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to expect horse (and rider) to reverse for me!

(363 Posts)
AliBingo Tue 16-Apr-13 14:07:49

Genuinely puzzled here- I live down a single-track lane which is very narrow and windy so you have to drive slowly, anyway I met a horse-rider when I went out earlier.

Where we met, the rider was just past a field gateway passing place - the horse was about halfway past it, so its back legs and the saddle, and the rider herself, were still alongside the passing place. I stopped in plenty of time (couple of car lengths away) and waited for them to get into the passing place.

I waited and after about 30 seconds, rider did a hand gesture to indicate that I was to reverse! I duly reversed about 200 feet back down the lane and then sat waiting for about a minute while the rider proceeded to the passing place alongside me.

She looked a bit grumpy and didn't thank me, presumably because I hadn't reversed straightaway. But I had expected her to go into passing place!

So I am now wondering if it's not even possible to get a horse to back up/turn around/reverse etc - can you tell that I know nothing about horses!

WIBU to expect them to go into the passing place practically next to them, or does car etiquette not apply when the other vehicle is a horse!


Latara Tue 16-Apr-13 14:09:41

Do horses reverse? I really want to know too now!

PregnantPain Tue 16-Apr-13 14:09:48

Horses don't have a reverse gear and you should have some consideration, you aren't the only person using the roads!

Oodsigma Tue 16-Apr-13 14:10:15

They could reverse or turn in a car wide space. The horse could have been young/inexperienced etc which might cause problems though.

Nagoo Tue 16-Apr-13 14:10:49

I know nothing about horses either, but one would assume they can reverse.

Placemarking to be educated smile

kotinka Tue 16-Apr-13 14:11:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WowOoo Tue 16-Apr-13 14:11:04

I'd have waited for the horse.

I don't live in the countryside any more, but there are horses around here and I give them a lot of space and time.

TobyLerone Tue 16-Apr-13 14:11:21

It is possible to get a horse to do that, in theory, and all things being normal, she should of course have backed up for you.

However, horses are unpredictable and it's possible that her horse was very young/nervous/inexperienced. In that situation, it might have been dangerous for her to have tried.

lionheart Tue 16-Apr-13 14:12:20

It must be possible to reverse a horse hmm ...unless, maybe she wasn't a confident rider and it was a bit like expecting a driver to reverse along a cliff edge.

Weird not to acknowledge you.

multitask Tue 16-Apr-13 14:12:23

Yes horses can back up smile But each individual horse/rider/situation is different while some do it easily while others fuss so I imagine the rider for various reasons didn't want to but NO excuse for rudeness!

quoteunquote Tue 16-Apr-13 14:12:52

You reverse for horses, for a number of reasons, all safety related.

TheNebulousBoojum Tue 16-Apr-13 14:13:11

If you are not skilled enough to reverse the horse whilst mounted, then you dismount and lead it. She was fortunate that you were patient and able to reverse a long way up a narrow road.

KD0706 Tue 16-Apr-13 14:13:28

I would have done the same as you. Different if you met them between passing places, but since the horse was not even past a passing place I would have expected them to get out of the way.

But then maybe horses can't reverse - will watch with interest!

Horse rider sounds grumpy but maybe she's had her share of inconsiderate car drivers and just tarred you with that brush

Knottingnotknitting Tue 16-Apr-13 14:15:00

Do you have a cat or a dog? If so, have a little try at getting them to walk backwards! grin

Some horses can, but my old nag woold have been straight up in the air on her back legs, and probably bought her hooves back down on your bonnet as you went to pass us.

Having said that, she was extremely rude to not thank you having backed up that far.

ZZZenagain Tue 16-Apr-13 14:15:02

she could also just turn the horse around by walking a circle surely if the car was that far away from her. Of course you can back up a horse a couple of steps. If you cannot do that, you are a bit daft to be out on the road on your horse.

Latara Tue 16-Apr-13 14:15:29

I'm just sure i've never seen a horse actually walking backwards... with 4 long legs it can't be easy..

lottiegarbanzo Tue 16-Apr-13 14:15:30

Whether they can depends on the experience of the horse and rider but it's safer for them to pass a static car than have a car pass them, for example, so better that you should reverse.

HazardLamps Tue 16-Apr-13 14:15:41

Horses can back up but it's not a natural movement for them. A novice would struggle, that's for sure. It's a hell of a lot easier to reverse a car than the average horse! The rider was probably a bit pissed because it would be reasonable to prioritise a horse over a car and for the driver, not the horse, to reverse into the nearest safe spot. smile

Persuasion Tue 16-Apr-13 14:17:21

I'd say it's hard to know. Horses can be taught to back up, and most could manage a small circle back into the passing place. However for all we know that particular horse may be young, or have a tendency to bolt home if turned to face back the way they came. Or the rider may have seem something on the floor in that passing place that it wasn't safe to ride over (e.g. broken glass, crisp packets). Or maybe she was just selfish.

I'm not sitting on the fence today at all.....

DearJohnLoveSavannah Tue 16-Apr-13 14:17:48

I had a horse incident the other day. There were 4 horses and riders. I turned the corner onto the road they were on, another car was coming so I slowed right down until I knew it was safe to go around them.

One of them stuck her hand out telling me to stop, and then when the road was completely empty gestured for me to go around (erm ... hmm yeah I can quite clearly see for myself thanks)

And then as I was going around, the horse and rider in front started galloping along the road.

I think horse riders can be very entitled but ... my car generally doesn't have a mind of its own so I think they are obviously more vulnerable out on the road.

LittleInds Tue 16-Apr-13 14:18:00

As both a rider and a driver, I can definately say it's easier to reverse a car than it is a horse. However, I'd have probably backed up if you'd stopped to wait for me and it was easier/safer to do so (especially if I was almost in the passing point anyway). My call could be different depending on the horse I was riding at the time. I'd say it's safer to take the rider's lead though.

AliBingo Tue 16-Apr-13 14:18:06

Hey I was considerate, I reversed miles for her! And am v crap at reversing, perhaps she was so stunned by me slaloming and bouncing of the hedgerows that she was too shocked to wave a thanks. Even when I beeped my horn to acknowledge her (joking!).

It just hasn't really occurred to me before as I usually meet horses in between passing places and automatically reverse, as someone else mentioned.

I certainly give horses a wide berth - they are v big and scary!

QuintessentialOHara Tue 16-Apr-13 14:18:27

Why did the horse not stop earlier, when it was next to the meeting space, surely she would have seen you coming, from her high elevation?

IDoAllMyOwnStunts Tue 16-Apr-13 14:18:33

Horses can walk backwards, if the rider couldnt get her horse to do this surely she could have turned it round into the gap near her. I have a horse, and would have been cross at having to reverse my car 200 yds when she was so near a gap.
She should have shown you more consideration. Only thing I wonder is if the rider thought the space for you to pass was narrower by her, some horses dont like cars passing too close?

msrisotto Tue 16-Apr-13 14:18:58

I was only ever an occasional rider for fun - didn't have my own horse, was always out with a teacher of sorts. Anyway, I know that I couldn't have reversed the horse. I would have thought she could have turned around seeing as they were already half in the space but there you go, some people are weird, maybe it would have freaked the horse out to turn it's back on a car, who knows.

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