Confessions of a groom

Ceifer

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Following on from the shortage of grooms thread, a friend and fellow ex-groom and I were giggling earlier over the mad things we witnessed whilst working in the industry.

I have numerous stories- we were saying we should write a book. But a couple that still make me think wtf are -

Working for dressage Diva (DD). I managed her yard, lots of very nice horses, funded by long suffering husband.
I had booked a holiday abroad- months in advance of taking it and planning it around DD’s competitions had been a military operation. Unfortunately we had a member of staff the week before I was due to go away. DD had an away show and was taking her travelling groom (incidentally she should have got a medal, I couldn’t do her job. DD took her away and didn’t speak to her for the entire show once)
This lead to only one person being on the yard and after much discussion and DD dropping heavy hints she wanted me to cancel my holiday, it was decided that the remaining groom should just about manage on her own.
I went on holiday and fretted the whole time but regular updates from the other grooms indicated all was well. Until I returned to work and got summoned to DD’s house.
I was informed I needed to fire the groom
Who’d been left in sole charge whilst I was away. I was shocked, what had happened?
DD looked me straight in the eye and said
“She left the hose out overnight”.
Pardon? Sorry, did she leave the hose on overnight? Has she flooded somewhere? Did one of the horses somehow escape and fall over it? Or tie themselves up in it?
“No, she just didn’t reel it back in when she finished using it. You can check the CCTV.
Right…. And I have to fire her?
So off I went, not sure what to do. When I approached the other groom she already knew what was going to happen. She’d been read the riot act before I got back off holiday and found herself another job. She walked off the yard sticking her fingers up at the CCTV camera.

Another woman I worked for refused to buy gritting salt for the yard when it was icy. Instead she used to insist we muck out straight onto the yard as the heat from the muck would melt the ice. Sometimes in bad weather she’d make us do this for days and then as weather improved we’d have to shovel it all up and spend hours shovelling and sweeping. All for the sake of not spending a couple of quid on some salt 🙄.

Not my story but my friend worked for a woman who used to have far too many feral youngsters running around. One was a really nasty colt that the owner insisted lived on his own as he was very valuable. The made him awful to catch, he’d turn and double barrel you or run you over
As he was clearly very unhappy at solitary confinement. In the end all the staff refused to handle it unless it’s routine was changed. The were all told they were stupid and unskilled. The owner marched off down the field with a lead rope. The colt ran her straight over. The owner returned empty handed. An imprint of the owner was left in the mud where she’d fallen. Arms and legs splayed like a star fish. The imprint remained for a month until it rained heavily.

anybody else got mad stories?
 

Caol Ila

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I worked at a dressage yard where I had to handle about ten huge Hanoverians and not a single ground manner between them. I was trying to convince one to not run me over while taking it to the turn-out paddock, and the YO laughed and said, "These horses are not like your horse. They can't be trained to be like that. They are too smart." Uh, okay.

I worked for all of four days at my old livery yard. It was imperative that you clean your stalls so you could do surgery in them, and the beds must be perfectly flat, the bedding evenly banked around the edges of the stable. Fair enough. You also had to be able to do this in 10 minutes per stall. If you were getting close to 15 minutes, it was too slow. I'm sure there are people who can achieve the perfect stable in 10 minutes, but having not done that job for over a decade (and I had told the YO this), I was not one of them. Certainly not after four days anyway. He let me go. Never did keep many staff. I'm sure the pro grooms at a racing yard can do the sort of job he wanted, but those sorts of people were not lining up at his door.
 

littleshetland

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I know someone that got sacked because they didn't tuck the chest straps into the 'keepers' when they rugged up their DD boss's horse.

Back in the 70's I worked in a very posh livery yard. I had to tack up 3 horses for their owners, including knee boots for all. It was a freezing cold day and I was fiddling about with leather straps (no velcro then) with very numb fingers. Off they went for their hack, and all returned eventually.......with their knee boots flapping about round their fetlocks. Oops.
 

Ratface

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I liveried at a yard where I had to check on the teeth of any prospective groom. " We don't like ugly mouths, do we?"
I promise you this is true.
At the same yard, I was invited in for a cup of tea on Christmas morning. The family was at the groaning breakfast table, as was the Head Groom.
I was directed to sit in the dog basket, with the Labrador.
I seem to remember being totally ignored by the humans, but I had a nice chat with the dog.
 

