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This article was published on May 11th, 2022
Horse-riding is a popular activity as it is a great way to stay active and social. However, like with any other activity, there is a chance of getting hurt while riding. Whilst it is the responsibility of all road users to help ensure the safety of riders, there are some things you can do to minimise the risks and make your ride more enjoyable. Here are our top tips to stay safe whilst riding your horse on the roads.
Before you take your horse out onto the road, you should ensure that you have appropriate safety gear both for yourself and your horse. The British Horse Society recommends that riders always wear a hat that adheres to the current safety standards and visibility clothing and body protectors to ensure that other road users can see them. There are also hi-viability pieces of kit for your horse including; leg wraps, boots and breastplates.
Before heading out on the road, it is worth brushing up on your skills by completing a riding road safety test. This will ensure that you familiarise yourself with the rules set out in the latest Highway Code and give you the confidence to ride your horse on the road. There are various riding and road safety tests, and many riding schools schedule training days.
In order to stay safe whilst riding your horse on the road, it is important to plan your route. This will not only help you to avoid coming across unsurfaced or unclassified roads, but it also means you can share your route with a family member or friend, to ensure your safety whilst you are riding. It may also be useful to familiarise yourself with areas where you can and cannot ride your horse. For example, you should never ride your horse on a pavement, or cycle path and, you should use a bridleway where you can.
Maintaining the correct road position is critical for the safety of both you and your horse. It is suggested that you should ride on the left side of the road, close to the kerb, and never more than two abreast. When riding with a less experienced horse or a young rider, it’s best to ride two abreast.
When riding in a group, there should always be a one-horse-length distance between each horse trailing the other. Always avoid riding your horse on public footpaths, as this puts your animal, pedestrians, and yourself in danger.
Whilst it might be tempting to ride your horse on the road by yourself until you are an experienced rider you should ride with a companion. It is particularly important to ride with other, less nervous horses if you think your horse may be spooked easily by traffic. However, if you choose to ride with others, you should ride no more than two abreast and travel in single file where the road or traffic conditions require you to.
When riding your horse on the road, it is critical to employ signals to communicate your intentions to other road users. Additional signals may be required to inform others. For example, if you are having troubles with your horse or if you are turning at a junction or passing a hazard. You should not signal traffic to pass your horse, even if the road ahead looks clear.
Riding is a great activity, but it should be done with respect for your horse, your animal companions, and other road users. Above are just a few ways to stay safe whilst riding your horse on the road. However, even if you take every precaution, unfortunately, accidents will still happen. If you have been involved in an accident whilst riding your horse, that wasn’t your fault, we can help.
In addition to assisting you with your compensation claim that can provide financial support and stability following your serious injury, our team’s holistic approach ensures you get the best possible rehabilitative care you may need, to give you the best chance of recovery.
We also work with the country’s leading charities, to help secure the support you and your family may need following your road traffic accident. To speak to a member of our specialist team, get in touch today by calling 0800 1979345 or completing our simple enquiry form.