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  • Grooming...

    I'll be doing a working student/grooming type deal this week at Garden State for a pretty big name trainer and I was hoping you guys could give me some tips on what will be expected of me and what to bring! I know the obvious things to bring but I'm sure there are odds and ends that would be useful that I won't think of. I do show a lot at the barn where I ride; however, we stay closer to home and we aren't a big show barn with grooms so I'm not quiet sure what to expect. Any insights or suggestions are welcomed! Thanks. (:

  • #2
    Don't take it personally if you get snapped at/yelled at. It can be high stress and as I'm sure you know everyone wants something done a certain way.

    I would expect the trainer/barn to bring all necessary supplies for you.

    Try and look clean even though you're doing a dirty job. Decent jeans and a polo can go a long way to help the barn look it's best. Though I would say sneakers in good shape (not falling apart) are acceptable if you don't want to wear paddock boots all day.

    oh, and expect tips! Possibly the best part of the job!


    • #3
      Originally posted by JustMyStyle View Post
      Don't take it personally if you get snapped at/yelled at. It can be high stress and as I'm sure you know everyone wants something done a certain way.

      I would expect the trainer/barn to bring all necessary supplies for you.

      Try and look clean even though you're doing a dirty job. Decent jeans and a polo can go a long way to help the barn look it's best. Though I would say sneakers in good shape (not falling apart) are acceptable if you don't want to wear paddock boots all day.

      oh, and expect tips! Possibly the best part of the job!
      Exactly what I was going to say. Keep in the back of your mind of how much adrenaline is pouring all over the place and keep a cool mind set. Staying on your toes is key, even when u think u have a moment to relax, push through and find something to do. It's an exausting day but if your alert it will seperate you from being a good groom and excellent groom.


      • #4
        Do not be late. Be early.

        Bring some snacks and drinks because you might never make it to the food stand. . .

        Keep a twenty in your pocket and if you are passing the food stand and have 2 seconds grab something!
        http://www.facebook.com/olddominionsaddlery Like us on Facebook!!


        • #5
          Remain calm, attentive and pleasant no matter what is going on around you. The trainer should/will be providing the basic supplies for the job, but bringing your own snacks/drinks in a small cooler is a good idea so that you are able to grab something quickly instead of needing to go to the food stand.

          The riders and possibly the trainer will be under some stress. Do not take anything that is said personally; remaining cheerful and helpful goes a long way in ensuring a successful day. Be alert to what is going on around you so that you can offer the best possible assistance. And remember a kind word is always appreciated, especially when things haven't gone perfectly.
          We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


          • #6
            bring water and a snack that can easily be eaten over the course of several hours (bringing a sandwich seems great until you realize you dont have time for lunch and end up not eating at all, just a bag of almonds or something you can grab a handful of on your way to do something else without stopping for a break is best)
            Try to think ahead. think about what youll need ringside and do things before you are asked.
            Make sure you know the schedule so you know whats priority. Just taking a few moments in the morning to become familiar with the schedule will help things run much smoother.
            wear a watch!
            All the grooming stuff should be brought with the horses so I wouldnt worry about that, just make sure everything you want is packed. for example if you have a favorite brush or need quick braid, make sure it gets on the trailer.
            hoof polish, bring it do the ring with you because it gets sloppy after warmup and needs to be reapplied (which im sure you know, just one of my big things) also bring a dry towel and wet towel to the ring, they are good for last second touch ups to boots, noses, and legs. also pack a water for the rider, a camera if thats your job, some black rubber bands in case a braid falls out, and a stiff brush to get any mud off from warm up.

            sunscreen! water! sunglasses! hat! Do not forget about yourself. and as others said, wear a polo and tuck it in. You sure wont look fancy after a day of grooming, but at least it shows you tried.


            • #7
              Be one step ahead of everything/everyone. Keep this in mind and you'll do fine! Good luck.


              • #8
                Originally posted by DreamBignRide View Post
                even when u think u have a moment to relax, push through and find something to do. It's an exausting day but if your alert it will seperate you from being a good groom and excellent groom.
                There is literally ALWAYS something to do. If no one is immediately demanding your attention, sweep, rake, pick stalls, clean something. You will be asked back if the trainer or BM sees that you are always working.
                Holy crap, how does Darwin keep missing you? ~Lauruffian


                • #9
                  If you have time to sit, you have time to roll wraps.

                  Heed the wise words of Ford Prefect and always know where your towel is. (For a last minute rub at the ring, boots, mouths, noses.)

                  Bring food. Keep it out of the reach of the barn dogs. The best way to do this is to keep it out of your own reach. Granola bars in your back pocket are your friends.

