There are in the region of 40.7 million registered vehicles in the UK (gov.uk) and an estimated 1.8 million regular horse riders (National Equestrian Survey 2019), both of whom share the same right to use the road and with it the responsibilities of using the road safely and courteously.
Whilst the number of horse and rider casualties is very small in comparison to overall road casualties, drivers need to acknowledge that horses are unpredictable and powerful animals that can react and move sideways very quickly when alarmed by moving traffic or sudden/loud noises.
Following some simple steps, collisions involving horses could be reduced further:
– All road users should be familiar with the needs and vulnerability of horse riders. The Highway Code now advises that horses are passed at a maximum of 10 mph and given at least 2m distance. Be prepared to stop if necessary.
– Be particularly careful of horse riders and horse-drawn vehicles especially when approaching, overtaking, passing or moving away. Always pass wide and slowly.
– Wearing approved standard riding equipment including riding hats and hi-viz materials.
– Children and inexperienced riders should be accompanied on the road by a responsible adult.
For advice about what to wear when riding, go to the following links:
Road Safety GB supports the aims, objectives and delivery of the British Horse Society ‘Ride Safe’ Award and supports the reporting of incidents to the British Horse Society https://www.bhs.org.uk/go-riding/report-an-incident/ and on the British Horse Society Horse i App.