheelbarrows. The one girl that worked there and I, with someone hauling dirty stuff out and clean shavings in, would have all 26 horses blanketed, turned out (leading 1, MAX 2 at a time), stalls mucked and re bedded, barn swept and feed and water buckets cleaned in 4 hours. And the stalls were poop-less and bedded to the eyeballs. Then we would mix feed and have lunch by noon :) It was very, very nice. With a slower person and hauling our own shavings the latest I would get done is 1pm. So, even with the slow person that's less than half an hour per stall with everything getting done.

It's more about finding someone trainable, I think. Or find a dressage rider ahahaha!!! :P And actually the best is usually to find a stay at home mom looking for extra $$ because after she drops the kids off at school then she will have a few hours to kill. It's exercise AND money!! Our "on site" barn help is a mom and she is totally awesome! And she isn't the first awesome mom we've had for barn help.

They say money doesn't buy happiness -- well happiness doesn't buy horses!
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post #30 of 33 Old 03-02-2012, 02:34 AM
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I second Anebel... The stay at home moms are the best! Used to cleaning up after their families.. the barn is like a gym/vacation for them! I know I'd rather clean the barn than my house.. :o)

~ Starline Stables ~
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