We have received the following e-mail which we thought would be of interest to our members.
My name is Liz Stewart and I am the British Horse Society’s Riding and Road Safety Representative for Surrey.
As I am sure you would agree equestrians and cyclists are vulnerable road users. We share similar risks when riding on the road. We both need access to more safe on and off-road riding.
The increasing interest in and enjoyment of cycling is bringing more and often novice cyclists in contact with horse riders on and off the road. Unfortunately this is resulting in some close conflict situations and potential accidents which in the main seem to be coming from a lack of appreciation of the vulnerability of horse riders to passing cyclists. I would therefore like to highlight some of these risks to your membership.
As vulnerable riders yourselves you will appreciate the value of due consideration being given by other road and track users . Horses can be easily frightened and the speed at which cyclists pass, the number of cyclists passing and their silent approach can all cause problems for some horses. I have attached a Code of Conduct for Horse Riders and Cyclists leaflet produced by the BHS which looks to educate both horse riders and cyclists in good and safe practices. I hope that you may be willing and able to share this with your members.
The BHS in Surrey will also be highlighting these guidelines to its members. Recognizing the time, financial and emotional investment made by both cycle and horse riders will hopefully go a long way to helping us all stay safe on the road.