Riding on the Road
At some time or other, most of us will end up needing to ride on the road. We're on hand to offer some helpful tips and advice for riders when heading out.
Here are some simple things we can all do to help improve road safety.
• Be alert when you're riding, make eye contact with drivers and thank those who make any effort to accommodate you. Treat others as you’d want to be treated yourself.
• Wear hi-viz and reflective equipment on both you and your horse. It really does make a huge difference to how visible you are. Have a look at this photo taken on a bright, clear day.
How long did it take you to spot the horse and rider? Make sure you can be seen!
• Contact local police and ask them to arrange a mobile speed camera visit to the problem area. Once drivers know there may be a camera there, they may become more speed-aware.
• Try to be vigilant and develop a method for remembering vehicle registration plates so you can report dangerous or irresponsible driving to the police. This is always difficult when you are trying to control your horse, but practice will help.
• Distribute our Horse Sense for Motorists leaflet, our Hit Your Brakes, Not My Horse poster and our Don't Be a Dark Horse poster wherever you can think of: local shops, community events, schools – anywhere it may be seen. Please make sure you gain permission to do so from the appropriate person or relevant authority. You can obtain hard copies of the posters and leaflet by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Make sure you are doing everything as safely as possible by taking your BHS Riding and Road Safety Test.
• Distribute this BHS and GEM Motoring Assist leaflet aimed at helping horse riders and drivers understand each others situation on the roads. There is room for everybody with a little consideration, and these tips should help.
• Always report any incident you have had.
Don't be a dark horse! Wearing hi-viz really does make a difference. Those extra three seconds in which drivers might see you could save your life and that of your horse. Wherever you are and whatever the weather, hi-viz for both horse and rider is essential.
You could also check out the ROSPA leaflet, Drivers and Vulnerable Road Users (pdf). It offers guidance for everyone about how to help each other stay safe on the roads.
Of course, however well-prepared we are for riding on the road, we rely on other road users to take care when encountering horses and riders. The Think! campaign (opens in new window) highlights the need for drivers to take care when they meet horses on the road.
The campaign is part of a larger Department for Transport initiative – take a look at this public information advert: