A lorry driver has made a plea for riders to wear lights when hacking out on gloomy days after witnessing first-hand how hard horses can be to spot on the roads.
Stuart Standing was driving along a busy road at around 7am on Monday morning (20 November) when the driver of a van travelling in the opposite direction flashed his headlights.
The car driver in front of Stuart’s lorry braked suddenly and Stuart said he then saw a high visibility vest “floating along” and realised there was a horse and rider on the road (not pictured).
“There was a lass on a black horse in dark clothing and all you really saw was her hi-viz,” he told H&H.
He added he called after the rider that “lights would be a good idea”.
The British Horse Society (BHS) has also made a recent recommendation for riders to wear LED lights while out hacking.
The call was part of a road safety report conducted for the BHS (news, 23 November).
The BHS is advising riders to wear lights as well as high visibility and reflective clothing. The suggested pattern is two red LEDs on the rider’s shoulders and one on the either side of the horse’s flanks facing backwards; with white LEDs facing forwards in a similar pattern.
Stuart posted in a countryside group on Facebook to politely make riders aware that high visibility clothing is not enough on dark winter mornings and to ask them to consider wearing LED lights if they need to be on the roads in poor light.
“It is only too easy to fix and the other outcomes are too horrible not to fix it,” he added.
“We all have to use the roads and if we all get on, it works.”
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Stuart added he transports livestock and is horse aware, so understands how and why it is important to pass horses slowly and with plenty of room on the roads — which he does.
But he said some riders might think that because they can see where they are going, drivers will be able to see them.
“When you are looking through a windscreen and going that much quicker [it is not as easy],” he added.
“Cars aren’t all going to creep around at 10mph.”
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