«return to news listSafety Protocols and Guidelines for returning to Riding Lessons

students and volunteer

Subject to change based on Governor's Guidelines for COVID-19

08/01/2020 – 

Three major factors have guided our decision-making process during the Coronavirus epidemic–the prevention of the spread of COVID 19 and the health and well-being of our riders, volunteers and staff.  In other words, what is in the best interests of the greater good.  As we prepare for re-opening soon, we have developed new protocols in accordance with State mandates for the staff, volunteers, riders and families to promote a safe environment.  

Protocol for Preventing the Spread of COVID 19

  •  If you or a family member have a fever, a runny nose, cough or shortness of breath, please STAY HOME.   
  • If you have recently flown on a plane out-of-state or overseas or traveled to the northwest four- corners area of the State you must self-quarantine for 14 days in accordance with CDC guidelines   .
  • In accordance with State mandate, all persons must wear masks that reach above the nose, below the chin and completely cover the mouth and nostrils.
  • If applicable, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.  Throw used tissues in the trash and immediately use hand sanitizer.
  • Do NOT touch your face.
  • Social distancing of 6’ and group sizes of no more than five will be followed as required by State mandate.
  • Hand sanitizer stations have been set up next to the porta potty, in the porta potty, at the north entrance to mounting ramp and in Tree Viewing area.
  • There will be no hugging or hand shaking.  Close personal contact should be avoided.
  • Touching of railings/gates surrounding the arena should be avoided as much as possible.

 Protocol Specific to Riders and Families/Visitors

 Rider Requirements

  • If you cannot make your lesson because of illness or any other reason, call your instructor and let her know the circumstances for your absence.
  • Riders must wear masks– if unable to tolerate a mask, riders will not be able to return at this time.
  • Instructors and volunteers will carry hand sanitizer, tissues and empty baggies for used tissues in the event riders need to lower masks to clean their face after a cough or sneeze. Used tissues will be placed in empty baggies, sealed & thrown away in the trash.  Riders and volunteers will use hand sanitizer prior to raising the rider’s mask and after replacing the mask.
  • Riders with their own helmets must wear at every lesson and take home after each lesson.  Helmets must be disinfected at home prior to returning the following week.
  • Riders without their own helmets will be assigned a helmet that they will be required to wear the entire session.  Helmets will be labeled with rider’s name and will be given to the rider by a volunteer at the beginning of each lesson.  Volunteers will collect these helmets at the end of each lesson, wipe with disinfectant and return to the appropriate labeled shelf in the tack room until the rider’s next lesson.
  • Riders must bring their own water.

Facility Usage by Riders/Families

  • Parking – No changes to past practices. Riders with mobility issues may part in the dirt area, under the trees, to the south of the barn.  All other individuals must park in the parking lot prior to reaching the barn.
  • To reach the riding arena, from either parking area, walk down the dirt path on the south side of the Barn (look for directional signs) and turn left and proceed to the gate to the mounting ramp.  This path is to be used only when coming to a lesson, either by walking or driving.
  • Riders and families will be met by a volunteer who will squirt everyone’s hands with hand sanitizer.  Hands must be rubbed briskly together until dry.
  • Riders will then be guided to their designated color cone, where volunteers will assist in putting on their helmet and escorting or directing them into the arena or ramp area.
  • Immediately following sanitizing of hands, family members will proceed to the “Visitors’ Viewing Tree area”.  Social distancing must be maintained.  Families are encouraged to bring their own seating, as Cloud Dancer will not provide any chairs.
  • To meet State mandates for social distancing families are limited to two people only (Rider and one adult).
  • Riders, families and visitors are not permitted to enter or linger in the Barn, the feed room or tack area.
  • Upon completion of lesson and dismounting, volunteers will assist riders with removal of their helmets and provide hand sanitizer to disinfect their hands. 
  • Cloud Dancers’ helmets will be given to a volunteer for disinfecting and return to tack room.
  • Families should proceed to the hand sanitizer station by the mounting ramp or porta potty, sanitize their hands and leave with their rider on the dirt path between the Barn and Cloud Dancers arena.  This path is only for leaving our facility, either walking or driving.
  • Hand sanitizer stations are available at the entrance to the mounting area, in visitors’ tree area, in front of porta-potty and in porta-potty.
  • Sanitize hands before entering and after using porta potty.

Grooming/Tacking Horses

During our initial opening riders will not be grooming or tacking their horses.  However, there will be some groundwork with horses at the beginning of each lesson.  Upon completion of groundwork, the instructor will assist riders in mounting in the mounting area.

Physical Contact with Instructors/Volunteers

 Safety of riders is a #1 priority of all Cloud Dancers staff and volunteers and none of our protocols for COVID 19 will interfere with that priority.  We will, however, try to do things that prevent us from having close face to face encounters with riders.  Both riders and staff/volunteers will wear face masks.  When safe and possible, mounting and dismounting assistance will be from the rear or to the side of rider, rather than face to face.  Staff and volunteers will wear small aprons where they will keep hand sanitizer, a small pack of tissues, and empty baggies for used tissues, just in case.

Protocol for Reporting Symptoms and/or COVID 19

Contact our Program Coordinator, Louisa Roberts, at 505.926.1426 immediately to report symptoms of COVID19 (fever, a runny nose, cough or shortness of breath).  Self-quarantine until you have spoken with your medical professional, determined testing options, met CDC requirements to discontinue home isolation and are confirmed healthy to return to lessons.

If you have tested positive for COVID 19, immediately contact Louisa Roberts, our Program Coordinator at 505.926.1426.  We will notify local health officials immediately, along with anyone who has been in contact with this individual, while maintaining confidentiality consistent with HIPPA and other applicable federal and state privacy laws.  In accordance with CDC requirements, we will temporarily close for a day or two, and will wait 24 hours to clean and sanitize all exposed areas of our Center.  Staff or volunteers exposed will be asked to self-quarantine.