Riding school still teaching in lockdown- poor form??

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A bit of a moral dilemma- BHS riding school neighbouring our paddocks (so we can hear & see precisely what goes on) is still operating under the covid lockdown- it’s not under any circumstances a livery yard, these horses are all owned by yard owner and may perhaps have some of their bills covered in that age old “loan” that riding schools do where you pay them a nominal amount and for that privilege, ride the same horse your lesson each week and come and muck it out on Christmas Day. These are small children and a very small number of adults who really are non-riders so for that reason cannot ride without supervision- and are quite blatantly being taught (because they actually have to be!). But they are literally running lessons all day everyday!

Am I being a miserable and bitter frustrated eventer sitting at home twiddling my thumbs- desperate to get to my trainer or even have them come to me (I’ll even willingly take a dressage lesson at this point!!) in my own home but knowing that breaks non-essential travel guidelines.

Are they doing completely the wrong thing continuing to turn a profit while all other equine professionals are struggling?

Is it something to be reported/slightly miffed about or am I a nosey and mean old bag??
 

ycbm

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Are they applying social distancing and disinfecting tack between riders?

Have the parents driven them there from far away?

Are they out of the home for an excessive time?

I don't get why they shouldn't turn a profit, we need businesses to be paying tax to pay for the NHS to keep people alive. Just because one horse business is going bankrupt is no reason another one should.
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DabDab

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I'm not really sure, I had a similar ponderance about one near me that was still doing some lessons a couple of weeks ago.

Tbf, I don't really understand why freelance instructors aren't still teaching individual lessons in carefully managed environments. I can't see why the current regulations would preclude them from teaching from 2m away on a private property. 🤷‍♀️
 

ycbm

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Neither do I DD. My instructor could teach but says he is scared of being stopped by the police driving to places. My physio wants to work but her insurers say she can't.

There are so many professions, gardeners, window cleaners, etc who could be working and paying taxes instead of furloughed and taking money out of the system.

I don't, of course, include anyone who feels they need to isolate in that.

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be positive

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I dont see how they can be teaching novices while still following social distancing, not many will be genuinely capable of mounting unassisted or doing their stirrups properly, I certainly wouldn't let a novice or young child do this without being close by and being able to double check stirrups and girths, the risk of an accident if something works loose is not worth it, a competent rider on their own horse that can take full responsibility for their own equipment is different.
Traveling is supposed to be essential journeys only, a lesson in a RS is not essential , apart from the income for the RS.
 
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The original statement shutting down all “organised equestrian activity” from the BHS which of course I am now completely unable to find actually specified that travelling your horse to a lesson or an instructor to your horse was of course non essential travel so surely travelling to a lesson must also be included in this...
 

maggiestar

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Are these group lessons? If so it's very poor form and highly unlikely to be allowed under the terms of the lockdown. Even if they're private one to one lessons there's always a risk of the rider falling off. How do you maintain social distancing in that case? Would the instructor have to stand back and call and ambulance and hope that the paramedics had PPE?
I don't know why some people are so determined to bend the rules. If we can't pull together and sing from the same song sheet during a pandemic then when can we?
 

ycbm

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The original statement shutting down all “organised equestrian activity” from the BHS which of course I am now completely unable to find actually specified that travelling your horse to a lesson or an instructor to your horse was of course non essential travel so surely travelling to a lesson must also be included in this...

Travelling to work is classed as essential travel. There is no reason why gardeners, riding instructors, etc. shouldn't travel to work for a client if they can social distance and want to.

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DabDab

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Are these group lessons? If so it's very poor form and highly unlikely to be allowed under the terms of the lockdown. Even if they're private one to one lessons there's always a risk of the rider falling off. How do you maintain social distancing in that case? Would the instructor have to stand back and call and ambulance and hope that the paramedics had PPE?
I don't know why some people are so determined to bend the rules. If we can't pull together and sing from the same song sheet during a pandemic then when can we?
In terms of falling there is a similar issue for all potential workplace accidents. I've been trying to juggle the wording of risk assessments for the last couple of weeks...in short it's a tricky one but first aid takes precedence.
 

Nicnac

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The parents are just as much in the wrong here. No they shouldn't be giving lessons and should preferably be on lockdown. As to whether you report them, that's up to you.
 

CanteringCarrot

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The only time I could see riding lessons being somewhat reasonable from a hygiene/sanitize point of view, is if it were a livery. For example if the livery comes up daily to care for and exercise the horse daily anyway, and one day a week an instructor oversees a ride/gives a lesson, where the livery tacks their own horse and the instructor walks into the school and stands a distance away instructing.

There is still the whole vapors in the air thing, and possibility of an accident. Although someone here (in Germany) argued it is safer/not a bad thing for an amateur rider to be overseen by a professional. Therefore a riding lesson in such a setting doesn't pose more danger than if the person was going to ride on their own to exercise the horse anyway.
 

be positive

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The only time I could see riding lessons being somewhat reasonable from a hygiene/sanitize point of view, is if it were a livery. For example if the livery comes up daily to care for and exercise the horse daily anyway, and one day a week an instructor oversees a ride/gives a lesson, where the livery tacks their own horse and the instructor walks into the school and stands a distance away instructing.

