‘Protests won’t help’: rider’s open letter to drivers goes viral

  • A rider who was thrown into a hedge in a road collision has written an open letter to car drivers.

    Photographer Ami Robertson was inspired to write the blog post after a fatal collision in Surrey last month.

    Two horses were killed in the incident after they were hit by a car on 26 November. The riders sustained minor injuries.

    “After the Surrey accident I saw lots of Facebook posts about protesting on horseback in rush horse and using horses to block the roads,” she told H&H.

    “I thought, ‘That is not going to work at all’. I understand why riders are angry about it, but I wanted to write something that was a little more compassionate.

    “As riders we can forget about drivers — it’s an education thing. They don’t necessarily know how horses behave and there’s very little in the theory test.

    “I was trying to get the message out there that as riders we are not trying to stop motorists or slow them down but ultimately we want to stay safe.”

    Ami herself has been involved in several road incidents, including one particularly frightening near miss.

    A car came close to colliding with her horse Dizzy, who reared up and landed in a hedge. Thankfully both Ami and Dizzy were uninjured, but the accident stayed with them.

    “I will never forget the driver’s face as Dizzy reared up over her bonnet,” said Ami.

    “I’ve had a few other incidents of fast and stupid driving. Once I was taking my step daughter out on her pony and a driver slowed down and said, ‘I hope your pony dies’. Thankfully she has thick skin!”

    Sadly Ami’s ex-racehorse Dizzy had to be put down due to neurological issues, which were unrelated to the road incident, but she now keeps two horses, a three-and-a-half-year-old Lusitano called Pearl (pictured), and Spring, a chestnut mare she has on loan.

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    She hopes her blog will help promote a mutual understanding between riders and drivers.

    “People seem to be on one side or the other — the riders or the drivers — but we need to see things from the other’s point of view,” said Ami.

    “The point of the letter was to share the message that by being more understanding we can make the roads safer. We don’t have to use scare tactics or protest.”

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