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Lockdown relaxes in Northern Ireland | Information for equestrians

19 May 2020

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Relaxation of items listed in Step 1 of the Coronavirus Executive Approach to Decision-Making as at 18 May 202
https://www.executiveoffice-ni.gov.uk/publications/coronavirus-executive-approach-decision-making

  • Groups of up to six people who do not share a household can meet outdoors maintaining social distancing
  • Outdoor spaces and public sport amenities to open if no shared hard surfaces, For example, golf and tennis.
  • Drive-through church services and churches open for private prayer, with appropriate social distancing and cleaning of shared contact hard surfaces
  • Drive through cinemas are permitted.
  • Councils will have enforcement powers.

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 outdoor location. There is no restriction on the distance you are allowed to travel.
  • You can exercise your horse in a group of up to six people with whom you do not share a household, but you must maintain social distancing and all covid hygiene measures.
  • Within your allowance of six people, 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.

What does this mean for BHS Accredited Professional Coaches in Northern Ireland?

  • You are permitted to coach outdoors only
  • You are permitted to coach up to five other people in a group on their own horses provided social distancing measures and covid hygiene measures are maintained
  • There are no restrictions on the distance you or your clients can travel.
  • You should implement all appropriate risk assessments and procedures (guidance has been communicated to you by the British Horse Society Education Department)
  • You and your clients must not share hard surfaces that have not been appropriately cleaned and disinfected.
  • 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.

What does this mean for BHS Approved Riding Schools in Northern Ireland?

  • You are permitted to coach outdoors only
  • You are permitted to coach up to five other people in a group provided social distancing measures and covid hygiene measures are maintained
  • You and your clients must not share hard surfaces that have not been appropriately cleaned and disinfected.
  • There are no restrictions on the distance you or your clients can travel.
  • You should implement all appropriate risk assessments and procedures (guidance has been communicated to you by the British Horse Society Approvals Department)
  • 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.

What does this mean for BHS Approved Livery Yards in Northern Ireland?

  • Your clients can gather in groups of up to six people on your yard whether to look after their horse(s) or to exercise their horse(s). This group of up to six people may be those with whom they do not share a household but they must maintain social distancing and all covid hygiene measures.
  • Your clients are permitted to travel their horse(s) for exercise or training to a suitable outdoor location. There is no restriction on the distance they are allowed to travel.
  • You should implement all appropriate risk assessments and procedures (guidance has been communicated to you by the British Horse Society Approvals Department)
  • You and your clients must not share hard surfaces that have not been appropriately cleaned and disinfected.
  • 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.

What does this mean for BHS Approved Facility Centres in Northern Ireland?

  • You are able to offer your outdoor facilities for hire to equestrians.
  • Your equestrian clients can gather in groups of up to six people. This group of up to six people may be those with whom they do not share a household but they must maintain social distancing and all covid hygiene measures.
  • There is no restriction on the distance your clients are allowed to travel.
  • You should implement all appropriate risk assessments and procedures (guidance has been communicated to you by the British Horse Society Approvals Department)
  • You and your clients must not share hard surfaces that have not been appropriately cleaned and disinfected.
  • 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.

Further information

We have produce downloadable risk assessment resources for riding schools, coaches and livery yards. Click here to find out more.

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

 

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