Please note, while the guidance is current at the point of publication, it may quickly be superseded following further government updates, or changes to the situation. Please bear with us while make these changes.
1. What level of activity can take place at my centre?
Activity level Guidance summaries for each of the UK nations. Please see full guidelines by clicking on the relevant country. Please also see the downloadable resources for risk assessment considerations.
England - click here
Horse riding/driving and lessons/coaching of small groups up to six people (including the coach) who do not share a household can take place outdoors providing social distancing is maintained.
Scotland - click here
Horse riding/driving and lessons/coaching are permitted if it is outdoors and is with members of your household and/or members of 1 other household (up to eight people across both households) providing they maintain social distancing.
Coaches should not deliver training to more than 1 household at any one time or provide training to more than 1 household per day.
Wales - click here
Horse riding/driving and lessons/coaching are permitted for members of the same household providing all government advice on social distancing is followed. There is no limit to the number of people you can meet providing they are from only two households and you should be meeting outside. You should only travel within your local area, as a guide 5 miles, to exercise.
Coaches should not deliver training to more than 1 household at any one time.
Republic of Ireland - click here
Horse riding/driving and lessons/coaching of small groups of a maximum of four people (including the coach) who do not share a household can take place outdoors providing social distancing is maintained. You should only travel within 5kms of your home. (from the 8th June 2020, this guidance is being updated to allow 20km travel from your home).
Northern Ireland - click here
Horse riding/driving and lessons/coaching of small groups of up to six people (including the coach) who do not share a household can take place outdoors providing social distancing is maintained.
2. How can I keep up to date on government and NHS advice regarding Covid-19? Should I encourage my clients and staff to do the same?
3. What working hygiene practices for disease prevention should I be putting in place?
Follow Government advice regarding social distancing and maintain recommended hygiene practices. Consider the following:
- Ensuring sufficient access to hand washing facilities and additional provision of hand sanitiser at key location points
- Nominating a ‘COVID-19 Officer’ who is responsible for updating the risk assessment and implementing key changes to practices
- Having provision for increased frequency of cleaning routines to key contact points.
- See links above and our ‘Risk Assessment’ page for further details
4. Should I still ensure that any contingency plans are kept current and include consideration of the following areas:
Contingency plans should be kept up to date in the event you (the proprietor) or staff/clients/liveries test positive for Covid-19 or need to self-isolate. Consider the following:
a) How will you manage continuity with staffing levels to ensure your current working practices can continue?
- Can you access temporary staffing cover, such as freelance grooms or coaches should any member of staff not be able to work due to self-isolation – for riding schools, would lessons continue, where re-started, should members of staff need to self-isolate?
- Can you provide current staff with key skills/knowledge to enable them to temporarily undertake/understand roles outside of their normal remit? Sharing the workload?
- Have you incorporated furloughing staff and are you current in your knowledge upon the correct processes involved to ensure timely and accurate communications?
b) How can you manage client expectations - both riding school clients and owners of horses at livery?
- Continue providing client and livery clients with updated information on the opening of your business. Give clear indications on continued limitations/restrictions, providing explanations where applicable.
- Assure all clients of the preventative measures you are currently undertaking and the changes they can expect from their visit as you open.
c) How can you manage if livery clients either choose to, or are unable to, attend to their horse (as per their livery agreement or contract)
- Communicate with owners to involve and notify them of alterations to work plans for caring for their horses
- Where DIY liveries are providing care to horses at the centre, communicate a continued need for a ‘sharing care’ plan between DIY owners – in the event an owner needs to self-isolate, or where access to the centre is still restricted to meet social distance guidelines, plans are required to ensure all welfare needs are met for all horses. A care plan template can be found here.
- Notify clients promptly, both verbally and in writing of any unavoidable increase in livery charges that may be incurred if you are required to increase paid staffing, ensuring that there is a timeframe for review
d) Should I communicate with all stakeholders?
Clear and timely communications with all stakeholders is important – keeping everyone up to date with the contingency plans you have in place (including re-opening schedules related to other aspects of your provision)
e) What do I need to consider if I am looking to re-open my business after a period of closure or restricted access?
- Ensure insurance coverage is sufficient for activities being undertaken, especially where a policy was altered due to the lockdown, or activity has altered due to current restrictions/limitations on the business.
- Explore continued avenues of support, and the furlough scheme etc.
f) Are other equine professionals, i.e. Vets, Farriers, Physios, now attending centres?
See here for full guidance
Business & Financial Support Resources
Visit our 'Business Support Resources' page to find out information about the financial support, grants and funds available to businesses during the Coronavirus outbreak.
See also our ‘Risk Assessment’ page for guidance on re-opening your business.
CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) ADVICE & INFORMATION FOR EQUESTRIANS
Please read our information and advice for horse owners and business owners during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak
WE NEED YOUR HELP MORE THAN EVER
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.