Ceifer

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I liveried at a yard where I had to check on the teeth of any prospective groom. " We don't like ugly mouths, do we?"
I promise you this is true.
At the same yard, I was invited in for a cup of tea on Christmas morning. The family was at the groaning breakfast table, as was the Head Groom.
I was directed to sit in the dog basket, with the Labrador.
I seem to remember being totally ignored by the humans, but I had a nice chat with the dog.
😮😮😮
 

HappyHollyDays

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I liveried at a yard where I had to check on the teeth of any prospective groom. " We don't like ugly mouths, do we?"
I promise you this is true.
At the same yard, I was invited in for a cup of tea on Christmas morning. The family was at the groaning breakfast table, as was the Head Groom.
I was directed to sit in the dog basket, with the Labrador.
I seem to remember being totally ignored by the humans, but I had a nice chat with the dog.
😱😱😱

I regularly sit in the cat basket on the yard because it’s the most comfortable and warmest place in the kitchen but it’s my choice 🤣
 

HorseMaid

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As a teen I was a stable girl at a small riding stables, the owner was a very old fashioned, fearsome elderly lady who everyone was a bit scared of. However she would also sometimes stand and bellow instructions at us out of her bedroom window, topless, with her enormous bosoms almost hanging out of the window.
 

Ceifer

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1,175
As a teen I was a stable girl at a small riding stables, the owner was a very old fashioned, fearsome elderly lady who everyone was a bit scared of. However she would also sometimes stand and bellow instructions at us out of her bedroom window, topless, with her enormous bosoms almost hanging out of the window.
🤣🤣🤣.

I’ve worked for one of those too. Her yard was spotless but she lived in absolute filthy conditions. She made me a cup of tea one night as it was vile weather and I was cold and wet. I downed the tea as I wanted to get home but glanced into the mug and saw something green floating in it. 🤮🤮🤮. I made my excuses and ran.
 

Lucky Snowball

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Also in the 70's, I worked in return for keeping my pony at the stables and using him as escort. One day the owner was short of a horse and instructed that a big fat lady was to be put on my pony. I was gutted / sulking / upset........but not for long. The saddle slipped as she tried to get on and she sat down hard in a big green poo. She then refused to ride him.
 

Ratface

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Re: the livery owner who told me to check prospective groom's teeth: she would also lean out of her bedroom window in a lacy peignour and bellow instructions to all and sundry!
The house was a complete tip (her sainted mother tried to improve it, but it was always a losing battle) but the tack room, feed store, hay barn, fields, fencing, school was always immaculate and the horses fit and generally cheerful.
LO also had a high-powered job. She could certainly multi-task with the best of them, but one became rather windswept in the process.
 

Parrotperson

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I liveried at a yard where I had to check on the teeth of any prospective groom. " We don't like ugly mouths, do we?"
I promise you this is true.
At the same yard, I was invited in for a cup of tea on Christmas morning. The family was at the groaning breakfast table, as was the Head Groom.
I was directed to sit in the dog basket, with the Labrador.
I seem to remember being totally ignored by the humans, but I had a nice chat with the dog.
w the actual F? I do think the equestrian world is bats**t crazy sometimes.
 

Parrotperson

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As a teen I was a stable girl at a small riding stables, the owner was a very old fashioned, fearsome elderly lady who everyone was a bit scared of. However she would also sometimes stand and bellow instructions at us out of her bedroom window, topless, with her enormous bosoms almost hanging out of the window.
like I said bats**t crazy!
 

