What Does a Horse Groom Do?

A Horse Groom (600H) is responsible for the maintenance, health, nutrition, feeding and grooming of horses.            

Job - Related Skills, Interests and Values

  • reading and interpreting horse documentation, feed sheets, feeding guides, government regulations and nutritionist or veterinarian prescriptions
  • acquiring and using a good knowledge of Environmental legislation, Basic Horsemanship, safety legislation, Pasturing Practices and Procedures and General Nursing care of Horses
  • handling and controlling horses
  • grooming and cleaning horses, by brushing and combing to ensure their coats are healthy and neat
  • tacking and un-tacking the horse
  • feeding and watering the horse
  • exercising the horse and observing behaviour
  • cleaning and maintaining stable facilities (stables, pens, troughs), tools, equipment and supplies
  • communicating effectively with co-workers and owners
  • loading and unloading horses for transportation

Additional information on training standards for this particular trades in the Service sector may be found on the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) website at: http://www.collegeoftrades.ca/wp-content/uploads/SOT-HorseGroom_600H_EN.pdf

What Preparation and Training Do You Need?

To become a Horse Groom you should  complete Grade 12 and complete an apprenticeship of 3598 hours of on-the-job training as well as 402 hours of in-school training, prior to successfully writing an examination to obtain your Certificate of Apprenticeship in this trade. Previous experience through job shadowing, cooperative education, volunteering or summer employment would be an asset. This is the minimum to be apprenticed in this trade under the (OCTAA) Ontario College of Trades Apprenticeship Act (2009). Please note that minimum entry requirements to this and other trades are currently under review by the Ontario College of Trades.

What’s Your Future as a Horse Groom?

Horse Grooms work in a barn or stable and will be outdoors a good deal of the time, in hot, cold or rainy weather when necessary. Safety boots and comfortable clothing are required. Although most Horse Grooms work full time, they may not work regular hours as they travel with horses to shows and races on evenings, weekends and holidays. Demand for Horse Grooms may be higher in rural areas. Experienced Grooms may decide to start their own business or advance to other related jobs such as Trainer.  Potential employers include:

  • Private Horse owners
  • Stables and Ranches
  • Race Tracks
  • Boarding Facilities
  • Specialty Horse Veterinarians 
  • Humane Societies

.Wage Rate

  • Horse Grooms entering the trade for the first time may earn minimum wage or slightly higher
  • This rate increases gradually as you acquire skills and gain competency
  • Experienced Grooms with specialized skills can earn in a range of $15.00 - 20.00 per hour or more, may be offered overtime and employee benefits. 


Ask Yourself: Is Working as a Horse Groom for You?

Are you comfortable and confident when working unsupervised around horses?

Yes      No

Can you work in a confined area or outdoors, in heat rain or cold?

Yes      No

Can you kneel, bend, stretch, pull and lift moderately heavy objects?

Yes      No

Do you enjoy learning about animals and animal care?

Yes      No

Do you have the physical stamina to do demanding physical work?

Yes      No

Do you enjoy travel and would you be willing to work non-standard or overtime hours?

Yes      No

Can you retain verbal instructions or follow written ones?

Yes      No

If you answered Yes to most of these questions, a career as a Horse Groom may be for you!

You may also want to explore other careers that require similar interests and skills, such as:

  • Veterinary Assistant
  • Pet Groomer
  • Animal Trainer
  • Zookeeper
  • Farm Equipment Mechanic


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