AIBU to want to report(17 Posts)
NC because I don't trust the woman and don't want identifying.
There is a woman near me who decided this summer to open up a riding school.
Firstly, the woman who runs it cannot handle or school her horses. She admits this herself. Most of her horses are young (most if not all are under 5).
She buys cheap youngsters for the school. She is putting beginners and children on these horses. (Horses she admits she is too scared to ride herself. Just the other day she wouldnt canter one in open space and got someone else to). Most of these kids have non horsey parents so have no idea. I think she is under the impression that the horses will get their schooling from the lessons.
I happen to know the person she buys them off and i don't think I've ever seen one come off him that wasn't neglected or diseased in some way (I know her neighbours are annoyed about this as she knows them too and is worried about her horses being in contact over the fence. They are not isolated at all on arrival).
The neighbour also knows who she buys from and is extra worried because she had to deal with a pony a friend of hers bought from them who had bastard strangles. They are the lowest of low end dealers.
None of them have any qualifications whatsoever. One woman they have teaching occasionally for them is very capable but she is the only one who has half a clue and she has refused to teach on occasion (example when the owner wanted to go ahead with a jumping lesson using youngsters on ground that was as slippery as an ice rink due to bad weather (no suitable riding area).
More than one of them are prone to kicking out quite nastily (have witnessed some myself.) One of them who isn't used in the school but is left with children is an absolute nervous wreck. This horse spooks spectacularly at such things as changing a headcollar or a rope dropping to the floor.
Then there's the fact she has way too many horses for the land she has. I will be highly surprised if she can feed them through the winter as their grass situation has been poor all summer simply due to over grazing).
I can't see her being able to keep them going on 3 liveries money (I imagine they will leave when they can't provide grazing) and I can't see her current customers being happy to do nothing but walk (you really can't do much more on that ground when it gets wet).
The whole thing just seems like it's going to end in a nasty accident or a welfare situation. Even if I'm wrong and she can see them comfortably through winter the other stuff is surely not acceptable?
I don't know if you need some sort of license to run a riding school or insurance but I really feel someone needs to look into this as I am terrified for her unsuspecting customers.
it's not uncommon for as many as 12 (more recently 8) to be in a small section of fenced off grazing. Maybe a quarter - a third of an acre.
Am I being unreasonable here? If not who can look into this situation? I feel really bad for their kids because their children are lovely. One of them I particularly have a soft spot for but she is constantly put in frankly dangerous situations. It is sheer dumb luck that that girl has not been hurt and I don't want to see it happen to her.
Advice appreciated and if I am being unreasonable I won't be offended if I'm told to keep my nose out. I'm just genuinely concerned.
Sound like an awful situation. Who would you report to? Local council, HSE, Trading Standards? Someone ought to be looking at this for the sake of the children and their safety.
I'm hoping someone will give me some ideas. I did email to local council but had to follow up several times to be told it would be "passed on" and heard nothing since.
I just searched on the BHS website thinking they maybe helpful, and it says they can only get involved if you they are registered with the bhs, could try reporting it to them if they are bhs registered. If not, it said on their website says its down to the local authority to inspect.
They're definitely not BHS registered.
It just beggars belief that someone who can't ride or handle horses can be responsible for children learning to ride or handle them. I'm convinced something is going to go horribly wrong.
I think the council is where I would start. A livery yard and riding school I used to go to I know was inspected every year. There were quite stringent rules (esp around welfare) that they had to comply with. Also to do with training of staff and I wouldn't be surprised if there are requirements around insurance.
Rspca? Keep a diary and report her.
Riding schools do need to be licensed by their local council so I'd keep on badgering them until they do something.
Having a read of this page on the gov.uk website it doesn't sound like she meets the requirements at all.
I'm not sure what you can do beyond pestering them to get some kind of action though.
Just found the government page about riding school licences here Under the requirements bit it says that they have to prove they have suitable qualifications and experience in horse management, is there any of the requirements you could specifically reports them for breaching?
If she is teaching children I should imagine she will need to be DBS checked. Perhaps that is route to bringing her to the attention of the authorities?
OK so I'm fairly sure she's not had any inspections. I can't be 100% as obviously no one else is there with them all the time.
They definitely don't have qualifications.
"Suitable for hiring out for riding" I'd say no because of their age and the fact that most need a lot of good handling and schooling. Some of them look too young to be ridden although she claims/believes they are older. Physically they look OK. I suppose it depends what they class as fit to be ridden. I wouldn't put my kids on any and I wouldn't get on most of them myself bar one.
They're fed at the minute. Water they do take water down and I've never seen them go thirsty. I don't know about farriers or dentists or worming.
The DBS check is a good point. I never thought of that.
I'm pretty sure its ilegal to use an animal under 5 years old in a riding school. To operate she should have a liscence from the local authority and they should inspect each school animal and their tack as well as the facilities, including hats provided for the children, accident book etc. I would carry on with nagging the council about it.
Anxious - From my reading under 3 is definitely a no go. I think I will pester the council more for the right authority to contact. I'm going to draft an email and will pop it in here before I send to see what you think x
And also vet care can't be top of her priority list. She has a miniature Shetland and since at least February she has been asking people if she thinks the mare is pregnant.
She is still asking on Facebook she asked last week. (She's had it over a year now and never run her with a stallion).
Surely you'd just get the vet to check.
I'd just phone up the council - ask who is the right person to speak to about licensing a riding school and way you should eventually find the right person to speak to. Emails can get lost in the system
I haven't taught for a while but I am pretty sure you still need a licence from the council to run a riding school and that used to entail an inspection and the horses individually vetted.
The facilities are inspected and usually a qualified person is named on the licence, and legally you must have insurance.
Have a look there, you can enter the postcode and it should give you the right authority where a licence should have been granted from.
It's been a while since I taught but back when I was around for inspections I think you couldn't be licensed using a horse under 4. I'd be amazed if she's insured. I'd write to your local MP and cc the council. Detail the contact with the council and that she is an accident waiting to happen. Even good, safe, careful riders can have horrific accidents so it's not exaggerating to say a child could die under her care. But I think the council need the threat of this blowing up in their face and adverse publicity/ expense for them if a child is seriously injured and it emerges that they knew and could have done something.
I didn't ever need a security check, probably because I was never left in sole charge of the children but that may have changed.
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