Helpers Point System

Helpers at Tumpy Green

We appreciate the important role that helpers play at the Centre - they are a valuable part of our team.

We welcome adults and older children to come and help. For adult helpers, we ask them to complete our FREE diploma course, to ensure they are trained to perform tasks safely. Children complete the ABRS Horse Care Certificates. Training for these is provided as part of our Thursday night Pony Club Volunteering and Ride sessions, or on the job.

Once the Certificates are completed then Helpers can earn points, and the points can be exchanged for lessons. There are different rates of points depending on the level of the Helper. Please email the Office for further details. 

Rules for Helpers:

  • Children should be supervised at all times, and following the instructions of a member of staff to ensure you are covered by our insurance. As a child this means I agree to follow instructions when at the centre as a helper and I will be where I am supposed to be, helping, keeping positive and polite, and doing what I have been asked to do by the centre staff to the best of my ability.
  • Everyone must wear a fitted and approved safety hat for riding at Tumpy Green. It is also a good idea to keep a body protector on for these activities. Helpers also wear safety hats for leading and grooming horses and ponies to reduce the risk of injury if kicked.
  • For riding, always wear boots with a heel (so feet do not fall through the stirrups)
  • Always approach a horse from the side, never from behind. Do not stand behind a horse or pony or walk close by its back legs.
  • Only enter an arena with the instructor’s permission.

Basic Safety Procedures to know:

  • There are risks when working around horses and how I behave can help to keep everyone safe. Keeping calm, quiet and confident around horses is part of this.
  • Some horses bite and some kick, some horses are best not tied up too close to certain other horses. Be watchful and handle horses safely to avoid getting bitten, kicked or stepped on and always take the advice of members of staff.
  • Always listen to the advice given to you by all members of (BHS) trained staff about safety, including horse behaviour, tack, riding instruction/advice and where to go or not to go.
  • If someone else takes over the care of the horse or pony (because a member of staff has asked them to) pass on this advice and share information. Please do not give your jobs to another child while you find something ‘more fun’ to do! By doing this, you could be putting yourself, young children or the pony’s safety at risk. The more difficult and mucky jobs are all a regular part of the running of the centre and your help is appreciated.
  • Equally, don’t try to take over a job someone else has been asked to do unless asked to, as there might be a safety reason for this being a bad idea and the job might not get done properly.
  •  If you’re asked to help less experienced helpers, try to involve them without putting their safety at risk and give advice politely without pushing them away. They are also there to help and learn. Listen as well, because if it is a job they were asked to do first, they might know things about the pony’s tack or feed that you have forgotten or are not aware of!
  • If you have been asked to do something you cannot manage on your own (e.g. replacing a pony’s water when it is full and too heavy for you to drag as part of mucking out a stable) you can always ask for help from a bigger helper or adult nearby, but you should stay to do what you can. If you are asked to do something but you have forgotten how to (e.g. how to fasten a rug or where to put tools away), you should ask how to and learn for next time, not just leave it not done and not tell anybody.

Intermediate Safety Procedures to know:

  • Only carry out jobs alone that you have been shown how to do and helped with and done safely before and that you feel able to do with the horse you have been asked to care for.
  • When you are helping with catching and releasing ponies wear wellies and a safety hat.
  • When helping someone with releasing a pony in the field they should always turn the pony towards the gate you will leave by and you should be behind them by the gate before they remove the head collar or lead rope. Horses and ponies sometimes like to rear and buck when running to play with friends in the field, so stand well back with enough room for other people to move back without slipping.
  • If a horse is cut or has any other injuries, let a member of staff know if they might not be aware of it already (e.g. if you are bringing a horse in from a field and you see an injured horse).
  • Check the horse's back, head and behind their front legs where the girth goes, for any mud and make sure it is removed before tacking up to prevent rubbing/sores. Do not put tack over a cut or sore.
  • Paying attention to horses' body language can help keep everyone safe. Be aware that horses can still be unpredictable.
  • When looking after a particular horse, be aware of their tack, feed and behaviour which affect how they are cared for. (E.g. whether they eat hay or haylage; whether they wear boots for riding; which other horses or ponies they are best kept away from.)