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Horse groom

Horse grooms are responsible for the care and welfare of horses, and maintain stables and riding equipment.

Annual Salary

£12,000 to £18,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; flexibly

Future employment

There will be 5.4% more Horse groom jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

In a typical day, you will:

  • give horses food and water
  • clean equipment like saddles and bridles
  • clean, brush and clip horses' coats
  • muck out stables and replace bedding
  • monitor the condition of horses and report problems
  • treat minor wounds, change dressings and give some medications
  • take horses out for exercise

Working environment

You may need to wear protective clothing.

You could work at a riding stable.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers.

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

Entry requirements

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
For more information

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.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
For more information
Volunteering and work 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). 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.

More information

Career tips

Some employers will provide on-site accommodation for their staff.

Further information

You can find out more about training and working with horses from careersinracing and the British Grooms Association.

Showing jobs in:
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With experience and further training, you could take charge of a stable yard or become head groom.

In a racing yard, you could progress to 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.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

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
  • physical fitness and endurance
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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