How much should I pay a groom?

Just wanting to get some good advice on how much a “groom” should be paid on average. No housing or other goodies provided. Also, how many hours or days are typical in a week?

They will be in charge of the following for 35-40 horses:
general horse care, bathing, braiding tails, brushing, clipping, lunging, hot walk, warm up and cool down, turn out, some ground training, feeding, giving supplements and medicine, tack up and down, clean tack, prep horses and trailers for shows, set up local shows, run errands such as making deposits, getting fuel, getting lunch, going to the post office, feedings dogs, taking care of pigs and cats, general cleanliness of barn, doing laundry, helping with office paperwork and entries, and other small things here and there.

Should I also factor in the worth of the horses in how much I should pay them?

when I was a working groom while in college I had a maximum of six head that I took full care of…without running errands. 35 to 40 head I guess would take somewhere around 1,000 hours a week for an individual

during the summer show season the hours worked were nearly non-stop, I joked with the trainer as we were hauling the horses back in from a one night show at 4am that maybe we should just also get a paper route too

pay… I really do not remember, but it was always less than you wanted

When we had our personal horse in training, the groom who took wonderful care of our little Darling filly was just the best…she had five head to care for,no errands either… I do not know what she was paid but we paid her a monthly stipend and had our horse buy her lunch once a week (stupid horse had her own credit card)… she did not know that I knew she was using her own money to buy our horse apples and carrots


I agree, there is no way one person could be responsible for all the things you list for 35-40 horses.


You need 4 grooms, an office manager and a general farm worker/ helper.

All of them full time with benefits.


At least!


Yes, if that means a generous salary. :winkgrin: No, if a $1000 horse wants a discount that $100,000 horse does not get (or vice versa), when they’re in the same grooming program and get the same level of care.

Granted I’m familiar with h/j-land where everything is specialized, but to me, what you’re describing is the work of an assistant trainer/barn manager (or both!) and several grooms. Or you’re going to have a very high turn over/burn out rate and work not being done properly.

Long-term professional grooms I’ve talked to say they have maximum 8-10 horses at home, when they do most/all of the horse care, but not any errands/office/paperwork or other animals or training or trailering. Horse shows are always extra. Hours are generally like 7am-4pm, 6 days/week, with hour off for lunch; in two barns that I know about, different people do the feeding and stall cleaning and night check and Mondays (maybe also holidays/vacation/sick days?). Don’t know their going rate, but I do know they would like to be paid more. That said, they have been with their respective barns for years, so whatever they get paid (and how they’re treated), they’ve stuck around.

This is for full care/grooming barns. If horse owners do some work/grooming themselves, then you’re still looking at at least 3 people for barn management and full board care. And likely some part time people to fill in for vacation or sick days.

Don’t forget to figure that whoever is working there will need days off, someone will have to pitch in to feed and clean and do the work of the one on vacation or sick, etc.

I say it will take more people than some are figuring there.


If you are the bride, try not to pay the groom anything!!! He owes you already!


Is this post even for real? Doesn’t sound like it.


Sure is. I’m actually the “groom” and I’m trying to get some opinions of what other people in the industry pay. Right now there’s another groom here with me, however, she’s gone a lot. So, unfortunately not every horse gets out every day. I’m supposed to work 10 hour days 6 days a week for only $450 a week, but I end up working a lot of 12 hour days. I’ve been here a month and listed in my original post is everything I have to do.

I didn’t realize I was going to be doing more than just grooming. I made the post from the employer side to see what sort of responses I would get. :wink: Everyone has been very helpful so far.

I’m going to be asking for a significant raise, but I’m just not sure how much to ask for. I read that on average a groom makes $500 a week for 40 hours, but since I do so much more than that, I don’t know what to ask for.

Also, these horses are worth anywhere from $20,000-400,000.

I also forgot that I have to pick up her kids from school and from their other parent’s house occasionally, but not every day.

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Um, yeah, no.


This doesn’t seem real.

But now that I read OP’s follow up. I’d say RUN! That sounds like a nightmare. At the very least, you’ll burn out and be broke very, very soon. That is basically asking the impossible for one person.


Lol, I’m already feeling those effects. I’d like to continue working here, becuase my boss is a really wonderful trainer, but I’d like to explore the option of asking for a raise before calling it quits, I just need a basis of where to start negotiations at.

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I personally would ask for a salary, benefits and set hours. That is if I was inclined to keep the job. With regards to what you read about the average pay, that is for the pay to be in charge of less horses, no office management and certainly no nanny duties. Your pay should have no bearing on how expensive the horses are.


I don’t think you can ask for enough money.

Not only that, someone that seems to be taking advantage of a good all around worker like that is not who you want to work for?

You want someone that appreciates you, gives you fair compensation for your work and sees that you are not working to burn-out, but slows you down to reasonable work and hours if you are an overachiever.

Find that good, fair employer.
There are many out there that take excellent care of their employees.


Problem is a raise doesn’t make that much work sustainable for one person. Sure, you’ll have more money in your pocket with a raise but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to keep up the pace of that much work long term. You need a raise in addition to another co-worker or two.


I technically am on salary and have set hours, but if not everything is done then I feel inclined to stay longer. I don’t get any benefits though which I think is weird because I’m not a contractor. Thanks for clarifying the worth of the horses thing. I wasn’t sure if that qualified for a higher pay or not.

Forget the horses, your expected tasks deserves way more pay and benefits.

I see your point and it is a good one. I love working with horses and unfortunately I’m in a spot where I’d need to find a better job before quitting this one, preferably in the same industry. It’s just finding an open position. The thing around here is most people hire illegals to work for cheap.

I really appreciate your advice.

Another good point. I guess I was thinking it’d be more worth it if I was at least able to pay my bills. Lol. But you’re right. There is another groom and a guy that cleans the stalls, but like I said the other groom is gone a lot.

The question is, how much? I’d like to start negotiations with them about pay and time. I just don’t know where to start.