Horse riders have a right to use the roads as a means of safe and enjoyable travel, but should also share a responsibility to understand the needs and problems of other road users. Riders would prefer not to use the roads, but often have little choice because it is their only way to bridleways and other facilities off the road.
Drivers take care!
It may not always be obvious to vehicle drivers why horses and riders are doing what they are doing, although there is normally a good reason.
Remember the following points, particularly whilst driving on roads where you are more likely to meet horses, such as country lanes.
- Drive slowly past horses - give them plenty of room and be prepared to stop.
- Look out for horse riders’ signals and heed a request to slow down or stop.
- Do not scare animals by using your horn or revving your engine.
- Horse Riders are often children, so take extra care and remember that riders may ride in double file when escorting a young or inexperienced horse or rider
- Take care on approaching blind bends – never go so fast that you can’t easily stop, there could be a horse and rider round the next one.
- Always treat horses as a potential hazard and expect the unexpected they can be unpredictable, despite the efforts of their rider.
When you see horses on the road – always slow down!
Riders – look after yourselves!
Sometimes horse riders don’t do themselves any favours on the road and endanger other road users, their horses and their own safety by not taking a few simple precautions or following a few simple rules:
- Always wear a riding helmet with the strap done up – remember it’s compulsory for under 14’s.
- Wear fluorescent or other bright clothing in daylight – you’ll be spotted sooner.
- Wear something reflective if you have to ride in very poor light or at night.
- If you have to ride at night or in poor visibility, make sure your horse has reflective bands above the fetlock joints and that you carry lights – white to the front, red to the rear.
- Make sure your tack, etc. is in good condition before going on the road.
- Give clear arm signals before moving off or manoeuvring.
- Keep over to the left of the road.
- Ride in single file on narrow roads or bend approaches, unless requiring to escort a young or inexperienced horse or rider
- Don’t ride on footpaths, pavements or Redways, unless signs permit you to do so.
ICE - In Case of Emergency
Eight out of ten people aren’t carrying information that would help if they were involved in an accident. Storing next-of-kin details in your mobile phone can assist the emergency services if you’re unable to tell them who to contact.
How does it work?
Simply use your mobile’s phone book to store the name and number of someone who should be contacted if you have an emergency – but add the letters ICE in front of their name.
ICE stands for ‘In Case of Emergency’: it’s what the emergency services will look for if you’re involved in an accident and have your mobile phone with you. This straightforward idea was developed by the East Anglian Ambulance Trust and is supported by Vodafone.
On most mobile phones you simply need to select ‘Contacts’ and choose ‘Add New Contact’, then enter the letters ‘ICE’ next to the name, followed by the telephone number of your next of kin. Make sure you choose a number that’s easy to get in touch with – a home number could be useless in an emergency if the person works full time. We recommend that you enter daytime and evening numbers where this is possible.
What should I do next?
Make sure the person whose name and number you are giving has agreed to be your ‘ICE partner’. You should also make sure your ICE partner has a list of people to contact on your behalf, such as your place of work. In addition, they’ll need to know about any medical conditions that could affect your emergency treatment, including allergies or medication.
If you’re under 18, your ICE partner should be your mother, your father or an immediate member of your family authorised to make decisions on your behalf. Friends and other relatives won’t be able to make decisions for you if you’re admitted to hospital.
Storing an ICE number makes it easier for everyone if you’re involved in an accident. It only takes a few seconds, so do it today - please.
Remember - if you need to call for Emergency help whilst out riding and your mobile has no signal - call 112 if 999 does not work.