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I have a thread about my best horsey friend being sold, and that has been hard ): But I have a new opportunity to work at a hunter/jumper stable in exchange for learning to jump, and I'm pretty sure it's going to work out.

Any tips for being a (sort of) working student? I'm sort of worried that I will accidentally let a horse out, feed the wrong amount, offend the trainers, etc. It's a large show barn and I'm hoping I can prove to be a helpful, friendly part of this stable!
 

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"Sort of" a working student....
"Sort of" make sure your job requirements are clearly told to you, put in writing and both sides are in total agreement.
Working students often are used for any and all type of barn work, not the glamorous riding you imagine.
You will muck stalls, tons of them, feed, turn-out, do grunt work of anything and everything...
For minimal pay of that...
Honestly, you want to learn to ride and jump...
By all means work in a barn for a paid salary.
Use that earned salary to pay for your lessons that will have a set hour, set trainer/instructor and a lesson horse assigned.
Cash in hand for your days duties done...
To many times the "working student" seldom saw what they wanted so badly...to ride, to improve cause they were the grunt that stepped in to do the work that the employee who didn't show up was to do...
Not all working student programs are what they appear to the outside world or said to be...not by a long-shot.
Make sure if you do a "working-student" position you are not exploited, taken advantage of..
:runninghorse2:...
 

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I would try to get the agreement in writing, particularly how much riding you will get to do. I think "working student" is mostly a euphemism for dogsbody. I would expect to be treated somewhat poorly and worked to the bone. Be ready to stand up for yourself and/or leave if you don't get the riding time you were promised.

It could work out well for everyone, just be prepared that it might not.
 
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@horselovinguy and @ACinATX Thanks! I called my self a sort of working student because usually working students are in college or high school, looking to become professionals, which isn't quite what I'm doing. We have an agreement for riding time and work time, and I'm completely willing to do hard work such as mucking, grooming, and other jobs that are not quite as glamorous as riding. I should be going out to the barn this week to talk things over and check everything out so I'm hoping everything goes well! I know how important it is to learn ground work and horsemanship as well as riding. Again thanks, it's great hearing from those who are probably a lot more experienced than I :)
 

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I have a thread about my best horsey friend being sold, and that has been hard ): But I have a new opportunity to work at a hunter/jumper stable in exchange for learning to jump, and I'm pretty sure it's going to work out.

Any tips for being a (sort of) working student? I'm sort of worried that I will accidentally let a horse out, feed the wrong amount, offend the trainers, etc. It's a large show barn and I'm hoping I can prove to be a helpful, friendly part of this stable!
When I was younger, I had an excellent experience to be a working student. To me, if you're not learning, even if it is cleaning your 100th stall, that's your fault. It's not glamorous, but that's horses. You don't get paid well (or at all). I wasn't paid. But the wealth of information I received, couldn't be bought in lessons alone. I met people from all over the world and got to work with some amazing horses!! With that said some tips: Be punctual and show up when you're supposed to. Have a positive attitude--no one wants to work with a negative Nancy! Be a self-starter. See manure that needs picked up in the aisle? Clean it! Remove cobwebs, sweep, tidy up. Showing that you are disciplined and respectable will take you very far! And yes, take care of yourself! Communicate your feelings and if it isn't working out, inform the proper people and find a new situation. I wish you the best of luck!
 

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We have an agreement for riding time and work time, and I'm completely willing to do hard work such as mucking, grooming, and other jobs that are not quite as glamorous as riding.
Just make sure that agreement is in writing and is as clear as it can be, for your own sake.

It is not uncommon for people working in exchange for <something> to be lowest priority to the trainer. So you are working hard mucking stalls, etc and suddenly the <something> you were supposed to get is put off for a day for some seemingly good reason at the time, then time passes and maybe you only get one <something> instead of two during a week because of other excuses. Pretty soon, you are working very hard and not getting much in return. I had this happen to me when I was younger and since there was only a verbal agreement, I had no way to prove what had been promised me and was out of luck for the lessons owed.

While you always hope you are working with honest people, a written agreement is a smart move.
 

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Just to add to this... fuil-blown written agreements are 'awkward. As a compromise, if you choose not to go down the written agreement route, would be have an 'oral' agreement but then follow it up by en email- like "thanks for blah blah blah... as discussed, we have agreed that I would do xyz... and in return I would get abc....'

Of course it is not as good as a duly signed and legally binding contract, yet people tend to be more careful (both for legal and ethical reasons) when there is point of reference like an email. :runninghorse2:
 
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