Motorists and horse riders both have a right to use the road. They also share a responsibility to consider each other’s needs.
When you are riding on a road, make sure you stay safe:
- Wear protective headgear to current approved standards (legal requirement for children under 14).
- Give clear and decisive signals.
- Understand the appropriate section of the Highway Code.
- Keep away from busy roads.
- Ride on the left hand side of the road.
- Wear a high-visibility hat band or cap cover and a high-visibility waistcoat or tabard.
- Use reflective leg bands on your horse, because they are constantly moving they attract drivers' attention. Ideally, use them on all four legs; if using two, put them on the outside legs nearest the road.
- Use either a tail guard or fluorescent rug at the rear of the horse as this is the most vulnerable area.
- Don’t ride more than two abreast.
- Avoid riding after dark or in foggy conditions.
- Don’t take a mounted group of more than eight riders on the road.
Note: Horse owners: Loose horses can cause major collisions, so keep fields and fences properly maintained and keep gates locked.
You can reduce the risk of horse-related crime by making sure you’ve taken these simple steps:
- Take colour photos of your horse in the winter and in the summer, from both sides, head on and tail. If there is a distinctive mark or scar, take a close up photo of these.
- Have your horse security marked to stop thieves by using freeze marking, hoof branding and micro-chip implants.
- Check your horse regularly each day and do not leave equipment unguarded.
- Ensure you have a passport for your horse. This is a legal requirement.
- Padlock gates with strong padlocks to no less than CEN security grade 4-5 and heavy duty chains to no less than police approved ‘Sold Secure’ gold standard.
- Secure windows on the inside of tack rooms with solid iron bars (tubular steel can be bent).
- Secure all doors with good quality locks - use bolts (not screws) on the hinges.
- Consider reversing the top hinge on yard gates to prevent them from being lifted off.
- Be aware of any visitors and take note of suspicious behaviour on your land and near to it.
- Fit vandal resistant ‘dusk to dawn’ sensored security lights if the buildings are near to someone who can see them and a security intruder alarm if the buildings are near to someone who can see and hear if the device activates. Audible alarms sounding at stables are not appropriate.
- Ensure horseboxes and trailers are immobilised when parked and park them in well-lit areas at night where they can be seen. Consider the use of wheel clamps, hitch locks, car alarms and shed alarm devices to protect these valuables.
- Property mark saddles and tack and display signage which identifies that your property has been security marked along the perimeter of fields and buildings to deter thieves.
- Photograph saddlery and other valuables to help return the property to you if stolen.
- Apply additional security marking to your trailers.
- Join your local Horse Watch Scheme.