Grooms in Eventing, or Finding One

I’m an Area III ammy-pro, having competed mostly solo since I started eventing 15-years ago. I’ve never hired/utilized a groom, even running 3L, It’s just me. (However, I have been on the other side as a groom, numerous times)

Additionally, with only one or two horses, I’ve normally had family with me or riders from my barn competing alongside me and know enough contacts in SJ to borrow a warm-up jump.

However, I think It would be incredible to have help at competitions, just for the sake of keeping me organized, warm-up, maybe hold a camera, and in general a bit safer when I’m traveling alone. (I’m also at a point, where I can compensate said groom for their time, which maybe 2/3 years ago wasn’t feasible)

I know most grooms already work full-time for a rider, but it would be great if there was a resource I could use to contact anyone w/ experience/availabilities.

Are there any more solo-adult ammy’s who have tried to hire a groom before?

(If anyone has availability @ Pine Top Advanced, I can pay, provide lodging, meals, and I braid myself)

I have not - unless you count paying one of the teenagers at my barn to help me out one day - but I have seen people post searches for one-off grooming help on the USEA Area II Facebook page. You could also try the Major League Eventers FB page.

No experience doing so myself, but is there a local (or local ish) farm that may let you add on with their group without doing the riding with their pro portion?
Otherwise posting in local groups, or on the event page (if there is one) may do the trick. Having been a groom myself, I would have happily added a one off horse but would not have done the whole deal for the amount I made on just one horse (even with lodging and food paid for). Maybe a teen from a local barn may want to help? Would depend on what all you’re wanting done as it wouldn’t be the same as an experienced groom of course.

With more notice I might have offered! I love Pine Top and the friend I usually meet there to help did not compete this year, so I missed it.

Note: I am not a professional groom and for safety reasons I avoid being The Responsible Person for tacking up, etc. But I fetch and carry and hold and walk horses and do whatever needs doing. And know when to be quiet. :wink:

I think if you put the word out, you’ll be able to find someone to help you. If it’s not a true professional, just be sure to set expectations, whether you want them in attendance every minute, when you absolutely need them, etc.


I think Emma Ford is freelancing. Might be worth reaching out? Or put something out on Facebook, probably major league eventers. Good luck!


That’s what I was putting feelers out for.

I’ve only had one other experience, I guess I’ve utilized a groom once. I had a friend fly into a championship event to be a groom. Now I didn’t pay her, only access to the event and a room. But, it was severely awkward, being left during my divisions while they met friends to watch jogs/the event. So I found it difficult to set expectations, which I blame myself for.

I’ll see if I can reach out to Emma, there is one other freelance groom in our area that I know of. So they may at least have contacts.

What are we also seeing the going rate as?
I would think a least $100/day ?

There are plenty of freelance grooms around, but you may find it cost prohibitive for one horse. I did some freelancing after I left my grooming job- I limited myself to riders with at least 3 horses though, to make enough money for it to be worth it. I charged $100 per horse per day, more if I had to haul, but this was pre-COVID so likely a bit more now. I was coming from grooming in a very busy 5* program so didn’t need oversight from the rider and was fully capable of handling absolutely everything for the rider.

I would recommend, as another poster suggested, either trying to get a groom-share with another lone rider, or finding a barn teen that you can train up and pitch some spending money. Sometimes professional freelancers can pick up another horse at events where they’re not too busy, but they’re going to be split in different directions so you may not get as much dedicated attention as you want. The grooms in my circle are mostly looking for a minimum of $3-500 per day at the big shows, so that’s something to keep in mind.


Agree on the $$$ amount. When I was grooming (for HJ though), it was $100/ day per horse with a 3 horse minimum + expenses + the trainer I worked for had the clients tip (I believe she required no less than X amount but most of them gave more, especially the one grey who I kept spotless :joy:).

Ask your local pony club if they have an older C level or higher member that might be interested. When I was 17/18 it was a great way to get some spending money!


I’ve used other local eventers on the occasions I needed/wanted a groom. In one recent case I worked with a young woman who is a lower level eventer who I also encouraged to make additional money braiding and doing massage therapy work.

Also, just for some interesting perspective I spent the summer on 1982 and 1983 grooming on the A hunter circuit and made $100 a day not including hotel and meals.

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Katie Strickland freelances. She’s on Facebook or you can pm me for contact info.

I LIVED for this type of opportunity as a teen!