Motorbikes may be consigned to most riders' Room 101, but H&H's hunting editor (and keen biker) Polly Portwin says you might have more in common with motorcyclists than you thought
Does your horse have an irrational fear of motorbikes or do you freeze when you see or hear one approaching while out hacking on the roads?
You might be surprised to hear that the feeling can be mutual and that meeting horses while out on the open road is not the highlight of the day for bikers either.
Believe it or not, despite the tough biker image, there are other similarities between motorcycling and riding. We take a look at a few other examples…
1. We all know of fair-weather riders… well there are plenty of motorcyclists who are the same. Their motivations may not be a fear of getting wet, more a fear of not wanting to drive on slippery and greasy roads so only going out when conditions are in their favour.
2. Happy hackers — a large percentage of motorbike owners aren’t necessarily using their bike to get from A to B for a specific reason, many take their bikes out for a pleasure ride, just as some horse owners do, especially at weekends.
3. For those who may be cooped up in an office all week, riding a horse or a motorbike gives a sense of freedom that can’t necessarily be found in the rest of their everyday lives and this is their escapism.
4. Riders and motorcyclists tend to both share a good sense of balance. Gripping with your core muscles when your horse suddenly spooks at an overturned leaf saving you from hitting the tarmac may make you grateful for the Pilates course you signed up for, just as it would be motorbike riders when they are stuck in traffic jams having to ride at very low speeds and trying to keeping the bike upright.
5. Sharing frustrations. Walking to the furthest point of the field to find your horse has pulled a shoe off makes your heart sink, and finding a motorbike that hasn’t been ridden for a few weeks with a flat tyre and/or a dodgy battery has the same deflating feeling.
6. Motorcyclists — especially females ones — suffer the same “bad hair” issues as riders… nothing flattens the hair more than a heavy motorcycle helmet that completely encompasses the head.
7. A bit like dealing with horses, if you find yourself short of time and think you will “just nip out for a quick ride” something inevitably goes wrong.
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8. Just getting dressed takes an age. Preparing to ride a motorbike is virtually the same as tacking up for the rider with all the special clothing, helmets and high viz gear.
9. Both types of rider soon realise they are at a disadvantage when it comes to being protected from other traffic so can develop a great sense of self-preservation when riding on the roads with an uncanny ability to read the actions of other road users.