A leading equestrian charity is asking cyclists to appreciate the potential risk they pose to horse riders.
The British Horse Society (BHS) says during lockdown – as levels of active travel have risen – it has received increasing complaints from horse riders about cyclists passing too fast and close.
In 2018, the BHS partnered with Cycling UK to launch ‘Be Nice, Say Hi’, a campaign to educate cyclists on how to safely pass horses both on and off the roads.
The two charities are encouraging cyclists to drop their pace and call out a greeting, giving the horse and rider time to react, before overtaking wide and slow.
By alerting the rider and horse to their presence, the BHS says cyclists run less risk of the horse reacting, and reduce the risk of injury – not just to the rider and their horse, but also themselves.
As part of the campaign, the charities have produced two short instructional videos and a downloadable leaflet.
Alan Hiscox, director of safety at The British Horse Society, said: “With more people taking to the roads and public rights of way on bicycles we want to alert all cyclists to the dangers of passing horses too fast and close. Please announce your presence behind a horse.
“Horses are flight animals and may react to anything they are unsure of.
“By promoting the ‘Be Nice, Say Hi’ message, we hope more cyclists will appreciate the potential risk they pose. If all road users are considerate and mindful of one another we can reduce the number of incidents between horses, cyclists, and vehicles.”