Confessions of a groom

littleshetland

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25 January 2014
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1,099
Location
On top of the hill, Somerset.
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)
So many fantastic posts on this forum......but I think this could be my favourite one.
 

Auslander

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13 November 2010
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Berkshire
Whilst working for a very famous event rider, I was regularly treated to the sight of his mother standing in the tackroom with her breeches and knickers round her ankles, slathering herself in barrier cream to avoid saddle sores.

She also single handedly taught many a young groom to keep their hands forward at all times, by riding up and down the string, bellowing "Young lady, stop scratching your bush like a monkey"!

Her husband used to stop his horse next to a tree, shout "Avert your eyes, youthful ones", stand in his stirrups, swivel his hips, unzip his flies and pee against the tree.
 

meleeka

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14 September 2001
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7,316
Location
Hants, England
Someone I know worked for an amateur dressage rider. who was on a livery yard She worked 6-3 I think, looking after one horse. A large part of her job was sitting in the field with the horse for hours while it was turned out on its own, to make sure it didn’t get upset/injure itself. She used to read and got through a couple of books a week usually.
 

Pinkvboots

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25 August 2010
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15,243
Location
Hertfordshire
I worked at a yard once where I left an hour early as I got a call saying my horse was colicing she was only 5 minutes drive away, I managed to get everything done before I left to get down there, unfortunately there was nothing they could do so I had her pts that evening, when I went into work Monday employer called me in to pay me as she didn't see me on Friday, she then said I've deducted an hours pay as you left early I know you had your horse pts but you did leave early.
 

lynz88

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4 July 2012
Messages
373
OMG these are horrific! I don't have any stories that amount to this except for having paycheques bounce and, while working for the same VERY large competition/boarding/schooling barn (this place was ginormous and would hold A circuit shows), there was this English girl that absolutely drove us nuts. She refused to do any real work and apparently had "special permission" to "train" the school horses. I remember one day having to do feeds, turn out/bring in, and 30 stalls entirely by myself in 30 degree weather (without considering the stifling humidity!!) because she was busy "training" the horses!

I also remember being yelled at by a boarder because her horse ended up with a fractured pastern. The boarder blamed us when in actual fact she had a b!*ch of a mare and it was the baorder's mother who showed up, went to the field instead of waiting a few minutes for us to do our bring in, and tried to feed some treats to this horse. The other horses got upset and that started a fight.....🙄😳
 
Joined
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3,242
Location
West Sussex
I went for one trial for a grooms position at a fairly local dressage yard, there was to be me and the owner dealing with about 12 horses. She was running me through what was to be done for the day and the first thing I was asked to do was to go into a field and grab a feed bucket in - well the horse in there came charging over as soon as I put one leg in the field and tried to go at me with teeth and heels so I went back through the gate quick sharp to be met with a 'oh yeah, he can be like that. I'll get it when he's brought in'. Brilliant I thought, and asked whether there was any other horses which would try and take my head off. She said no..

I was then handed two horses to get in from the field, which promptly started both rearing and kicking out at each other and trying to bugger off, I just about held them but was very nearly in the line of fire several times. I then finally went into a stable to tie a haynet and that started rearing, big time rearing and striking out. By that point, about 2 hours into this trial I decided that keeping my brain matter inside my head was more important than this job, so I got in my car and drove home. I told the woman that I don't mind difficult horses, but that despite her protests that this was normal horse behaviour, it was not; and that if she wasn't going to at least tell me that they behaved like this, I didn't wasn't interested in working for her. I was yelled at via text the whole way home.

I see her advertising for grooms all the time, so clearly nothing has changed in the last 8 years.
 

eahotson

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4 June 2003
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3,269
Location
merseyside
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?
Loved the story about the colt.
 

eahotson

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Joined
4 June 2003
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3,269
Location
merseyside
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 😡
I feel sick.
 

onemoretime

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Joined
12 April 2008
Messages
2,097
I worked at a yard once where I left an hour early as I got a call saying my horse was colicing she was only 5 minutes drive away, I managed to get everything done before I left to get down there, unfortunately there was nothing they could do so I had her pts that evening, when I went into work Monday employer called me in to pay me as she didn't see me on Friday, she then said I've deducted an hours pay as you left early I know you had your horse pts but you did leave early.

What the hell!!!
 

Cloball

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Joined
19 October 2017
Messages
2,087
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)
My OH likes to narrate conversations with the cat just like that.

I worked part time on a small.family yard during a succession of terrible yard managers came and went the worst one kept disappearing for various different 'convincing' reasons, sick relative, sick pets etc. I got called by the owner fuming before I came back to bring in. Apparently the farrier had turned up to an empty yard as the manager had to take her dog to the vets. He then saw her sitting at the pub as he drove away.
 

onemoretime

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Joined
12 April 2008
Messages
2,097
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 😡

I would have walked straight out of the gate!!!
 

eahotson

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Joined
4 June 2003
Messages
3,269
Location
merseyside
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 actually.
 

Ceifer

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Joined
11 May 2014
Messages
1,164
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 😡
I’m sorry that happened to that groom. It’s awful. I hope she got out 😔.
 
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