Sunday March 3, 2024
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Health and Safety

Health and Safety – Ali Goodwin 

Health & Safety checklist  The following checklist is designed to help you to think about what you need to do and wear when riding, either at home, Pony Club or shows. Instructors will check tack etc but if this can be done by the member and parent before the rally, it will make the tack check quicker and so increase riding time!
Hats- must be correctly fitted and fastened at all times when mounted,so as to prevent movement of the hat in the event of a fall. Hats must be of a minimum standard of which the higher safety protection is offered by PAS 015;1998, 2010 or 2011 and the Snell E2001(more details on the PC website).  Must have this year’s aquamarine tag.  No fixed peaks and plain hat silks, except for cross county.

Body Protectors – compulsory for cross country and are recommended for Show Jumping.  Must be Level 3 2009 marks.

Medical Armbands – recommended to be worn at all times and must be for cross country. They MUST be worn on the arm.

Boots- standard riding or jodhpur boots with a fairly smooth thin sole and well –defined square cut heel to reduce the risk of a foot getting stuck in the stirrup in the event of a fall.

Stirrups- must have ¼ inch clearance on either side of the boot, again to prevent the foot getting stuck. Stirrups bars on the saddle must be open so that the leather can pull off if needed. Safety stirrups are recommended. If the ‘swan neck’design is used (not rubber), the bend must be to the front.

Tops- at rallies PC sweatshirt (not hoodies or tops with laces or tassels which can get caught) or polo shirt, or shirts and tie and jacket. Long sleeves must be worn for jumping (reduces the risk of grazes in event of a fall).  Jodhpurs must be plain beige.

Gloves are recommended to be worn at all times when mounted

No jewellery- except for wrist watch, tie pin or stock-pin worn horizontally (earrings etc have caused injury)

Supervision of children- No member can be left without a designated adult at any PC event (except Camp).


Tack should be Clean.  Neckstraps must be worn at all times (the only exception is Mounted Games).

Stitching – Prior to every event, check all stitching on tack. Especially prone to rotting are that on stirrups, girths and girth straps.

Fit of Tack-  Is the bit the correct size and adjusted correctly?

Is the saddle comfortable for the pony- it must not pinch or be too low on the withers.

At shows, any incorrectly fitting or unsafe tack found in the tack check, will prevent you from competing.

Is the girth too long? There should be at least 3 holes either side of the saddle left on the girth strap once the girth is tightened.

If in any doubt please do ask for advice


Do not leave any pony tied up unattended to a trailer or box. They can get caught on catches etc and can panic.

NEVER tie a pony up to trailer that is not hitched up to the towing vehicle, even if you are there. A pony is strong enough to move a trailer and the consequences could be terrible.

If you do tie a pony up when you present, ensure that the twine you use will snap in the event of a panic- the haylage twine especially is very thick and so pull the strands apart to make it thinner before use.

Keep gates CLOSED,vital to prevent ponies getting onto a road.

All venues are checked prior to rallies for safety but ground conditions etc can change over night. At rallies parents can offer help to the instructor check the ground and fences on a XC course to move jumps or for instance.


Members of The Pony Club are covered by Third Party Personal Liability Insurance up to £30 million. This cover exists 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Members are insured for legal liability for any accidental bodily injury or property damage caused to a third party arising out of the use or keeping of their own or a borrowed or hired horse or pony, provided that the horse or pony is primarily for the use of the Member. The cover extends to anyone riding a Members’ horse or pony with the Member’s (or parent’s) permission, if they have no cover elsewhere.

It is important also to outline the main things the insurance does not cover, which are: –

  • –  Injury to, or damage to the property of, anyone in the Member’s family, household, or employment.
  • –  Property in the care, custody, or control of the Member (e.g. a borrowed pony trailer, or a horse transported for a friend).
  • –  Racing under Turf Authority Rules (except for the UK Pony Racing Series), Point to Point, Steeplechasing, Team Chasing or any other form of racing.
  • –  Accidents to the Member.
  • –  Business activities, or use for hire or reward.

The above summary is subject to all the Terms, Exceptions, and Conditions of the Policy, of which a full Policy Summary is available from Pony Club Headquarters or from our website, click on “For Parents”.

The £30 million Liability Insurance cover provided to Pony Club Members represents outstanding value. If a child were to be knocked down by a horse, and suffered permanent injury, the compensation awarded by the courts could exceed £10 million. Since the typical Household Insurance Policy has a maximum Public Liability limit of £2 million, with cover more specifically designed for small domestic animals, and the policy conditions being much more restrictive than under the Pony Club Policy, the owner of the horse could well be facing personal bankruptcy if they rely on a Household Policy for their liability insurance.

If an incident occurs which could give rise to a claim by a third party, it is absolutely essential for details to be reported immediately to The Pony Club’s insurance brokers, even if you believe that it will not result in a claim. If such a matter is reported late, Underwriters may refuse to provide indemnity.

Do not admit liability or make any offer or promise of payment, as this could invalidate the insurance. Any correspondence received from the third party or a solicitor should be sent to the brokers unanswered. They will deal with the matter on your behalf.