If “Groom Wanted” Ads Were Honest


Show barn absolutely desperate for staff after yet another new person quit.

Preferably someone with grooming experience, but we’re at the point that we can’t afford to be picky. If you have a heartbeat and you’re willing to show up, we’ll take you on.

We can’t seem to keep anyone longer than a month or two except our longtime staff. We’re not sure if our longtime staff are so mean because they’re constantly training new people, or if they’re constantly training new people because they are so mean that they scare all the trainees away. But don’t worry, once you get used to them they are a really likeable bunch, and I’m sure you’ll get along great!

Hours: just assume that you’re always working. You will be on call 24 hours a day in the event of a sick horse, etc. and if we need you to drive home from a show at midnight, you’ll have to do it and be at work the next day. No complaints, we hate complaining.

You’ll work six days a week. But if we need it to be seven, then it’ll be seven. No complaints about that either. If you do get a day off, you’re on call then too.

Breaks are not really a thing. If you need to eat during the day, you should bring snacks you can keep in your pockets so you can eat and work at the same time. If you have lots of free time during the day to go get lunch and eat it sitting down at a show, that’s fine, but don’t expect that to happen very often.

Salary: Fine as long as you don’t divide your weekly income by the number of hours worked and realize you would make more money at McDonald’s. Horse people don’t work with horses for the money, they do it because they love animals. It’s a privilege to be able to make a living from your passion, so we don’t need to pay you very much. You don’t need a retirement fund, because who would retire from doing what they love?

Pay day is every two weeks. If you can hack it for six months we’ll be so shocked we might actually give you a raise.

Live-In: Accommodation will be provided. At “home,” it will probably be a dingy, dungeon-like apartment converted from a hayloft that wasn’t cleaned after the previous occupant. On the road, if you are lucky you will be in hotels, or may get a camper. If you are unlucky, you’ll have to share the camper with your boss. If we are in Europe you will live in the same truck we use to ship the horses, which may or may not have a functioning shower large enough to fit a human being.

Key Skills: you know what, don’t even worry about it. We’ll teach you whatever you don’t know.

Other info: if you make a mistake, we will probably insult you, your intelligence, your elementary school teachers for making you stupid, and/or your parents for raising you poorly. But we’re just kidding, so for goodness sake don’t cry about it. Any overly “sensitive” people need not apply.

Anyways, if you’re hard-working, reliable, and you’ve got a thick skin, I’m sure you’d get along great here! Come join our team! You won’t regret it.

About the Author

Morgan Withers is a professional groom on the “A” circuit who has been there and done that and then done that and been there some more for good measure.

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