Most of the drivers in our villages are brilliant but there is always one or two impatient and reckless drivers with poor attitudes that can startle, unsettle and panic the horses. 

Riders, Cyclists and Walkers are vulnerable road users and have as much right to be on the road as vehicles. Most do not want to be there but lack of bridleways makes being on the road a necessity.

So a reminder:

  • When you see a horse and rider slow down, be prepared to stop and only pass when safe to do so. 
  • Pass as wide as possible with a 2 metre gap and at no more than 15mph
  • Do not rev your engine or sound your horn.

600kg of horse coming through the windscreen won’t just possibly kill the horse and rider it will kill the driver plus passengers as well.

We do our best to be seen by wearing hi viz and only ride two abreast when we have a young less experienced horse that we are trying to educate and de-sensitise to the traffic.

We have now started to wear hat cams to record any poor driving and the police are now finally taking action on any footage they receive that shows dangerous driving or driving without due care and attention. 

Nikki Forbes

Kingfisher Stud

Riding Gate 

Wincanton

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Comment by Gilly on May 20, 2019 at 10:04

Thank you for the wonderful work you and your team carried every day.  I appreciate everything you say. 

Maybe it is just my experience of two incidents that un-nerved me when twice (here in Pen) I have met cyclists riding at speed 'two' abreast coming towards me on a bend and they were not focused on the road.  (They were not on a time bike event that we get prior warning of.)

Why does it feel to me meeting these cyclist seem worse than meeting another car?  I guess it is because of their vulnerability.  I have no problem seeing them in a 'group' on a main road but here in Pen in our narrow lane my experience obviously caused me to comment.  I can understand it is good to chat - and - I know they could pay the ultimate price.

  

Comment by Robert Backus on May 19, 2019 at 22:08

Fancy chatting in twos when cycling rather than driving one's 1.5 tonne guided missile (car) whilst distracted, or simply at a speed inappropriate for the road conditions and drivers reaction time, or worse after a couple of alcoholic drinks!!   No one is perfect and I can assure you that the vast majority of cyclists also drive cars and therefore do pay road tax - they are also far more likely to pay the ultimate price if a driver gets it wrong.  Following a tractor or cyclist for a few miles delays your journey by the equivalent of one set of traffic lights in a town ...  My team & I regularly try to pick up the pieces following people's lack of understanding and respect for each other on the road - it isn't pretty and ruins lives.

Comment by Gilly on May 10, 2019 at 14:42

I agree with all that is said by both contributors.  I have met horse riders with their dogs running alongside.  It would be interesting to know how they collect their dog poo. 

(Will we have a similar view on bike riders who also seem oblivious to other road users and who are maybe more keen on their 'timing' and others chatting in two's.  Many a time I have had to slowly drive behind them as they have no intention of stopping whilst I pass and they also don't have to pay for a road fund licence.)

Comment by Alan Webber on May 10, 2019 at 12:09

My thanks to Nikki for recognising the tolerant behaviour of all but a few vehicle drivers.

However, it must be remembered that a village is a living and working community, necessitating the movement of machinery, provision of services and transport of residents.

A village is definitely not a theme park to be enjoyed exclusively by the leisure pursuits of the equine business.

Where horses are not resident and used for local transportation, then their riders, as guests to our roads, must also accept the inevitable compromises that sharing with other traffic will entail.

On occasion, an assumed ownership of the space by mounted individuals has resulted in considerable risk to others, thus control of the animal (and any other horses and dogs in tow) is paramount to successful coexistence.

I am certain that this knowledge is already widely appreciated, if not by all.

Comment by Sandra Jenkins on May 10, 2019 at 11:34

SHARING THE ROAD

Most of the horse riders in our villages are brilliant but there are always one or two arrogant, obnoxious and rude riders who can unsettle and upset drivers.

Most drivers need to be on the road and pay for a road fund licence to be there. Some don't want to be there but the lack of public transport makes being on the road a necessity.

So a reminder:

  •  When you are driving through the village to and from the livery stable, drive slowly.
  •  If you meet other vehicles on your way to the riding stable, try to find reverse gear (or learn how to use it).
  • Do not have uncontrolled dogs running along with the horse.
  • Please bare in mind that you are not the only road user. 

The fact that Kingfisher Stud state that they wear hi viz and only ride two abreast when training young horses is not true of all riders.

Some drivers have had dash cams for years, unfortunately, horses do not have registration numbers so identification for police action would  be difficult, but please remember that threatening action does not make friends.

A. Jenkins

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