NEWS > General
Posted by Corinne Wilson on 13/08/2020.

Caring for your horse in metropolitan Melbourne Stage 4


This information has been prepared in consultation with DHHS, Sport and Recreation Victoria and the RSPCA, to provide guidance for our members.

We must all remember that we are in the middle of a global pandemic. Victoria is at the centre of this pandemic in Australia, and how we all behave over the next few weeks determines how successful or otherwise we emerge on the other side.

We ask that all members not look for loopholes in the restrictions, and apply common sense and care for yourselves, your horses and the wider community.


1. Can I travel to care for my horse?

If you live in Melbourne, you can leave home to care for your animals, including horses, if it is necessary to do so and you are not able to make alternative arrangements.
This includes travelling more than 5km from home or leaving Melbourne for this purpose.

However, at this stage we are asking everyone to stay as close to home as possible and be mindful that you may be required to provide evidence for your reason to travel as police are conducting spot checks.

If you need to leave home to tend to your horse(s), the restrictions travel with you and so you need to follow the same rules as if you were at home.

2. Does caring for my horse include exercising?

Caring for your horse includes exercising it, however, there is a difference between exercising your horse for recreation and exercising it on animal welfare grounds.

  • You are permitted to exercise (and this includes riding) your horse for its welfare.
  • Horse riding as an outdoor recreational activity is NOT a permitted reason to leave home.

You should provide care for your horse in as limited time as possible, observe curfews, all government social distancing and hygiene requirements must be adhered to. Face masks must also be worn when you are outside of your home.

3. What is the difference between exercising for recreation and exercising for welfare?

3.1 Welfare

The allowance to exercise your horse on animal welfare grounds is for boxed horses, horses in small yards or small paddocks that may incur health issues if they are not exercised. If you are unsure consult your vet for formal advice.

You could consider longeing your horse, hand walking or if you must ride, then you should do so quickly. It is not a lengthy ride; it is not a lesson and it is not for exercise for you. If your horse already has room to run, then it is NOT needing exercise on animal welfare grounds.

You should exercise the horse on the property where the horse is kept. Where this is not possible due to safety or animal welfare concerns, you may exercise the horse locally "off property", however, horses should not be floated to third party locations under Stage 4 Restrictions.

Where you agist at a private facility you should abide by their rules as they have obligations under Stage 4 Restrictions to ensure the health and safety of all persons on their property.

3.2 Recreational Riding

The general term 'recreational' is an activity done primarily for YOUR enjoyment and exercise, as opposed to keeping your horse healthy and cared for. Horse riding as an outdoor recreational activity is NOT a permitted reason to leave home.

If you live on the property where your horse is kept, you are not restricted from riding on your own property.



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