In the modern equine industry, there truly may be no better way to enter the field than to become a professional groom. Grooms have front-row access to some of the most prestigious equestrian events in the world, along with access to tips, experience and tricks from the biggest names in the business. If you have a love for horses and have been searching for a way to enter the equestrian field, the career of a professional groom may be the perfect choice for you. Continue reading for more information about the career of a professional groom to determine if it is a right fit for you.
In most cases, a formal education is not necessarily needed in order to become a professional groom. Many grooms enjoy having the option to learn on the job, and most individuals feel that the information and experience that they gain while working is much more valuable and useful than any information that they would learn in a traditional classroom setting.
While this is the case with most individuals who become professional grooms, some individuals choose to go to school to study something along the lines of Equine Science or Equine Studies. While this is usually not necessary, having the formal education may provide a cushion for you to rely on as you learn the ropes and build up your work experience.
There are also multiple programs in place to help aspiring grooms learn the necessary horsemanship skills that they will need on the job. These programs provide individuals with a professional certification to indicate that they have successfully completed the program.
Grooms are responsible for the preparation and distribution of grain and hay, mucking out stalls, grooming horses, tacking up and removing tack for the rider, refilling water buckets, and maintaining the overall health of the horse. In some cases, depending on the groom’s experience level and the preference of the rider, the groom may be responsible for hand walking or warming up the horse before the actual ride.
Grooms are also responsible for ensuring that the horse is held for a veterinarian or farrier appointment. Individuals who are interested in becoming a professional groom should expect to work 5 to 6 days a week, with weekly hours ranging anywhere from 40 to 60 hours, depending on the workload that they are expected to complete, and depending on whether there will be any traveling done that week.
Grooms are expected to travel with their horse and rider to shows and competitions; anyone who is considering becoming a professional groom should keep in mind that the majority of their time working will most likely be spent traveling.
Opportunities For Advancement
Many grooms choose to enter the workforce as a groom that assists in the day-to-day management of a barn or stables, or by working exclusively for one rider and their horse for a certain amount of time while they learn the in’s and out’s of the business. They can then use the knowledge they acquire in that position to advance their career in the equine industry; many grooms go on to become barn managers, veterinarians, professional show riders, and more. There are countless opportunities for advancement for individuals who enter the field as a professional groom, as the position can provide years of priceless knowledge on the equine industry.
There are also individuals who choose to take the experience they gained working for someone else and start their own freelance operation, in which they choose who they work for, when they work, and where they work. This is considered to be the best way to work in the career of a professional groom, as you are then free to build your own schedule and decide who you work with, as well as the services that you offer to your clients. This can not only prove to be a more pleasant working experience; it can also prove to be considerably lucrative.
The salary of the average professional groom may vary depending on the region, the amount of travel that they may be expected to do, the individual that they work for, and their expected daily workload. Generally speaking, grooms earn an hourly wage ranging anywhere from $9 to $15 an hour. While the pay is not necessarily high, many individuals feel that the experience they gain and the opportunities to travel regularly are major benefits that make the job more than worth the work.
It is to be expected that individuals who serve as professional grooms for high-ranking professional riders make more. It can also be expected that the more experience the individual has in the equine industry or the more extensive services they offer their employer, the higher pay rate they will receive in compensation for their work.
As interest in the equestrian industry continues to bloom and the economy continues to allow most individuals to take part in equestrian activities , the career of a professional groom has gained a very positive job outlook. Those who choose to enter the workforce as a professional groom can take comfort in the fact that their position is something that simply cannot be done without in the horse world; grooms are often regarded as the backbone of the equestrian community, as they are the individuals who ensure that everything happens smoothly behind the scenes.
If you are looking for a way to enter the equestrian world, the career of a professional groom may be just the thing for you. While it is undoubtedly hard work to be a groom, many grooms will agree that the horses and people that they work with, the experience they gain, and the different locations they are able to travel to are all very much worth all of their hard work. If you are considering the career of a professional groom, ask around at local barns about job opportunities. You would be surprised where an amazing career working with horses can begin!