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Old 01-04-2007, 01:45 PM  
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Fair rate for stall cleaning??

ok, so I have been cleaning 12 stalls a day for one of the STB harness trainers at my barn.
Now, these people arent really the best of people. Let me explain.
They lost the help they had during the summer. They then didnt hire a replacement for 3 months. The replacement lasted 2 months(?) until she got herself fired. (Think Jerry Springer ) So. They. Two people. Were trying to "train" 12 horses and muck the stalls. Shavings ran out at some point. Anyone see where this is going?

The barn smelled SO BAD. I was happy that my boys are down the other end! But it was like a septic tank up front. the barn manager, who normally doesnt venture to the rough board barn begged me to take the job. They "hired" me last weekend. I told the guy no weekend, no holidays. Its all I have with my husband AND daughter AND might have for myself and Rhett. I did however jump in and start cleaning that day(Saturday) The stalls at that point hadnt been done in TWO WEEKS! I kid you not. It took me 2 and a half hours to do 3 stalls. After nearly a week of working the stalls are for the most part easier to do. But these horses are IN all day. Except for the time they are on track. And I am nearly out of shavings for them. They pay another boarder with a pick up to get them for them... when there are some available at the mills. Lately it has been slim pickings. I use bag shavings so it doesnt effect me too much.

thing is, and I know its my bad. We never discussed money. Tomorrow is "payday" the going rate around here is $3 per stall. But I know these people are NOT going to pay me that. Never mind that that is a freaking bargain price for the daily cleaning these stalls need. it takes me just over 2 hours to get them done. Longer if they get in my way I have my daughter with me and she stays in either the car or Rhetts stall while I dig thru the mess that is the Jerry Springer side of the barn. My husband and housemate dont want me to sell myself short. I "know" horses and horse care etc. I was there alone this am and got the stall done before the owner even bothered to show up. I am a hard worker and really dont need the money. plus it does cut into my time getting my daughter to the park for play group. Oh and I got up at 5 New years Day to get there and clean the stalls. I knew they werent going to be able to get their drunken butts out of the house to feed,, never mind clean a stall or 12. And I was right. So i have already broken my no weekends and no holiday rule But I couldnt leave those horses in nasty stalls. They were done New Years Eve either. Would have been Sunday and Monday worth of pee and poop by the time I got there Tues to get them. Can you say EWWWWWWW!!??

Anyway, I was thinking $125 a week? Husband says 150. I just dont want those horses to suffer.. and the rest of the barn as well.. if they get pissed with me for asking for that much and tell me they will "do it themselves" Which they obviously dont do. I hate caring so much for the horses, but I swear they are SO thankful for me. You can see it in their eyes when I get there and start cleaning. then they immediately roll in the clean stalls when I put them back in.

Sorry this was so long.. but I know I am going to need to grow some by tomorrow. And although I care for the horses ( most are just 3 and 2 years old) I cant let that fog my being and nerve when dealing with this guy tomorrow. BTW. My friends who are also trainers there, have made comments to me and these people that the horses and stalls have never looked better. I just refuse to work for crap money. Its not easy freaking work. And I am not a spring chicken.
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:16 PM  
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hey if he's got 12 for training....he can afford 150 a week

it it were me, I say 175 so he can ""beat me down" to 150

no less since mondays are going to be bad....every week
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:33 PM  
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2.5 hrs\day, 5 days\week = 12.5 hrs
$125\week = $10\hr

