Health and Safety
Horse riders all enjoy riding their horses, but with that pleasure should come some responsibility with staying safe on the roads.
Below features some of the safety advice from The Highway Code applying particularly to horse riders when using the UK roads:
- Rule 50: Boots or shoes with hard sole and heels should be worn; this is so there is nothing to catch on the stirrup in the event of a fall that might mean the rider is dragged along, because the foot cannot come free. Safety stirrups are also available to purchase from many equestrian outlets, which in the event of a fall, will release the foot automatically.
- Rule 50: You should wear bright or fluorescent clothing in daylight, and reflective clothing in poor visibility. Wearing high-viz when riding on the road can give drivers a valuable three seconds extra ‘reaction time’. There are also high-viz products available for your horse to wear including boots and exercise rugs.
BHS recommends that horse riders wear a helmet specifically designed for horse riding (rather than a pedal cycle helmet, for instance) and that meets one of these standards:
- PAS 015: Equestrian Helmets
- ASTM F1163: Standard Specification for Protective Headgear used in Horse Sports and Horseback Riding
- BS EN 1384: Helmets for Equestrian Activities
- SNELL E2001: Helmet Standard for Use in Horseback Riding
As with all helmets, it is important to ensure that they are the right size for the rider and are worn correctly. If possible, choose one from a reputable shop which has staff trained to help ensure the helmet fits the wearer.
Other safety equipment, such as body protectors, can also offer useful protection. Advice is available from the Safety Department of the British Horse Society.