There can’t have been many people who weren’t impressed by the stunning sight of the massed ranks of horses parading through the streets of London for the King’s coronation.
It was all the more impressive because we don’t see horses on the roads that often in our cities, and it’s only when you see them up close you realise how big and powerful these majestic animals are.
But while they’re not a common sight in our cities, once you leave urban life behind you can often find yourself sharing the road with a horse and rider fairly often, particularly in the countryside. After all, there are 3.5 million in the UK!
So have you ever wondered how you should respond if you come across a horse and rider while out on your motorcycle or scooter?
The British Horse Society has created a public awareness campaign to educate powered bike riders on what to do if they do come across a horse. Called Dead Slow, the campaign has loads of good tips and advice on how to pass a horse safely.
If you do spot a horse the key points are:
- Slow right down and be ready to stop. If you do pass them, do so at 10mph.
- Give them a wide berth – at least six feet (a car’s width)
- Avoid any actions likely to spook the horse such as splashing them with puddles, sounding your horn or revving your engine
- Watch out for signals from the rider to slow down or stop
- Accelerate gently once you've passed the horse
Look out for the riders' hand signals indicating their intended direction or requesting you to slow down or stop. If the horse or rider are inexperienced, they will often be seen wearing a bright pink bib.
Finally, always remember that this is an animal you are passing. Even if you ride as set out above, it could react in a way you don’t expect. Horses weigh as much as a tonne, and if that comes crashing down on you and your bike, you could be seriously injured or killed.
You can read more about it here