Equestrians and runners are both vulnerable road users. We both share similar risks when using the road and on off-road tracks.
Horses can move very quickly forward and sideways and they can weigh up to ¾ tonne. If they are passed too quickly or too close they may react, potentially causing injury to both the horse rider and a runner.
Advice for equestrians
- Be aware at all times and expect the unexpected. Keep a regular lookout behind you so that another road/track user can’t pop up suddenly and surprise you.
- Remember, many people are not familiar with horses and how to behave around them. This may mean they occasionally pass when it is not safe to do so, or try and squeeze past in narrow spaces. When this happens it might be a good idea to calmly explain why it is not safe to pass at the time and ask that they wait until you can move to a suitable place.
- Be aware of pinch points in the track or on the road ahead. It may not be suitable to pass each other in a narrow space, so it might be best for either party to wait until there is a suitable sized space to pass by in.
- Be considerate to other road/track users and pass in walk.
Advice for runners
- Alert the horse rider if running from behind by calling out in advance ‘Hi, is it ok to pass?’
- Give the horse and rider time to react. The rider might not always be able hear you straight away so it is a good idea to wait until you have been noticed before passing.
- Be aware of pinch points in the track or on the road ahead. It may not be suitable to pass each other in a narrow space, so it might be best for either party to wait until there is a suitable space to pass by in.
- Slow down or stop if asked to do so. The rider will know the horse well and may feel the horse is about to react to something, which could mean the horse could suddenly move quickly forwards, backwards or sideways.
- Pass wide and slow - at least a cars width if possible. A horse’s leg could reach out at least 6-8 feet.
Running with dogs
We don’t think of our lovable companions as either predator or prey, but it is fact that dogs by nature are predatory animals and equines are prey. Today, both species offer companionship and enjoy leisure activities with their owners, meaning they need to exist together and use common areas for exercise.
Remember when running through fields with horses or other livestock it is advised to make sure your dog is on a lead.
If you enjoy running with your dog please have a look at our advice page for horses and dogs for advice on how to exercise safely in common areas.”