I guess it sounds reasonable to me. But do not sell yourself short, especially if you think it's likely they will take advatage of you down the road - start yourself high enough that you won't feel doubly taken advantage of whenever they do try it. (You just know they will . . . )
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:35 PM  
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Would it be too complicated to get them to pay you by hour? Seems like that'd be better for you, especially since you will have to work extra hard (and long) on Mondays like Ron said. I am paid by the hour at the barn where I work, and it works out well between the barn owner and I because like you I am a hard worker and she doesn't have to worry about me slacking off. Then if he is a tightwad with money he could always take some initiative himself and clean some stalls if he doesn't want to pay you as much. Just a thought
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:57 PM  
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You say you're working Monday-Friday, right? Are the stalls getting done on the weekends? If not, and you're having to clean up the icky weekend stalls on Monday, then I think $150 is definitely appropriate. I would try to go alittle higher and I wouldn't do the "by the stall" thing. Try to get them to pay you by the hour. After all, some stalls may be alot more messier than others!
Don't let yourself get taken advantage of!
I pay alittle less than that, but I have 16 stalls, my help works M-Th, and the stalls get done by my family and me on the weekends....so basically, she's just picking them out daily and stripping out once during the week. I pay more for any lessons and training she does.
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Old 01-04-2007, 03:41 PM  
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When my daughter worked at a stable (before she went to college), she started out making (I THINK) either $8.00 or $8.50 an hour, then it went to $9.00 an hour. She did more than just cleaning out stalls BUT she was only 15 when she started there and 18 when she left for college.
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Old 01-04-2007, 04:55 PM  
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yes, Monday thru Friday. Stalls are supposed to get done on the weekend by either the owner or his sister. But honestly they are both useless. Even doing the stalls daily I have to strip atleast half of them every day. Thats what happens when they are in all but a half hour for "training". Today only 3 of them even got that much out of the stall.
I will try to stay strong tomorrow when dealing with him. I am going to finish the stalls then ask for my money. Seriously, if he doesnt pay me fairly he can do it himself. He has already pissed off the property manager and the other boarders at the place. He tries to screw me and his time boarding here will be pretty much done. Kinda nice being "everyone's daughter" and having the rep for being a hard worker and kind to the horses.
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Old 01-04-2007, 05:22 PM  
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When I had barn help, I paid $10/stall to clean, and $20/stall when they were totally stripped and rebedded. (I require that the old all be taken out, the dirt dug down, new dirt brought in and bedding thrown. )

I never had a problem keeping barn help. I also had a weekday person (full-time) and a weekend person (part time) so that the stalls were always being tended to. We had a certain number of stalls per day that had to be totally stripped and the others just cleaned, on a rotating basis, so all got stripped at regular intervals and both the weekday and weekend help had the opportunity to make the extra pay.

I think it is a very hard job, and you should be well compensated for it. I agree with the other posts that if this guy has 12 in for training, (said lightly, cause at 30 mins a day, what could they possibly learn!?) Then he should well be able to afford to have the horses cared for properly. And that means having a clean house!

So, stand strong and dont let him drive you down. Let us know what happens!
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Old 01-06-2007, 03:29 PM  
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well. i got paid. Wasnt easy. I swear the guy that hired me has been avoiding me since Friday. He asked me how long it takes me per day to clean the stalls. I told him 2.5 hours. "ok" he says. 10 minutes later he tells me he is going for coffee and will be right back. He must have gone to Columbia for the freaking stuff. He didnt make it back before i had to leave. Then I find out that night he took off with another trainer to go to Yonkers. Then I hear "You have to talk to his father about the money. He writes the checks" Nice. I never see the old man!!!
So I go to the barn this morning. No one there. I turn out and head home to help move the computer to the living room. I get back this afternoon to help work Liath and not only is NO ONE from that end of the banr there, but the stalls havent been touched. I told him I dont work weekends or holidays. It is all I have for "free time" ie kidless. And that i can spend with my husband also. Oh And the chances of me having shavings enough to clean the stalls properly Monday. Slim to none and slim left the building.
Anyway. "dad" shows up and is shooting the Bull with another trainer(my friend) who I know purposefully went over to talk to him to keep him there and make sure he paid me So I got my check. Granted,, Monday is going to be heinous. But I CAN NOT start cleaning stalls on the weekend as well. I have limited time to myself. And I am spending that time with my own horse, family and friends. But I got the $125 I asked for. If stalls arent done tomorrow and I have to deal with two days with of manure Monday am. I am saying something to the "son" and I will be adding the extra work to my paycheck next Friday.
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Old 01-06-2007, 08:23 PM  
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Good for you and good for the fellow boarder who helped to keep the "keeper of the checkbook" around to pay you. Definitely add something for monday if they look that bad - you are really doing 3 days worth of work in one and should be compensated for it.
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Old 01-09-2007, 01:44 PM  
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oh the stalls werent done over the weekend. YUCK! One horse was standing in a puddle of urine. I got there at 8am and didnt leave til 1 in the afternoon. Another horse(a wicked biter) had been in the stall for THREE DAYS. Uncleaned. I told owner/trainer that I could not and would not handle this horse as he is viscious. But did anyone.. he or his sister take care of it? NOPE And this is the ONE horse that is actually racing right now!
He finally arrived at the barn at 11am and I told him I needed shavings, hay and one filly(see other post in health board) needed the vet. He says
"Oh. Ok." then disappears to the other barn. comes back at 11:20 and tells me he doesnt have the vets emergency number on his cell and has to go home for it. he never came back.