poiuytrewq

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I always remember one particular thing. Years ago I had my first proper job. On a beautiful yard owned by a very elderly lady. We were a very touristy area and I led out hacks. She had the most random assortment of big horses. We had our set ones to look after and muck out etc
She mucked out 2 herself, not quite sure how she managed but she did every morning.
Ours were on shavings, hers straw and one of hers backed onto one of mine. I used to listen every morning to the weird “conversations” coming from her stable. Quite serious things, like two adults chatting, not baby chat. She’d wait for a reply and carry on as if the horse had said something relevant.
One day I heard her saying
“You want what dear”
“Well I just don’t understand why..”
“It’s really no different, in fact your bed is probably comfier”
“ ok, ok, but you know I can’t lead you, your too strong for me, hang on”
She then called me to pop round and please put the horse into a spare stable with shavings as he wanted to lie in a shavings bed 😳
Unsure if she was serious I took him out and popped him next door where he promptly lay down 😂
She sighed and said “there is that better? No, it’s not is it? Tut” and walked away 🤷‍♀️😂
She was hilarious and a great loss when she eventually died (after making provision for all the horses first)
 

SOS

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Is this confessions of a groom or horror stories as a groom? I have a few of both but feel the latter suit more.

I was asked once on a yard I only rode at if I would mind staying on the afternoon and supervising the horses for the equine dentist. I was told their day to day groom refused to see the dentist again, which I thought was strange but did it anyway. The equine dentist turns up, a few minutes into the first horse he asked me to stand underneath the horses head and hold it up. I did so… I then proceeded to spend the next 4 hours holding up some large horses heads whilst drool and god knows what dripped down my arms and through the arm holes of my polo shirt. If I let the head drop and inch the equine dentist would cuss at me and yank the horses head up and say I caused that. He was a vile man, I drove home stinking and my arms were sore for days.

Another yard I worked as the sole groom for was a hunt master with a lot of land and stables. In fact he had just built a second American barn. I was house sitting as they were away and it was a lovely October evening. The horses normally came in around 4pm but it was unseasonably warm so I sat watching them in the back garden whilst they chomped away in the autumn sun. I get a phone call from my boss, who is slurring his words asking why the hell I hadn’t brought his horses in yet when it was 5pm. I was a bit confused then realised he had been checking the cameras. I explained it was a nice evening and got told to bring them in NOW and if any of them collicked he would take it off my wages. I got the horses in, did evening stables and set about making myself dinner. Only to receive another phone call asking why the F’n horses are not in and a barrage of abuse. I kept explaining the horses were in then realised he was looking at the cameras in the new barn (fairly similar looking, same brand internal stable). He refused to believe me and sent a neighbour round to check the horses were in. I left shortly after they returned due to that incident and waiting till gone 7pm one night for him to get back from hunting as he went to the pub to pull a dehydrated, unrugged, still tacked up, freezing horse off the lorry when he returned. I was fuming and dealt with the horse and handed in my notice with immediate effect the next day after sorting the horses out, leaving him with 12 stables to muck out.
 

LR

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I worked in a showjumping yard. The head groom told the other groom that the owner told her ‘If you don’t ride me, you can’t ride the horses’, she went along with it for years. He was, and still is revolting. He looks like toad of toad hall and did back in those days too. Horrible man 😡
 

alexomahony

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12 January 2015
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I always remember one particular thing. Years ago I had my first proper job. On a beautiful yard owned by a very elderly lady. We were a very touristy area and I led out hacks. She had the most random assortment of big horses. We had our set ones to look after and muck out etc
She mucked out 2 herself, not quite sure how she managed but she did every morning.
Ours were on shavings, hers straw and one of hers backed onto one of mine. I used to listen every morning to the weird “conversations” coming from her stable. Quite serious things, like two adults chatting, not baby chat. She’d wait for a reply and carry on as if the horse had said something relevant.
One day I heard her saying
“You want what dear”
“Well I just don’t understand why..”
“It’s really no different, in fact your bed is probably comfier”
“ ok, ok, but you know I can’t lead you, your too strong for me, hang on”
She then called me to pop round and please put the horse into a spare stable with shavings as he wanted to lie in a shavings bed 😳
Unsure if she was serious I took him out and popped him next door where he promptly lay down 😂
She sighed and said “there is that better? No, it’s not is it? Tut” and walked away 🤷‍♀️😂
She was hilarious and a great loss when she eventually died (after making provision for all the horses first)
She sounds lovely ❤️
 

