Police have launched an autumn safety campaign to help protect riders on the roads.

The “Bright Rider” initiative promotes the importance of wearing fluorescent or high-visibility clothing when hacking out.

Thames Valley police officers are inviting the public, especially younger riders, to create their own riding road safety posters. Designs should feature pictures or photographs of riders in high-visibility clothing as well as three reasons why this type of clothing should be worn and safety tips.

Popular articles

Some of the police’s favourite submissions will be used in the campaign and their creators will be invited on a tour of the Thames Valley mounted section’s stables.

“We want to encourage riders to take the proper precautions now we’re losing daylight,” officer Kevin Simmons told H&H. “We’re asking both drivers and riders to be considerate on the roads.

“Hi-viz clothing makes you more visible to motorists but also to other potential hazards such as low-flying aircraft, dog walkers and cyclists.

“Being seen early will allow these people to take steps to avoid startling your horse.”

Those wishing to enter the poster competition should submit their entries by 4 November to TVPMountedSection@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk

Thames Valley Police offers the following safety advice to riders:

· Always display fluorescent/reflective clothing on both horse and rider whatever the weather or light conditions.

· Have an ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact on both your horse and yourself.

· Check that all tack is in a good state of repair and fitted correctly before riding out.

· If at all avoidable, don’t ride in failing light, fog or darkness. Avoid icy or snowy roads.

· If riding a horse that is not used to roads, ask a rider with a horse who is experienced and calm to accompany you.

· Try to avoid riding more than two abreast on the road. If riding two abreast be prepared to go into single file on narrow roads to allow traffic to pass if safe to do so.

· Always cross major crossings in a group, rather than trickling across one by one.

· Leave details of your intended route and estimated time of return with a responsible person.
· Ensure you thank motorists for slowing down.

· It is advisable to familiarise yourself with the Highway Code before riding on the road and to take the British Horse Society riding and road safety test