Head Ostler Rank/Title in Outspoken | World Anvil

Head Ostler


  The Head Ostler (not to be confused with the Marshal manages the grooms and stables of a Laird's estate. From ensuring every horse is groomed, tacked, and ready for any Knight, Laird, Lady, Noble, or other person of importance that comes along, to keeping the stable yard clean, treating wounded or sick horses, and ensuring the daily feedings happen on time, this position is one that carries a great deal of responsibility. A Head Ostler must be a marvelous multi-tasker and leader to keep the stables running smoothly, filled with happy, healthy horses for all of their Laird's needs.
In addition to the duties that fall under the Head Ostler's purview, they must also work in partnership with the Marshal. As the Marshal is the head trainer of an estate, the people that hold these positions for their Laird must make an excellent team, and often become close friends through their work. If one of them becomes overwhelmed with work, the other is expected to pick up the slack to keep the stable in order.


A Head Ostler needs to be a skilled horseman with a solid understanding of equine care and medicine, and a proven track record of handling responsibility and multi-tasking, as well as a strong rapport with the grooms of the estate.


There are no formal requirements for the position, but a Head Ostler is typically around 30 years old, and must be trusted by both their Laird, his Clerk, and (most importantly) his Marshal. They should be a natural leader, with the skills to manage not only the grooms and the stable grounds, but keep track of and maintain all their Laird's horses, tack, equipment, and future needs.
The Head Ostler can be either a hired/paid staff member, or a Bond Servant, as long as they are trustworthy and capable.


The Head Ostler is selected by either their Laird, their Laird's Clerk, or their Laird's Marshal. Usually, the selection is based on the recommendation of the Marshal, or by interviewing the most senior grooms to learn who the most respected among them is. A Head Ostler is almost always a senior groom that has been serving their Laird for a minimum of 10 years, and who has proven themselves worthy of the position.


To manage the horses, stables, and grooms of their Laird's estate.


Managing all grooms and stable staff, feeding schedules, equine care (including medical treatment), maintenance of tack and equipment, cleanliness of the stable grounds, and assisting the Marshal with any additional duties necessary. Among these maintenance tasks, a Head Ostler must also ensure any horses and equipment needed by the Laird, Marshal, Seneschal, or any members of their Laird's Order are prepared and ready to go when they arrive. Often, the Head Ostler will also assist or be placed in charge of selecting a yearly crop of yearlings, or any breeding programs the Laird has invested in.


The trust of their Laird and one of the most stable positions in his household. Unless the position is held by a Bond Servant, it comes with a decent salary and housing.

Grounds for Removal/Dismissal

The Laird can dismiss a Head Ostler at any time and for any reason. This typically occurs when a Head Ostler is too old to keep up with the rigors of the position, or if a new Head Ostler proves unable to handle the responsibilities. A Marshal or Clerk that is unhappy with the work of a Head Ostler can petition to the Laird for their removal, on similar grounds. Dismissal from a Head Ostler position is not often an event of major ramifications, and a failed Head Ostler is usually demoted to groom, rather than removed from their Laird's household.


As with many household positions under a Laird, the Head Ostler position has existed longer than the kingdom itself, and has remained mostly unchanged for as long as people can remember.

Notable Holders

Quick Facts

Nobility, Household
In Effect
Alternative Naming
Head Groom
Source of Authority
Laird; Clerk or Marshal with Laird's approval
Length of Term
Lifetime, or until dismissal
Reports directly to

Cover image: by Photo by Steije Hillewaert on Unsplash


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