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Spin Off - Grooming

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  • Spin Off - Grooming

    Well, in light of my recent braiding thread, I am now wondering about grooming as an additional side business. What goes into being a groom at a show? Bathing, tacking, holding ringside, handwalking, feeding, stall cleaning? Are there more ungodly-early hours as associated with braiding?
    Proud member of the COTH Junior (and Junior-at-Heart!) clique!

  • #2
    Originally posted by PonyPeep View Post
    Well, in light of my recent braiding thread, I am now wondering about grooming as an additional side business. What goes into being a groom at a show? Bathing, tacking, holding ringside, handwalking, feeding, stall cleaning? Are there more ungodly-early hours as associated with braiding?
    I have never groomed professionally, just to help out friends , but I think the hours are even worse for grooms. The best ones seem to work almost nonstop all day, from early in the morning until late into the night, a good one is priceless and deserves to be well paid IMO.

    Comment


    • #3
      I think you would have to bend time to do horse show grooming as a "side business."
      The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
      Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
      Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
      The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

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      • #4
        Most of the time, grooming will literally entail EVERYTHING. Show set-up and tear down, feeding, haying, stall cleaning, watering, grooming and tacking up, untacking, bathing, grazing, jump setting, lunging, keeping everything neat, tidy and put up, wrapping, tack cleaning, unbraiding, bringing horses to and from ring, night check...I could continue but I'd be here all evening. You probably get the picture. You're on your feet all day, and you are busy!

        The hours really depend on the barn's program and the particular show. For example, this year the groom hours have been starting between 4:30AM-6:30AM and the day ending between 4PM-8PM. Totally depends on the show, the schedule etc. Plus, a rotational night check that is usually around 8:30.

        If you were considering braiding and being a groom at the same show, that would be just about impossible unless you were only braiding one or two horses. Or if you're superhuman and need no sleep.

        Comment


        • #5
          When I was young, broke, and not so smart, I worked a full time job, braided and groomed, including some freelance work. I think I have perma sleep issues now because of it! I managed to have a job with generous time off, which helped a ton, especially since we traveled all summer. But I really didn't sleep and I did not get to go south for the winter.

          I was one of two or three grooms, so I didn't have to get all my braiding done before the show day started, if we were at an away show. If it was a local show and I had a lot to braid, I would come home from work, sleep a few hours, then get up at 9 pm or so, braid all through the night, then get horses ready and loaded on the trailer and be gone all day/night, then back again to do it all over again. If it was a weekday, I would often braid all night, then go home, shower and go to work for the day. I don't know how, but I was actually quite productive at work. I definitely, cannot do that any more!

          All that to say, I wouldn't recommend doing both, unless you are in a situation where braiding is part of your grooming job. It really is tough trying to braid 10 horses a night, then spending 10-14 hours a day grooming.

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Yeah, I wasn't really asking about having a braiding and grooming business, just kind of testing the waters to see what's a part of both things. Thanks!
            Proud member of the COTH Junior (and Junior-at-Heart!) clique!

            Comment


            • #7
              If you're trying to compare and contrast grooming and braiding, the hours are pretty bad for both, but braiding is much more lucrative if you're good and fast at it.

              As LaurieP pointed out on the other thread, you do have to cover your own expenses on the road as a braider. That's usually not the case as a groom.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by MHM View Post
                If you're trying to compare and contrast grooming and braiding, the hours are pretty bad for both, but braiding is much more lucrative if you're good and fast at it.

