How to become a horse groom
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- specialist 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:
- Level 2 Certificate in Horse Care
- 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
- 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.
If you're aged 16 or over and interested in working in the racing industry, The British Racing School at Newmarket and the National Horseracing College at Doncaster offer pre-apprenticeship foundation courses.
Courses last between 4 and 18 weeks, depending on your experience, and can lead on to an apprenticeship in racehorse care and a career as a groom.
You'll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an 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
- Level 2 Certificate and Diploma in Horse Care
- 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.
You can find out more about training and working with horses from careersinracing and the British Grooms Association.