Horse & Road Safety Awareness
No Hi-Viz (spot the horse and rider)
This video was created for non horse riding drivers and road users by Nicole McGinn
Hi Viz can save your horse or your life by Annie Worsley
Horses and cars don't mix. Most of us however have to ride on roads at some point. The bare minimum you should be wearing is leg bands and a tabard. This should be one of the fluorescent colours and include up to date certified reflective strips. It may seem silly; you can buy a cheap one from the £1 store so why spend much more? But this will make a difference in the courts should, God forbid, anything ever happen.
Remember that the accident ratios are barely different from summer to winter and the time of day doesn't seem to affect it either. You are no safer on any colour of horse, they should all be covered and people who ride out with only their tabard on must have forgotten their ponies’ boots... what happens if you fall and your horse heads home alone? Leg bands attract a driver’s eye as they move not just forward and back but up and down too.
More fashionable Hi Viz wear available now
The stores have got much better and you can get bands, martingales and jackets that all have a slightly more fashionable look. As a person who has lived for the last 15 years in a roadworks jacket that costs about £25 from an industrial supplier, I have just received my Christmas present of a superb jacket from Rockfish, who have finally bought out something my dear partner wants to be seen out with me in. There are other cheaper options and I urge you to remember your arms - they are what stick out when you signal and communicate with a driver.
Danger from helicopters and jets
Don't forget those of you that don't need to go on the roads, the distances a helicopter or jet training can see you is more than halved again just with leg bands and a tabard.The MOD and BHS have worked together and pilots will avoid you if they see you. The down draft from a helicopter will freak even the calmest horse and it will hurt if they are under 150ft! I live in a training zone and have witnessed planes and choppers avoid us. I keep an eye on the BHS site for when they are training and you can find out your zone and follow it. Don't forget if your horse bolts you can’t guarantee it won't end up on the road flat out with a nonplus helicopter following it.
Don’t risk your life and the life of your horse
Please people I have lost my own ponies on the road and I have lost a dear friend too. I have sat at more than one accident where I was purely holding a horse until it either died or the vet arrived to euthanize. Even a slight knock can break a hock and render a horse to an early grave. Only two years ago I sat with a pony and her young rider while the fire brigade released them from under a van. The van didn’t see her, the pony was roan, the child was in her blue jods and a blue rain jacket. NO one was blamed and the courts didn’t even find any negligence from the driver because he just had no way of knowing she was round the corner. I walked with the police around the corner and they could see me with my tabard on from nearly 1/3 mile but without it they too, on one occasion, only saw me coming round the corner... and they were looking for me!
(Parsons Rump and Horse and Pony Info would like to thank Annie Worsley for writing this article).
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