Horse riders need to do more to help improve their safety on the roads, it has been suggested, and a new campaign is designed to help raise awareness of the importance of wearing high-vis clothing when horse riding on roads.
The Glow Means Slow campaign, which was founded by Sarah Johnson, has two aims. The first is to raise awareness of safe riding practice among those who go out on horses, and the second is to get a change in the law that requires horse riders to wear high-vis items.
Speaking to Everything Horse magazine, Ms Johnson explained that mortality rates among horses and riders on the UK’s roads have increased in recent years. She added that this is partly due to a number of riders choosing not to wear high-vis clothing.
“Wearing a high-vis can save lives by making you stand out and other road users can see you sooner, giving them more opportunity to reduce their speed accordingly,” she stated.
Ms Johnson also suggested that combining two colours of high-vis can be a good idea, because, based on personal research, it can make you stand out more.
She isn’t the only person who has been talking about horse rider safety in recent weeks, with journalist and horse rider Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes recently telling the British Horse Society’s the Real Horsepower Safety Conference that individual riders need to take responsibility for educating the wider public.
Ms Greenwood-Hughes said that riders need to play their part by thanking any drivers who slow down and pass their horse correctly. She said that people increasingly see horses as a “menace” on the roads, and have the misconception that only rich people own and ride horses.
“We need to make an effort to sell our passion to the wider public,” she asserted, continuing that this means telling people when they pass horses incorrectly, and to “beam” at those who pass slowly and give the horses plenty of space.