With over 26 million licensed vehicles on the road today, it’s vital that you and your horse do whatever you can to ensure you are safe on the roads. Follow the simple checklist below to stay safe on the road:
- Read and know the appropriate sections of the Highway Code.
- Wear protective headgear to the current approved standard; BS EN1384, PAS015 or ASTM F1163. Make sure that it is correctly fitted and secured at all times.
- Check your tack before you set off.
- Make sure that you can be seen by motorists at all times. Wear fluorescent or reflective clothing. Use leg bands on your horse and a tabard for yourself.
- Thank motorists who are courteous to you.
- Keep away from busy main roads wherever possible.
- Ride on the left hand side of the road.
- Give clear and accurate signals.
- Acknowledge and return courtesy, a smile and a nod are enough if your hands are full.
- Lead on the left of the road; with the horse on your left whether mounted or dismounted. Keep yourself between the led horse and the traffic.
- Take extra care when crossing farmland.
- Ride once it is dark.
- Ride on roads known to be dangerous for horses.
- Attempt to accustom a green horse to the road without a steady horse present.
- Take a mounted group of more than eight horses on the road.
- Ride more than two abreast on the road.
- Panic if your horse slips and falls. Stay calm and let him find his feet. Check he is uninjured and remount on non slippery ground.
- Ride on the road in foggy conditions.
- Trot on slippery surfaces.
- Trickle over a major crossing; always cross in a group.
For more information visit the British Horse Society at www.bhs.org.uk