So you’re thinking of applying for one of the working student positions you’ve seen on our page or elsewhere. You’re ready to pack your bags and head off for what will surely be one of the most pivotal learning experiences of your life. But what, exactly, should you know before you go? Naturally, all working student or groom positions require an insanely good work ethic, a great attitude, and a good handle on barn work and basic grooming.
We reached out to two top-notch grooms/working students/barn managers in the eventing world: Hawley Bennett-Awad’s Sarah Braun and Laine Ashker’s Lauren Sherrill to get their advice on what it takes to make it as a working student.
Be able to take direction well from your peers/coworkers and your employer
Having a little OCD helps
Be a team player
Be willing to drop what you’re doing to stay with a sick/injured horse
Be someone who doesn’t mind working long hours
Be willing to travel or stay home when trainer/employer is competing
To be able to support yourself and be a working student is tough, so be able to have time management where you can work a couple jobs on the side to earn money to live off of
Be very reliable and trustworthy
Braiding! Make sure you know how to braid and preferably sew in nice tight button braids. If you need too, ask someone to help you learn.
Wrapping, if you don’t already know how to wrap or aren’t very comfortable with it get someone knowledgeable to teach you.
Mentally prepare yourself for long days in the heat of the summer. You’ll be go, go, going all day long.
Knowing how to drive a truck and trailer is a huge plus.
Be open minded to learning new and different ways of doing things.
We’ve posted other advice columns on being an A-plus working student. You can revisit these articles using the links before. Have any tips to add? Comment below! And don’t forget to check our summer edition of our working student listings here.