There is still the whole vapors in the air thing, and possibility of an accident. Although someone here (in Germany) argued it is safer/not a bad thing for an amateur rider to be overseen by a professional. Therefore a riding lesson in such a setting doesn't pose more danger than if the person was going to ride on their own to exercise the horse anyway.
I am still teaching one client, they are at livery with me and coming to exercise their horse in rehab so I am not traveling, can keep a sensible distance and know them well enough to avoid doing anything that may cause her to end up on the floor, in the 5 years she has owned her she has only come off once so the odds are in our favour, I am not going to outside clients and am not having any bring their horses here.
 

Tiddlypom

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I am still teaching one client, they are at livery with me and coming to exercise their horse in rehab so I am not traveling, can keep a sensible distance and know them well enough to avoid doing anything that may cause her to end up on the floor, in the 5 years she has owned her she has only come off once so the odds are in our favour, I am not going to outside clients and am not having any bring their horses here.
Does your insurance still cover teaching? Insurance issues are a major consideration about what it is ok to carry on with.
 

Griffin

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I think if they are private lessons and the rider is capable of mounting and sorting themselves out without assistance, I cannot see a massive issue (providing their covered by insurance and maintaining social distancing etc). In some respects, riding a horse is exercising it and part of looking after its welfare if it needs to stay at a healthy weight.

I do understand why people are grumpy about this sort of thing but with so many businesses struggling, I think if a riding school can operate in a way that is not endangering horses or riders, they should be allowed (I would extend the same idea to any business). I think the stumbling block is probably the driving for exercise but I have known riding schools fairly close to towns etc.
 

PapaverFollis

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I really wouldn't want to teach a novice kid without being able to (or even feel hesitant to) approach the pony if necessary! Plus tack checks as bepositive said up thread.
 

maggiestar

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In terms of falling there is a similar issue for all potential workplace accidents. I've been trying to juggle the wording of risk assessments for the last couple of weeks...in short it's a tricky one but first aid takes precedence.
Sure but riding instructors aren't key workers. The only face to face business activity should be things essential to society right now such as supermarket workers and even they're starting to work from behind plastic screens. Would a riding instructor give first aid such as mouth to mouth resuscitation these days? And if not then surely their insurance would be invalid anyway.
 

Amymay

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The only two riding schools I know of have closed their doors. One is council owned, and I must admit I thought that was what they all had to do...
 

hottoddy

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I am still teaching one client, they are at livery with me and coming to exercise their horse in rehab so I am not traveling, can keep a sensible distance and know them well enough to avoid doing anything that may cause her to end up on the floor, in the 5 years she has owned her she has only come off once so the odds are in our favour, I am not going to outside clients and am not having any bring their horses here.
I am the same. I have stopped teaching all outside clients, clinics and camps but am teaching 3 liveries on my own yard.
Travelling to work is essential travel if you work for the NHS, or in a supermarket etc. Travelling to give a dressage lesson is not essential
 

maggiestar

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This isn't true, but it's widely believed. The advice was actually that everyone who can social distance is supposed to go to work if they can't work from home.
Can riding instructors stay within the requirements of their insurance if they're socially distancing from their clients though? Surely they need to be able to check girths, reposition wayward legs, and if necessary pick people up from the floor. I would have thought it was a bit risky. We all know riding is a risk sport. It's not the same as a gardener trimming the hedges.
 

NooNoo59

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A bit of a moral dilemma- BHS riding school neighbouring our paddocks (so we can hear & see precisely what goes on) is still operating under the covid lockdown- it’s not under any circumstances a livery yard, these horses are all owned by yard owner and may perhaps have some of their bills covered in that age old “loan” that riding schools do where you pay them a nominal amount and for that privilege, ride the same horse your lesson each week and come and muck it out on Christmas Day. These are small children and a very small number of adults who really are non-riders so for that reason cannot ride without supervision- and are quite blatantly being taught (because they actually have to be!). But they are literally running lessons all day everyday!

Am I being a miserable and bitter frustrated eventer sitting at home twiddling my thumbs- desperate to get to my trainer or even have them come to me (I’ll even willingly take a dressage lesson at this point!!) in my own home but knowing that breaks non-essential travel guidelines.

Are they doing completely the wrong thing continuing to turn a profit while all other equine professionals are struggling?

Is it something to be reported/slightly miffed about or am I a nosey and mean old bag??
Bhs guidelines say lessons are not essential also dont think there insurance will be valid. Think they should be more responsible
 

criso

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Travelling to work is classed as essential travel. There is no reason why gardeners, riding instructors, etc. shouldn't travel to work for a client if they can social distance and want to.

.
Gardeners can, it was given as an example of something that was OK in one of the clarifications. Repairs and maintenance inside homes is also OK as long as social distancing is practised so it comes under this https://www.gov.uk/government/publi...her-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance Gardeners (and window cleaners) would be working outside and with no contact with the inhabitants of the property so keeping apart would be no problem.

The BEF and BHS decided to offer their own advice and used travelling a horse to a lesson and an instructor travelling to a yard as examples of what should not happen which then meant that insurance was problematic.

Part of the problem could be as BP says that there may need to be contact and hands on assistance of novice riders. Plus it's OK if ike you it's your own place but in a busy livery yard that increases the traffic of people in and out of a shared space both instructors and liveries. So it's easier not to try and unpick the nuances of different scenarios and advise not.
 

DabDab

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I'm not a key worker. I'm operating machinery that would usually be manned by two operators, but there isn't space to distance so I'm operating it alone with an observer stood the other side of the (glass) wall and a man down radio. It's not ideal but it is what it is. There are first aid trained personnel on site and yes they would give me mouth to mouth resuscitation if for some reason I needed it.
 
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