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Should we be riding?

Should we be riding during lockdown? (COVID-19)

Many of us are finding we have more time on our hands now we are in lockdown. As horse owners and lovers, there’s no other way we’d rather spend our spare time than riding. There is lots of debate surrounding whether we should or shouldn’t be riding. Some still have a choice to make, whereas others may have had the decision made for them for a number of reasons; having to isolate, new rules set by yard owners, or it falling under the ‘non-essential travel’ blanket.

The latest guidance (27th March 2020) from the British Equestrian Federations, in line with government advice, is as follows:

Government has not issued any restrictions on riding, but we would continue to urge everyone to carefully consider the risks and what is ‘essential’ and not ride. The emergency and health services are working at full capacity to combat the virus and as a community, we shouldn’t add to that burden. If you choose to ride, we’d strongly suggest avoiding activity with heightened risk and keeping to your own property.

Now, whilst the advice is that people shouldn’t be riding, this has not been banned completely, therefore, there will be a number of people who feel they are competent and confident enough to manage the risk and safely continue to ride.

Whilst we are not encouraging anyone to ride, from an insurance point of view at present, there are no restrictions being placed on your policy should an incident occur whilst you are riding. If you have chosen to include this on our policy, your Public Liability insurance will still cover an accident on the road should you be found to be legally liable, your Personal Accident section will remain in place if you are to suffer an injury from riding, and if your horse was injured during ridden work, your veterinary fees or mortality cover would still be valid.

This is not to say this will remain the case, but our Underwriters are closely monitoring the current climate and the latest advice from the government. If riding was to be banned completely, this would affect the cover you have in place and accidents are unlikely to be covered if you have purposely gone against such advice.

For now, at least, it is up to you if you choose to ride or if you decide to give you horse a holiday from ridden work. Whilst the uncertain time frame is causing some to enjoy doing what they love a for as long as possible and continue riding, others may already have come to the decision themselves to turn their horses away for the foreseeable future. Neither decision is right or wrong but every horse owner has a responsibility to keep a close eye on the advice from the government to ensure they are complying with the latest advice.

Make sure you keep up to speed on the latest government advice here. Information within this article is based on government guidelines as of the 30th March 2020. 

Stay safe.