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Horse grooms and handlers work in stable yards and other equine establishments, looking after horses and ensuring that they are healthy, happy, and in good shape. They tend to the horses directly on a daily basis, working under the supervision of the yard or stud manager.
Horse grooms and handlers are the people in contact with the horses the most, and often get to know the horses individually. They can become accustomed to the specific needs and temperaments of each one. Job roles vary depending on the type and size of the business, but likely tasks could include some of the following:
Depending on the business, grooms may be involved in exercising the horses each day and may assist in preparing the horses for events or lessons. Horse grooms could work with showjumpers, racehorses, or in riding schools, so naturally there will different responsibilities for each.
Horse grooms must be observant, so that they can spot when something is wrong with a horse and can provide or organise the necessary care. In riding schools, grooms may have to accompany horses in classes and meet different clients.
In summary, a groom’s working day can include a variety of duties, but hours can be long and anti-social at times. A love of horses is the most important requirement for this job, as almost all their time will be spent with the animals.
Horse grooms can also be called stud grooms, and those working with race horses specifically are called racing grooms. Handlers may have a slightly different job role from grooms on larger farms, with more responsibility for horses' health and fitness rather than their habitat. Generally both job roles are quite similar. All types of horse yard workers may be required to assist in transporting horses to and from shows, in a horsebox.