Posted: 13th January 2021 | Back to news feed

Can I continue to work as an equestrian coach?  Can I continue to work as a groom or professional rider?  Can I continue to work as an equine practitioner?  And will my insurance cover me?

As all of the Home Nations enter another period of lockdown we are facing more and more of these questions.  At Shearwater Insurance we understand that our clients are eager to keep business moving forward, keep horses and themselves fit and healthy, and also follow the Government's new lockdown laws that came into effect from the 6th January.

While the overriding message during this time is 'stay at home' in order to protect each other and the NHS there are a number of permissible reasons for leaving home which include for work, if you cannot reasonably work from home, to care for animals and other people, for medical attention, to shop for essentials and for exercise.

 Unlike the November lockdown exercise should now be limited to once per day, however in a difference to the March 2020 lockdown exercise may be taken with 1 other person from a separate household or with members of your household or support bubble.

 In general, all of the equestrian policies currently being provided by Shearwater Insurance are operating as normal as long as the insured are acting within Government guidelines.

 As per the British Equestrian Federation advice, that can be found here, farriers, vets, dentists, physiotherapists, grooms and other equine practitioners can continue to operate, provided that they have COVID protocols and risk assessments in place to maintain safe working conditions.  Coaches can continue to travel to work where they can’t work from home. 

 

We should all bear in mind the following key points in relation to the current National Lockdown in England: 

 

  • The overarching message is to stay at home
  • You can travel to care for and exercise a horse that you’re responsible for without restriction, as long as social-distancing procedures are followed
  • You may only meet with members of your household, support bubble or one other in a public outdoor setting
  • Equestrian venues and riding centres have been ordered to close for public lessons, hire and competition.  Those based onsite may continue to use facilities to exercise and care for resident horses.
  • Hacking should only be done within the permitted numbers above and should start and end at the place at which the horse resides
  • Travelling of horses to use private facilities should only be done where it is necessary for the horse’s welfare.  You should not travel your horse to any venue unless it is for welfare or veterinary reasons.
  • Farriers, vets, dentists, physiotherapists, grooms and other equine practitioners can continue to operate for routine welfare as well as emergencies, but they must follow COVID protocols and have a risk assessment in place to maintain safe working conditions.
  • Coaches intending to travel to work should read all guidance from the Government and governing bodies and assess whether there is a need to continue coaching face-to-face or whether this can be done remotely.  COVID practices should be in place and risk assessments held.

 For clients residing in Wales there should be no mixing of households and you should not meet with anyone outside of your support bubble or household.  Based on the restriction of household mixing face-to-face coaching is not permitted.  Coaching options should be moved online.  Full guidance can be found here

For clients residing in Scotland, you must abide by the limitations on travel, however outdoor training facilities and indoor arenas can remain open for hire provided that COVID protocols are in place and the restrictions on travel and numbers are adhered to.  A maximum of 2 people from 2 separate households can meet at one time, under 12’s do not count in this number.  Coaches should only deliver coaching within the local authority area and to only 1 over 12 at one time.  Full guidance can be found here.

Shearwater Insurance are pleased to offer Equestrian Index members 10% off their business insurance using EI10 as a discount code.  

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