How to Work As a Dressage Groom

ArticleHow to - CareersMonday 11 January 2010
A guide to the steps you need to take to embark on a career as a Dressage Groom.

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If you’re passionate about horses and love to spend endless days hacking across the countryside, it might be the right time to step up and turn your hobby into a career by considering work as a horse groom. There are plenty of jobs available in the equine industry, and busy livery yards are always on the lookout for fresh talent to join their staff. Read our guide to working with horses below.

Dressage Groom: The Job Description

For any equestrian lover, a potential career as a horse groom seems on the surface the dream job. And it can be a hugely rewarding profession – provided you’re willing to put the hard work in. The job can be both physically and mentally draining, so if you’re not prepared for long hours and sometimes testing conditions, it’s not the right career move for you.

The benefits of this kind of role are endless; constant daily interaction with different horses will help you learn everything you need to know about equine behaviour and, with permission from owners, sometimes you’ll even have the chance to ride them. It’s not hard to see why horse groom jobs are instantly attractive for those with a love for the animal. But before you submit an application form for a role in this area, you’ll also have to weigh up some of the obvious cons – these include early mornings, battling the elements when the seasons change, and the extensive learning process that you’ll need to undertake to improve your knowledge of equine health and routine.

Anybody looking for work as a horse groom needs to go in for the job with an open mind, with versatility the key attribute for any new recruit. You’ll be assigned a variety of tasks, so it’s essential to be a quick learner. Common morning tasks will include mucking out, feeding and watering. Remember, the requirements of individual horses may differ so keep this in mind as you do your rounds.

Of course, as the job title suggests, it’s the grooming process where you will really be given the chance to shine. The owner will want the horse looking in prime condition for when they leave the riding stables, so it’ll be up to you to carry out essential grooming duties. These will include brushing, dressing, trimming and tacking up. Try and find out which horses are required for exercise first each day to give you time to prepare them in the correct order.

Once the horses are ready for action, collect any used tack and clean it thoroughly – if you neglect this part of your duties, you’ll have to replace accessories more regularly. After all the horses are in for the day, finish off any final grooming or feeding before mucking out again just before you leave.

Finally, seize the opportunity. Hard work tends to bring its own rewards, so showing dedication and enthusiasm could lead to extra opportunities to ride your favourite horses or even promotion to a position of higher responsibility.

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