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.
- 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.
- 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