Participants

 

All persons interacting with horses shall initially be considered inexperienced until a full assessment of their abilities has been conducted.

Pre-activity communication

Also refer Part I – Core Standard. (Page 17)

4.1 Horse Trail Ride information provided pre-activity

Providers need to determine if they can suitably manage the risks involved when catering for specific participant needs (e.g. providing activities for participants living with a disability).

Pre-activity information provided to participants [should] include but is not limited to:

  • appropriate clothing and footwear required
  • what information participants need to advise the provider prior to the activity including any relevant health conditions or if living with a disability.

Participant restrictions

Also refer Part I – Core Standard. (Page 18)

4.2 Routine Horse Trail Riding participant restrictions

A risk based assessment that includes the rider and horse combination shall be completed for relevant health, medical or personal condition(s).

A participant may not be able to participate in an activity, for the safety of themselves, the provider, other participants or others.

Reasons may include but are not limited to, the participant:

  • is unable to control their horse
  • weighs greater than the weight that can safely be carried by the available suitable horses
  • has a personal condition where the risks associated in undertaking the activity cannot be suitably managed (also refer: Part I – Core Standard – sections Participant Restrictions and Health & Wellbeing and section 4.4 below Participants living with a disability.)

4.3 Advanced Horse Trail Riding participant restrictions

Reasons may include but are not limited to, the participant:

  • has a restriction listed in the routine ride participant restriction section 4.2,
  • is riding their own horse which is unsuitable (refer Horse suitability section 6.1).

 

Vulnerable participants

Also refer Part I – Core Standard. (Pages 18-19)

4.4 Horse Trail Riding with participants living with a disability

People living with a disability may require Trail Guides with additional recognised qualifications, knowledge and skills. Specialist training is available specifically for those responsible for overseeing riding undertaken by people with a disability.

Only trail guides who hold the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) qualification should provide trail rides for people who are living with a type of disability that might impact on their ability to effectively control a horse.

Reasons a participant living with a disability may not be able to participate in an activity may include but are not limited to, the participant:

  • is unable to use their hands or legs
  • cannot maintain their balance
  • has a condition that makes the length of ride unsuitable due but not limited to:
    • the attention span required by the participant
    • physical conditions where pain is a factor
    • intellectual or sensory disability.

A risk based assessment that includes the rider and horse combination shall be completed for relevant health, medical or personal condition(s).

Health, medical or personal conditions where the risks cannot be suitably managed include but are not limited to:

  • Severe osteoporosis
  • Uncontrolled seizures
  • Open pressure sores
  • Open wounds
  • Unstable spine, including subluxation of cervical spine
  • Atlanto-Axial dislocation or significant subluxation in Down Syndrome
  • Advanced multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy
  • Acute herniated disc.

Considerations for providing trail rides for participants living with a disability include but are not limited to:

  • the horses are suitable (also refer section 6.1 horse suitability)
  • the activity leaders have the appropriate competencies for managing the risks involved (also refer leadership section 7.2 & 7.3)
  • there is an appropriate number of activity leaders to provide direct supervision where required for individual participants
  • possible restrictions as per section 4.2 above.

Possible additional risk management strategies may include but are not limited to:

  • trail guides leading the participant’s horse
  • having a ‘side-walker’ assigned to individual participants if the terrain makes this possible.

Where the risks of a trail ride are considered to be unacceptable or are unable to be appropriately managed, consideration of a modified version of the activity such as riding in an enclosed area may assist in addressing the concerns, subject to the other considerations listed also being suitably addressed.

 

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