12 Apr 2021

Lead rein session guidance under COVID

With many venues and centres opening for activity following the reduction in lockdown measures across the United Kingdom and renewed interest from new riders inspired to take up the sport, British Equestrian can announce guidance for the delivery of lead rein sessions.

Following collaboration with the Association of British Riding Schools, The British Horse Society, The Pony Club and Riding for the Disabled, our collective position is that lead rein sessions can take place provided that venue insurance providers are in agreement and full lead rein provision-specific risk assessments, in addition to those already in place, have been satisfactorily undertaken.

Consider the following:

  1. Consulting with your insurance providers for agreement to provide lead rein sessions and any additional mitigations they may require. It’s worth requesting written clarification/agreement from your insurers should you wish to run lead rein sessions.
  2. A robust risk assessment on the safety of the activity which covers:
  • the risk of participants/staff/volunteers spreading/contracting COVID
  • the risk of injury and providing a secure environment
  • mitigations to reduce any risks including:
  • hand hygiene and glove use
  • regular cleaning of tack and equipment
  • appropriate equipment (to allow 2m distance) and minimise any sharing of equipment
  • where 2m social distancing cannot be maintained consider 1m plus additional mitigations
  • face shield/visors/mask wearing with appropriate training (a requirement of the Health and Safety at Work Act for the use of PPE)
  • same household/bubble leaders with competency assessments and inductions
  • group sizes including leaders where the leaders can be considered as part of the workforce
  • suitability of horses/ponies for rider ability and being led at a two metre distance
  • induction for staff and visiting coaches on COVID secure measures.

Based on the process above, centres/venues/providers can make a decision as to whether activity with a leader is safe to run.

The GOV.UK website has guidance on working in close contact services where social distancing cannot be maintained at two metres and further help can be found from the ABRS, the BHS, Pony Club and RDA if required.

The ABRS has updated its advice ‘Social Distancing on Yards – COVID-19’, which can be found here.