Tips to help keep you safe when Hacking out on the Roads


Tips to help keep you safe when Hacking out on the Roads

With Summer approaching, warm weather and lighter nights lead to more traffic on our roads.  Motorists and horse riders both have the right to share the road, which means that respect and safety should be observed at all times by both parties.

Avoid peak traffic times, low light and bad weather whenever possible! You are increasing the risk dramatically.

ALWAYS wear protective head gear!

Wear high visibility items – you will be surprised how much quicker you will be seen than without!

Ensure that your tack is in good working order and take your mobile phone with you, in an easily accessible pocket.

Horses should be ridden on the left hand side of the road.  Signal politely for the motorist to slow down and always thank the motorist for their patience.

Do not ride two-abreast whilst walking slowly on narrow country lanes and not expect a motorist to get agitated. Move to single-file as soon as possible, when safe for the motorist to overtake. If you are protecting a nervous horse or rider, ensure that you move to a safe place (driveway/pull-in/car park etc) as soon as possible and whilst doing so, raise a hand to the driver so that he knows you are aware that he is waiting.

Always follow the Highway Code ensuring that you observe signs and road markings and give clear signals at all times. Further details can be found here.

Never ride more than 8 in a group and when crossing, do so in the group and not in ‘dribs and drabs’. Avoid chatting as a split second lapse could cause a serious accident.

Make sure you have basic first aid knowledge.

Always ensure that somebody knows that you are out on your horse and an estimated time that you will be back.

Make sure you have 3rd party liability insurance as a minimum.

We have all seen the disturbing pictures of what can happen when motorists and riders do not have the utmost regard for safety.  Make sure you do not become a statistic!

For further information on hacking out on the roads go to http://www.rospa.com/road-safety/advice/horse-riders/ and download their fact sheet.