One of our ongoing costs is the safety equipment we provide for our participants.
All our participants are required to wear protective headgear that meet strict equine industry safety standards when riding with us. We keep a stock of 53 riding hats for this purpose. They are checked regularly to ensure they remain fit for purpose. Any that may have become too worn to offer adequate protection, or that may have become damaged, for instance should they be dropped by a participant or volunteer, are thrown away and replaced.
From the end of this year the industry standard for riding hats is being changed. This means that a significant number of our stock, 43 out of the 53, will become obsolete and need replacing. The requirement to have riding hats of the new standard will also apply to those participants who bring their own hat and to those volunteers who use their own hat when riding with us as part of their volunteering responsibilities.
We have been trialling an adjustable type of hat that will offer us more flexibility for the various size and head shapes we need to cater for. At a cost of £95 each this will be significant expenditure of over £4,000. We are currently investigating several options for funding for all or part of this cost. This includes discussion with RDA UK, researching potential funders, and negotiating with suppliers for a bulk buy discount