The latest lockdown sees the UK placed under the most restrictive measures which, sadly, will affect a great proportion of the equestrian community. Here is what you need to know about the latest regulations and how it will affect you:
Covid-19 Lockdown: How will this affect the equestrian sector?
- Livery yards can remain open for owners, loaners and sharers to visit their horses. If the yard caters for a large number of liveries or if social distancing whilst at the yard is likely to be difficult, it would be prudent for the yard owner or manager to put in place a schedule for visiting times to limit the amount of people on site at any one time. Biosecurity measures should be maintained and where possible stepped up to ensure that communal areas and high traffic areas are regularly and thoroughly cleaned.
- Equestrian practitioners such as farriers, vets, dentists, saddle fitters and physiotherapists can still continue to operate as long as they have sufficient COVID protocols in place. If you are unsure what protocols should be in place for your specific profession, we recommend contacting your governing body for further guidance.
- Riding centres and venues must close for public lessons, hire and competitions.
- Coaches are permitted to travel for work where this cannot reasonably be carried out from home. Many coaches have been resorting to carrying out lessons via a combination video and phone call which provides a safe alternative to travelling to venues. This of course relies very much on the coach and rider having the necessary technology to support remote lessons and for a decent signal and connectivity to be available. Any face to face lessons must be on a one to one basis. Where the coach is on site at a livery yard, British Equestrian advises that it will be acceptable for private one to one lessons to continue under the current regulations, provided correct COVID protocols are followed. It is also advisable for the coach to check with their insurance provider before committing to or undertaking any lessons.
- You may continue to leave your home to care for your horse but you must always follow the Government guidance on public health measures and maintain social distancing from anyone else on the yard at all times. You should avoid using any indoor parts of the yard (such as hay barns and tack rooms) when in use by other people where possible.
- You can continue to school or hack out with your horse. Schooling should only take place at the facility where the horse is kept. You can do this on your own, with members of your household or support bubble. You may also hack out with one person outside of your household / support bubble. As with the first lockdown, it’s important to consider the activities that you are carrying out with your horse. Don’t take unnecessary risks that could result in a trip to A & E. Accidents can happen at any time with horses but stick within your limits and capabilities.
- You can only travel your horse where this is for welfare or veterinary reasons. Sadly, this means that all pony parties will have to go on hold for now!
As we are all aware, the COVID regulations change regularly and quickly. The above measures are correct at the time of writing this article but are subject to change.
If you have any further questions on the impact of the latest COVID restrictions on your equestrian activities please contact Howes Percival’s equestrian property specialist Abi Rudd.
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