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Northern Ireland - Coronavirus Update | 22 June 2020

23 June 2020


This advice and information is to help support horse owners and those who care for horses during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Relaxation of items listed in Step 1 and 2 of the Coronavirus Executive Approach to Decision-Making as at 22 June 2020

What does this mean for horse riders and carriage drivers in Northern Ireland?

  • You are permitted to travel your horse for exercise or training to a suitable indoor or outdoor location. There is no restriction on the distance you are allowed to travel.
  • You can exercise your horse indoors in a group of up to six people with whom you do not share a household and in a group of up to ten people outdoors with whom you do not share a household, but you must maintain social distancing and all covid hygiene measures. Maximum ventilations measures should be observed.
  • Within your allowance of six people indoors and ten people outdoors you should include your coach if in attendance.

Please implement the following:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before you set off.
  • Keep at least 2 metres away from all other people and if possible, try to avoid busy times on popular paths or places.
  • Take extra care to respect the health and safety of land owners. Respect signage. Follow all reasonable requests to avoid sensitive areas.
  • Think carefully about your route. Can you avoid gates to minimise risk to you and others when touching surfaces?
  • Leave gates as you find them, where there is no livestock. Gates may have been left open to avoid contact.
  • If you do need to open and close gates, wear gloves to minimise risk of you transmitting or picking up CV. Wash your gloves between rides.
  • If you are travelling to a destination bring your own mounting block with you so that you do not have to share with others.
  • Wash your hands on return, regardless of whether you’ve worn gloves. Wash your gloves between each ride off your own property.
  • Please be courteous at all times.
  • With an increase in the number of people accessing outdoor areas for places to exercise, remain aware of the needs of fellow users of open spaces and places where you are allowed to ride or carriage-drive.
  • Ensure you check in your local area before setting off whether access to places you used to ride are open such as beaches and forests.
  • Each person is responsible for acting in an appropriate manner within the guidelines applicable to where you are living and where you keep or exercise your horse.

Riding or carriage driving on roads during the coronavirus outbreak

  • Although there may be less traffic on most roads, on some traffic is going faster, and drivers don’t necessarily expect to meet horses, particularly at present.
  • Wear hi-viz, use clear hand signals
  • Keep your wits about you: listen for traffic, don’t use your mobile phone while riding,
  • Respect everyone else on the road, including vehicles, cyclists and walkers.
  • Keep your distance from others. You may need to wait to one side to let others pass safely.
  • Acknowledge careful driving with a smile or a wave.

Information for coaches, riding centres and livery yards


Please read our information and advice for horse owners and business owners during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak



Coronavirus is threatening our riding centres, meaning thousands of horses face an uncertain future. Please consider donating to our Coronavirus (COVID-19) appeal to help support our riding centres and the incredible horses that live in them.

Text HORSE to 70507 to give £5, or you can donate online here.

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