So. I am adding another 50 to my bill this coming Friday. And when the old man asks why. I am going to tell him that I had to clean Sat and Sunday worth of piss and manure out of the stalls as well as the "usuall" mess. because his kids dont seem to think they need to take care of the horses at all. heavens these people aggravate me. OH And they also have a little Saddlebred gelding. He is pasture kept now that all the stalls are full. He has no shelter/windbreak or blanket. Most times they forget him out there and dont feed him. I have been feeding him (again) so that he doesnt starve out there. but there is nothing I can do shelter wise.
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Old 01-09-2007, 01:55 PM  
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I'm the hard.... on this one.
Yes you are getting paid, but that is a struggle.
People like this don't deserve horses, report them.
Do the owners that he's training for have any idea of what is going on?
You can't take up the slack, they will keep using you and in spite of your best efforts, the horses will suffer. You bailing them out makes them think that it is ok, that can manage the barn like this, not feed the outside horse and they will all do just fine.
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Old 01-09-2007, 05:19 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffian
I'm the hard.... on this one.
Yes you are getting paid, but that is a struggle.
People like this don't deserve horses, report them.
Unfortunately, even in the People's Republic of Massachusetts (and I'm originally from there) all reporting them will do is give them the opportunity to say that they have hired staff to tend to the horses but the staff isn't doing too well and come off looking like concerned business owners.

I think this is one you're going to have to take up with Dad as a concern. Remember, if he's paying, then you work for him. To the kids, you're the stall cleaner, not the barn manager. You're going to have to present Dad with a logical business-specific case for the changes you want to see. Not "it's good horsemanship" but rather "this will make things more profitable". In other words, if his kids don't clean the stalls on the weekends, you're going to be stripping more stalls than you would if they got regular maintenance and that costs him more for supplies and for your labor.

Oh, and tell himyou need a big flippin' pile of shavings to keep on hand.
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Old 01-09-2007, 05:33 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffian
I'm the hard.... on this one.
Yes you are getting paid, but that is a struggle.
People like this don't deserve horses, report them.
Do the owners that he's training for have any idea of what is going on?
You can't take up the slack, they will keep using you and in spite of your best efforts, the horses will suffer. You bailing them out makes them think that it is ok, that can manage the barn like this, not feed the outside horse and they will all do just fine.
sadly the owner IS the trainer as well. They have 12 stalls and there are 8 more in the barn. We have two and three other trainers have the other 6. We all complained to the property owner and the PO barn manager.
also, in the wonderful state of MA,,, as long as their is food, water, shelter ON the property nothing will be done. Yes the stalls, when I began a week ago, hadnt been done in 2 weeks . yeah that was fun. But the feeling in the barn is that everyone keeps to themselves. The only reason I took this on was to help the horses. The owner will not sell them. He feels there is nothing wrong. They brought these horses in last winter. Then brought back 4 more this past fall. Went to the OH sale and brought em back. I understand that some things are done differently in the racing industry. But to not take care of the horses because you are just too darn lazy ticks me off. The barn smelled SO horrible for so long. And my stalls are at the opposite end. I can only imagine how bad it was for thehorses to stand in it all day. I will keep doing this and keep making sure the little gelding outside has food. Until they fire me or I quit because I cant keep fighting an uphill battle.
I know that the other trainers and the PO barn manager appreciate all that I have done. I wont hear it from the owner, but I can also see it in the horses eyes. And the old man will just pay me for the extra work I do on Mondays until they stop treating the hhorses like crap on the weekends.
BTW- I am feeding the pm feeding this Thursday night. They are taking atleast one of their horses to Yonkers to race. and wont be back in time to feed the others. They will be paying me for feeding also. Sure I am going to be there to feed my two... but thats only two and I have responsibilites also.
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Old 01-09-2007, 05:47 PM  
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I think the extra 50 isn't enough for all you had to do because the stalls were not cleaned over the weekend.

