Horse grooms are responsible for the care and welfare of horses, and maintain stables and riding equipment.
£12,000 Starter - £18,000 Experienced
38 to 40 a week (evenings / weekends / bank holidays flexibly)
Where to start
You can get into this job through
a college coursean apprenticeshipspecialist courses run by professional bodies
You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant subjects include a Level 2 Certificate in Horse Care or a Level 3 Diploma in Horse Management.
You'll usually need 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a Level 2 course. You'll need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a Level 3 course.
You may be able to get into this job through an equine groom intermediate apprenticeship.
This can take up to 18 months to complete. You'll do on-the-job training and spend time with a college or training provider.
You'll usually need some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for a Level 2 (intermediate) apprenticeship.
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.
If you're working with horses, you may be able to take qualifications, like those offered by The British Horse Society (BHS). These include:
Entry Level Award in Assisting with Basic Care of Horses, a Level 2 Certificate and Diploma in Horse Care or BHS Stage 1 and 2 in Horse Knowledge Care and Riding.
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. Some employers will provide on-site accommodation for their staff.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to use your initiative
- to be flexible and open to change
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to work well with others
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- customer service skills
- physical fitness and endurance
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
What you’ll do
In a typical day, you will:
- give horses food and water
- clean equipment like saddles and bridles
- clean, brush and clip horses coats
- muck out stables and replace bedding
- monitor the condition of horses and report problems
- treat minor wounds, change dressings and give some medications
- take horses out for exercise
You could work at a riding stable.
Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers.
You may need to wear protective clothing.
Career path and progression
With experience and further training, you could take charge of a stable yard or become head groom.
In a racing yard, you could progress to 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.