“Promoting safety for horses & riders on UK roads”
©2014 Horses & Road Safety Awareness
Horses are more aware of their surroundings than humans are. They can smell, hear and see better than we can and are alert to danger at all times. Even though they may have a rider on their backs and be very used to humans, they have a blind spot in their vision and the surprise of suddenly seeing someone running/walking near them or coming out of a side path may cause them to “spook.” As riders we do our best to stay safe on all terrain. It is relatively easy to control our horse when we are able to spot something that is coming along or when we can hear someone approaching. We collect our horse and calmly control them until the person has passed safely, or we signal for them to slow down while we find a safe place to pull off the road and allow them to pass.   Best Practice For Runners/Walkers As you approach a horse from behind, please let us know you are there by either starting to whistle, calling “coming past” or softly begining to talk and say anything (nice!) that will alert us that you are there. We can take measures to alert our horse you are there and we recommend you take a wide berth, making sure it is safe to overtake.  If you are in front of the horse approaching please ask the rider is it okay to continue running/walking past or would if it be better to stand aside and let them walk their horse past. On narrow lanes it is mostly easier for the pedestrian to stand aside as horses won’t be able to move over into the hedges or onto a verge as effectively. The rider should talk calmly to the horse and if necessary dismount to pass people. Talk to the rider and the horse also, so they both know you are not a threat. Meeting Horses On The Beach Riding on the beach is possibly one of a riders favourite things to do. There is a lot of space and it is a safe level surface to let our horses have a good run without the need to slow or turn. However it is important that everyone stays safe on the beach. If a walker arrives at the beach and there is a horsebox or signs of horses (e.g. droppings) you must take extra caution. Keep your children and pets close and look along the beach before going onto it. (See for pet owners) If the riders are moving fast along the beach try to keep as far away as possible. If they are out of control or behaving in an inappropriate manner you are within your rights to call the police or beach warden. Riders should be aware that they are only allowed on the beach at allocated times of the year, which will be dictated by your local council or environmental body. Check when these are, as they are in place for the safety of other beach users. Riders should never go faster than walk when riding near to an entrance and should stay several feet away to allow others to come onto the beach. Riders: if other horses are on the beach remember your manners and do not gallop past them.
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