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While riders may carry out whatever forms of riding they enjoy on private property, the situation is different when road riding.
Rule 52 of the Highway Code states: “Never ride a horse without a saddle and bridle.” Failure to observe this guidance could lead to an offence under the Road Traffic Act.
If the person acted irresponsibly and other road users were affected, it could lead to other legal proceedings.
In terms of insurance, people who ride without a bridle and saddle and do not undertake dangerous behaviour can be insured.
For example, the Good Horsemanship Society offers a “natural horsemanship” insurance policy in association with Fidelius Insurance Solutions that covers policy-holders riding in “natural horsemanship equipment”, for example, rope halters.
David Buckton, associate director of South Essex Insurance Brokers (SEIB), says insurance policies require policy-holders to take reasonable precautions to avoid a claim.
“However, the terms of personal accident insurances arranged by SEIB make no stipulations about the use or otherwise of bridles or saddlery,” he says.
“Riders should always be open with insurers, disclosing activities they are likely to undertake, and ensuring they’re in control of their horses, taking into account their normal riding activity, personal experience and the horse’s level of training.”
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Natural Horsemanship Insurance
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This article was first published in the current issue of H&H (24 November 2011)
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