Equestrians and cyclists are both vulnerable road users. The two groups share similar risks when riding on the road, and both need access to more safe off-road riding.
Cyclists and horse riders have a statutory right to ride on byways, bridleways and roads. On bridleways, it's important that cyclists give way to horse riders (the Countryside Act 1968 gives cyclists the right to use bridleways, but stated that they must give way to horse riders and walkers).
Cycles can startle horses if ridden too close or fast, which can result in injuries to both parties. Nobody wants this, and with awareness and consideration on both sides, incidents can be avoided.
Following the success of the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, the popularity of cycling has increased dramatically. We have had reports from horse riders of problems caused by encountering large numbers of cyclists taking part in events. If you’re concerned about cycling events in your area, download the list of sportives arranged for 2016 and 2017, in and around the North West Region (pdf). Please note: this is not an exhaustive list and there may be others planned that this publication has not been made aware of. The list is updated on a regular basis.
Cycling Weekly also have a calendar of similar events.
We hope this will help you stay safe when riding out. In the event of an incident or near miss, please report details to www.horseaccidents.org.uk.
If this information has helped you, why not consider becoming a member of the BHS to support the charitable work we do?