What are transferable skills and why do you need them? What does it mean to be employable today and in the future?...
- Help look after horses, grooming them and taking care of their everyday needs
- You'll need a passion for horses and good skills, patience and the ability to ride
- Work can be physical and low paid but accommodation may be provided and there are opportunities to progress into supervisory, training or instructing roles
As a horse groom, there are a variety of different types of horses to work with, working with show jumpers or race horses, stallions, mares or foals, or even working with vets to deliver foals.
- Giving horses food and water
- Replacing bedding
- Cleaning equipment like saddles and bridles
- Cleaning, brushing and clipping horses' coats
- Mucking out stables
- Monitoring the condition of horses and reporting problems
- Treating minor wounds
- Changing dressings and giving some medications
- Following instructions from vets when treatment is needed
- You may also be responsible for exercising the horses each day
Some employers may provide you with accommodation and food. Some may also offer free stabling for your own horse along with riding lessons. You could be working at a riding stable or at a stud yard, and your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers and mucky conditions. Protective clothing may be required.
This role would be ideal for someone with thoroughness and attention to detail, flexibility and an openness to change, patience in stressful situations, customer service and excellent communication skills, and the ability to work well with and accept criticism from others.
You could take a college course in a relevant subject such as horse care or horse management.
You might be able to become a horse groom through an equine groom intermediate apprenticeship. If you're aged 16 or over and interested in working in the racing industry, the British Racing School at Newmarket offers a pre-apprenticeship course, lasting between 4 and 18 weeks, depending on your experience. This can lead to an apprenticeship in racehorse care.
Volunteering or temporary work in a stable may be beneficial if you're keen to work with horses and learn more about the industry, as well as make contacts.
If you're working with horses, you might be able to take qualifications such as those offered by The British Horse Society and The Association of British Riding Schools, including Entry Level Award in Assisting with Basic Care of Horses, Entry 2 Certificate and Diploma in Horse Care, BHS Stage 1 and 2 in Horse Knowledge Care and Riding, and ABRS Riding and Horse Care Certificate.
With experience and further training, you could take charge of a yard or become head groom. In a racing yard, you could progress to head lad or girl, travelling 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.