A cyclist has questioned whether horses should be allowed on the UK’s “increasingly dangerous” roads.
Essex-based Simon Warr spoke alongside Claire Lilly of Canewdons Equestrian road safety group on Sadie Nine’s BBC Essex radio show last week (29 August)
“I dread seeing a horse in the road because I am aware that the size of a horse can do so much damage so quickly,” Mr Warr said.
“We have to think very carefully with the increase of traffic whether horses should be on the road.
“It is becoming more of a danger to all of us – cyclists, motorists — and we’re all trying to go about our daily business.
“Don’t you think it’s rather cruel to put a horse [in this situation]? Has the time come when horses are no longer compatible with other road users?”
Ms Lilly countered that “horses love to be taken out”, and that most riders have no option but to use roads to access bridleways and other off-road riding routes.
“In 2017 we should be more accepting and tolerant of all road users,” she told H&H following the show.
“Drivers and cyclists are becoming more aggressive – that is the issue we need to be stamping out.”
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Canewdons Equestrian was set up after Essex-based rider Laura Thorogood lost her horse Angel in a road incident in November last year.
“It can be quite daunting on the roads for riders accessing bridleways,” added Ms Lilly. “We try to educate cyclists and other road users.
“Cyclists are quite silent when they approach so we encourage them to call out. The human voice the horse is familiar with and that’s one way to prevent an accident”.
For further analysis of this issue, don’t miss this week’s Horse & Hound magazine, out Thursday 7 September, which also includes all the latest news, competition reports, interviews and features