Horse Jobs – How Good Does it Get and How Bad Does it get?

Take careful risks

Take careful risks

After 25 years in the business, I have collected lots of stories about the good and bad in horse industry jobs.   Here are a few of them.

The Good

  • Really good pay with benefits like housing, health insurance, retirement.
  • The owner really treats this like a real business and knows what s/he is doing.
  • I am continually praised for my good performance.
  • I am always paid on time, and get regular raises
  • This farm has really top notch equipment
  • These people really know how to treat and handle horses
  • The team I work with is the greatest.

The Bad

  • I was told I had the job and moved my family half way across the country.   When I showed up for work, they told me they had changed their mind and hired someone else.
  • This farm hires everyone as an independent contractor to avoid paying taxes, but treats everyone like an employee.
  • I am a month behind on being paid and my last check bounced.
  • My boss and her husband are fighting, and they take it out on me.
  • My boss is just plain crazy.
  • My boss or everyone here is on drugs or is an alcoholic
  • I never get a raise, but I always get more duties added to my job.
  • I am expected to provide my own car for company transportation and I am never paid mileage.
  • I am a Working Student.   I do my work, but I hardly ever get a riding lesson.

So, horse jobs come in all shapes and sizes.   It is not always easy to see the bad ones coming.   So, always have a plan B in case your job does not work out.   A good plan B should include where you will go, how you will get there, how you will live until you find the next job, how you will take care of your children and/or animals if you have to move.

by Seth Burgess

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