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Discussion in 'Horse Grooming' started by ERIN FRESQUEZ, Oct 21, 2018.

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Would a mobile horse grooming service be useful to horse owners/training barns?

  1. would love to have this availabe

    2 vote(s)
    22.2%
  2. not so much useful

    7 vote(s)
    77.8%
  1. ERIN FRESQUEZ

    ERIN FRESQUEZ Registered

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    HI ALL
    I am new to this forum but I thought it would be a great place to go for some honest feedback. So I've been thinking about starting a small mobile grooming business for horses in the northern California area and I'm curious whether or not it would be a service that horse owners/trainers would actually find useful. I am unable to own my own horse so I am trying to find any way possible of being around horses and caring for them in any way I can to the benefit of the owner, horse, and also myself. Service would include: brushing, washing/shampooing, hoof picking/polishing, mane and tail brushing/care, clipping, show grooming (braiding and plaiting), sheath cleaning, bandaging, blanketing, and any other small general grooming services.
    Please send me your honest thoughts whether they are painful or not. Thank you so much and everyone have a blessed day!
     
  2. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    I wouldn't think so. Someone might use you right before a show, but I can't see you making a living on a horse here and there.
     
  3. bellalou

    bellalou Senior Member

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    The only one of those things that I can see people really utilizing is clipping. Brushing, hoof picking, etc. - we all do that ourselves. Baths are something we tend to do on an as-needed basis and I can't imagine anyone hiring someone to come out and do it. Same with blanketing or bandaging. The only time I can imagine having someone do that would be if I was out of town and had my horses at home. In that case, I'd be hiring a horse sitter.

    Clipping is something I'd pay someone to do if I ever wanted a full or partial body clip. I hate clipping and I'm no good at it. BUT if you don't have any references or a reputation people aren't likely to pay you until you can build that up.

    Depending on your experience and location, you might try doing horse sitting. That can actually be useful for when people have to be away. Having someone you can depend on to come feed and take care of your horses can be a big deal. But again, you'd need to have some references or a reputation. I know for me I can generally find a friend to do it.
     
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  4. waresbear

    waresbear Senior Member

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    I would be calling you every time I have a show, which is about 5 times a year.
     
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  5. turnnburnlynx

    turnnburnlynx Senior Member

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    If it was in my area, i would call before a show. Trouble likes to get dirty, so it would be nice to have him picture perfect
     
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  6. Baboo

    Baboo Senior Member

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    I don't think most average horse owners would use the service much beyond special events, as many have posted. Have you looked into working at a large boarding/show barn that offers "full service" including grooming, clipping etc.? There are a few high end barns in this area that offer 'the full treatment' and have staff hired specifically for those jobs. If you are selling braiding services, clipping etc. you have to be very skilled at the job too.
     
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  7. bsaz

    bsaz Senior Member

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    Where I live? You would starve. But then, most of the horses I see are either ranch horses or lawn ornaments.
     
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  8. NBChoice

    NBChoice Senior Member

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    If you are not planning on using this business as your primary source of income then I think you could at least make a little extra money on the side. I could see people using you for horse shows or if they are out of town.
     
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  9. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    If you want to do this you need to publish your resume in horse care. For instance, unless you worked as a groom on a race track, I would not allow you to bandage a leg. That is something that takes practice, and lots of it, as even well established grooms have been known to cord a leg.

    So, if you have a resume in horse care, I would put that out everywhere I could and take weekend jobs. Who knows, you might get enough business, after people know you, through referrals, to do it full time with a couple large stables.
     
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  10. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    I don't think you could make it work. I don't think you could pay for the truck or gas and make a profit. I don't think you could pay yourself a wage.

    Many people do all their own work(they show locally at cheap shows and have to keep expenses very low- the bulk of horse shows are very cheap local 'schooling' shows put on by clubs...), or have working students who get paid in riding lessons. If they have more money to spend, they have already hired a groom who does more, some having been with them for decades and you would be hard pressed to break into that.

    Maybe for braiding at hunter and a few other types of shows, but you would have a lot of competition at each show. There are already a lot of professional braiders at shows. That's all they do. They stay up all night doing it, too, and they don't watch the shows, generally, or compete. And many are incredibly good and fast. In the mid 1970s I met a braider who worked the big hunter jumper and show jumper shows in the east, and made 350 bucks a night, that was a lot of money way back then, and all under the table, I am not recommending not reporting the income, though, quite the contrary.

    I would also mention that many are 'vagabonds' in a sense, and travel around the country, go to Florida in the winter, etc. That's a tough job for the pay.

    And yes, I honestly believe you need to have a lot of experience to do this type of thing, and a very good resume with references from recognized people. Especially when it comes to wrapping and other things that require a great deal of skill and experience. Cleaning sheaths? A great many horses need to be sedated for that, and you can't legally sedate a horse, that's practicing medicine without a license, the vet has to do that. Without it some horses are going to hurt you.

    Suggestion: if you are looking for ways to be around horses, get a job as a groom or barn worker, and gradually work your way into a working student and then trainer/instructor role. Word to wise, though, working student is a young person's game.
     
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