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Horse Groom

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Job Description

As a Horse Groom you will care for your employers horses on a daily basis making sure they are feed, mucked out, exercised and generally in good health. You will prepare then for any competitions they may be entered in and may even be able to compete yourself.

Entry Requirements

You can get into this job through:

College

You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant subjects include Level 2 Certificate in Equine Care or Level 3 Diploma in Equine Management.

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

The following local colleges offer courses in Equine:

Apprenticeship

You may be able to get into this job through an equine groom intermediate apprenticeship.

This will usually take 18 months to complete. You'll do on-the-job training and spend time with a college or training provider.

If you're aged 16 or over and interested in working in the racing industry, the British Racing School at Newmarket and the National Horseracing College at Doncaster offer pre-apprenticeship foundation courses.

Courses last between 4 and 18 weeks, depending on your experience, and can lead to an apprenticeship in racehorse care and a career as a groom.

You'll usually need some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship.

Click here to search for an apprenticeship.

Other routes

If you're working with horses, you may be able to take qualifications, like those offered by The British Horse Society (BHS) and The Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS).

These include:

  • Entry Level Award in Assisting with Basic Care of Horses
  • Level 2 Certificate and Diploma in Horse Care
  • BHS Stage 1 and 2 in Horse Knowledge Care and Riding
  • ABRS Riding and Horse Care Certificate

The National Horseracing College at Doncaster offers a stable staff foundation course for beginners. The course is 18 weeks long and includes 6 weeks of work experience and will prepare you for entry into the racing industry. If you complete the course, you can be considered for a racing apprenticeship.

If you're over 21, enjoy riding horses and would like to find out more about what it's like to work in the racing industry, The British Racing School offers a Transition to Racing course.

If you're interested in working in the horse breeding industry, for example as a stud groom, you can start training at The National Stud in Newmarket.

Career Tips

Volunteering or temporary work in a stable shows employers that you're keen to work with horses and learn more about the industry. You can also make contacts that may be useful when you start to look for paid work.

You can find out more about training and working in the horse racing industry from Careers in Racing and the British Grooms Association.

Career Path and Progression

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.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Farrier
  • Horse riding instructor
  • Jockey
  • Riding holiday centre manager
  • Riding holiday leader

Required Skills

  • A genuine interest in horses and their welfare are essential
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • You will need to be an organised person which will help with the daily routine
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to use your initiative

Salary Range

£10,000 to £16,000

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