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Riding Horses on the Road

Most of us will need to ride or carriage drive on the road at some point, whether it is to reach an off road route, or to connect one bridleway to another. Here are some helpful tips and advice for equestrians when heading out.

  • Familiarise yourself with the Highway Code rules to ensure you follow their guidance on how you should behave on the road and interact with other road users.
  • Be alert at all times, 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 yourself and your horse. We would recommend a minimum of a tabard or jacket for a rider, and leg bands for the horse.
  • Make sure you are doing everything as safely as possible by taking your BHS Ride Safe Award.
  • Let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to be back, so they can raise the alarm should you fail to return within a reasonable time.
  • Carry a mobile phone for use in emergency, but remember it is not safe to use your phone whilst on the roads.
  • Remember to use the appropriate hand signals to make other road users of your intentions to manoeuvre.
  • Report any incidents of dangerous or irresponsible driving to us and to the police. 

Read our advice on slippery road surfaces.  

The top 5 reasons why you should report your incidents and near misses to us:

  • We lobby and advise MP's, road safety partnerships, the police and other safety organisations. The statistics ares used in government debates, and high profile presentations. This database ensures we are a significant partner with all equine safety stakeholders.
  • Using our statistics, we can offer support to BHS members in local safety campaigns.
  • We can identify hotspots if you report all types of equine incidents.
  • We can use this data to hold special equine safety events in your area to give greater awareness of these serious issues.
  • Reporting factual data really can make a difference to equine safety but we need the evidence to show there is an issue.

Of course, however well-prepared we are for riding or carriage driving on the road, we rely on other road users to take care when encountering horses. We offer the following advice to motorists when encountering a horse on the road.

Reporting a road incident or near miss to the police with video footage

Most police forces allow you to submit video footage of a road incident or near miss on their website.

When submitting your footage to the police following an incident, you will likely be asked the following questions:
Did the incident occur in the last 7 days?
If required, are you willing to provide a full statement?
If required, are you willing to attend court?
Are you able to upload video footage that includes 2 minutes before and 2 minutes after the incident?
Does the video footage clearly show the registration of the other vehicle involved?

If you are submitting video footage to the police the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) advice is that your footage should not be in the public domain (ex. social media) as this may adversely affect any subsequent proceedings.

Report your incidents, near misses or any road rage on our website.  

Support the BHS

You can support The British Horse Society and help us in our work to ensure the safety of horses and riders by donating to our Dead? Or Dead Slow? campaign on JustGiving.

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