                  Wear a belt. You can loop a shank into it, tuck your towel into it, carry a spare stick with it, hook spurs to it, and also keep your pants up.

                  Wear shoes that you'll be comfortable in for 12+ hours on your feet, and that you won't mind getting wet. Bring spare socks.

                  Drink coffee. Then drink a lot of water.

                  "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                  Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                  Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Renn/aissance View Post
                    Wear shoes that you'll be comfortable in for 12+ hours on your feet, and that you won't mind getting wet. Bring spare socks.

                    Drink coffee. Then drink a lot of water.

                    Excellent advice!

                    In addition to spare socks, bring clothes that will cover a variety of weather conditions. Sun, rain, wind. If you start early and finish late, you could have a 30 degree temperature change over the course of the day.


                    • Original Poster

                      Thank you for all the advice, I really appreciate it! (:


                      • #12
                        All great tips above... I would add one more... know when to stay quiet. Sometimes it is good to be very "quietly busy"


                        • #13
                          Wow, lots of great advice!

                          My one tip is to watch some other grooms from the barn your first day (as you're working or when you get a break) because every barn's grooms have their own particular way of doing things (there is more than one way to get it done right!). Once you get this down, you will become much more efficient.

                          Best of luck!


                          • #14
                            Wow leave it to COTH to bring on the best advice! I think they covered even all my random things, but I will reiterate.

                            The barn should provide all that is needed for the horses, but personally, I make sure I have:
                            - Rubber boots
                            - rain coat
                            - sweaters (layering is your friend)
                            - every OTC painkiller available, TUMS, cold relief, immodium (don't laugh....pee breaks are hard enough to come by)......basically any drug you may have taken in the last 10 years, and might just need again. If you don't, someone else will, and they will love you for having it. So it's not 10 lbs, I just put a couple of each pill into one or two bottles.
                            - baby wipes/facial cleansing cloths.
                            - EXTRA SOCKS
                            - snacks...individually wrapped and somewhat squishproof (I like fruit snacks and granola bars)...you never know where it will end up and yet you will still be hungry enough to eat it.
                            - some cash
                            - sunscreen, lip gloss
                            - as mentioned, always wear a belt.....you will lose your towel and your pants will fall down without it.

                            I also have to agree with everyone who has mentioned staying chilly through any attitude. I really want to say, DO NOT TAKE THINGS PERSONALLY. If the experienced groom tacks up a horse under your nose, it doesn't mean that they don't think you know how to tack up a horse, just that they know how to do that one in it's unique way, that much faster. If you only see the inside of a stall and a pile of unrolled bandages, it doesn't mean you are incompetent, but that's where they start newbies. If someone is mean, it doesn't mean they hate you...they could just be grumps or having a bad day. However, if you whine or give attitude when these things happen, it will be noticed....and rather than quietly working your way up and earning more respect/better jobs, you will stay with that pile of bandages or be shown the door.

                            Most of all, have fun!


                            • Original Poster

                              Such great advice!! Taking note of all the suggestions. You guys are the best. (:


                              • #16

                                A hat with a visor

                                Raingear (jacket and pants, including a rain hat or hood to keep water from going down your neck...)

                                Wellie boots, for bathing

                                Paddock boots (they cover all the other bases you'll need to at a show)

                                Work gloves, and a small towel.

                                A hoof pick (even if the barn 'has everything' they won't have a hoof pick you can just walk around with, and they are handy to have for a lot of things).

                                Bring every imaginable type of outergear to keep in your car-just in case.

                                I was a little surprised to see you were told "don't take offense if you get yelled at.."

                                Adrenaline or not, NO one oughta be YELLING at the help under any circumstances...if that's going on...politely move on to another opportunity at a classier place.

                                As a matter of fact, the BEST outfits don't have an "adrenaline problem" because they are adequately prepared for any type of circumstance and outcomes. The only thing you should ever hear anyone YELLING is "heads up!" and perhaps "loose horse!" if the need arises.
                                Inner Bay Equestrian


                                • #17
                                  Electrical tape-great for last minute fixes, but doesn't show as much as duct tape.

                                  Don't forget to keep your phone charged, especially if the ring and stalls are not super close to each other.

                                  Layers of clothing! I'm sure you already know how drastically the weather can change between when you wake-up and finally get to bed

                                  Baby wipes, great for people and horses.

                                  Sunscreen! Burns are never fun.

                                  And always bring more socks than you think you'd need. Crazy things happen to socks.
                                  I like mares. They remind me of myself: stubborn know-it-alls who only acknowledge you if you have food.
                                  Titania: 50% horse, 50% hippo
                                  Unforgetable: torn between jumping and nap time, bad speller