At Ross Dhu Equestrian Centre we have extensive off road riding available where you need never ride in traffic again. However, during a journey elsewhere with your horse there may be times when it is necessary to ride on roads and we feel that it is important that this is made as safe as possible for the sake of rider, horse and car drivers. Please see below the Ross Dhu Equestrian Centre guide to riding safely below.
Highway Code – Know it! The number one rule would be to be aware of the Highway Code and to avoid main or busy roads if possible.
Control – As the rider it is imperative that you are confident and remain in control of your horse by keeping rein contact. Horses are unpredictable and riding with a loose rein can easily lead to an accident if the horse is startled. This can happen easily on a road!
Road Position – you should always ride on the left hand side of the road near the kerb, never riding more than two abreast. Riding two abreast is particularly recommended if riding a young or inexperienced horse, with the more experienced horse being nearest to the centre of the road. However, when traffic approaches it may be necessary to ride single file with the experienced horse taking the lead. There should always be a gap of a horse’s length between each horse being ridden behind another. Avoid Risk – Riders should not take any risks by cantering on grass verges.
Traffic – Always look behind regularly to be aware of traffic behind and continually look and listen for hazards which may alarm the horse. Turning and Junctions
Signals – Before turning or approaching a junction always check for traffic and signal to indicate your intention. Always watch and listen for traffic and be prepared to stop at a junction before turning if necessary.
Courtesy – Riders should acknowledge drivers who take extra care whilst passing them, or who stop to let them pass by raising a hand in thanks. However, in situations where it unsafe to take a hand off the reins or when riding a young or inexperienced horse a nod of the head is advised.
Reassurance – If approaching a noisy or dangerous hazard always reassure your horse and if your horse seems reluctant to pass the hazard get another horse to lead. If necessary avoid the hazard by taking a detour.
We can offer our riders a training day(s) in Riding and Road Safety. Visit our website www.scottishhorsehelp.com for further information.