Katie Ruben, Horse Care Apprentice and Haddon blogger tells us about her competition groom dream.

The highs and lows of being a competition groom…

My dream job for many many years… however although competition groom is my job title, it is never anyone’s right to groom at an event. You have to earn your way there. One of my favourite sayings that describes this job is ‘you can’t have your cake and eat it’ and below are some of the reasons why;

  1. Dedication and determination. If you want to have enjoyable days out at shows, getting the horses spotless and watching them do their thing then you need to be dedicated in your work because you will have to sacrifice those days off you want, for those special moments of glory out in the horse lorry! Many that don’t work in the industry will not understand.

2. Remember and use your brain! Many employers will require you to really use your initiative in a competition environment because as much as it is enjoyable and fun, riders will have to be on time to their classes no matter what so stay organised and you’ll be ok. We all have a brain, so do not believe that you cannot use it to its full potential!

3. Errand running. This relates slightly to the point above, some may see this as a negative, but you will be required to do this a lot while out at competitions, whether it be getting the next horse down from the lorry, or putting your rider’s number on the board. Errands will always have to be tended to as they are very very important and as a groom you are relied upon to get them done!

4. A cool head. Personally, I really struggle with this attribute but, that is why I am an apprentice – because hopefully by the end of level 2 and 3, I will be fully competent and not have to be told to “calm down” when there’s a high amount of pressure for me to do well. I guess a lot comes down to the fact that I want everything to run perfectly which realistically, it doesn’t often happen and there are bumps in the road before we reach the destination!

5. Motivation. I repeat. You must stay motivated. Lose your motivation and drive to become a competition groom and everything else will start to lose its sparkle. This doesn’t mean that it will go forever, it may just mean that you need to make some changes to either yourself or have a chat with your employer who should be completely supportive and want you to achieve!

So the eagle eyed readers among you will notice that my points spell the acronym ‘DREAM’ and that is exactly what you will be living if you follow these points because I certainly am and I want to inspire those around me that your dreams are waiting for you…

If, like Katie, you have a dream and would like to become an apprentice then please give us a call on 01672 519977 or send us an email to enquiries@haddontraining.co.uk.