Part of a Series on Careers involving horses: Groom
You may think you can tell by the title what a groom does, but grooming horses alone is only a small part of their many responsibilities.
Grooms look after horses’ daily needs: providing food and water, replacing bedding, cleaning equipment, clean horses’ coats, muck out stables, treat minor wounds or change dressings, give medications or help when a veterinarian or farrier is visiting and more.
“Wearing many hats is the short summary of a groom’s job description. We are caretakers, personal assistants, technicians, chauffeurs and babysitters – just to name a few,” William Woods University alumna Lauren Keeton writes in The Chronicle of the Horse where she often blogs. Keeton groomed for Olympian Tina Konyot and was head groom at Jan and Amy Ebeling’s The Acres Dressage Training Facility. During her time with the Ebelings, she also managed social media and assisted with marketing as well.
A professional groom works to develop a trusting relationship with the horses under their care so that situations that could be stressful are easy, safe and successful and so that horses can go to work – whether it’s in the ring, or elsewhere – and do their best. Grooms often also handle travel and daily barn management. Sometimes grooms specialize in the care of certain age groups of horses.
Becoming a groom is a great way to learn about every area of equine care, and grooms can move up into management positions as they gain experience. Many stable managers, trainers, exercise riders and breeders started their careers as grooms.
Grooms can find positions with showing stables, riding schools, boarding farms, breeding farms, stallion farms, equine vet clinics, racing stables and more. Very often, groom employers provide housing for their grooms. Most grooms work six days a week, from 40 to 60 hours.
William Woods equestrian students experience 100 percent placement into careers when they graduate. For groom jobs, many use online sources like Yard and Groom, Equistaff and Horsejobs.ca. Your professors and advisers are also great resources; they’ve got some awesome connections with the kind of groom jobs, internships and summer work you’re interested in.
William Woods online masters of equestrian education offers equine professionals with innovative teaching-learning skills such as current issues in curriculum construction, and teaching in the digital landscape.