I would probably get in trouble with my mouth when I went to talk to the man paying the bills about the condition of stalls and horses and forgeting to feed the outside horse.
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Old 01-09-2007, 05:55 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dixie
I think the extra 50 isn't enough for all you had to do because the stalls were not cleaned over the weekend.

I would probably get in trouble with my mouth when I went to talk to the man paying the bills about the condition of stalls and horses and forgeting to feed the outside horse.
I am a bit mouthy to the guy that is the owner. I just dont want to loose the job. Lord knows what will happen to the horses if I am not there cleaning the stalls. Seriously. I havent seen the sister, who was "helping train the horses" in 6 days now. She is a crack addict and has a new boyfriend. So lord knows where the heck she is. And the owner normally doesnt show up til 11. They have 12 horses. One is racing, but hasnt done any training trips in over a week. He had him on the gate with the two he has to requalify this week. But they are all going to be "short" makes going to Yonkers rather a waste of time and money IMHO. The old man wanted to know if I could go with them to paddock at the races. But I told him "Nope. I have my daughter with me as it is" plus I know NOTHING of harnessing a racing STB up. You would think I would know though. since i have been there for two years watching the other trainers harness up. I dont learn well through osmosis I guess
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Old 01-11-2007, 09:17 AM  
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What if you write the day, time worked and what you expect for pay (over time) on paper like a time clock and give it to them that way And of course keep a copy for yourself. Just a suggestion.
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Old 01-13-2007, 06:39 PM  
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so the "owner" had dad in the car. dad wrote a check for the same amount as last week. AND the stalls were not touched today!

I am going to take him aside tomorrow and tell him he owes me the additional $$$ and that he might as well ad an additional two days worth to the next check already as the stalls are probly not going to get done til Monday again. I hate that I was polite today and didnt want to say anything in front of the other boarders. But cripes. the guy is taking advantage of me!!!!
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Old 01-16-2007, 11:43 AM  
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The whole thing sound like a raw deal. I feel sorry for the horses there when the stalls are not cleaned.
Hydrated lime is what we sprinkled over pee spots (about a cup of two) after the bedding was flipped and the spot dug out,old reusable bedding went back down and new shaving went on top. Don't use plain straight lime it could burn the skin.You can buy the Hydrated lime at most garden stores.I think its @$4.00 or less per 40 lb bag.
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Old 01-16-2007, 08:14 PM  
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Originally Posted by dimpleflirt
The whole thing sound like a raw deal. I feel sorry for the horses there when the stalls are not cleaned.
Hydrated lime is what we sprinkled over pee spots (about a cup of two) after the bedding was flipped and the spot dug out,old reusable bedding went back down and new shaving went on top. Don't use plain straight lime it could burn the skin.You can buy the Hydrated lime at most garden stores.I think its @$4.00 or less per 40 lb bag.
We have some, but the stalls are SO bad that it really doesnt make a difference. I got there yesterday during the ice storm we had. Cleaned my two stalls then did 5 of the racers. I had my daughter with me and the roads werent the best, so I couldnt do all of them. anyway. I got there this morning at 830 and didnt get done with their stalls until nearly 1.
Owner comes in,Late as usual looks into one of the stalls I did yesterday and says "You were here yesterday?" I said "yup, they needed to be taken care of and I got here." He mumbled something about the trees being down at his place. Well they were down at the barn as well as most of the roads I need to take to get htere. yet there I was.

Seriously. one mares stall has a permanent urine pool at the back. The clay base has soaked up all it can and the shavings can only do so much as well. They took the rubber mats out. Which they shouldnt have done in this one case. Now I dont know how to get it "dry" I really dont see me using a cup or bucket to drain it. ICK.
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