We all love galloping round a field, and letting our horses stretch their legs in plush green fields. However, every now and again, we’ve got to leave those fields behind and head out onto the road with our steeds.
Whether we’re taking a short ride from one yard to another or we’re simply training new riders on being out on the road, it’s essential we know what we’re doing with our horses. Road riding presents it’s own set of unique challenges.
The most important thing when riding on the road is to ensure you wear appropriate safety gear. Riding hats or helmets and bright reflective clothing is essential, but you might also want to consider a body protector – falling on the road is more dangerous than falling on softer ground, naturally.
Consider Weather Conditions
You should try and ride in good conditions if possible to reduce the chances of your horse slipping on wet roads, and if visibility is poor, it means other road users will have a harder time spotting you.
The movement and position of your horse is also very important. You should always maintain the correct road position, and your horse should know basic lateral movements. If possible, you should also ride on a horse that isn’t easily spooked by vehicles – although those that aren’t used to being on the road do need to learn at some point. If you are going to change your position, turn off the road or want to communicate with drivers, make sure you use clear arm signals so everyone knows what your intentions are.
Obviously, we’ll be taking it nice and slow, and won’t be galloping anywhere (hopefully!), but there are still a few rules and examples of best practice we should follow. Now, many riders will tell you that it’s other road users who need to brush up on their driving and etiquette, but there’s still plenty we can do to keep us and our horses as safe as possible.
There are other pieces of advice but these will help you get started if you’re new to road riding. The following graphic from Country & Stable provides the info you need in a nice, easy to read format – and we hope it helps you stay safe next time you’re riding on the road.
Country and Stable UK are one of the leading retailers of equestrian equipment in the UK. Their highly knowledgeable team have over 68 years’ equestrian experience and a keen interest in the great outdoors, equestrian sports and country life. Putting customers first, their passion for offering the industry’s essential equine items, in order to bring about happier, healthy horses, is something they continually strive for in their business.