Monday motivation

 

 

 

Being a groom is not an easy job! It is not a Monday – Friday, or 9 – 5, but it is without doubt one of the most rewarding and satisfying. When my alarm goes off early in the morning and its freezing cold and raining outside my motivation quickly diminishes, but I wouldn’t change my job for any other. There have been times when I very nearly gave up working with horses, but I am glad I didn’t. All of the tough times probably more so than the good, have made me the person and groom I am today.

 

I just wanted to share with you a few little quotes that I like and that have helped me along the way when I’ve ever considered giving up. Never forget that there are other people who know how tough it is and what you’re going through so talk to them about it to.

 

 

 

kate xx

Location, location, location

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One of the great things about being a groom is that you can travel all over the world! I am lucky with my job that it involves a lot of travel to various shows across England and Europe, and I am able to live at home and it only takes me 3 minutes to get to work.

However, if a show groom isn’t for you but you want to work in a different country, then there are plenty of jobs all over the world in every discipline.

 

Before you go jetting off across the country or even the world there are a few things to consider;

  • The climate/weather, will you be happy in extreme heat or cold? Or would you prefer a more moderate climate?
  • Distance from home. Will you get home sick? How often will you be able to visit home?
  • Do you know the language? Sometimes it can create a barrier if you do not speak the language and could make you feel isolated or lonely.
  • Do you know anyone? It is not a bad thing if you don’t, it’s always great to meet new people but it could make a big change easier if you already know people there, even if not at work but in the area.
  • Location. Where is it based countryside/town, and how easy is it to get to civilization if it is in the countryside?
  • Salary. What is the pay and does the job come with accommodation and bills, if not will the salary be enough to be able to rent somewhere?
  • Accommodation. Does the job provide any, if not where is the nearest, most affordable?
  • Accessibility. If you do not live on site will you have access to a vehicle to get to work and to local amenities?
  • Do you need a visa? If so how easy is it to get one and long does it take?
  • Discipline. What discipline do you want to work in? is it seasonal? for example polo and hunting. when is the best time to go and what’s the best country for that discipline?

 

So you’ve decided what discipline you want to work within, next is where or what country is it popular in? below is a list of examples of places that certain disciplines are particularly popular.

  • Polo – England, Dubai, New Zealand, Argentina, Australia, America, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Iran, India, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland
  • Racing – there are so many countries in which this is such a big industry but here are few of the most popular. England, Dubai, America, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, France, Italy, Ireland.
  • Dressage – Again there are so many countries where this is such a popular discipline. England, Ireland, Spain, France, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, America, Canada.
  • Show jumping – The same as dressage is very popular across the globe in nearly every continent, the list is endless.
  • Eventing – England, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, America, France, Germany, Italy.
  • Hunting – England, Ireland, America, New Zealand, Canada, France.

 

I advise that once you’ve decided where and in what discipline you want to work that you do your research. Speak to as many people as possible about the place you want to work, you can never have too much information!

Looking online as well is a really good resource, there are several good websites specifically designated to working abroad with horses. Look at forums, post on them and ask about people’s experiences.

Below are a few websites that are worth a look if you’re considering working abroad or at home with horses.

 

 

Kate xx

so you want to be a groom?

image.jpegThis was an easy decision for me, I knew from about the age of 15 that I wanted to be a groom and work with competition horses. Being a groom isn’t always easy but its definitely I think one of the most rewarding jobs!

So how do you become a groom?
There are a few different avenues you can explore on your journey to becoming a groom. The path I took was working evenings, weekends and holidays at a competition yard, alongside this I went to college and did a National Diploma in Equestrian Management and some of my BHS exams.
There are so many great courses available at colleges nowadays to gain recognised qualifications, they offer both classroom based learning and practical hands on experience, from part time to full time. There are so many good colleges with brilliant facilities available. I will give you a list of a few of them and some links at the bottom of the page.
However just because you complete a college course does not make you the next Alan Davies! He and all of the grooms in the industry have got to where they are through hard work, passion and determination. Yes, it’s great to go to college and gain a qualification but practical experience is also very important! My advice would be if you go to college to try and gain as much work experience in different yards handling different horses as much as possible, this will also help you to find which discipline you want to work within. Not everyone wants to be a competition groom, you might want to work in a riding school, livery yard, racing, show jumping, eventing, dressage, polo, driving a vets or setup your own yard. It will also look better on your CV; I can guarantee practical experience sways future employers a great deal.

What if college isn’t for you?
There are other ways, a lot of top riders and yards offer apprenticeship or working pupil positions, this is a great way to gain valuable experience while working in top yards and getting paid to do so, sometimes they offer the chance to gain your BHS qualifications alongside. The British Groom’s Association is a great resource to get information on this. I highly recommend any groom to join the BGA, for a small monthly fee you can get personal accident insurance and loads of great discounts, there are also forums and helpful information pages for any questions you might have about the industry.

So if you have the passion and determination to become part of such a rewarding industry then take a look at some of the links and websites below.

Colleges
• Writtle http://writtle.ac.uk
• Hartpury http://www.hartpury.ac.uk/
• College of West Anglia (CWA) http://www.cwa.ac.uk/
• Oaklands https://www.oaklands.ac.uk/
• Myerscough http://www.myerscough.ac.uk/
• Sparsholt https://www.sparsholt.ac.uk/

Associations
• British groom’s association (BGA) https://britishgrooms.org.uk/
• British horse society (BHS) http://www.bhs.org.uk/

Jobs
• Equine elite recruitment http://www.equineeliterecruitment.com/
• Career grooms http://careergrooms.co.uk/
• Yard and groom https://www.yardandgroom.com/
• Horse and hound http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/
• Equine careers http://www.equine-careers.co.uk/
• Careers in racing http://www.careersinracing.com/
• Facebook, look on pages dedicated to groom’s jobs

Kate xx

First blog post

Hi guys,

My first post how scary! So the main reason I wanted to do this blog is to share my experiences and knowledge of my journey to becoming the groom I am today.

I started my journey as a groom aged 13, working weekends and evenings at a competition yard near me.
From school I went to writtle college to complete a national diploma in equine management, whilst still working at the competition yard. When I left college I became head girl at that yard.
I moved to reading for a year when I was 19/20 and worked at a private dressage yard, I loved this.
When I returned home I went back to work where I had before until 2012 when I left to volunteer at the Paralympics for a month.
From here I started my role as equine technician at the RVC, I worked there for about 18 months. This was great, I learned so much about the equine veterinary world, which has expanded my knowledge immensely.
This takes us to where I am today, head girl and competition groom for an international dressage rider.

Thanks for taking a look at my blog, keep a look out for my next post soon 😊

Kate xx