What is the ABRS+ and why should you join?
The ABRS+ is the British Association of Riding Schools, Livery Yards and Equestrian Centres.
Founded in 1954 as the Association of British Riding Schools, the ABRS+ runs Britain’s longest-established Riding School Approval Scheme, representing hundreds of the best riding schools across the UK. The ABRS promotes the participation of persons in the United Kingdom (both able-bodied and with any form of disability and of all ages) in healthy recreation in horse riding through education and in providing advice to riding schools in respect of regulation, welfare and safety issues.
The ABRS is an association run for Riding School Proprietors by Riding School Proprietors or directors who have a passion for Riding Schools and who understand issues faced by fellow Riding School Proprietors. In 2021 the ABRS developed into the Association of British Riding Schools, Livery Yards and Equestrian Centres to help develop and support owners of all types of licensed and unlicensed equestrian establishments.
If you belong to the ABRS your clients can be satisfied that you offer the highest standards of teaching, that their health and safety are a priority and that your horses and ponies are given the best possible care.
Why should I join?
As an ABRS+ Riding School member:
- You will be promoted and listed on our website and in our literature as one of our Approved Riding Centres and recognised for the quality of your service to every standard of rider.
- You can display the ABRS+ Approved Riding School plaque on your premises and the approved logo on your marketing and documentation.
- You will have access to a range of professional advisors, support and specific resources to assist the administrative and practical management of your riding centre.
- You will receive support in respect of attaining and retaining local authority licensing for your riding school.
- You have a dedicated member area on the ABRS+ website which holds information on legal requirements, licensing guidance, safeguarding policies, H & S templates and much more.
- You can take advantage of our communications network within the equestrian industry: the ABRS+ is represented with British Equestrian and has close ties with other key national equestrian bodies.
- You will be eligible to run the Association’s popular riding and horse care tests. ABRS+ tests are suitable for staff and clients, helping to motivate both to achieve a recognised standard. Riding School members receive a £25 voucher towards tests and rosettes.
- You, or your staff, can take part in conferences and training sessions designed to help your business reach its full potential including ‘Yard Owner Learning’ online sessions (Free to ABRS+ Members) and safeguarding training.
- Full membership to the Equestrian Employers Association to support all of your employment, HR, health and safety and business needs as well as a free legal helpline (£42.50 value).
- You will be eligible for a complimentary 12-month Standard Listing on LiveryList Livery Yard Directory (including categories for riding schools) or a £30 credit on a 12-month Featured Listing to be used at any time during your year’s membership.
- You will benefit from exciting ABRS marketing initiatives, including national advertising and editorial placement to raise awareness of the scheme.
- ABRS+ membership is a hallmark of quality. You will be able to use it to attract new riders, improving riders and those wishing to gain qualifications.
- Access to the Members Benefit Scheme offering exclusive promotions to our members on products and services
The ABRS Membership runs from 1st April – 31st March
Subs are levied pro-rata (anyone who joins throughout the year will pay a part subscription).
Annual Membership Fees 2021 – 2022
Approved Riding Establishment Criteria
All riding establishments, by law, must be licensed to operate their business and the Riding Establishments Act 1964 1970 The license is granted by local authorities be this to a riding school, trekking centre or similar equestrian establishment offering riding lessons or horses for hire.
In addition to this council licensing, the ABRS+ conducts its own approval scheme, setting a high standard for the care of horses and requiring confidence that the instruction given is well presented and correct. The size of the facility is irrelevant, and there are member establishments of all sizes, with a range of facilities. Provided they meet the required high standards of care and attention to both horse and rider, meet the membership requirements and agree to abide by the ABRS+ code of conduct, they are happily accepted as members following completion of the accreditation process.
How else can membership benefit me?
As a member body of British Equestrian, the ABRS will represent you and your views, allowing us to communicate the needs and concerns of livery yard and riding school proprietors to local and national government. This is vitally important in a currently under-represented industry to strengthen the voice for the owners of equestrian premises as a whole. It also means that the ABRS+ is a trusted source of information for our members.
One of the main aims of this scheme is to create a membership community of equestrian professionals managing equestrian establishments who can work alongside the ABRS for the long term benefit of improving the standards of the industry, raising the expectations of pupils, clients and horse owners, and to create a recognised ‘best practice’ for all riding schools and yards.
Riding school owners joining this scheme are investing in the future of the industry for the better.
Become a member and let us help you turn your riding school into a better business.
If you also offer livery at your riding school you can request approval for this within your membership for an additional £20. You can find information on the Livery Yard membership here.
What will my clients gain?
Your riding school will belong to a professional body representing hundreds of riding schools across the UK. These pupils and clients can be reassured that they are learning to ride, or continuing their equestrian education, at a professionally managed establishment where the ABRS have deemed an excellent level of skill, competence, management, and welfare are available to pupils, clients and the equines in the care of the premises. This includes the confidence that staff are appropriately qualified and trained, that the horses and ponies available are well schooled and suitable for all levels of rider and that the premises adheres to the recommended codes of conduct.
As an approved riding school, you can also offer your pupils and clients the opportunity to take a variety of practical-based ABRS graded tests in stable management and equitation such as the Equestrian Care Award and the Rosette Awards.