Safety Procedures for Volunteers & Staff

Catching a horse:

Approach the horse at its left shoulder, with the halter in your left hand and the lead and halter untangled, and the lead section ready to place over its neck. Place your right arm over the neck of the horse and feed the lead from your left to your right hand to secure the horse with the lead around its neck, then place the noseband of the halter over its muzzle, take the loose end of the halter behind its ears and tie through the loop/buckle. The halter noseband should sit halfway between its eyes and nostrils.  The halter should be firm but not too tight, with a two finger gap between the noseband and the horse.

Securing a horse:

Using release loop and baling twine or a bowline if at a rail with no twine. The bowline does not pull tight and is ideal for this situation. Hills and Hollows ties to a single strand of hay string (baling twine) as it will break if a horse pulls back, and there is no violent struggle – which can be dangerous to those nearby.  

Saddling a horse: 

Saddle and saddle Cloth:

After grooming and hand checking the girth area, the saddle pad (cloth) is placed on the horses back first. You then place the saddle on the top of the pad leaving the same amount of pad showing at the front of the saddle and the back of the saddle. You walk around the horse’s rump (close by, with your hand in contact with the horse so it knows you are there, or well clear of the kicking zone). Lift saddle cloth at wither to ensure freedom from pinching. Prefer to use a sheeps wool numnar or gel pad.  Do up the girth slowly from both sides, one at a time, check it is not twisted and then drop it down to enable it to be done up on the other side.  Walk back around the horse’s rump to do up the girth. Make sure the girth is never tight but snug.

Girth and gear check includes: 

The saddle must be checked that it is firm prior to anyone mounting the horse. Stirrup size – Check 1 finger width on either side of the riders boot in stirrup. Stirrup length – Check the stirrups are at the correct length for the rider. Place fingertips at the top of the stirrup leathers and stirrup under the armpit. Girth check – Check to make sure the girth is not loose before the rider gets on, make sure not to do it up too tight. Helmet fit – no movement, and chin strap cannot come over the chin. All tack is done up correctly and not worn through and with stitches coming away. 

When un-saddling don’t drag the girths through the dirt when returning the saddles to the saddle stand.


To place a rug on a horse:  It helps to fold the rug at least twice (it can be folded as much as into a small square if you have a nervous horse or if it is very windy). Approach the near side, catch and hold or tie up the horse, and place the rug on the back of the horse. Stand at the side of the horse when doing up the leg straps, not immediately behind the horse. At the back end, place the leg strap inside the back leg next to you  between the back legs and out the back, back around the outside (on your side) and attach it to the D at the back of the rug (with the clip pointing inwards). Next unfold the rug and secure the chest straps the the neck straps (is it has a neck on it). Lastly, secure the belly straps if any are on the rugs. Always make sure the back straps and belly straps are not too long as this is very dangerous for the horse. 

Supervising children:

Have every child in your vision at all times unless they are qualified volunteers. Give clear concise instruction. Know and use names if possible.

Safety with Gator:

  1. Fuel is Diesel
  2. Forward back and neutral in the gears – change only when stopped
  3. DO NOT accelerate (rev) before placing it into gear.
  4. Hand Brake is on the inside
  5. Refuel when it is quarter full.
  6. Parking area for cars and gater to be approached with caution and less than 5km/hr.

You can only operate the Gator if you are 16 years and over.


First Aid Kit: 

A First aid kit is available and is located in the training room.

Emergency Evacuation Point: 

The emergency evacuation point is located at the car park and this will be the meeting point in the case of a fire. There is also a list of contact numbers in the training room.  

If there is a serious emergency that requires fire ambulance or police then call 000 and notify management as soon as you can.


We are committed to providing a safe work place; if for any reason you feel unsafe or do not want to handle or ride a horse then it is your responsibility to discuss this.

It is also your responsibility to ensure that before you get on a horse you check gear to ensure it is fit for purpose and properly done up. It is also your responsibility to gear check the horses that children at the riding school ride if you are the one supervising the mounting area or assisting.

If you are unsure or do not understand instructions given, please do not hesitate to ask questions.

Appropriate clothing must be worn at all times i.e. hats sunscreen long sleeve shirts and appropriate riding boots. Supervised children must also have appropriate clothing on. 

Helmets are provided and must be worn when riding. These must be done up securely when on your head and must fit firmly but not be so tight as to cause a headache.