The National Organisation for all things Equestrian Sport & Activity in Scotland.


Phone: 07815962964

Address: Horsescotland PO Box 8523 , Prestwick

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Working in the equestrian sector means that welfare is a very high priority, whether you are a coach, a rider, an equestrian business or horse owner.

Areas you will need to focus on include:

Would you know what to do in an emergency?

Having a 1st Aid qualification could be the difference between life and death in the case of an accident.

First Aid

Child Protection

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We are currently working with Children 1st and sportscotland to update our Child Protection Policy and meet the new Safeguarding standard.

This part of our website will continually be updated over the next few months with new guidance and updated policies.  Please keep checking for new information.

According to the Childrens Act 1989 there is a legal and moral duty of care to protect all children and young adults involved in horse activities.

Therefore if you are going to be working with children you must have a Child Protection Qualification.

Child Protection Officer

The horsescotland Child Protection Officer is Sara Smith and she can be contacted via e-mail

The horsescotland Lead Director for Child Protection is Richard Johnston-Smith and can also be contacted on 

Saturday 22 February 2020
The Ormidale Pavilion, Shore Road, Brodick, Isle of Arran, KA27 8DL
11.30am to 2.30pm

The CWPS eLearning module 1 MUST be completed by learners before attending module 2.Your certificate of attendance will not be issued until both modules are undertaken.

FREE for BHS Accredited Professional Coaches / £20 for all others

If you are an APC, please email

Non APCs book your ticket online

Mental Health


horsescotland have been working closely with Dr Andy Malyon who has provided us with this information and support on Concussion in order to help educate the equestrisan sector on concussion and how to deal with concussion.

What is concussion?

Concussion is a brain injury.  That might sound quite dramatic, but that is what it is & why it is being talked about in sporting circles.  For most people who are concussed, it is a self limiting problem which will resolve with a short period of rest.  The most important thing is to identify the fact someone is concussed and look after them properly.

This section of the website outlines what concussion is, how to recognise it, how to manage it and some of the complications that can be associated with it.  The intention is that we raise the awareness of concussion amongst everyone involved with horse sports in Scotland.  Some of the features described may seem quite dramatic, but as with so many things if we get the basics right & look after someone with concussion properly it should never become a problem in the ways described.

Useful Links


Points to note

  • If in doubt, sit them out.  - Be suspicious, & if you think someone is concussed sit them  out.

  • Rest the body, rest the brain. - If someone is concussed, a full period of rest for body and brain until all symptoms have gone, then a Graduated Return to Play

Equine Welfare

The Animal Health & Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 places a duty of care on pet owners and others responsible for animals (including horses, ponies and donkeys) to ensure that the welfare needs of their animals are met. It also allows the Scottish Parliament to make further regulations to regulate other animal-related activities including, for example, the running of livery yards. You can read the full paper here.

The duty of care is based on the "Five Freedoms":

  • Freedom from hunger and thirst

  • Freedom from discomfort

  • Freedom from pain, injury and disease

  • Freedom to express normal behaviour

  • Freedom from fear and distress

The Scottish Government Code of Practice for the Welfare of Equidae gives advice on how to provide your horse or pony with care that ensures it has the five freedoms. The 75 point document is a practical guide for owners and keepers responsible for equines in Scotland and sets out the underpinning principles of horse care.

Many of our Member Bodies work tirelessly to improve horses welfare, contact them for more information.

Health & Safety

Working with horses can be quite dangerous if you do not follow Health & Safety guidelines.

To help please find information on:

Safe Guarding in Sport


The PVG Scheme

The PVG Scheme is established by the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007. The scheme is managed and delivered by Disclosure Scotland as an executive agency of the Scottish Government. PVG Scheme membership for volunteers will continue to be processed by Volunteer Scotland Disclosure Services (formerly CRBS).

The scheme is the Scottish Government’s response to recommendation 19 of the Bichard Inquiry Report published in June 2004, following the murder of two schoolgirls in Soham in 2002. Recommendation 19 stated that “new arrangements should be introduced requiring those who wish to work with children, or vulnerable adults, to be registered”. The PVG Scheme provides those new arrangements.

The PVG Scheme does three things:

  • It ensures that those who either have regular contact with vulnerable groups through the workplace, or who are otherwise in regulated work, do not have a history of inappropriate behaviour (through PVG Scheme membership).

  • It excludes people who are known to be unsuitable, on the basis of past behaviour, from working with children and/or protected adults and detects those who become unsuitable while in regulated work (through the creation of lists of people barred from working with children and protected adults).

  • It ends the use of Enhanced Disclosures for work with children and/or protected adults and replaces them with new types of PVG disclosure records.

Who should become a PVG Scheme member?

Membership of the PVG Scheme is not mandatory. The Scheme provides an organisation with a means of satisfying itself that an individual whom they intend to offer regulated work (which includes both paid and unpaid work) is not barred from doing so. This is important as it is an offence under the Act for an organisation to offer work to a barred individual.

Membership of the PVG Scheme is open to people doing, seeking to do, or planning to do regulated work with children and/or protected adults.

There are two types of regulated work: regulated work with children and regulated work with adults. In the context of equestrianism only RDA volunteers (session assistants and instructors) will do regulated work with both groups, all others will only do regulated work with children.

Regulated Work

The PVG Act defines a child as an individual under 18 years of age. A protected adult is defined as an individual aged 16 or over who is provided with (and thus receives) a type of care, support or welfare service. Protected adult is therefore a service based definition and avoids the labelling of adults on the basis of their having a specific condition or disability. RDA groups meet the criteria of providing a “Welfare Service”.

Regulated Work with Children

This includes the following activities that may apply to the equestrian environment:

  • Teaching, instructing, training or supervising children.

  • Being in sole charge of children.

  • Unsupervised contact with children under arrangements made by a responsible person.

Regulated Work with Adults

This includes the following activities that may apply to the equestrian environment:

  • Caring for protected adults.

  • Teaching, instructing, training or supervising protected adults.

  • Being in sole charge of protected adults.

  • Providing assistance, advice or guidance to a protected adult or particular protected adults which relates to physical or emotional well-being, education or training