Today I need to dip into the knowledge pool that are my awesome blog readers, and get y’alls advice on something. Specifically — barn sitting.
As I approach my last month in Austin, and subsequent last month of working, I’m starting to think about what I’ll do for side money in California. The first year of my school does not include a TA position. While I’m super fortunate to have a fellowship and parental support, I’ll need to work part time for spending money (mainly for a certain bay Thoroughbred).
For my college 1.0 experience, I tutored as well as worked part-time at a dry cleaner. Not exactly glamorous stuff, but they were jobs that gave me horse money and were generally pleasant. However, they had a pretty strict schedule and for at least my first semester I’m trying to find part-time work that I can turn off/on as needed due to school obligations. After all, school is my priority for the next two years and I need to be able to free up my schedule as needed.
All that being said, one of the first thoughts I had was doing dog walking. I won’t be able to stay overnight (because my own dogs) or board dogs (because apartment), but I’ll have a pretty open schedule that should allow drop-in visits for clients. The problem with dog walking though, is that there are a million people who want to walk dogs for side money. You know what there aren’t a million of though? Horse people!
There are a few towns near my school that have lots of little farmettes and horse communities, so I think it’s a strong possibility there’s a potential clientele in the area. I obviously have a lot of horse care experience, and have worked at a farm before so know the ins and outs of feeding/mucking/turnout. That being said, I’m curious to hear from y’all on both sides of the equation — as people who have farm sat before, and as farm owners who would potentially hire someone.
I don’t have a vehicle capable of hauling a trailer. I’ve hauled before and am very comfortable with a two horse, but is that a deal breaker?
I’d have to bring my dogs with me. They are excellent around horses and perfectly house trained. If there are dogs left on the property (likely I think), Eliot is very used to a crate/rotate situation so he gets
I’m smart at basic wound care (can sweat/standing wrap, pack feet, clean wounds, give IM shots etc) but I haven’t given IV shots. This could be something I could learn while still in Austin, but I’ve been shown before and have never been super comfortable with it. Not sure if this is something of concern or not.
And finally, what are overall tips/suggestions/things to make myself aware of? Is this even a worthwhile consideration, or a fool’s errand since I’ll be a brand new horse person in the area with my only references being Texas folks. I can create a professional looking website for pet care in about a weekend, and know how to market myself well… but I don’t want to put forth the effort if it’s a nonstarter to begin with.
Appreciate y’alls input!