I have always been my own groom, but this year am reading for two riders, plus have two horses going to the shows, and am really thinking I may need help to get to my test on time. There are no "career" grooms in my area, but has anyone ever offerred to pay a pony club or 4-H member for this service for a day or two at a local show? I am conisdering but don't watn to pay too much or insult either. Opinions on what to pay or who to ask? Thanks! (These are shows within 20 miles of lots of barns, including my own and 2 pony club and 4-H groups.)
I would try the Pony Club kids first only because what they do is closer to your discipline. I've known many good, responsible 4H kids,too, so if the PC kids don't work out, try that route. When I had grooms, I paid them $100.00 per day plus food and beverages. They were expected to muck stalls, feed, water, clean tack, and of course groom horses and have them tacked and ready at the warm up ring. I did my own warm up and cool down, but if I needed them to do that, I would have paid extra.
If they braided, they were paid seperately for that. ($30 per horse, per day)
If it was an away show I also paid for their hotel room. When possible, we would share rooms, or they would stay in LQ of my friend's trailer.
Hope this helps.
I've paid friends to groom for me. One has been a professional handler and groom - she made really decent money in a breed show circuit - as much as $300/HORSE! But that did include handling the horse in-hand in the show ring. Generally, I'll pay at least $100/day plus meals (haven't had to travel out of town, but if so, hotel would also be paid). It is a luxury, something I can't afford to do often, but if dealing with multiple horses or also dealing with showing the stallion to prospective breeders, it just gets to be too much without some help!
Many of our larger shows have braiders - the going rate seems to be about $30 for a running braid, $50 for full braids. Of course, this is in California, where everything costs a bit more...
Thanks for the pointers, it's sortof around what I was thinking I would pay, except am considering the hourly route. I can do my own feeding morning and night, and walking out during the day, as well as warm up. Just need the groom, braid, and tack up part. I was thinking 30/per hour plus an extra 30 for a good braiding job. =)
I think it depends on what you want them to do. I am having grooms this year for ringside help, and untacking, etc. I actually like to take care of and braid/groom my horse myself. I am paying $100 if it's a full day (i.e. two classes wide apart) and $50 if it's just for one class. I am paying meals and mileage, but I'm not paying for hotel rooms because the furthest show I am doing is only about an hour or so away.
My trainer told me that she paid $100 per day for grooming at international shows, and this included all mucking/feeding/grooming/cooling care and ringside help for two horses. So I feel I am being generous.
If I share a groom with a friend, which might happen at a few shows, we would definitely pay for a hotel room, as well as pay more per horse.
I would ask the pony club or 4H. Or you might try someone at your barn. You might find someone who would do it for a lesson. I love going to shows-I help my old event trainer when she comes down-If anyone needs help in NC for grooming or help at shows-let me know! I live in Lee County and can help at the FOrk, or HOrse Park or Pinehurst!
Yes, I tended to get the same grooms for every show.
The reason I paid by the day was because all of my shows were away. I couldn't ask someone to hang around a show for $8.00 an hour. When all the work was done or on hold (big space btw classes) the grooms were free to do as they pleased. If I wasn't riding or memorizing tests, I would pitch in so we could all take a break at the same time.
If you treat your grooms like the humans and pay them fairly, they come back. I like that and more importantly, the horses do too.
And here's another thing to remember about grooms- you need to feed them in a manner that doesn't just "meet their minimal daily requirements."
When I was grooming at shows for a trainer, if she went out to eat, she took me to the same restaurant. Obviously I wasn't ordering steak and lobster, but I was given access to similar quality food to what she was eating. In my situation, we were rooming together at hotels and I had no separate vehicle, so this was polite and made sense.
And now, here's how *not* to feed your groom and trainer:
A couple from my area had a top-quality mare they were showing at the Cosequin qualifiers. They paid my friend (a vegetarian) and their trainer to come down and groom and handle the horse so they could simply spectate.
On the first day of the two-day show, they broke out a cooler with a quart of grocery store chicken salad, a quart of pasta salad, some cheese, some crackers and some bread and said, "Here's your food for the weekend."
Can you freaking *imagine*??? OMG!!! For two people?? And my friend was a vegetarian!
Needless to say, trainer and friend both bought their own meals all weekend and said couple seemed miffed they didn't eat the crappy food they brought.
Geez, at the *very* least spring for fast food or put a tab at the show vendor's for them. Or if you're going to go the grocery store route, have the courtesy to call the people you're feeding ahead of time and take requests on what they'd like to eat.
That was my friend's one and only experience grooming for this couple. She declined due to "other commitments" the next time she was offered.
I'm sure I was totally spoiled when I was grooming, but my trainer would send me to the grocery store with her list of what she wanted and carte blanche (within reason, of course) to pick out my own daytime food, snacks and beverages. And in the evenings we would go out to eat with the rest of our stablemates. And even if she did the shopping, she pretty much bought all kinds of stuff so we'd always have variety and both healthy and "snacky" stuff to keep us fed.
I paid a teenager $50 and lunch. It was an easy job as the show was at our stables. Also as I'm OCD about grooming she really had nothing more to do than help me tack up, dust off my boots and get me a drink. I like to do my own braiding.
If you're expecting them to do a lot for you, definitely pay more. I think $100 a day plus food would be fair.
Totally agree about the food. We would always check with everyone going to a show before buying food. (I don't eat tomatoes or green peppers, so I understand your vegetarian friend's dilemma) Same with accomodations. I don't like to camp, but my friend does, so we would always ask the grooms for their preference. If they liked camping, they stayed at show grounds. If they preferred a warm bed and shower, they stayed at the hotel with me.
I would just make sure that if you use teenagers that for the first show make sure you have time to supervise. I hired one of the barn teenagers years ago to groom for me at a show, and forgot how much there is to know about grooming at a horse show. Over time it worked out great! But at first there were issues to be ironed out and lessons learned. It can work out well, though, because they can refine their grooming skills and learn about showing and you can have a very dedicated helper. I used to pay mine in cash and feed them well (I forget how much.)