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beckys 09-12-2012 09:52 PM

becoming a horse groomer
I am looking into becoming a horse groomer and I was just wondering if anyone has any ideas on how/where to start. I have a little bit of experience with horses but I have never owned my own horse (I would love to own a horse but I couldn't afford it :-( ) Also I'm already a dog groomer so I'm sure I can catch on pretty quick.


aforred 09-12-2012 09:59 PM

The first thing you need to do is get some lessons in handling horses. Leading, tying and grooming safely are major things you need to learn. The difference between horses and dogs is about 1000 pounds.

Where I live, grooming is not a job in demand. I actually don't know anyone using dedicated grooms outside of the racing industry. And there are even more specialized handling skills you would need there.
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PunksTank 09-12-2012 10:05 PM

Horse grooming really isn't a job in demand, it's mostly filled by young horse obsessed girls who work for pennies at race tracks.

If you're looking for a good horse-related job, perhaps start by volunteering at a local horse rescue. There you'll learn all the skills of how to handle/work with a number of different horses and develop the skills you'd need in any unmounted horse related job. You should also look into taking riding lessons, being a riding instructor isn't so in demand - but it's a thrilling job. Being a Therapeutic riding instructor (like me!) is even more rewarding. There are a number of wonderful equine-jobs out there, but groom really isn't a great option.

You could also learn from volunteering at a rescue the basic skills of working in a barn - carry that over to working as a stablehand and eventually a barn manager? Whatever floats your boat ^^

xeventer17 09-12-2012 10:05 PM

A horse "groomer" is not generally considered a job title in the horse industry, and when one is referred to as a "groom" their job often entails a lot more than just grooming. On top of that, grooms are not generally in demand outside of the racing industry or very wealthy regions of wherever you might live. It is also usually a full time job that requires quite a bit of physical labor. If you are truly dedicated to becoming a groom, I would take some lessons in horse management and make your decisions from there. Best of luck!

Kayty 09-12-2012 10:06 PM

Dog grooming and horse grooming are very different things. I think you will be hard pressed to find someone who will pay you to simply groom their horse.
Clipping yes - but you need to be very good at clipping with no lines, and have a great deal of experience in dealing with nervous and difficult horses.

A 'groom' in horses, is someone who works for a rider/trainer, and takes care of the day to day needs of the horses - a small part of that will be brushing them and keeping them looking tidy. The rest will be mucking out, cleaning tack, cleaning boots, washing gear, moving feed, handling often difficult horses, often trailering horses to and from competitions/appointments.... and long, hard work days. most grooms start work at around 6-7am, and work through unti 6-7pm in the evening, 6 days/week, for less than what you'd be paid to work on a checkout.

paintedpastures 09-12-2012 10:20 PM

The only type of grooming you may find some business is show prep grooming:D. You would have to learn appropriate clipping for said breed/discipline,know how to band & braid & possibly put in tail extensions. I know at some of our shows people have done banding & braiding jobs for people at the shows:D. Clipping usually is done week or days prior so would be stable calls.Know my friend use to hire someone to clip her guys stockings, blaze & ears:wink:

MidsummerFable 09-12-2012 10:21 PM

Look into breed trainers. When they go to shows they usually need someone to take care of and prep the horses. I am a "groom", but only at shows. I lunge the horses, and get them ready for their riders. Which entails making them pretty and such.
Morgans, Arabians, QH, saddlebred- they all go to week long shows and a lot of times need extra hands. You may or may not be living in a stall and the hours usually suck (4am-10pm). And it's not a constant job, it's just a week at a time.

beckys 09-12-2012 10:36 PM

Thanks everyone for the advice. I know horse and dog grooming is a big difference but I love and really miss working with horses so I am trying to find something that I could do. I have already looked into riding lessons and I start Monday!(so excited). Thanks again helped a lot!

PunksTank 09-12-2012 10:41 PM

I would definitely recommend volunteering at a rescue. You'll learn the true nitty gritty of all the details behind the care and keeping of horses, especially the special cases.

aforred 09-12-2012 10:45 PM

If you're looking for a part time, horse related job, ask around at boarding/training barns after you've gotten some experience.
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