Ceifer

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Is this confessions of a groom or horror stories as a groom? I have a few of both but feel the latter suit more.
.
You’re probably right it’s not really confessions.
I guess the only confession I have was when I was younger I worked out in Europe for a show jumper. It was a hard job, our employer had a lot of money and as we were paid pretty well as far as grooms went she really held us to account for every little thing. Standards were high.
It was also a group of 7 girls living together, which put it this way - you couldn’t pay me enough to live with 6 random girls in close quarters again. Anyway it was NYE and we were in a city in a hotel and we decided we’d go out for the night clubbing.Well, we all absolutely went for it despite saying/knowing we had the horses to do in the morning. How we made it back to the hotel I still don’t know but I was awoken to my work phone buzzing the next morning. Looked at it, 20 missed calls, 5 voicemails, numerous text messages from the boss. And the time- 10.14 am.
Oh my #%+!!! S*** s*** s*** !!!
I ran into the girls room next door to be greeted by two naked men and the travelling head groom. I was shrieking the time. We should have been on the yard at 7am. We were all so dead.
We got to the yard and boss was there. I’ve never been screamed at so much in my life. I honestly thought you could have heard her in the next country. A full 15 mins of how terrible we all were, how disappointed she was in us, she pays us so well and this is how we repay her. The horses could have died (a bit dramatic I thought). She’d had to give them hay and feed them. We all apologised and off she went.
The barn manager came around after, who incidentally was the most good looking man I’ve ever met and was laughing. He said he’d been at the yard at 7 and when we hadn’t arrived he twigged what had happened and fed and hayed the horses himself.
 

Ratface

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We're you also asked to turn around, because "everybody likes a cute bottom"?

Really, recruitment practises like this makes me wonder what century some people are living in.
The YO's husband was a high power Something In The City. He looked permanently exhausted and smiles infrequently crossed his face. He just did as he was told, including holding a horse for the knacker man, as the owner refused to and the YO was away competing. I felt really sorry for him, took over and washed the large amount of blood away.
That owner refused to come to the yard when the last of her lovely old horses colicked and died in the field. She was, apparently "too busy, shopping". Two miles away.
I know from experience how devastating it is to be with a beloved animal at the end. However, I believe it is the last kindness we owe them, and I have been fortunate enough to be able to be with all mine.
 

Archangel

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I worked in a showjumping yard. The head groom told the other groom that the owner told her ‘If you don’t ride me, you can’t ride the horses’, she went along with it for years. He was, and still is revolting. He looks like toad of toad hall and did back in those days too. Horrible man 😡
That is terrible. Yuk, yuk and yuk again.
 

LR

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648
That is terrible. Yuk, yuk and yuk again.
It certainly is. He once called the other groom over to the house when he was home for lunch, on his own. When she arrived he was wearing just a dressing gown, flashed himself (let’s just say he was standing to attention) and said did she fancy a session? She declined, came back and told me and I was livid. I told her she should ring the police and I’d support her fully but she didn’t want to. I then had to school one of the show jumpers in the outdoor school and when he was going back to work he came to find me to say goodbye. He never did this. I know he wanted to see if I said anything. I just said ‘OK bye’ and then spent the afternoon cursing the horrid excuse for a man.
 

poiuytrewq

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It certainly is. He once called the other groom over to the house when he was home for lunch, on his own. When she arrived he was wearing just a dressing gown, flashed himself (let’s just say he was standing to attention) and said did she fancy a session? She declined, came back and told me and I was livid. I told her she should ring the police and I’d support her fully but she didn’t want to. I then had to school one of the show jumpers in the outdoor school and when he was going back to work he came to find me to say goodbye. He never did this. I know he wanted to see if I said anything. I just said ‘OK bye’ and then spent the afternoon cursing the horrid excuse for a man.
Wow, let’s hope he gets chucked head first without a hat into a concrete block. 🤬
 

Reacher

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That is so sad 😢
The YO's husband was a high power Something In The City. He looked permanently exhausted and smiles infrequently crossed his face. He just did as he was told, including holding a horse for the knacker man, as the owner refused to and the YO was away competing. I felt really sorry for him, took over and washed the large amount of blood away.
That owner refused to come to the yard when the last of her lovely old horses colicked and died in the field. She was, apparently "too busy, shopping". Two miles away.
I know from experience how devastating it is to be with a beloved animal at the end. However, I believe it is the last kindness we owe them, and I have been fortunate enough to be able to be with all mine.
 
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