Health & Safety


The Pony Club takes the health & safety of our members extremely seriously. Whilst we understand that there will always be some risk involved with equestrian activities, we must reduce injuries as far as we can. Our approach is to keep it simple and clear, with a risk based programme containing supporting guidance.

Core documents and material are available on the Resource Hub, as well as key documents linked directly from this page. Please see the Health, Safety, Safeguarding and Welfare Rulebook to the right.

Health and Safety Policy

The link to Pony Club Health and Safety Policy can be found below.

(The main document is in the Pony Club Handbook page 14.)


Risk Assessments

Risk assessment is the cornerstone of good health & safety management, and in achieving the overall aim of reducing injuries. To keep the approach clear and simple we provide templates to give an indication of the types of hazards that could be encountered and actions that could be taken, however it is extremely important that these templates are amended and reviewed to ensure the hazards that may cause injury are included, or any other hazards not covered are added. A method of undertaking this duty is to carry out and record a risk assessment for all Pony Club activities. It is a statutory requirement to have risk assessments completed prior to the event.

If you are an Official, Volunteer or Coach, the Risk Assessment Guidance and Templates are can be found in the Resource Hub in Health and Safety/Risk Assessment.

Risk Assessment Training

The Pony Club provides training to support those carrying out Risk Assessments for activities, this training is open to all- Members, coaches, volunteers and officials.

The training runs through the basics of carrying out a Risk Assessment such as identifying a Hazard and measures which could be put in place to support a safe event. These are run online via zoom and are bookable through the link below.


Accident Reporting


It is important that The Pony Club knows about accidents and injuries to everyone involved in Pony Club activities, including Members, Parents, Guardians, Volunteers, Officials, Staff and Members of the public, whether they occur during Pony Club events, or for members, if they happen elsewhere while riding or with horses.

The type of record and report made depends upon the nature of the incident and the injuries sustained:

The Incident Report Log should be used to log all non injury incidents that occur during any Pony Club organised event.  If you are an Official, Volunteer, or Coach, example Incident Report Logs can be downloaded from the Resource Hub in Health & Safety/Accident Reporting.

The Online Accident Report Form should be completed for all injury accidents, serious near misses and damage to property. The accident reporting links are below. Note: there is a printable version of the form which can be completed at the time of the accident, but the online form must be completed as soon as possible afterwards. If you are an Official, Volunteer, or Coach, printable accident forms can be downloaded from the Resource Hub in Health & Safety/Accident Reporting.

All Accident reporting documents must be retained for three years after the date of the incident or accident. Where an injured person is under 18 years, all accident forms should be kept for three years after their eighteenth birthday. Electronic copies of submitted forms are acceptable.


Accident Reporting Links

All Injury accidents and serious near misses should be reported in the ‘Need to Report an Incident’ section of the HOWDEN micro site, see link below.  Note: Once in the Howden Microsite, please scroll down the page to find the accident form links.

Please Note:

The PONY CLUB EVENTS FORM is for all accidents that result in an injury, serious near miss or damage to property that occur at a Pony Club Organised Event, for example at rally or Pony Club competition.

The  PONY CLUB MEMBER FORM  is for all accidents that result in an injury, serious near miss or damage to property that occurs outside of an organised Pony Club Event, for example while hacking.


First Aid and Medical

Ensuring the correct first aid cover is an important aspect of Pony Club activities, as there will always be the potential for injury when handling and riding horses. It is important that a risk assessment is undertaken to determine the first aid cover required, the First Aid matrix can assist with this.

As a minimum requirement there must be a Trained First Aider at ALL Pony Club organised events. To meet the Pony Club requirements, all First Aid courses must be completed through face-to-face delivery. 

If you are an Official, Volunteer or Coach, please visit the Resource Hub for more information.


Dress and Tack

The dress code for each of the individual sports is given in the individual rule books. However, there are some items of dress that have safety implications. Members are expected to dress correctly and safely for all Pony Club activities.

  • Clothing – When mounted at Pony Club activities, Members should wear a riding jacket or Branch / Linked Centre sweatshirt, plain-coloured jodhpurs, a suitable plain-coloured shirt with a collar and The Pony Club tie. As a minimum shoulders must be covered for all riding activities, except for Sports where long sleeves are compulsory.
  • Footwear – Only standard riding or jodhpur boots with a fairly smooth, thin sole and a well defined square cut heel may be worn. Plain black or brown half chaps may be worn with jodhpur boots of the same colour.  No other footwear will be permitted.
  • Jewellery – The wearing of any sort of jewellery when handling or riding a horse/pony is not recommended and if done at any Pony Club activity, is done at the risk of the member/their parent/guardian. However, to stop any risk of injury, necklaces and bracelets (other than medical bracelets) must be removed, as must larger and more pendulous pieces of jewellery (including
    those attached to piercings) which create a risk of injury to the body part through which they are secured. For the avoidance of doubt a wristwatch, wedding ring, stock pin worn horizontally and/or a tie clip are permitted. It is recommended that stock pins are removed for cross country.
  • Hair – Must be tied back securely, in a safe manner to limit the risk to hair being caught and prevent scalp injuries. Sports may have additional rules.
  • Medical Armbands – Medical Armbands are advised if not accompanied by a responsible adult, including hacking on roads and are compulsory for Pony Racing and for Endurance rides.
  • Hats and Body Protectors – These are to be in accordance with guidance and meet recommended Safety Standards as detailed in the Rulebooks and links below.


 All tack must be clean, in a good state of repair, properly fitted and suitable for purpose. Tack inspections are routinely carried out at events and the organisers may prohibit participation in the event if they consider the tack to be inadequate or unsuitable.

  • Stirrups – Stirrups should be of the correct size to suit the rider’s boots. They must have 7mm (¼”) clearance on either side of the boot. Specific guidance per sport may be applicable, please see the rulebooks for additional information.
  • Humane Girths – Humane girths are not permitted in any sport, whether during training or competition. A humane girth is described as having non-independent straps that will loosen if one of the straps was to break.
  • Saddles – It is imperative that Saddles are in a good state of repair, properly fitted and suitable for the purpose of which they are intended. Regular checks for suitable fit can be carried out by professionals. Treeless and total contact saddles are permitted to be used for general riding to support horse and pony welfare.


The Pony Club insurance policy is provided by Howden Insurance Brokers Limited.

Newly introduced in 2023 as part of our insurance renewal is the Micro site, which holds all the relevant documents and materials to support Branches and Event Organisers as well as Members and Parents. Please see the website linked here.


All Terrain Vehicles and Motorcycles


From 1st July 2024, the guidance on All Terrain Vehicles and Motorcycles has been updated in line with the conditions of insurance.  Please see link below.

Need more information?

Please see the contact details to the right and get in touch if you have any queries or concerns.

Contact Image

Ellie Phillips

Health and Safety Officer