We all dream of that 9-5 perfect equestrian job, where you get to ride all day, from dawn to dark. But in reality that’s not what happens for most grooms in the equine industry. For most, it’s really an underpaid, hardworking job that involves long hours and thick skin. It’s not an easy lifestyle, but it can be extremely rewarding being a horse groom.
Horse groom’s responsibilities are to provide daily maintenance for the horses that they care for. This can include; the preparation and distribution of feed, mucking out stalls, bathing and grooming, cleaning tack, equipping the horse (tacking up), cleaning and refilling water, first aid and assisting with many other day-to-day tasks.
A horse groom is expected to report back to those in management, especially when they notice changes in the horses behaviour, any injuries or hazards. Most grooms are expected to work during any weather conditions, about 6 days a week and between 40-60 hours a week.
5 Truths About Life As A Horse Groom
Here are some hard truths about being a groom:
You have to have thick skin
Your days may consist of being shouted at, being referred to as ‘you there’ and a lot of pressure. But despite all of this, the feeling of being rewarded is like no other.
Say bye to your body
That’s right. Your perfect figure and skin will soon be gone. Living off takeaways and junk food soon gets to you. Not to mention all the broken toes and rope burned hands. You will get injured, but it’s just part of the job right?
You will be super tired
You will be tired for every hour you are awake. The early mornings and late finishes do take there toll. Not to mention the restless nights worrying about your star horse being lame. All of this comes with a price, the fact that you will be cranky, mardy and may look for any opportunity to take a nap.
You may never like horses the same
This can be really tough. All the duties you used to rush to can soon become dreaded chores. Remember those early mornings as a kid? Rushing to the yard early with that eager sparkle in your eye, filled with excitement for the days ahead. Life as a groom will most certainly change that. You may start to look at horses like uncooperative colleagues, instead of the incredible animals that they are.
You may feel a lack of appreciation
This is something we can all relate to, the horsey world can be cruel, you have to wear your heart on your sleeve. Being a groom will often mean you get looked down on by many of the exterior riders and even your employers. Getting talked about may become second nature to you.
Despite all of these flaws, most grooms agree that they have the most rewarding jobs in the horsey world. Without them shows wouldn’t run and races wouldn’t be held. Grooming is really not a job for the undedicated, unreliable kind, but for some it’s a life worth living.
I would love to know all of your opinions on being a horse groom, please feel free to share them in the comments below.