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Guidance for England

Updated 14 April 2021

On this page, we've tried to compile some of the key stakeholder questions to help you understand what the current situation means for you and your horse.

CAN I TRAVEL TO CARE FOR MY HORSE?

You can travel to care for and exercise a horse that you’re responsible for, without restriction. However, government guidance regarding social-distancing and public health measure should be followed.

HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN I MEET WITH?

You may meet with up to five other people or two households for outdoor exercise or socialising.

WHAT ACTIVITIES CAN I DO WITH MY HORSE?

Hacking should only be done within the permitted numbers state above. Outdoor training venues and facilities reopened for use from 29 March. Lessons and facility hire is permitted, with restrictions on indoor usage and group numbers. Lead rein sessions can take place at the centre's discretion

Indoor facilities can be used by the following...

  • Elite athletes
  • Owner of a horse kept at a riding centre
  • Riding centre employees to exercise horses
  • Organised disabled sport and activity
  • Supervised activities for u18s
  • Core curriculum activities
  • Individuals or household or bubble groups

CAN I TRAVEL MY HORSE TO A TRAINING VENUE?

You can, but the use of schools is largely limited to outdoor arenas only. 

WILL MY LIVERY YARD BE ABLE TO STAY OPEN?

Livery yards can remain open for horse owners, loaners and sharers to care for and exercise their horse. However, the yard owner or manager may choose to put additional restrictions or public health measures in place for your safety.

CAN EQUINE PRACTITIONERS VISIT MY HORSE?

Farriers, vets, dentists, physiotherapists, grooms and other equine practitioners can continue to operate, provided that they have COVID protocols and risk assessments in place to maintain safe working conditions. If you’re an equine practitioner and unsure about what you can and can’t do during lockdown, we recommend contacting your profession’s governing body.

I’M A COACH – AM I STILL ABLE TO WORK?

Coaches can continue to travel to work where they can’t work from home. Sport England have confirmed that where outdoor sport is an organised activity, there are no limits on group sizes. Organised outdoor sport and physical activity must be formally organised by a qualified instructor, club, national governing body, company or charity and follow sport specific guidance where appropriate. Indoor coaching can take place on a one-to-one basis for adults, or to a single household or bubble. For under-18 or disabled riders, there is no restriction on numbers for coaching.

Coaches should also check with their insurance provider before undertaking any activities. 

I OWN A RIDING CENTRE – CAN I OPEN?

Riding centres reopened from 29 March, but activity should take place outdoors with the following exceptions, which may take place in an indoor arena:

  • Elite sports people – this is largely restricted to athletes on the World Class Programme at P1 and P2 level
  • An owner of an animal kept at a riding centre
  • Employees of a riding centre in order to care for and exercise horses or provide veterinary services
  • Organised sport and leisure activity for disabled people and children 
  • Supervised activities for under-18s
  • Activities that form part of the core curriculum of formal education or professional/work-related training/development.
  • Individuals or household or bubble groups

More on indoor school use for England is available here. Lead rein session can take place at the centre's discretion. 

When will competitions resume?

Competitions resumed on 29 March in outdoor settings, indoor arena use will be permitted for a single rider from 12 April. Show officials do not count in the gathering numbers. 

Where can I find further information about current COVID-19 legislation?

Further details about the national lockdown in England are available here.

Sport England have a helpful Q&A section here which is broken down into steps one and two.