Riding your horse on the road can be dangerous. Not only are we dealing with keeping control of our horses, but also the rules of the road and the actions of other road users. Unsurprisingly accidents involving horses and riders do happen, and it seems far too frequently. Here’s what the British Horse Society are doing to try and stop such tragic incidences.
In fact, it was recently reported by ITV that the last year saw a 29% increase in horse accidents on the road, which sadly resulted in the death of 21 horses and 1 rider over the last 12 months.
In light of these shocking statistics the British Horse Society (BHS) have recently launched their new campaign; Ride Safe. The idea is, similarly to an introduction to bike riding, for horse riders take a short course before taking to hacking on the road. The aims are simple; riders should be able too:
1. Recognise common road signs
2. Understand rights of way
3. Negotiate hazards
4. Deal with conflicts with other road users
5. Negotiate obstacles
The course is open to all ability of rider from the ages of 11 up and is designed to be taken within a morning or afternoon session. BHS are confident that helping horse riders understand basic highway code it will decrease the amount of dangerous riding and consequently, of accidents. So far, the scheme has attracted the approval of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service who say that the scheme will especially help riders who routinely use rural roads.
Remember, there are many ways we can help ourselves and our horses to stay safe when using roads, especially remember to wear hi-viz gear so that both you and your horse can be seen easily.
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