Average Hourly Wage for Horse Care? - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By OTTB_2002
  • 1 Post By ksbowman
  • 4 Post By ACinATX
  • 1 Post By Aprilswissmiss
  • 1 Post By egrogan
  • 1 Post By OTTB_2002
  • 1 Post By MiniOak
  • 1 Post By Dreamcatcher Arabians
  • 2 Post By horselovinguy
  • 1 Post By carshon
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 10 Old 04-08-2020, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 2
• Horses: 0
Average Hourly Wage for Horse Care?


What is the average pay for hourly horse care in your area? I currently have a young girl coming three times per week to take care of the evening feed/chores for my two horses on days I work late.

The work should take about an hour to do, but she often completes it in less time (I still pay the full amount).

Chores include preparing nightly grain with supplements, preparing hay stretcher, throwing hay, mucking stalls, feeding the horses and brushing the horses. In the winter it also includes blanket changes and in the summer it includes taking off fly masks. We have our horses at home and the barn is inside the paddock. They are trained to go into their stalls during nightly feeding, which is why bringing the horses in isn't included in the list.

I currently pay $15 for the hour, totaling $45 for the week (3 hours). We agreed upon this wage when she began, but I want to make sure I am paying a fair wage.
286613 likes this.
OTTB_2002 is offline  
post #2 of 10 Old 04-08-2020, 06:47 PM
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Kansas
Posts: 450
• Horses: 0
How far does she have to travel to do the hours work? Transportation can add up if she travels very far and eats into that $15 (travel time evidently is not being paid). If she is trustworthy and dependable that sounds very fair. My horses and their care means a lot to me and if I don't have to worry that's great.
286613 likes this.
ksbowman is offline  
post #3 of 10 Old 04-08-2020, 06:51 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: CenTex
Posts: 3,157
• Horses: 1
I think that to a certain extent it depends on where you live. $15 an hour would be wonderful pay in parts of the country, not so much in other parts. Where I live, I doubt I could find someone to do that for less than $20 an hour.

"Saddle fit -- it's a no brainer!"" - random person
ACinATX is offline  
post #4 of 10 Old 04-08-2020, 08:27 PM
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 709
• Horses: 0
Agree with @ACinATX , completely depends on location. In my area, you'd be lucky to be making $10 an hour for barn work. The people who work at the barns and stables on my college campus make exactly minimum wage, non-negotiable, which is $7.25 an hour.
286613 likes this.
Aprilswissmiss is online now  
post #5 of 10 Old 04-08-2020, 08:35 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Vermont
Posts: 7,183
• Horses: 3
I live in VT. Ive paid a high school student 15/hr for mucking paddocks. In your case, Id probably round up to $50/week since she does a good job and sounds like you want to keep her.

When I pay a farm sitter to stay here and take care of all my animals (3 horses, 2 dogs, cat, and chickens) the going rate seems to be $25/feeding. We do three feedings/day.
286613 likes this.
egrogan is offline  
post #6 of 10 Old 04-08-2020, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 2
• Horses: 0
Thank you for the insight. I live in NH. It’s been awhile since I was paid for taking care of other’s horses, so I’m not sure of the average rates here.

She lives 5 minutes away from my barn and does have access to a vehicle. Additionally, I do pay her extra if I have her do an extra task (cleaning the water trough, raking, etc.). It ranges $5-$10 extra per task.

I suppose the reason I’m asking now is because I’ve noticed a decline in the quality of work in the past few months. I’ve tried to give her the benefit of the doubt as she is a good kid. I’ve given a few gentle reminders, but after a week or so, the work quality declines again.

Before I broach the subject with her, I wanted to make sure I am paying a fair wage and that wasn’t the reason for a decline in work quality. I think I will try to work this into my discussion with her and make sure she feels she is also receiving a fair wage. As I said, she’s a good kid and I want to make sure I’m holding up my end of the bargain as well.

Thank you for the input, this is very helpful to know I’m in the ballpark at least.
286613 likes this.
OTTB_2002 is offline  
post #7 of 10 Old 04-08-2020, 10:12 PM
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 18
• Horses: 0
I made $8/hr at the farm I worked at. Now I did work more than 1 hour at a time tho so it was worth it, I was there almost full time hours as it was a big breeding/training facility.
286613 likes this.

Ghost & Petunia
MiniOak is offline  
post #8 of 10 Old 04-08-2020, 11:42 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: OK
Posts: 14,105
• Horses: 9
WOW! Hope nobody I hire reads this. OK has an "ag exemption" and you don't have to pay minimum wage and many places pay $3/4/hr. and call them "apprentices". Depending on horse experience and willingness to learn, I start at $8 and go up to $10/hr which is pretty much unheard of around here. They clean stalls, strip and re-bed as needed, evening feed and prep the breakfast buckets. They clean water buckets and pasture water tubs and refill all of them. They also help with spraying and mowing as time allows and I have one gal who's an exercise rider and she keeps my horses legged up for me while I try to get my back sorted out. We're all in constant touch, so we all stay on the same page, they can always text me and know I'll get back to them right away. I trust them when I go out of town, I leave one in charge and if she doesn't know an answer then she contacts me. They're in charge of anything chicken and horse related, we board the dogs out.

ETA *** I don't pay extra for extra chores, unless they come in on a day off to work. It falls under "other duties as assigned.". When we do have a big, extra project, I tend to hire them, their kids, spouses, cousins, whoever is willing and we feed them lunch and/or dinner depending on how long they all work. Everyone seems pretty happy with that arrangement. ***
286613 likes this.

Dreamcatcher Arabians is online now  
post #9 of 10 Old 04-09-2020, 06:26 AM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 13,430
• Horses: 0
An hour of work, if that you said...and she is paid $15 cash money..
That is more like $18 an hour if taxes came out for grunt work not hard to do.
No, I would not be paying her more unless what you ask is above and beyond "normal" duties.
I also would not give her the impression of hourly pay, but it is daily pay...how ever many hours it takes to complete is how much per hour she earns. You make it hourly it will suddenly take her 3 hours to complete in what she was doing in about 45 minutes...
Ag jobs, horses are classified under Ag... are less paid than the store cashier although the work is often harder by far.

I think you are more than fair in what you offer.
She is close enough to you she not need a stipend for gas...she accepted the job living where she does so she knows the rate is the rate...
If you are unsatisfied start looking for someone new to replace her, cause when you have the discussion she might walk..
That is not a threat not to speak to her, but it is reality today with the work-force as it is.
No one sticks around long, no one is truly dedicated to a employer and no one give it their all if they can get by with less effort for same $ given.
It is far more common people bounce job to job, no more where you started you work till retired...that seems something far in the past.

Technically the end of school is fast approaching and kids will be looking to make some $$, those who are motivated...
Sounds a easy way to make spending money extra to me...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
horselovinguy is offline  
post #10 of 10 Old 04-09-2020, 10:00 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 3,336
• Horses: 0
My daughter cleaned stalls at a training stable and made minimum wage in cash for the first 2 years she did it. Then the barn decided to take taxes out of her pay and gave her a raise to $9.50 an hour. She worked 10-15 hours per week. I live in NW IL
286613 likes this.
carshon is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome