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Children and young people are the future of the horse industry and any child who is involved should be able to participate in a fun, safe environment, and be protected from harm. There is no doubt that involvement with horses, be it in a sporting or leisure context, can have a very powerful and positive influence on young people.influence on young people.
These positive effects can only take place, however, if equestrian sport is in the right hands - those of professionals who have the welfare of young people at heart, and who operate within an accepted ethical framework. The BEF places the highest priority on safety and enjoyment; it recognises that it has a duty of care towards children within the horse industry.
Any organisation, establishment or individual providing riding or horse management opportunities must do so with the highest possible standard of care. All personnel should adhere to the following principles:
• Ensure experience at Equestrian Events is fun and enjoyable
• Be an excellent role model, do not drink alcohol or smoke when working with young people
• Treat all young people and vulnerable adults equally
• Respect the developmental stage of each young person
• Wherever possible conduct all training and meetings in an open environment
• Build relationships based on mutual trust and respect
• Avoid unnecessary physical contact with young people
• Where supervision is required, involve parents wherever possible and ensure that adults work in pairs
• Communicate clearly and regularly with parents
• Be aware of any necessary medical conditions or physical information
• Keep up to date with the technical skills, qualifications and insurance issues within the BEF Information and guidance for Children in Equestrian sport