Whether we choose to ride off-road on fields and bridleways, or whether we have no option but to go out onto busy roads, there are always safety issues we need to take into account.
At The British Horse Society we put a great deal of passion into ensuring that every horse and rider is as safe as possible.
Before you take to the bridleways, byways and roads, there are ten things to do:
- Make sure that your tack fits and is safe
- Your own clothes and boots should be comfortable and suitable for the weather conditions
- Wear hi-viz, ideally on both you and on the horse, which could be seen from above as well as from all angles from other people on the ways
- Wear boots which are suitable for walking should it be necessary
- Carrying a whip is advised for various uses (assuming your horse is safe with you doing so)
- Take a phone and, in unknown territory, take a map
- Tell somebody where you are going and roughly how long you think you will be out
- Train your horse to open gates safely at home; allow more time for a gated ride
- Train your horse to stand, so that if any difficulties arise you can deal with them while the horse is still
- If you are riding in unknown territory, it is advisable to have a headcollar under the bridle with a rope (looped and knotted – quick release – round the horse’s neck, or attached to your saddle)
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