As Britain’s rural roads become increasingly congested with traffic, training horse and rider to cope with the unexpected in this hazardous environment is ever more important.
To this end, West Sussex County Council and the British Horse Society are holding a road safety day at the prestigious All England Jumping Course at Hickstead on Wednesday 1 June.
The event will include opportunities for riders to school their own horses past typical hazards experienced on the road, such as motorbikes and road works, with expert help on hand to assist them.
Horse behaviour specialist trainer Michael Peace will be demonstrating the techniques he uses to train horses to deal with traffic and spooky items found on the road. Peace works extensively with the Metropolitan Police, who will also be putting on a mounted display at the event.
In addition to ridden road safety, specialists will be on hand to offer advice on checking and maintain horse trailers, which can become a hazard to both the horses they transport, and other road users, if insufficiently maintained.
A fashion-show featuring the latest in safety clothing for horse and rider, plus a range of trade stands make this event a must visit for all safety conscious horse owners.
Lieutenant Colonel Tex Pemberton, West Sussex cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “In rural areas equestrian safety is an important issue, and I am sure that riders and their horses will learn a great deal from this unique day. The equestrian community may be one of the smallest road user groups, but it is one of the most vulnerable.”
The road safety training costs £15 per horse and rider, while spectators will be charged £5. Riders wishing to attend with their horses have until Sunday (22 May) to book a place by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or (tel: 01903 839360).