What does a groom do? What is the job description of a groom at a racetrack? What skills are needed to become a groom? What does a groom do to help a horse trainer? Is being a groom a good job for somebody looking to work with horses? What are some jobs that involve working with horses?
There are many careers that involve working with horses, being a farrier, horse trainer, and owning your own riding stable, are a few. Another option, often considered an entry career towards becoming a horse trainer, is being a groom.
There are several types of horse groom the two that are best known are the ones who work for a racehorse trainer and oversee the care of the racehorse. The other is the groom who works for a regular horse trainer, they prepare the horse for the trainer, and have extra duties at horse shows.
Duties of the Race Track Groom
Hours start very early, feeding the horses they are assigned to by the trainer they work for, putting the horses on the hot walker, or getting them ready for other exercise, cleaning their stalls. The groom is responsible for wrapping the horses legs, brushing, and saddling. If there is a race (many horses race only once every two weeks) the groom has to prepare the horse for that as well. After the race, or work out, they make sure the horse is cooled out, wash the horse, apply lineament, and put it away.
Duties for the Horse Trainer's Groom
Grooms are sometimes employed by professional trainers who train horses for pleasure riding, show, or driving. In some cases racehorse trainers who are training horses prior to them going to the race track, also require grooms for at the farm. These grooms may, or may not, also be required to muck the stalls, in some cases there are additional staff who do that and the groom works mostly more directly with the horses and the trainer. They may brush and saddle the horses, they may also be required to lunge horses. They cool the horses off (put them on the hot walker), bathe them, and so forth.
If the trainer goes to horse shows the groom goes too and is responsible for preparing the horses for the show ring. They often have to help with feeding and stall cleaning while at the show. If training for a trainer who is training horses to jump, the groom might also assist in setting up fences.
©by author, the grooms job includes getting the horse ready for the show so the rider can prepare themselves.
Training Required to Become a Horse Groom
There is no formal education required to become a groom, although by attending horse college a person will have more skills. Most people start young and learn the job as they go, but have a good knowledge of horses already perhaps through ownership or 4H.
A groom should have the following skills, although most are easily taught.
- Know how to muck out a stall
- Know how to lunge a horse
- Know the proper way to groom a horse
- Know how to wrap legs
- Must be competent working around horses
Note: Being a groom is usually long hours for low pay. As horses need care seven days a week this is sometimes an area of concern.