View Full Version : Groom - pay/conditions - help!
24th November 2011, 12:09 AM
Hi guys! It's ages since I have posted on here as I simply haven't had time, with 4 horses, 2 jobs, setting up a business, it's all a bit mad!
Anyway, one of my jobs is causing a bit of a problem and I'd really like some advice. I currently work at a riding school. Now, I love working with horses, it's great. However, I'm not so happy with how my employers treat me. When I went for the interview, I specified that I had my NVQ2 and was looking to progress, get my PTT, start teaching etc, they said this was fine.
I have now been there 5 months and am not getting any training and I have taught 3 half an hour lessons since I started. I spend my whole time working as a groom, mainly just poo picking fields and tacking up for lessons. So, not exactly what I signed up for. Then there's the pay. I get paid less than £5 an hour for doing this job, despite the fact I am qualified and receive no benefits = I don't have horses there or anything. I don't ever get to ride, I never get any input into anything, sometimes I feel I could share knowledge and enhance the place, but no-one is interested. I struggle if I ever need time off, no-one will listen if I request time off as they are too busy.
So basically, I just needed to have a moan and get this out. What would you do in my position? Stay in the hope it gets better? Leave as it is making me utterly miserable?
Opinions will be very gratefully received. Thank you, sorry it's so long!
24th November 2011, 12:40 AM
I'd leave, ive been a groom myself, these places rarely give you the training you want or the time and effort you deserve. Id leave, it gets no better. I promise you. And to be honest, i dont believe there are many GOOD groom jobs out there, i.e. you get paid your true value and people appreciate and want to help you and make your job rewarding. Ive worked at a number of different places over the country, and ive done things like getting horses ready for shows at 2 in the morning, clearing 30 acres of fields poo picking in 3 hours ( got told i was too slow!) and woke up every 2 hours to go check colicy horses. I dont mind but there was never a thankyou involved! My second job, in the last week i worked out i did 92 hours work without a break, and on my own....... for £60 quid!! Day 7 i told the guy to stick his job!
24th November 2011, 01:03 AM
Thanks for replying, that has made me feel loads better! I wasn't sure if I was just being a wimp lol.
92 hours for £60!!That is insane!!!
24th November 2011, 01:20 AM
Yep! and i got to live in a caravan with no water or electric, wasnt allowed to use the internet and my 17hh horse was stuck in a dark stable no bigger than a shed and wasnt allowed to be turned out! Poor sasha :( Il never do it again, i work freelance now, my time my money that i earn, and im my own boss!
24th November 2011, 01:40 AM
Gosh that sounds awful! I don't know how you did it, well done!
Yeah I'm trying the freelance route too. I haven't done much advertising yet, am hoping to make my adverts this weekend. I do have a customer already though who pays me £10 per hour and she is lovely :) Could you tell me more about how you got into freelancing, what you charge etc, what qualifications you have etc? PM me if you don't want people to steal your ideas lol. Or if you don't want to tell me and you can give me any general advice that would be much appreciated x
24th November 2011, 06:07 AM
If it was a job in another sector they would be done for breaking several employment laws.
Leave and report them. The equestrian industry really needs to pull its socks up and become responsible employers.
24th November 2011, 08:12 AM
I would tell one of the people in charge that you need to talk to them, and book a slot of their time, so they can't say they are too busy. Tell them your grievances, what you were promised ect, and if they can't come up with a plan to get you what you were promised, then leave. My friend has just put together a website, horsey helper.weebly.com, have a look at that for some freelance ideas!
24th November 2011, 10:37 AM
If your wanting money im pretty sure its safe to say working with horses is not the way to go, BUT its a job you should love and do becasue you love it, Ive worked in several areas and have a lot of qualifications, and generally i still get a low paing job, but thats often how it is, unless you can prove you are a valuable employee with lots of skills that would be difficult to replace, theres one yard i used to work on that are now begging me to come back casue she simply cannot find someone who will stick with the work and do everything that i can do
You need to take some iniative and work hard, make yourself an irreplaceable person, show willing pick up extra shifts and work your ass off thats the way you get to doing the better jobs, someone else will drop the ball and you have to be there immediately to pick it up, I work for myself mostly but do some work regualrly on a riding school to make sure i always have x number of money per week, i have been there less than a year I started off doing one evening a week grooming, Now I teach all the nights the school is open with only a few hours on the yard, the clients, and therefore my boss like me so much I have a waiting list, I have proven I am irreplaceable and worth the money,
I only got my extra shifts and my teaching becasue the second they were let down by somebody else I was in there, offering up my time, volunteering to do some teaching,
24th November 2011, 03:49 PM
Leave, there ar plenty of grooms jobs around if youre willing to travel and possibly live in.
I have also done the 14+ hour days, worked 14 days straight before I got a day off, finished a day at say 9pm then back up at 2am to load horses up to go to a comp, lived in a caravan which didnt lock, ride 3,4,5,6 horses in a day as well as mucking out, feeding, haying all horses inluding ones that lived out. Then in the summer when the hay was cut all 3 grooms had to move the hay
I have never seen so many people pass through one yard though, 2 of them did a moonlight flit...one we didnt even realise til breakfast time that she'd gone!
My one memory that will stick with me was when the employers buggered off abroad for 2 months but only leaving enough money to pay us for 1 month, left us with empty gas canisters, no shavings and in debt to supplier. Thankfully one of the owners was very generous and gave us our wages for the month theyd not left us ( I hope she got a discount!) and its amazing how long you make shavings last.
All that for £50 a week and never a thank you passed the employers lips.
Ive been in a few jobs that start off sounding perfect, one was sole charge of 4-7 eventers and PC ponies, fab! Slowly it turned into 20+ horses and became near on impossible for one person:rolleyes:
Luckily Im now in Part time employment for a lovely Lady who is Field Master for a local hunt, she thanks me everyday and pays me on time with a thank you again. Ive NEVER worked for anyone who actually appreciates what I do as a groom. Needless to say im hanging on to this job for dear life:D
24th November 2011, 04:41 PM
Wow thanks so much for the replies,I really appreciate it, they have helped loads. I decided to leave after much thought, I woke up this morning on the verge of a panic attack I was so stressed over it.
Madnellie - I will take a look at the website,thanks!
You lot are fab,I have missed this forum!
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