Horse GroomJob Description:
Horse grooms are responsible for the care and welfare of horses, and maintain stables and riding equipment.Job Category:
What you will do:
In a typical day, you will:
- give horses food and water
- clean equipment like saddles and bridles
- clean, brush and clip horses’ coats
- muck out stables and replace bedding
- monitor the condition of horses and report problems
- treat minor wounds, change dressings and give some medications
- take horses out for exercise
- physical endurance, as you’ll be moving around or in uncomfortable positions regularly
- to be comfortable working on your own a lot of the time
- the practical skills to be able to clean out stables and treat wounds
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
As well as:
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to use your initiative (ambition) for example, to report injuries or signs of illness to a vet
- to be flexible and open to change (adaptability skills) as your schedule may change depending on breeding seasons and weather conditions
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- physical fitness and endurance
To become a Horse Groom, specific subjects are not typically required. However, a passion for working with horses, along with a good work ethic and practical skills, is essential. While there are no specific academic qualifications needed, the following subjects and skills can be beneficial for a career as a Horse Groom:
- Biology: A basic understanding of biology can be helpful for understanding horse anatomy, physiology, and health. Knowledge of equine biology is essential for providing proper care.
- Mathematics: Basic math skills are necessary for tasks like measuring feed and medications accurately and managing expenses.
- English: Good communication skills are important for interacting with horse owners, trainers, and other staff members. Clear communication helps ensure the well-being of the horses.
- Physical Education (PE): Physical fitness is essential as the role of a Horse Groom can be physically demanding. You may need to handle large and powerful animals, perform manual labor, and maintain a level of fitness to keep up with the demands of the job.
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- specialist courses run by professional bodies
You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. In the UK, for example, relevant subjects include:
- Certificate in Horse Care
- Diploma in Horse Management
You may be able to get into this job through an equine groom intermediate apprenticeship.
This can take up to 18 months to complete. You’ll do on-the-job training and spend time with a college or training provider.
Courses last between 4 and 18 weeks, depending on your experience, and can lead on to an apprenticeship in racehorse care and a career as a groom.
Volunteering or temporary work in a stable shows employers that you’re keen to work with horses and learn more about the industry. You can also make contacts that may be useful when you start to look for paid work.
Working Hours and Environment:
A typical week consists of 38-40 hours of work. You could be required to work evenings/weekends/bank holidays flexibly.
You could work at a riding stable. Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers. You may need to wear protective clothing.
Career Path & Progression:
With experience and further training, you could take charge of a stable yard or become head groom.
In a racing yard, you could progress to head lad or girl, or to assistant trainer or trainer.
On a stud farm, you could become a stud groom, stallion handler or stud manager.
If you work in a riding stable you could become a riding instructor.