Laws, Guides, Codes and Standards

If working with beginner riders, or people new to working in the horse industry, this Guide must be taken seriously, as it was endorsed by the Work Cover representatives. It can be found at Safe Work Australia Guide  and covers the requirements for those teaching beginners to ride, taking them on trail rides, and inducting  staff new to horse activities.

The Australian Horse Industry Council has a Code of Practice for horse activities which is voluntary, but consulted by lawyers and coroners. It can be found here AHIC Code of Practice revised 091009

Safe Work NSW released a Code  linked to working with horses: Managing risks when new or inexperienced riders or handlers interact with horses in the workplace in February 2017. It is relevant to those working with horses in a business in NSW and can be located  using this link

In 2019 the Adventure Activity Standards were nationalized with a section on trail riding. This has become the go to authority on running trail rides for dependent participants. Copy of the specific trail riding section is here: Horse-Trail-Ride-GPG-V1.0

This section, specific to trail riding, is in the context of the core information which covers all outdoor activities and can be found at

Education Department Guidelines to schools for horse activities.

All states require either school teaching staff with horse backgrounds, or external qualified instructors to teach horse riding to students. In  many cases Horse Safety Australia is mentioned as a suitable qualification (some have not yet changed the name from AHSE, but we are the same organisation!)

Other laws and regulations which may be related to your horse activities:

  • WHS legislation and resouces: relating to workplace, employment and public access to businesses
  • building codes
  • food handling regulations (if you provide food to clients)
  • the Australian Horse Industry Council’s Code of Practice for horse activities (HorseSafe). This is a voluntary code, but still needs to be considered and operators should know its contents.
  • employment legislation re employees and their conditions (state and/or federal systems may apply)
  • helmet standards (Australian) ASNZ3838 and others that are equivalent
  • state and shire/council laws and regulations
  • Property Identification Codes (PIC) are being introduced through the Departments of Primary Industry in most states, for all properties with horses on them. These will soon be mandatory in most states.
  • animal welfare legislation (currently different in each state) .
  • fair trading acts, and
  • the laws relating to negligence