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High visibility and reflective safety wear clothing and equipment for riders when horse riding on the road
As the traffic increases on our roads, horse and rider safety becomes much more important. Every year riders and their horses are killed, along with other road users. This is not always the rider’s fault, nor is it always the fault of the driver of the other vehicle. As a rider using the public highway it is your responsibility to make sure that you are as safe as possible, and in doing so this means making yourself as visible as possible to other road users. As a rider I know how unpredictable a horse can be when confronted by a fast moving vehicle and a slower moving vehicle with his engine revving hard, however, many of the drivers on our roads have never sat on a horse to experience this and as such expect the rider to be in full control or their horse at all times (if only).
be safe on the road
The countryside scenario
You are wearing your best black riding boots and jods and your favourite navy blue hacking jacket or waterproof yard coat. You tack up your horse with his usual black bridle/saddle and boots and you head out for a well earned and needed hack. You are happily trotting along the country road enjoying the views with the winter sun beating down on your back when the birds suddenly fly out from the hedgerow in front as a car comes round the approaching bend travelling quite fast. It brakes sharply and swerves to avoid a collision, only to end up parking itself in the hedgerow. Your horse is now going down the road sideways threatening to buck and rear (not your favourite choice of manoeuvres) but you manage to half control your horse while shouting various amounts of verbal abuse at the driver for travelling too fast along the country lanes. Eventually horse under control you dismount to find the driver of the car unconscious with a nasty looking cut on his head. You ask yourself “How did this happen?Could it have been prevented?”
Unfortunately this scenario is not uncommon, with drivers frequently being blamed for accidents involving horses and their riders, of which a high percentage could have been prevented had the rider been wearing appropriate clothing.
As a horse rider it is very easy to just tack up your horse, put your riding hat and boots on and head off out for a good hack on the country roads. Unfortunately, most tack and rider clothing is dark in colour, being either black/brown or navy, this makes it very difficult for other traffic uses to notice you. There are lots of ways now that can make you safer on the road when out hacking and having fun.
High visibility clothing for the rider
High visibility safety clothing for riders
When you put your riding clothes on think carefully about where you will be riding and how visible you will need to be to other road users. Remember cars and especially motorbikes travel much faster than you and therefore have much less time to react to situations such as an approaching horse and rider. Here are some ways in which can make yourself as the rider more visible.
- Put reflective strips around your riding hat, or invest in a high visibility cover for your skullcap.
- Wear a high visibility jacket or waistcoat
- LED’s are available for both tabards and riding hats.
- Lights can be attached to your riding boots so that cars can see you better in a dull light.
high visibility clothing for horse
High visibility tack for horses
It is easy to think that you only need to worry about making yourself more visible, but there are also many ways in which you can make your horse more visible, here are a few ideas.
- Instead of putting your usual exercise rug on him, use a high visibility exercise rug/wrap around.
- Put high visibility straps on the reins.
- High visibility nosebands are a great idea, so that oncoming traffic sees you sooner.
- High visibility leg boots
- High visibility tail bandages/tail guards
- LED’s are available to attach on the saddle, legs and tail guards.
Now that you have all the reflective equipment that you need to be seen and be safe, why not look into attending a road safety course. The BHS (British Horse Society) runs a riding and road safety test which helps educate riders in road safety. The test is available for all riders over the age of 12 and is supported by the department of transport. This test is not compulsory but is advised as it is the only test that may help save not only your life, but that of your horse and other road users.
Remember BE SAFE-BE SEEN
reflective equipment for all your needs, as well as general horse equipment.
- Nasus's equestrian store
An Amazon site where you can find reflective equipment for all your needs, as well as general horse equipment.