Horse riding road safety is one of the most important factors when it comes to taking your beloved pony out onto the roads. As the weather warms up and going out for a beautiful hack becomes more and more appealing, it’s crucial that you read up on the dos and don’ts of riding on the road.
Manoeuvring small country lanes or sharing the concrete with cars can be a difficult and often stressful task but with a few reminders of what to do when you’re out with your horse you’ll be ready to enjoy the sun in no time!
For horse riders, it is the law that all riders under the age of 14 wear protective headgear that follows the regulated requirements and is securely fastened. Whilst not legally enforced, riders of all ages outside this bracket should also follow this rule in respects to their own safety.
To ensure maximum safety, correct riding equipment must be worn at all time. This includes thick soled boots, light coloured clothing during the day and high-vis clothing at night or in poor visibility conditions.
It is also recommended that you wear a body protector for extra safety just in case you were to fall or have an accident whilst out.
Once you’ve got your clothing and equipment sorted it is time to get in the saddle but there are still a few things to do to ensure you ride safely. These can be split into things you do before you go riding and during the activity.
- Before riding: make sure your horse is happy and content. Only ride horses which are reliable and comfortable around traffic and ensure all tack is securely tightened to prevent slips. Never ride without a bridle and saddle.
- Whilst riding: keep to the left of the road and ride in single file as much as possible, never being more than two horses abreast. Keep both hands on the reins (unless signalling) and both feet in the stirrups and when moving down a one-way street always move with the direction of the traffic not against it.
Enjoy riding on the road
With these safety measures taken, there should be nothing stopping you enjoying your riding experience on the road. Horse riding safety will always be one of the most crucial aspects of any equine activity but that doesn’t mean you and your horse can enjoy your time together. Enjoy a happy ride with your horse, stay alert and aware of your surroundings, and have fun!