BHS dead slow logo showing car overtaking horse riders at 2 metres
Image: British Horse Society

Due to the shrinking bridleway network, most horse riders will inevitably need to ride on the road at some point. It could be to reach an off-road route or even to connect one bridleway to another.

Either way, it is important for all road users to work collaboratively together to ensure horses, equestrians and drivers remains safe.

With the number of equine related incidents continuing to rise, this has never been more critical. Since 2010, over 12,000 incidents have been logged via equine charity, The British Horse Society’s (BHS) Horse i app. Of these, 44 caused rider deaths and 570 resulted in a horse dying from their injuries.

The Highway Code changes, which includes a reduction in the advisory passing speed from 15mph to 10mph and a repositioning of horses alongside cyclists in the Hierarchy of Road Users, offers clear guidance to road users including drivers.

Other key changes include:

  • Vehicles should allow at least 2 metres of space when passing horses.
  • The BHS’s Dead Slow messaging is now incorporated.
  • Feral and semi-feral horses on Exmoor, Dartmoor and the New Forest are now included.

There are steps that equestrians can take too, in order to maximise the safety of their horse. The British Horse Society have outlined some helpful tips and advice for horse riders and carriage drivers when heading out:


How to pass a horse safely

Are you ride ready?

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