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How to become a Horse Groom

Horse Groom

What does a Horse Groom do?

Horse grooms, sometimes known as stable lads/girls or stable hands, care for horses, making sure they are healthy and in good condition.

Daily care involves mucking out stables, providing fresh water, preparing feed and replacing bedding. Some grooms are also responsible for daily exercising of the horses. Grooming involves cleaning, brushing and sometimes clipping horses' coats. If working with show jumpers or race horses, grooms prepare horses for events, and may accompany them.

In studs and breeding yards grooms work with stallions and/or mares and foals. They may assist vets in delivering foals.

During the course of their work grooms check for any changes in the horse's condition, report any problems and follow instructions from vets when treatment is needed. They may treat minor wounds, change dressings and give medication.

Grooms working in riding schools may greet clients, lead riders out on foot and accompany them on horseback.

What's the working environment like working as a Horse Groom?

Grooms work 40 hours a week, including early mornings, late nights and weekends. Overtime is common, as is part-time and casual work.

Conditions are cold, wet and muddy, and dust from bedding and hay can be an irritant. Protective clothing and footwear is needed.

Accommodation may be provided, but it can be basic and is often shared. The work involves travelling, so a driving licence is useful.

What does it take to become a Horse Groom?

To be a horse groom you should:
  • be physically fit
  • have good observational skills
  • be patient and willing to undertake routine tasks
  • be aware of health and safety issues
  • be able to work alone and as part of a team
  • have good communication skills
  • be a competent rider with experience of caring for horses, although this may not be an initial requirement for all jobs.

Horse Groom Career Opportunities

Further information