Night check fees?

Hiya everyone;
I’m a Groom and want to do Night Checks next Show Season either in addition to or instead of morning mucking.
What would you pay for Night checks at the showgrounds?

I was thinking $5/horse for basic check: Feed and top-up water
and $10/horse for ‘Deluxe’; Feed, water (clean bucket), poo pick of Stable and change or put on any rug(s).

What do you think? :slight_smile:

Thanks!

I think it would depend on a few things - are you already being paid for “daily care”? With our barn, this was included in the “day fee” that we paid our grooms.

I haven’t heard of a separate night fee, but then again I am out of the loop. As client, I would expect that whoever was doing my grooming or stable chores at the show would fill water (clean bucket if needed), do hay and blanket appropriately. I would also expect this to be part of my day fee.

I would be doing it separately for people who either don’t have a ‘regular’ Groom and/or don’t want to go back to the Stables/Showgrounds at Night.

When I groom for someone full-time, Night checks are included in my Daily fee :).

Night care companies are generally arranged for by the show. Not sure if you could just strike out on your own and offer the same service. The going rate is around $5 per horse per night and involves documenting what the horse is doing every hour. They never touch the horse unless he were hung up in a bucket or something like that so no feeding or picking stalls. You could possibly get hired by the company that is already doing it at that show however.

Around here the shows do not offer any night check services, if you want to arrange something you do it yourself. Maybe Canada runs differently to the states in that regard.
The only other option you might consider OP is a hand walk. I know when I go out to do night check on my horse (or if I can’t make it I try to arrange with a stable mate) is to give my horse a hand walk to help fend off any stiffness. They don’t have to be long and of course it would cost a bit more.

I believe that accepting pay from someone you do not work for legally opens you up to liability issues. What happens if you are getting paid to check on a horse and he colics and dies while you are napping or checking other horses? Or gets loose and gets hurt? Or hurts you?

She is in Canada. We are not as likely to sue someone here.

I think your rates sound good, but agree that adding hand walking would be ideal! I think you should base your rates on $30 per hour, and figure out how much time you would spend per horse.

This is definitely a service I would use and I would want:

Water checked/cleaned/topped up
Hay fed
Stall picked
Short hand walk
Blanket changed if needed

How is this any different from braiders?
Who says she’s not gonna do it legally?
And She’s not checking on the horse the whole night. She’ll go there at the agreed upon time (usually this is around 8:30-9:30 or so), do what she was instructed/paid to do, shoot owner a quick call/message saying it was done and at what time and that’s it (or if she wants to be super careful she can take a pic of the filled water buckets/ hay/ horse and text it to owner, so they can see it’s condition themselves).
Obviously if she see’s something wrong with the horse she would let the owner know (maybe horse hadn’t had any poo in it’s stall at all and looking at it’s belly, or injury, or whatever)

I think not adding the handwalking would leave yourself less likely to get into trouble if something happens with the horse. Would you, for instance, need some sort of extra insurance to cover you just in case, for example, you take a horse out for a handwalk and he runs away from you, hurts himself or somebody else or their property. Would our local provinical memberships cover said damage in an instance like this? Would our own insurance still cover the horse if he was hurt while in your care? I know my insurance will cover if my horse is hurt but somebody elses might not be and even in Canada could possibly turn around and sue you!

Just checking on a horse though and throwing in the feed specified would be just fine with me. Handwalking by somebody else…no thanks (no offence but I wouldn’t want you to get hurt either if my horse does something stupid)

I don’t know Canada, maybe it is different there. Here night check is expected to check on the horse every single hour. You will see a sheet on the front of the stall that has the owner’s contact info both cell and hotel and lines to document what the horse is doing. One person may be checking on the majority of horses on the grounds so there isn’t time to mess with water buckets and bandages etc.
10pm Standing, eating hay
11pm Standing, eating hay
12am lying supine
1am Standing, eating hay
etc.

Was just at Nationals in Lexington. Paid $10 per night for someone to feed, water and check on the horse hourly. She also fed in the morning for me. Best money I spent at the show.

