Please note: you must have some experience with horses to be considered for this position
Stable Staff are responsible for maintaining the stables of a racing yard and may also exercise the racehorses.
Cleaning stables and yards, and general stable maintenance such as cleaning water troughs and small repairs
Grooming and care of horses, including washing down after work and feeding horses
Responsible for hand walking, lunging, putting horses on horse walker
Tacking up horses
Cleaning and care of tack and equipment
Prepare for and attending the Races
Exercise the horses on a daily basis
Effectively communicate with trainers in order to understand and accomplish desired goals
Develop a sense of the horse's running rate in order to meet the trainer's expectations for the distance a horse must cover in a given time
Detect and report a horse's injuries or lameness exhibited before or during workouts
Knowledge, skills and experience required
Knowledge and Skills:
Equine Knowledge and Skills (Gallop Maintenance; Training & Fitness; Horse Care and welfare, Riding)
Racing Knowledge and Skills (Placing horses; Integrity of the Sport)
Interpersonal Skills (ability to work effectively with people; acknowledging diverse opinions; cooperating with others)
Stress Management (ability to work well under pressure, while maintaining effectiveness and self-control in the midst of any one or combination of stressors, including emotional strain, ambiguity, risk to self and fatigue)
Organisational Skills (ability to identify and set priorities, plan and effectively allocate resources)
Initiative / Perseverance (ability to be willing to take action to address needs without being required to do so; staying on task to completion)
Adaptability/Decisiveness (ability and confidence to vary between being flexible and holding firm on a decision; showing leadership by adjusting one’s approach to the demands of a particular task)
You don’t need experience to be Stable Staff.Instead, dedication and a love of horses are needed as you’ll be up early and outside in all weathers, taking care of and exercising two to three horses every day, as well as carrying out a range of yard duties such as sweeping, tack cleaning and mucking out.
Education & Training
While no specific qualification or training is required to begin a career as Stable Staff, many in the industry have a qualification in Horsemanship or have completed an Exercise Rider Course.
Relevant Industry Courses include:
Exercise Rider Course - The Exercise Rider Course is a 12-week programme for those with riding experience who wish to train as an Exercise Rider. The programme is run by Racing Academy Centre of Education (RACE) and sponsored by Horse Racing Ireland.
Alternative Career Options roles within the thoroughbred industry
Head Lad / Lass
Being Stable Staff is virtually essential to progress in racing as you will be learning key skills as well as gathering valuable experience. A minimum hourly rate is ratified by the Irish Racehorse Trainer Association (I.R.T.A.) and the Irish Stable Staff Association (I.S.S.A.), plus a share of pooled prize money. Some yards also provide accommodation for their stable staff.
Job Availability: | Readily |
Positions are most readily available in areas of the country with a large amount of racing yards.