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Parent of a groom?

Is your son or daughter a groom? Do you worry about how they are employed and their well-being?

Working with horses can be a very rewarding job with an active and healthy lifestyle, the opportunity to travel and a career doing something your son or daughter really enjoys.

Although there are many exceptional employers in the industry, there has historically been some bad press regarding the employment of grooms, and the BGA is aware that many parents may have concerns about their children working with horses.

We are committed to achieving 'social change' and are working very hard with employers through the Equestrian Employers Association to help them to modernise their working environments and HR within their business. 

We also know how important your roles as a parent is, and how influential you may be in the choice of the yard, which is why we are also here to support you as well as your child and we very happily offer advice and support as long as your son or daughter is a BGA member



The British Grooms Association has been a tremendous source of advice to us giving us information and support when we have been trying to get our son correctly employed with different employers.

We have learnt so much and hope we have educated a few employers too and maybe helped more youngsters starting out in the equine industry to be employed properly.

The BGA is such a valuable tool in trying to improve working conditions for grooms. If you have a son or daughter working with horses then join them to the British Grooms Association today. 

John and Cynthia Devenport


Frequently Asked questions

Membership to the British Grooms Association will give your son or daughter the opportunity to check out the terms of their employment via My Employment on the website. 

We also welcome parents to contact us to discuss individual circumstances, but we are sorry we can only help if your child is a BGA member. 

Here are some commonly asked questions:

should my child be insured?

Yes! All grooms (employed and self-employed) should have personal accident insurance. Personal accident insurance helps to protect your child's income should they get injured and are unable to work. 

The BGA offers bespoke and affordable personal accident insurance as part of its membership options. 

In addition to personal accident cover, self-employed grooms need Freelance Groom Liability Insurance - although this is only available for genuine freelance grooms.


My son has never paid any tax or national insurance?

My son has never paid any tax or National Insurance. Do employers submit groom details to tax offices? I know very little about this side of things - please can you advise?

If your son is employed, then her employer has the legal obligation to operate PAYE on the payments made to their employees if their earnings reach the National Insurance Lower Earnings Limit (LEL).

How many hours per day will my daughter be expected to work?

The law states that you should not have to work more than 48 hours a week on average unless you choose to - an opt-out is typically included in a grooms written contract. 
The normal working hours should be set out in the written statement of employment particulars (contract), which must be received on, or before day 1 of employment. 

Working with horses is not a 9-5 job and it should be expected that as a groom that there will be long days. However, it is important to note that an employee must still be paid at least the minimum wage for all of their hours worked.

Must there be a contract of employment?

Any employee or worker must receive a contract of employment – which is an agreement between an employer and an employee.

Be aware of false self-employment

is working 21 consecutive days legal?

What about days off? My daughter has just worked for 21 consecutive days. Is this legal?

No this is not legal. An adult worker is entitled to a break between working days and if they are under 18 years old the rules are slightly different.

are holidays with pay?

All employees are entitled to holiday leave with pay.
If your son or daughter is self-employed i.e. a freelance groom, then they will not be entitled to any paid holiday.

What does self-employed mean?

My son's employer has just told him that he is now 'self-employed' what does that mean?
Your son is only self-employed if he is running his own freelance business and so invoices the clients and pays his own tax.
Be warned, some employers will make their staff 'self-employed' when in actual fact they are not - this is tax evasion and illegal and known as false-self employment. 


At the BGA we understand how important it is to support the mental health and well-being of all young people.

On joining the BGA members get access to Grooms Minds, which has an extensive range of bespoke tools, and a free confidential helpline available 24/7.

We also know that it is important for you to be able to support your child’s mental health and well-being – you can find a useful Parent’s Toolkit from CMHA here.

Why to join them to the BGA

The British Grooms Association (BGA) is the organisation for all of those that work hands-on with horses.

Grooms have a demanding yet rewarding job and often they ignore all boundaries simply for the love of the horses in their care. 

This however doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be employed correctly and given opportunities to develop themselves and climb the career ladder.

The BGA was formed as an association for all grooms to be able to turn to for advice, guidance and information. In addition to employment advice there are lots of educational tools, discounts on products, advice on a wide range of equestrian related topics, and the chance to be part of a wider community. 

Quite often grooms don’t share their problems at work with their parents, so it is often a piece of mind when your son or daughter is a member of an organisation that really understands their job and problems.

So if your son or daughter is not yet a member of their association then we would love to welcome them, so please do join them up!


The British Grooms Association is an important organisation for all grooms, and in our case, the parents.

I have called for advice for my daughter and also just to have a chat about our worries and other issues which arise. The BGA is a very important part of our life now as they not only support the grooms but concerned parents like us.

Long may you continue and grow. Thanks for being there.
Anne and Glynn Hart




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