For me it was always simple, although I never had a pony, and came from a very non horsey background, I just had to do it.
I think groom is such an inadequate word for someone who is responsible for (often priceless) horses. It depicts a small person rushing round with a dandy brush in one hand and broom in the other. But grooms have huge responsibilities, even if you are only on the bottom rung of the grooming world ladder, an employer puts the care of their precious horse in to your hands. They hope you will do your best for them and ensure they are cared for properly. Do not underestimate how hard that is, I know for a fact I would not leave my horses in the care of any one who I did not implicitly trust.
As a groom you should convey an air of confidence and self-belief, without coming over as cocky and arrogant, not always an easy balance to strike. But a calm, steady attitude, look in to the eye of the person you are talking to and smile with your eyes, this goes a long way to give confidence to your employer. Similarly, with horses, be confident, but not bossy, calm and quiet without being timid. It sounds like a mine field I know, but at Premier Equestrian Recruitment we can help with that. We are very fortunate to have Tiny Clapham, former Olympian and horse woman extraordinaire on hand. Tiny has worked with all manner of horses, employers, owners and grooms over the years, and her knowledge is the envy of many.
Tiny can elevate you to the status of ‘Top Groom’ with advice, tips on how to conduct yourself, how to go that extra mile and how to achieve a professional touch that will enable you to be super successful in your chosen career path. We at Premier Equestrian Recruitment view this as a ‘finishing school’ for grooms. You come away from college with an enormous wealth of knowledge, we want to help you to be able to apply this into a work environment to enable you to achieve your dreams.
I am astounded sometimes by the lack of understanding of the level of commitment you need to have to be a groom. I am not advocating slave labour and employers abusing the apprentice schemes for cheap labour, but I do expect a groom signing up with Premier Equestrian Recruitment to have high standards not only for the care for their horses, but for their turnout, and well being. They must also show an exemplary attitude towards work and exhibit a very high level of commitment to their job.
What will elevate you from a jobbing groom to a ‘Top Groom’ is going that extra mile, and smiling through it, employers really don’t enjoy having to nag, so keep your eyes open and be pro active, don’t clock watch and certainly don’t be a jobs worth ‘that’s not my job’ is never an attitude that got Tiny Clapham to the Olympics on Windjammer!!
With no equine qualifications, (they were not so accessible for a non horsey person back then), I trained on the job – actually I think I flew by the seat of my pants if I am honest! But I was hard working, extraordinarily conscientious and soaked up every piece of information and advice that anyone would offer me, in fact I still do…………..you never stop learning.
Today, there are courses to cover every career, you can go to college and become qualified to work with horses in whatever capacity you wish, whether grooming, teaching, managing, sales, training, the list is endless.
If you have a passion and want to work in the equestrian industry, whether you know which route you want to take or not, a careers evening at Brooksby Equestrian College, Melton Mowbray could be the answer. A tour of the facilities, and first hand advice on the courses available, as well as the best qualifications to train for you from Brooksby Equestrians’ lecturers and careers advisors. Premier Equestrian Recruitment will also be there to advise you on your post college options, as well as Tiny Clapham, who will share with you her experiences and offer advice on maximising your potential.
Please contact Clare [email protected] or Charlotte Farmer-Day [email protected] for information on the next event.