Meet CSF Grooms School!
As you may know, there are only a splattering of organizations and schools that provide training as a Groom in the horse industry. And one amazing school serves a specific purpose - to support kids in the Carolina Youth Development Center.
PEG: What is the CSF Groom School?
Clover Springs Farm Groom School started as a small camp geared towards teaching youth about horse-care and careers within the equestrian field. We have since then evolved into having working students and interns that we prep for real jobs in the horse world.
PEG: What is the mission of CFC?
The mission is to bring up the next generation of equestrians as well as educate the children how to properly take care of and manage these amazing animals.
Although riding is not a part of our program, the children all learn how to do basic things such as take vitals (and record them), wrap legs, pack feet, lunge, how to cool down, body clip, create and maintain a health and training journal, as well as basic farm maintenance such as dragging the ring, setting up a course, doing stalls, etc.. We want the children to be able to learn anything and everything to the extent that they would like to.
They also are able to spend time and speak to veterinarians, farriers, trainers, riders, body workers and nutritionists to see different aspects of care as well as possible career paths.
We strive towards teaching preventative care, healthy habits, and overall good basic horsemanship.
PEG: Are you a non profit?
We are not a non-profit, however, all children in the program are apart of a State Care system called the Carolina Youth Development Center (CYDC). The kids were taken away from their homes due to domestic issues. Funding for the housing and programs in general is through the state as well as a great deal of fundraising. Additional things for our program, such as shirts, proper footwear and grooming supplies, are provided by the owners of the farm.
PEG: How do the participants find you?
Camp is available to all kids in the State Care program. Though if someone in that program stands out they may be asked to take part of our working student program. The internship program is done through a Job Readiness Training Program through Deptarment of Juvenile Justice. All youth who live at CYDC are in foster care. The youth who are the Job Readiness training Program are not necessarily in foster care. They are community kids who are considered to be at risk of becoming involved with juvenile justice system.
PEG: Tell us about the horses in the program.
Clover Springs Farm actually started as a retirement barn for the owner’s horse Clover Count (the farm is named after him). Many of the horses in the program are actually retired show jumpers. Some, however, are rescues or rehab projects that were adopted. We also have a few youngsters we are bringing up until they are old enough to enter the show world.
Many of the children have a strong interest in the rescues as they can relate to them. The CSF Groom Schoolers work with the barn team on creating and maintaining a wellness plan for recovery.
PEG: How long are kids in the program?
The kids can be in the program as long as they are in state care. If they are working students they are welcome to continue that if they are adopted or put into foster care.
PEG: What's a typical day like for a participant in the program?
For our working students they get here the same time we do: 6am. They help bring in, feed, and groom (every horse is groomed before turn out and then upon bringing in). Some will start the horses on the Theraplate, others will clean feed buckets (which get cleaned after every meal), others will start helping with stalls. After all basic morning chores are done we generally sit down and write out a list of any additional things that need done that day such as body clipping, bubble baths, hand walking, tack cleaning, etc. By the time additional chores are done it is generally time to bring in, groom, feed, switch horses, do stalls again and call it a day.
PEG: Do you have a graduation?
The kids do not currently graduate but we have talked about putting together different levels of certification within the barn for different skills learned.
PEG: What else do you want us to know? Where can we find you on social media?
You can find us on Instagram at CSFgroomschool.