Roadside Safety: A Guide for When Riding Along Roads
Updated: Aug 3, 2018
Trail riding is how most people choose to enjoy horses. Sometimes you take a picnic lunch. Sometimes you just want to take a stroll and forget about the world for awhile. It's one of the best ways for some to unwind, and, for me, it was the only way I got to be around horses growing up. When I bought Sofie, every weekend was filled with at least one trail ride. However, most of our trails were along country roads that led us to the bulk of our ride. That meant we had to deal with cars, trucks, and even tractors.
Horses are creatures of flight, meaning that if they feel threatened, they will try to run away. This presents a problem when the thing they're running away from is much faster than they are. There are a lot of horror stories of people zooming past horses and riders as they get from one point to another on their trail.
If you're in a car or bike or anything other than your two feet, I'd like to request on behalf of all riders that you treat them as you would a police officer who has pulled over another driver. Slow down and give them as much space as you can. Horses and riders have been killed when drivers go flying by, and it's not fun to have a horse spook underneath you. You are not cool, and it will not get you the attention you may want. I've been honked at on a horse because the guy at the wheel thought I was cute; he got an earful from me, but not my phone number.
If you're on the horse, it's best to keep calm. Expect that your horse is going to spook. Typically, you know almost what will happen as you undoubtedly know your horse. Whether they buck, kick, rear, or try to run, try to stay in control of your emotions and keep a level head. As soon as the car has passed, reassure your horse and give him or her time to recover.
Stay safe, everyone.