                As LaurieP pointed out on the other thread, you do have to cover your own expenses on the road as a braider. That's usually not the case as a groom.
                i have read some braiders charge for travel expenses (having never used a braider I don't know. Just what I read)

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                • #9
                  I would never pay "travel expenses" to a braider. They make enough, and that is part of them being independent contractors. That would mean an immediate parting of the ways.
                  Laurie

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have seen travel expenses on many bills in California! Pissed me off!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Exactly why I want to get good enough at it to do it myself!!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Samotis View Post
                        I have seen travel expenses on many bills in California! Pissed me off!
                        I heard they were doing it out there. No way. I have not heard of it out here.
                        Laurie

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                        • #13
                          I've had travel expenses all over the West Coast. Got one this year at WEF, with the braider being from the East Coast, too.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yep. I'm in CA and all year I have been billed for travel charges.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BAC View Post
                              I have never groomed professionally, just to help out friends , but I think the hours are even worse for grooms. The best ones seem to work almost nonstop all day, from early in the morning until late into the night, a good one is priceless and deserves to be well paid IMO.
                              I have. You said it. Early mornings, late nights. You do it because you love it. The money is not always great, your employers are not always great. You do it because you love it- the traveling, the horses, the show environment.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Many of the rated shows in my area are one day affairs, where people may hire someone from the barn (a friend or a junior looking to make a few bucks) as a "groom" for the day. The groom just shows up at the show, cleans it up before tacking, holds onto the horse in between classes, dusts off rider's boots and applies hoof oil before entering the ring, stuff like that, then takes out braids and wraps the horse before putting it on the trailer. Maybe the OP was thinking more along those lines, and in that situation she could also braid a few horses the night before.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by laughATTACK View Post
                                  Most of the time, grooming will literally entail EVERYTHING. Show set-up and tear down, feeding, haying, stall cleaning, watering, grooming and tacking up, untacking, bathing, grazing, jump setting, lunging, keeping everything neat, tidy and put up, wrapping, tack cleaning, unbraiding, bringing horses to and from ring, night check...I could continue but I'd be here all evening. You probably get the picture. You're on your feet all day, and you are busy!

                                  The hours really depend on the barn's program and the particular show. For example, this year the groom hours have been starting between 4:30AM-6:30AM and the day ending between 4PM-8PM. Totally depends on the show, the schedule etc. Plus, a rotational night check that is usually around 8:30.

                                  If you were considering braiding and being a groom at the same show, that would be just about impossible unless you were only braiding one or two horses. Or if you're superhuman and need no sleep.
                                  This is what I do, plus I braid for our clients. Oh, I also do 90% of the shipping to and from the show in a 2 horse trailer all over kingdom come (it seems). Oh yeah, I also do all the paperwork and show entries for the entire client list. We keep our show setup at a storage locker so we have to pick that up and drop it of after shows. I usually arrive at around 3:30 and my day is rarely done before 7. I am fortunate that if I need to braid more then 3 horses I can do it throughout the day depending on their show schedule. On the last day when we need to bring horses home and also drop the show stuff of I am rarely done before 11, then I gear up for work on Monday at my "real" job. This is the schedule for local shows. Add in coordinating all of the rings with the in gate crew for all the horses at bigger shows and you just added on a whole other layer of tired and stressed.

                                  I do it because I love-wait a second, I do it because I am crazy.

                                  It is not glamorous and you never want to do the actual math of what you end up getting paid for by the hour. But, my trainer needs me because I have the experience that his clients don't have. I do bring my horse to a lot of the shows and am able to afford to show him this way, but it does make it comical to show while extremely exhausted.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I suppose I should have explained myself better - it would be impossible to braid and be a full-time groom on the typical sense while traveling the circuit week after week.

                                    For example, our braider, who only braids for a few barns that he picks and chooses, is usually braiding from sometime between 10PM- 12AM and can wrap up anywhere between 7 AM-12PM. Obviously those hours would interfere with a grooming job - barns are in full swing at the shows way before 7. Even if you didn't have to start your grooming gig until 7, when would one sleep? It's time to start braiding as soon as you wrap up your groom duties.

                                    Obviously, it's a whole different kettle of fish if you're doing a one day show, a weekend show, or only braiding the horses in your own barn. I was just trying to paint a picture for the OP of what would typically happen at the highest levels - she me mentioned in her braiding thread that she wanted to go to WEF.

                                    Madaketmomma - I salute you and also sympathize with you. I'm both barn managing and am the assistant rider (I suppose that could be my job title) for a barn that is consistently on the road. It's a disturbing thing when I consider 6AM to be luxurious sleep-in time!

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