The confusion surrounding what riding schools can and can’t do during lockdown has been a source of difficulty and stress. This stress issue impacts riding school clients, as well as equestrian insurance brokers.
Following the initial issue of the guidance and the following statutory instrument, it was clear that it would be difficult for riding schools to continue to trade during lockdown, despite the best efforts of BE and other bodies to remove riding centres from the specific guidance.
The provision of guidance from the ABRS and BHS which specifically confirmed that riding schools could stay open with 1 on 1 lessons was a different interpretation to that of the governing body, but it did give a justification for centres to remain open on this basis.
The issue of insurance is a constant. It requires businesses to operate reasonably and within the law. Following the retraction of the guidance originally issued by the BHS and the ABRS, it appears difficult for Riding Centres to continue to trade for recreational purposes.
The guidance seems to allow lessons to continue as part of a formal qualification or training programme and lessons for loan and livery clients whilst they are exercising horses (This is to ensure animal welfare and wellbeing), It allows coaches to travel to work to ply their trade so adding these together with the rules on one one exercise seems to allow this to take place. Outside of this, recreational lessons and venue hire seems to be explicitly unable to continue during this lockdown.
Liaising with your local authority for guidance is recommended as they are the licensing authority. However, if as a riding centre you are in doubt please feel free to contact us. Our team would be happy to speak to you, whether you are a client of Ravenhall Group or not.
As always this matter is evolving and this guidance is subject to change.