Average Hourly Wage for Horse Care? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 04-08-2020, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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Average Hourly Wage for Horse Care?

Hello,

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.
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post #2 of 10 Old 04-08-2020, 06:47 PM
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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.
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post #3 of 10 Old 04-08-2020, 06:51 PM
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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
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-08-2020, 08:27 PM
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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.
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post #5 of 10 Old 04-08-2020, 08:35 PM
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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.
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-08-2020, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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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.
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-08-2020, 10:12 PM
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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.

Ghost & Petunia
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post #8 of 10 Old 04-08-2020, 11:42 PM
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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. ***

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post #9 of 10 Old 04-09-2020, 06:26 AM
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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.....
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-09-2020, 10:00 AM
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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
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