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You are not and never will be ‘JUST A GROOM’

21st May 2024

British Grooms Association Membership Manager Fi Boughton put pen to paper for the latest British Grooms magazine.

As the article has such a strong message, it simply has to be shared with all of our followers...

"Recently I heard someone described as ‘just a groom’. Whilst this raised my hackles a little, it also made me stop and think about what a groom really is.

Our great supporter and groom for Tom McEwen, Adam Short describes his role as an athlete manager and in so many ways that sums it up.

We don’t all groom at the level he is working at. Many of us look after riding school ponies, work for private families or maybe a string of polo ponies. But that does not make us any less professional!

In my career, I have also spent time as a schoolteacher – was I ‘just a teacher’? No, I was a tutor, mentor, a confidant, a support, as well as an educator. 

As grooms, we must be proud of who we are. Don’t let anyone demean what you do. Whether that be by telling you that you are self-employed when you clearly are not, by not respecting your opinion, by walking all over you, bullying you, or someone disrespecting your expertise.

The team at the BGA are taking calls all the time from grooms asking for help, and this has increased within the last few years. Is this because more grooms are in untenable positions? No, it is because the message is finally getting out there that being a groom is a profession, a worthwhile job to have.

Grooms are now realising that working a 60-hour week with no lunch break, no time off, no overtime, and no sick pay is not workable. It is against the law.

BGA members have helped make that change, the team here are constantly striving to make the equestrian world a place of only Good Employment. Look at the difference that is being made. Grooms are now mentioned by name in racing and in a lot of top-level sport.

We need to make sure that level of recognition filters down to every groom, no matter who they are working for.

Please help us by encouraging your friends and fellow grooms to join and help us make further inroads into successful, rightful employment.


Thanks Fi for proudly speaking up on behalf of all grooms, everywhere. 

Would you like to receive the quarterly British Grooms magazine? You will when you join the BGA!



The BGA is your organisation that supports, represents, and champions the career of all grooms. If you are not a member yet, please join to help us make the equestrian industry a place of only Good Employment.


Be part of the change - JOIN NOW.









What the personal accident policy covers you for:

  • Whilst at work
  • All stable duties – mucking out, grooming, washing off, turning out
  • Clipping
  • Riding – including hacking and jumping
  • Hunting
  • Lunging
  • Breaking in
  • Holding horse for a vet and other procedures
  • Travelling horses both in the UK and abroad
  • Competing in line with your job including: jumping, dressage, eventing
  • Injuries that may happen to you whilst you are teaching - but you must also be grooming as part of your duties and not be a sole instructor

What the personal accident policy doesn’t cover you for:

  • Riding in a race, point to point or team chase
  • Stunt Riding
  • Accidents occurring whilst travelling to and from work
  • Riding and competing your own horse (but you can upgrade when applying for membership to include this)
  • Public Liability – this is a separate insurance policy - the Freelance Groom Liability Insurance
  • Care Custody and Control – this is a separate policy - the Freelance Groom Liability Insurance

If you require additional cover then please contact KBIS directly.


When you are working for other people you do most of the following; muck out, turn out/catch in, tack up, groom horses, exercise Horses (including hacking, jumping and schooling), in the care of your employer/client.




Predominantly ride horses for other people including schooling, exercising and competing.   

 Provide grooming services for someone else either full time or on a freelance basis i.e. an employer or a client.   


Employ staff – have an employers liability policy in your name NO NO YES
Buy and sell horses NO YES YES