COVID-19: Guidance for lead rein sessions

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

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 share guidance for the delivery of lead rein sessions.

Following collaboration with the Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS), The British Horse Society (BHS), The Pony Club and Riding for the Disabled (RDA), our collective position is that lead rein sessions can take place provided that the venue’s insurance providers are in agreement and full lead rein -specific risk assessments, in addition to those already in place, have been satisfactorily undertaken. This may include the use of leaders not in the same household or bubble as the rider.

Consider the following:

  • 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.
  • 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
      • appropriate equipment (to allow two-metre distance) and minimising any sharing of equipment
      • the wearing of face shields/visors/masks 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
      • 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
  • Involving your local authority if appropriate.

Based on the process above, centres, venues and 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 can’t by maintained at two metres, and further help can be found from the ABRS, BHS, Pony Club and RDA if required.