Health and Safety

Health and safety policy of Wapley Stables - General statement of policy

Health and Safety at work act 1974 

Wapley Riding Stables is a registered and licensed 5 star riding school with South Gloucestershire council. We are inspected by them to ensure the premises are safe and a vet also carries out a health check on all the ponies and horses to ensure they are healthy and up to date with their health care.  The horses’ tack and equipment is also inspected to ensure proper fit and good standard. The majority of our staff are trained in emergency first aid and a full first aid kit is located on the wall in the kitchen / office.

Our policy is to provide and maintain safe and healthy working conditions, equipment and systems of work for all our employees, and to provide such information, training and supervision as they need for this purpose. We also accept our responsibility for the health and safety of other people/animals who may be affected by our activities.

The allocation of duties for safety matters and the particular arrangements that we shall make to implement the policy are set out below.

The policy will be kept up to date, particularly as the business changes in nature and size. To ensure this, the policy and the way in which it has operated will be reviewed every year.

Please read "Keeping safe whilst at Wapley Stables" below.

Keeping safe whilst at Wapley Stables

Things you need to know

Your choice to ride is voluntary. We take care to provide suitable horses and ponies for customers but all animals are unpredictable.

All riders MUST WEAR SAFETY HATS and sensible footwear and clothing. We have the right to refuse a rider should inappropriate clothing or footwear be worn.

We have riding hats available for your first lesson, however we strongly recommend that thereafter you purchase your own properly fitted Kite marked riding hat.

Footwear, Wellington boots and trainers should be avoided and therefore we recommend shoes or boots with a small heel and comfortable trousers or leggings.

For Jumping and cross country lessons longs sleeves and body protectors are compulsory.

All long hair must be tied back in a low pony tail.

We advise you take out full personal accident cover.

Health and Safety guidelines are displayed and strictly adhered to at all times. We have Policies, Procedures and Risk Assessment in place to minimise risks to all who spend time at Wapley Stables.

The majority of our staff are trained in first aid and in safety procedures.

An incident book is kept for the recording of minor accidents or falls by staff, trainees and clients.

Riders Registration Form

The Riders Registration Form helps our instructors provide the best advice for suitable groups and activities for you. Therefore it is imperative that you are honest about your abilities and riding experience, any previous riding accidents and any medical/health conditions which may affect your ability to ride.

Horse Riders Code of Conduct

I understand that riding at any standard has inherent risk and that all horses may react unpredictably on occasions. I may fall off and could be injured, sustain serious injury or even death. I accept that risk.
I understand that instructions are given for my safety and agree to follow instructions given to me by staff and instructors of the riding school.
I understand that wearing an appropriate riding hat and body protector may reduce the severity of an injury should an accident happen and agree that I will always wear a riding hat whilst riding and leading horses at the riding school.
I understand I may choose whether or not a wear a body protector.
I understand that the riding school may refuse my request to ride for safety or operational reasons.
I understand that competing carries enhanced risk over and above general riding and agree that if I choice to participate in any competition, it is up to me to ensure that I have the experience and ability to ride the course including any jumps which form part of it. If I am in any doubt, I will use my judgement and experience and not enter.
I understand that children are at particular risk around horses and agree that I will keep children that I am responsible for, under close supervision when they are not being instructed by the riding school.


I agree to follow instructions when at the Stables as a helper and I will be where I am supposed to be, helping, keeping positive and polite, and doing what I have been asked to do by the centre staff to the best of my ability. Always approach a horse from the side, never from behind. Do not stand behind a horse or pony or walk close by its back legs. Horses cannot see directly behind and approaching from the rear may spook them.
Do not distract the instructor whilst they are teaching except in the case of an emergency. Only enter the arena with the instructor’s permission.

Safety Procedures

There are risks when working around horses and how you behave can help to keep everyone safe. Ensuring you keep calm, confident, quiet and behave sensibly around horses is paramount. Be observant in the horses body language at all times, some horses may bite or kick, some horses do not like being too close to others, therefore ensure you follow a member of staffs instruction at all times.

For your safety and the safety of others including horses ensure you follow the instructions of the staff and listen to advice when given. Ensure good communication with other helpers and staff on the yard, passing on information on what you have or have not done, this helps to ensure all horses are cared for properly and everyone is safe. Be aware of other helpers ability and knowledge and help and assist them as needed.  Guide them politely and do not make them feel inadequate – we all had to start from the beginning.

Ensure tools and equipment are put away safely after use. If you have been asked to do something you cannot manage on your own Please ensure you ask for help. Only carry out jobs alone that you have been shown how to do and helped with and done safely before and that you feel able to do with the horse you have been asked to care for.

When leading to and from fields wear appropriate hat and footwear. When releasing a pony in the field always turn the pony towards the gate you will leave by before removing the head collar or lead rope. Horses and ponies sometimes like to rear and buck when running to play with friends in the field, so stand well back with enough room for other people to move back without slipping.

If you notice a horse has an injury, please inform a member of staff so the appropriate treatment can be given. Before tacking up a horse ensure you have checked their back, head and behind their front legs where the girth goes, for any mud and make sure it is removed before tacking up to prevent rubbing/sores. Do not put tack over a cut or sore.

Paying attention to horses' body language can help keep everyone safe. Be aware that horses can still be unpredictable. When looking after a particular horse, be aware of their tack, feed and behaviour which affect how they are cared for. (E.g. whether they eat hay or haylage; whether they wear boots for riding; which other horses or ponies they are best kept away from.). Long sleeves and body protectors are best worn whenever riding and are essential for cross country. Walk on the left side of a horse and pass others left to left with all the people together and the horses on the outside. When walking alongside someone else leading a horse, you should be on the same side of the horse as them, this is to avoid being squashed or trapped.

Hat Hire

We strongly recommend for the safety of the rider that all riders purchase their own professionally fitted riding hats. However, in the event that you need to hire a hat please note we are unable to fit them for you; therefore in hiring one of our hats you are taking full responsibility for the fit. 

We will clean and sanitise hired hat in between use. Hat can be hired at a price of £3.00 per lesson. Please leave hired hats in the office after use so they can be cleaned.