Sometimes, when hacking out, it’s necessary to ride along roads in order to reach bridleways or other paths. Unfortunately, it can involve a greater amount of risk of accident than other kinds of riding. At The Insurance Emporium we want everyone to get the most from what they love, even when it means following the rules! So, to help you stay safe, we’ve come up with this handy guide of ten essential road safety tips for horse riders.
1. Kitted and fitted!
Make sure you have appropriate clothing before getting out on the road! This might include a helmet, high-visibility items and other protective gear.
2. Always take the weather with you!
Riding in poor weather conditions could be a bad idea – it might mean your horse is less steady and other road users can’t see you. Maybe try and wait for a sunny day, if possible!
3. We’re not horsing around!
Going out on the road with an inexperienced or nervous horse could be dangerous. Get to know your horse before taking them out. If they’re nervous, it might be a good idea to be accompanied by more experienced horses.
4. The young ones!
If taking younger riders out on the road, it might be wise to accompany them. You could make sure you ride ahead, as if you have greater experience, you might be more prepared to spot hazards and deal with them appropriately.
5. It’s all in the planning!
It’s best to try avoiding busy or main roads where possible! Planning your route in advance could make for a safer and less stressful experience, involving fewer potential hazards.
6. What’s your position?
The position you take on the road could be a really important safety factor. It’s best to keep to the left-hand side near the kerb. When riding in groups, try to leave a gap of at least a horse’s length between riders.
7. Know the signs!
Use signals when you’re out and about to make sure other road users know what you’re about to do. This could be especially important when turning at junctions or passing a hazard.
8. Watch out!
Whilst out on the roads, make sure to keep an eye out for potential problems, including roadworks, other traffic and pedestrians! If you need to pass a hazard, you’ll want to have a good look around, signalling to other traffic before doing so.
9. You’re welcome!
Politeness goes a long way! Remember to be courteous to other road users, and thank drivers who slow down for you. Many drivers might find horses on the road frustrating – acknowledgment could help them feel more positive about riders in the future!
10. Get clued up!
Before you take your horse on the road, it could help to do some training! There are various riding and road safety tests out there, and many riding schools schedule in training days. After all, preparation is key!
Wherever you ride your horse, the most important thing is that you remain safe while you’re on your adventures! For added peace of mind when out and about, you might like to think about taking out horse insurance. The Insurance Emporium offer flexible Horse Insurance, with Death, Theft or Straying as a Standard Benefit, as well as many Optional Benefits such as Personal Accident and Public Liability to choose from. What’s more, you could get up to 30% discount* when you take out a policy. Head to The Insurance Emporium to find out more!
* The 30% discount is made up of 20% Introductory Discount plus 10% Multi-horse Discount (if appropriate). The Introductory Discount is available for the first 12 premium payments on lunar and calendar monthly policies or one premium payment on annual policies.
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