What do Grooms want from their Employers?
Well, when I asked a bunch of Grooms what they wanted from their Trainers, it could be summed up in two words - money and respect. And maybe also throw a lesson in there, too!
No one is saying this is a glamorous job with amazing pay. Grooms only want to be paid a living wage. We have already discussed some of the perks of the job (which can be priceless if you ask me….). However, we all have to eat!!
We shall assume that when an employer hires a Groom, both parties are fully aware of the gross and net salaries. Now, Grooms would love some opportunities to make some extra pocket money. Braiding at shows, body clipping, polishing the rider’s boots are all ways to do that. And there’s also the tip! Grooms love clients who tip!
Me and Guenter in my grooming days!
As far as respect goes, Grooms would like a job in which they can have ownership and responsibility while still being guided and learning from other Professionals. There is no bigger compliment a Trainer can pay a Groom than to ask "what do you think?". Please and thank you go a long way, also.
Then there’s the whole subject of sick days and holidays. Well, sick days are just that - sick. No need to get everyone at the barn and all of the clients sick, also! Holidays are a great opportunity to also let your Groom know how much you love them - how ‘bout a half day??
And as a general note - I know lots of freelance Grooms that work holidays - just so the regular Grooms can travel to their families. Can you think of a better holiday gift than a bonus and a week’s vacation to go home? I can’t!!
Grooms are always working in "challenging" situations!
As far as the industry as a whole, I would love to find a way for EVERY SINGLE EMPLOYER pay their Grooms legally as employees, have worker's comp for them, and pay them hourly as the law requires, with a few exceptions. I would also love for EVERY SINGLE GROOM to be aware of their rights, and stand up for what is due them. (It's a tall order, but I think the more I can scream it from the rooftops and the more that you can spread the word, we will get this done!) You can learn more details about the above mentioned employee issues on this website's very own employment section here!