You are here: Home / About Us / Articles & Advice / Are riding schools open ?

Back

Are riding schools open ?

What about group riding lessons now?

Updated June 2020

From Monday 1 June, in England only, riding schools will be able to offer group lessons and hacks for five people from separate households plus one coach.

Coaches will also be able to teach groups of five riders at group clinics.

UPDATE 3RD JUNE

We have received further questions relating to guidance during Covid 19.

Here therefore,  we provide further guidance from the government website as we feel it might relate to riding schools, yards or equestrian venues.

One of the most important ones we feel is this:

  • Consider the whole end-to-end ‘user journey’ when planning safe operating practices; this means all activities from the time of arrival on site to leaving, not just the riding time – parking for instance – and drivers/ accompanying parents/partners etc.

Communicating clearly and consistently

  • Organisations will need to communicate clearly and regularly with members and participants setting out what they are doing to manage risk, and what advice they are giving to individuals to do likewise.
  • Ideally organisations should publish an action plan detailing their plans to re-open safely and the steps they are taking to avoid confusion.
  • Organisations should also communicate clearly opening times and how people can safely access a facility, if relevant, for example through a booking or queuing system.
  • Consider the whole end-to-end ‘user journey’ when planning safe operating practices; this means all activities from the time of arrival on site to leaving, not just the sporting activity.

Communicating clearly and consistently

  • Organisations will need to communicate clearly and regularly with members and participants setting out what they are doing to manage risk, and what advice they are giving to individuals to do likewise.
  • Ideally organisations should publish an action plan detailing their plans to re-open safely and the steps they are taking to avoid confusion.
  • Organisations should also communicate clearly opening times and how people can safely access a facility, if relevant, for example through a booking or queuing system.

Managing large groups

The government is clear that sports participation should be restricted to participants exercising by themselves, with members from their same household, or in a group of no more than 5 other people from other households, while observing social distancing guidelines. Venues are advised to display signs to this effect.

The police have been given powers to enforce these measures.

Keeping facilities and equipment clean

Cleaning protocols should be put in place to limit coronavirus transmission in public places. It is advised that touch points (e.g. handrails and gates) should be particular areas of focus for increased cleaning.

Frequent cleaning of work areas and equipment between use, using your usual cleaning products, is advised. As is clearing workspaces and removing waste and belongings from work areas at the end of shifts.

Maintaining hygiene, through handwashing, sanitisation facilities and toilets

To help everyone maintain good hygiene, consideration should be given to:

  • Using signs and posters to build awareness of good handwashing technique, the need to increase handwashing frequency, avoid touching your face and to cough or sneeze into your arm. Consider how to ensure safety messages reach those with hearing or vision impairments
  • Providing regular reminders and signage to maintain hygiene standards
  • Providing hand sanitiser in multiple locations in addition to washrooms
  • Setting clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets to ensure they are kept clean and social distancing is achieved
  • Enhancing cleaning for busy areas
  • Providing more waste facilities and more frequent rubbish collection
  • Using disposable paper towels in handwashing facilities where possible
  • Minimising use of portable toilets
  • Provision of automated hand sanitising dispensers in public places
  • Ensuring that takeaway catering facilities can be used in a safe way that maintains social distancing and hygiene

Keeping staff and customers safe

The Government has published guidance to help workplaces operate as safely as possible. You should refer to this guidance.

key points, relevant to equestrians

  • Carrying out a COVID-19 risk assessment, in consultation with workers
  • Maintaining 2 metres social distancing,
  • Reinforcing cleaning processes, cleaning more frequently and paying close attention to high-contact objects like door handles and gates

saddles, bridles, stable doors and bolts – including kick bolts, hay nets, buckets, grooming kits, taps, wheelbarrow handles, mucking out equipment, hosepipes or anything which could be handled or picked up by clients etc. etc.

Social distancing guidelines must be followed and the 2 metre distance maintained at all times. Fuller government guidance can be found here:

Guidance for providers of outdoor facilities

Guidance for Trainers and coaches

Further guidance for other recreation


Updated 26th May 2020 via British Equestrian Trade Association:

BHS Advice to Riding Schools – you should all be aware that as part of the risk assessments Riding Schools are undertaking before offering riding lessons again, those who are approved by the BHS, and probably those approved by the ABRS also, have been advised

NOT to lend / hire their clients either hats or body protectors

Instead to recommend that clients purchase these if they do not already possess them.    Claire Williams of BETA was questioned about this last week and having checked with head office of the BHS, they have confirmed that this is their guidance for the foreseeable future.


Updated 14th May 2020

Guidance from the equestrian industry:  As of Wednesday 13th May – YES, Riding Schools in England they may open but only for one to one lessons and one to one hacks/treks/rides.

Not all equestrian centres will open.

See general information from the Government & the industry for horse owners here

Riding schools / equestrian centres / trekking centres and freelance coaches may give lessons to one individual only per lesson.

This does not mean family groups can ride on a lesson together nor can two friends can have a lesson together.  In other words the lesson must be be one to one – a private lesson. Leads are not suitable owing to social distancing being impossible.

Riding School riders should be aware that group lessons will not be available.  Private lessons are necessarily more expensive than group lessons and there may be high demand for private lessons at the moment.

Not every horse or pony will be suitable for private lessons and not every rider will want private lessons.

Ring your riding school or your instructor coach to find out what they can offer you.

In the meantime you could update or broaden your equine care knowledge with a home study course with Lingfield Equine Distance Learning courses.  Our most comprehensive course is  Level 1 Equine Care & Management

or even an Intermediate Diploma which includes both Level 1 & 2 and is subsidised.

14th May:  If a coach is to ride your horse you must be sure that any tack they touch and use has been disinfected properly.

Keep your distances – tie the horse up to do the hand over so that you can step away for the required 2 meters.

You can transport your horse to a venue for a one to one lesson.

You can ride out with a friend providing you keep 2 metres away.  Be aware that it is suggested that as with jogging and running, you ride side by side rather than in single file – but only at 2 metres distance – this avoids droplets from breath landing on the 2nd person – this is especially during trot or faster exercise work,

If traveling your horse somewhere you can only travel with someone from the same household.

The BEF will continue to monitor the situation.  Government guidelines may change. The BEF will issue a statement on equestrian premises, such as riding schools and livery yards, “in due course”.

 

 

Share this Page