You love horses and really want to work with them? Lets look at being a professional groom
As a groom, you would:
- provide food and water for horses
- replace and move baled and bagged bedding and feed
- clean equipment such as saddles and bridles
- clean, brush and sometimes clip, horses’ coats
- muck out stables, sweep yards
- Possibly set up jumping courses, move poles etc
- watch out for changes in the condition of horses and report problems
- treat minor wounds, change dressings and give certain medications
- follow instructions from vets when treatment is needed.
- You may also be responsible for exercising the horses each day.
If you work with show jumpers or race horses, you will prepare them for events, and may accompany them. In studs and breeding yards you will work with stallions, mares and foals, and may help vets to deliver foals. In riding schools you may greet clients, lead riders out on foot, and accompany them on horseback.
Grooms who work with competition or racehorses will get many opportunities to travel both in the UK and abroad. This can lead to a very exciting job if you are part of a professional team; there is no greater buzz than seeing the horse that you love and care for winning a race or a medal! As a groom you can also work in a stud with stallions and mares, which is really exciting in the spring time when the foals are born.
You would usually work 40 hours a week, including early mornings, late nights and weekends. Overtime is often available, and you may be able to do part-time work, casual work or work on a freelance basis.
You would need to be prepared to work in cold, wet and muddy conditions, and you would wear protective clothing and footwear.
Starting salaries for unqualified grooms can be around £10,000 a year.
Qualified grooms can start at around £12,000 a year.
Experienced grooms can earn £16,000.
Some employers may provide you with accommodation and food. Some may also offer free stabling for your own horse along with riding lessons.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
You may not need formal qualifications to work as a horse groom. Experience of working with horses is valuable and could give you an advantage and help you find work.
Volunteering or looking for temporary work in a stable can be a great way of getting some experience. It also shows employers that you are keen to work with horses and learn more about the industry. It can help you to meet new people and make contacts that may be useful when you start to look for paid work.