Career choices

Career Choices

There are many different industry sectors that you can work in as a groom. Your career might see you start in one area and then move into another, or some grooms remain with a sport or even the same employer for the whole time they work with horses. There are pros and cons of each:

Showing

Showing is extremely competitive and popular in UK with both a summer and winter season. There are over 500 shows in the UK each year and extensive travelling is involved.

There are too many categories to list, but show classes are divided into height categories, breed categories and ridden/in hand categories. An exceptionally high level of turnout is required. To learn more visit the Showing Council

Polo

Polo is played in more than 77 countries. The UK season runs from April to September. There is no height limit but most 'ponies' are approx 15.2hh.

There are always plenty of opportunities to work in polo, but jobs tend to be seasonal. There are good opportunities to work all over the world within this job especially in South America. To learn more visit the Hurlingham Polo Association

 

Driving

Carriage driving trials consist of dressage, marathon and cones. Horses and ponies may be driven as singles, pairs, in tandems or teams. An assistant (often the groom) sits on the back step of the carriage, and are an essential part of the team.

Travelling in the UK and abroad and staying away for long periods are often required. Good flat work and long-reigning skills are required at home, and high standards of turnout of both horses and harness are essential. To learn more visit British Carriage Driving

 

Hunting

The season runs from September to March with between two and four meets a week. Preparation of hunt horses starts in the summer with plenty of hacking and fittening work. Hunting is steeped in tradition and excellent standards of turnout are paramount.

A hunt groom will be required to ensure that the first horse is ready prepared for the rider at the 'meet' and will then present the second horse on time, at the right place. Plans of where second horses need to be can often change, and so effective organisational skills and good communication are essential. To discover more visit the Master of Foxhounds Association

 

Horse Racing

The racing seasons run throughout the year but the majority of the major flat races take place in the summer and the major jumps meetings in the winter. The working day is a very early start until lunch with the afternoon off before starting evening stables. 

Work involves general horse management, riding out and travel to races all over the country and often the world. An excellent wage and career structure are in place in within the industry, and the staff benefit from a share of winning pool money - which can be a considerable bonus in very successful yards. To discover more visit Careersinracing.com

 

Show Jumping

To work in this area you must have good stamina and enjoy lots of excitement. The show season is all year round and regularly results in a very long day due to the size of the classes at a show.
It is a very social sport with a very exciting British show circuit.

There is also a thriving worldwide series of competitions and if you work for a successful rider, you could literally travel the world. To discover more visit British Showjumping 

 

Dressage

There is often plenty of opportunity for riding when you work at a yard that specialises in dressage. However, the riding standard is often fairly high, so expect to only train the horses if you are experienced. The competition season runs all year round.

Although there are many national competitions to attend, the core of the top international competitions occur in Europe, so expect to travel abroad a lot if you work for a successful international rider. To discover more visit British Dressage

 

Stud Work

Work areas on stud farm include stallion handling, mares and foals, and sales preparation, particularly on thoroughbred breeding establishments. The foaling and covering season starts in January and runs through to mid June.

Not many opportunities for riding, but lots of possibilities to see foals being born and to work with young-stock from birth through to three year olds. Studs are located all over the UK, and will usually have either a breed or type of horse speciality, so it is worth researching any areas that are of particular interest.

 

Eventing

Combining the three disciplines of dressage, cross country and show jumping into one competition, makes working in this area fun and varied.

The competition season runs from early March through to the end of October, which entails plenty of travelling to competitions all over the UK, and possibly abroad. Expect to work long hours, but this is an extremely rewarding sport to work in, with plenty of riding often available. 

Due to the diversity of the work, it is easy to move on to more specific areas of interest in future jobs. To discover more visit British Eventing

 

 
 
 
 
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