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Responsible Riding

Enjoy the countryside and respect its life and work with courtesy, care and consideration for others and for the land.

  • Leave only hoofprints and guard against fire
  • Help others to see you: wear hi-viz aids, even off-road
  • Keep dogs under close control. This usually means on a short lead which is not possible from horseback so it may be best to leave dogs at home
  • Observe byelaws where displayed at the entrance to a site
  • Take the BHS Ride Safe training if you ride on roads.

Care for the land

  • Keep to the bridleway or byway unless on land with designated open access for horses. Check the Ordnance Survey map if there is doubt.
  • Do not jump fences, hedges or walls – you may cause damage
  • Horses’ hooves can damage surfaces after wet weather. Avoid routes where this happens if possibleAvoid areas with heritage or conservation value which may be very fragile

Courtesy to other users

  • Pass others at walk and slow down well before your reach them, they may be frightened of horses or uncertain how to act
  • Be able to stop in the distance that you can see ahead
  • Acknowledge courtesy shown by other users
  • Adopt ‘Share the Trail’: each encounter with another user is a chance to build cooperation – a smile and a short chat can work wonders!
  • Encourage cyclists to call out when approaching horses. Many cyclists are unsure what to do around horses.

Consideration for farmer

  • Ride slowly past all livestock
  • Leave gates as you find them
  • Do not ride on crops or cultivated land (except on public rights of way), including stubble (which may be sown with a new crop) and young grass
  • Keep to walk if faster paces may damage the ground.

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