Getting Started after Lockdown

As different parts of the UK begin to relax their restrictions on exercise, it is time to consider if and how groups could restart activities when the time is right for them.

There will be a lot of people who have missed their time at RDA and just want to get back; however any return to the group needs careful consideration.  In everything we do we must consider safety first – safety for volunteers and staff, safety for participants, safety for horses.

The risks of COVID-19 remain, so any activity must meet latest UK and devolved regulations. Even when some restrictions are lifted, we anticipate that social distancing will be required and this will have a significant impact on what groups will be able to do.

photo showing social distancing

2m social distancing (piece of string is 2m long)


Any resources with changes are dated 29th May 2020, and any key changes affecting actions in a Group have been written in blue.  Groups do not need to make any retrospective changes to anything already completed.
Other changes are to reflect the updated and changing situation, as governments ease restrictions.


We have prepared a range of documents to help with your planning. Please start by reading the guidance notes and the accompanying glossary of terms. These will help with your decision making to identify when the time is right for your group to reopen, and to shape your preparations in getting started.

Getting Started Guidance Notes 29May2020

Glossary of Terms Updated 280520

Thank you to Karen Thompson and her team at Kesteven RDA for sharing the following videos. These do not show you what to do, but demonstrate their practical thinking in developing solutions to getting started. (click and then choose full screen):






Are we ready to start?

There is a lot for your Trustees to consider before feeling confident that your group can start again. Here are the questions that need to be answered to know the time is right and that preparations are in place:
Getting Started Are You Ready 29May2020

We have prepared a Trustee checklist, to make sure everything is ready. This must be completed and emailed to RDA National Office along with your Covid-19 Risk Assessment before your group can start sessions.
Getting Started TRUSTEE CHECKLIST 29May2020

What about our horses?

All horses will have been “rested” from RDA work to varying degrees. For their welfare and everyone’s safety, groups will need to induct them all back into the work required of them; for some this may be a quick process but for others it may take weeks of re-training. Here’s a useful planner to make sure your horses are healthy and happy to return to work:
Equine Assessment & Induction May2020

In addition, the BHS has produced some useful guidance on bringing a horse back into work. Groups can adapt this to fit the level of work needed within RDA. 

Volunteers and Participants

These are optional tools to help you identify if you have enough volunteer support to restart, and which of your participants may be able to take part in the current restrictions. 
Volunteer Availability Tool May2020
Participant Assessment Tool May2020

When your group is ready to start,  volunteers, staff and participants taking part will need to sign a consent form, accepting the terms of their return.

Updates to Guidance

All resources on this web page have been developed by a working party of RDA group and regional volunteers and trustees, who will continue to meet and agree amends and additions to resources as government guidance inevitably changes. 

UK Ease of Lockdown – Impact on RDA 1stJune

Update 28May2020

Update 20May2020

Downloadable resources

Risk Assessment to be used alongside the standard RDA venue and session risk assessments; adapted to your group setting accordingly.

          PLEASE NOTE NEW RDA DISCOUNT CODES for cleaning and sanitising products listed:

          AGMA – quote RDA5SD8YGPF when ordering, for 10% discount

          AQUEOS – quote ‘RDA’ for 30% discount

Coming soon:

  • PPE information

If you have any questions or concerns, please talk them through with your Regional Chair, Regional Coach or email the office .

Page Last Updated: June 1, 2020