When I’ve done night check at shows, it was as Laurieace explained. Hourly rounds to verify that (basically) horse had water and wasn’t colicing and hadn’t been stolen. (seriously!) AND…unfortunately for me…it was a volunteer gig. We took turns doing it for multiday shows as part of hosting the show or as part of the barn crew.

Now, to be fair, that was breed show stuff (APHA/AQHA) and in TX and it was 10 years ago, so maybe I’m WAAAAAYYYYY out of the loop.

I think what the OP is proposing is fine, but I too would be concerned about giving the impression that if there WERE a problem, you’d just handle it and the O could sleep on…To me, a check is a check and if there’s an issue, the O should be called and expected to schlep on down to the barn to handle it. I wouldn’t want that liability.

[QUOTE=Laurierace;7265588]I don’t know Canada, maybe it is different there. Here night check is expected to check on the horse every single hour. You will see a sheet on the front of the stall that has the owner’s contact info both cell and hotel and lines to document what the horse is doing. One person may be checking on the majority of horses on the grounds so there isn’t time to mess with water buckets and bandages etc.
10pm Standing, eating hay
11pm Standing, eating hay
12am lying supine
1am Standing, eating hay
etc.[/QUOTE]

Night check here involves coming at around 9. Feeding the horse hay, filling water buckets, a quick hand walk, maybe exchanging blankets, then the horse is on it’s own till morning, just like the horse would be at home. At the Gold rated shows around here, that’s all I have ever heard/seen someone do and that’s all the barns I have boarded with do (and generally it’s done by one or 2 of the students and you switch off so every body takes their turn)

OP I think your services may have potential. I would recommend getting “in” with a few of the bigger A barns and offering a group rate. If you are able to get 5-6 of the bigger barns that stable at Palgrave, Angelstone etc. it would likely be worth your while. However, you will have to make it “reasonable” for them. Once you build your business/services then more may hire you.

Most of the Ontario A shows are based out of a few facilities and generally hourly checks aren’t done as there are always people up braiding, drinking (lol). Someone will usually come to your trailer if something isn’t right with your horse. Or, being a friendly Canuck, one will often help a horse in need (ie. stuck in a haynet) without hesitation.

Night check generally would consists of water, hay, blanketing and potentially handwalk/stall pick.

Good luck, and I’ll hire you next year haha…but I only have two showing.

Insurance wise the OP would likely be covered by having an association membership (EC or OEF).

I have not seen shows here do/offer hourly night checks.

I don’t think hourly checks are at all common in Canada

This service is not available at shows I typically attend. I would happily pay $20 plus to have a night check that included filling buckets, feeding hay/night snack, etc. I would pay more for an hourly check and be thrilled if it included feeding breakfast. Most of the shows I attend are a long way from hotels and it would be worth a lot for me not to have to drive twenty miles for a 10pm check and then back at 6am to feed.

I pay $5 per horse per night for the night watchman, who has a log sheet where he logs the time each time he comes by the stall area. If I set pre-scooped buckets and hay flakes outside of each of the stalls, he’ll also feed in the morning.

The show doesn’t coordinate him, so he gets business mainly by word of mouth among trainers, as far as I know. He posts an envelope with his name on it in the tack stall for each trainer, and collects checks from the clients.

Thanks everyone. Interesting issues raised, but generally what I would do is essentially an evening feed/skip out of stable, and rug change (if needed) and of course just a general check to make the sure horse looks fine. If anything looks amiss, I would contact the owner. However, that is no different than when I do my “regular” grooming/horse care or farm sitting.

I actually operate as a small business so have business insurance and also liability insurance through my equestrian associations (AQHA and OEF). This would just be another service that I would do in addition to my grooming and stable management. :slight_smile:
I usually just work at WEF in Winters anyway cos I’m an Ecologist in Summertime! (I actually have dual US/Canadian citizenship.)

Anyway, thanks for the feedback :).