Horse groom

Alternative titles for this job include Stable hand, stable lad or lass

Horse grooms look after horses' everyday needs, and make sure they're healthy and in good condition.

Average salary (a year)

£10,000 Starter

to

£16,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays flexibly

How to become a Horse groom

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • specialist courses run by professional bodies

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 Horse Care
  • Level 3 Diploma in Horse Management

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More information

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 to 22 and interested in working in the racing industry, the British Racing School at Newmarket offers a pre-apprenticeship course. It lasts between 9 and 14 weeks, depending on your experience, and can lead to an apprenticeship in racehorse care.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More information

Volunteering and experience

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.

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 Northern Racing 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.

More information

Further information

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

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • 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
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • Being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • giving horses food and water
  • replacing bedding
  • cleaning equipment like saddles and bridles
  • cleaning, brushing and clipping horses' coats
  • mucking out stables
  • monitoring the condition of horses and reporting problems
  • treating minor wounds, changing dressings and giving some medications
  • following instructions from vets when treatment is needed

Working environment

You could work at a riding stable or at a stud yard.

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 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.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Level 3 Apprentice Groom/Instructor

  • Wage : £111.00 Weekly
  • Location: Gloucester GL2 2RG

Apprenticeship in Horse Care - Level 2

  • Wage : £126.00 - £234.90 Weekly
  • Location: Leicester LE9 7TF

Courses In England

NPTC Level 1 Award in Work Based Horse Care (QCF)

  • Provider: Writtle University College
  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: Chelmsford

Diploma Level 2 Horse Care

  • Provider: Moulton College
  • Start date: 09 September 2019
  • Location: Northampton

Get help using this service

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