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Think Horse and Rider! One Riders' Campaign to Improve Road Safety!

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As recently reported by Horse & Hound Magazine horse rider Stacey Stephenson has set up a campaign to improve the safety of horses and riders on the road.



After “one too many near misses” Stacey Stephenson wants a national advert, which would be similar to the well-known "Think Bike campaign"— to run on national television themed around the concept of “Think Horse and Rider” encouraging other road users to consider the impact of their speed on horse riders and their equines.


Stacey said she believes some drivers simply aren’t aware that horses aren’t machines. She said "Drivers need to be advised on how to pass riders when we are on the roads. The roads are big enough for all road users to share and I hope this campaign might improve education and safety.


Stacey's initiative has seen her set up a petition to present to the government. So far more than 2,000 people have signed up in support. She has also written to the transport secretary.


“Drivers need to be advised on how to pass us when we are out on the roads,” she said. “The roads are big enough for us all to share and I hope this might educate people.


Stacey has contacted some of the nation's top riders and has so fair received support and further publicity from Sharon Hunt, Oliver Townend, Alex Hua Tian, Matt Ryan and Emiliy Llewellyn.


The petition was disabled throughout the general election but will soon be back online and here at RS-tor we encourage you all to sign and promote rider safety on the roads.


The British Horse Society also campaign for road safety for horse and rider and have stated that they will resume campaigning for horse and rider safety with a renewed vigour as the new term begins post election. The BHS collect data at www.horseaccidents.org.uk and say that this information proves that there is more work to do to keep our horses and riders safe on the roads. They say "It is vital that people report accidents and near misses to the website as it provides the hard data we need to make a difference at government level.


RS-tor's Top Tips for Road Safety


1.) Reassure your horse with your voice if your horse is nervous; this is a powerful way to give your horse confidence and help calm your nerves too.


2.) If you have to ride past someone operating machinery try to catch the operator’s attention and if possible ask

him to turn off any loud machines whilst you ride past.


3.) If your horse won’t go forward and you are in company, ask for a lead from another horse. If you are by yourself and your horse is really objecting to moving towards the hazard, it is probably safer to take an alternative route if possible.


4.) Treat any roadworks as a stationary vehicle. Keep to the left, look behind in good time and check for oncoming traffic when moving your horse past an obstacle.


5.) Remember if safe, signal right and retake the reins before passing the hazard. Give a ‘life-saver’ look behind before moving out around the obstacle – allowing sufficient clearance.


RS-tor recommend riders use the RS-tor Riding Safety Aid whilst hacking, providing riders a ‘handle on any situation’ if the horse bucks, spooks, trips or rears whilst hacking. 


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