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Should fluorescent clothing be compulsory for horse riders?

23 replies

Ebb · 10/01/2009 11:44

It's that old chestnut. Should everyone riding on the roads have to wear reflective clothing on both rider and horse by law? I ask just because of the amount of riders I see, or more to the point don't see, riding on dark, grey days, wearing dark clothing that just blend in to the hedgerows. Also riders riding at dusk. I honestly think they don't realize how dark it has got as their eyes have gradually adjusted to the fading light. I was driving home along a fairly main country road and spotted eyes in my head lights. I slowed down to see a woman riding ( dark horse, dark clothes) with her dog running loose. She was gesticulating at me to slow down but it was almost pitch black and I didn't see her. Does it take much to put on reflective bits on the horse and a tabard on the rider? I live in Beaufort country so wonder if snobbery has a part to play. It always seems to be the hunting group that won't put their horses safety first.

So should it be made law? Car drivers have to have lights on and most people use them in dark / foggy / grey conditions. Why not riders? Am I being unreasonable?

OP posts:
PuzzleRocks · 10/01/2009 13:53

Bumping for you.

snorris · 10/01/2009 14:15

I totally agree . I never hack out without the minimum of a tabard,4 leg bands and a tail guard.

Not so long ago I was driving on a straight stretch of road, slightly downhill and good visibility, in fact in it was a lovely winter's afternoon. I couldn't work out why the oncoming traffic was pulling out to apparently overtake something. As I got closer I could see it was a girl riding a horse, no hi-viz on either of them . Bearing in mind this road has a 40mph limit and leads to the local landfill so large lorries regularly use it, it was pretty stupid of her .

It isn't just the winter months either. Where I keep my ponies there are a lot of tree-lined lanes and the transition from sunlight to shade can make it difficult to spot horses.

I am turning into a bit of a grump old woman about this though, I have been known to wind my window down and compliment people on their "camoflage" .

Butkin · 10/01/2009 14:19

I wear a tabard in the Winter but don't put bandages etc on my horse. However when he needs an exercise blanket it is hi-vis.

It is now compulsory for people riding out in Newmarket, in the Winter, to wear tabards.

PoloPlayingMummy · 10/01/2009 20:14

I completely agree. Like snorris I won't ride on a road without a hi-vis vest, tail guard and leg bands. We look like a beacon and even then some people act like they've only seen you at the last minute. Better safe than sorry IMO

petitmaman · 10/01/2009 20:17

think alot of riders dont realise how invisable they are. esp under trees etc. i know not everyone does it but if you think back 10/15 years no one was. at least things have improved since then.

GrimmaTheNome · 10/01/2009 20:22

Yes. I don't ride, but theres quite a bit in the lanes around us. Recently I saw a lady out in a wonderful set of fluorescent pink tabard etc - I think the horse's bridle matched. Thought it was great - you certainly couldn't miss her!

Free-running dogs should also have some hi-vis on them.

abraid · 10/01/2009 20:23

We live in a racing part of the world. Every dawn there are strings of flighty thoroughbreds on the icy roads. A few years ago the parish council begged them to use fluorescent tabards. Some yards still don't use them.

It's actually quite frightening. I KNOW the horses are likely to be around first thing and drive appropriately carefully but how many other drivers who aren't local wouldn't know to be extra vigilant? The thought of half a ton of horse crashing into a car or the other way round makes me feel quite sick.

mysterymoniker · 10/01/2009 22:10

It's not just this weather either, on a bright day a dark bay will just disappear in the shade

I remember a tabard for me 8 or 9 times out of 10, but nothing on the horse. There are loads of hi-vis exercise sheets lying around, I could use one of those

elastamum · 10/01/2009 22:14

I have bought a fab Hi Viz jacket that is fleece lined. I use if for turning out in the mornings as I have to lead 2 up the road and for riding. It is warm and waterproof! I try not to wear it for the school run though as I look a bit like the lollipop lady

seeker · 10/01/2009 22:16

Yes they should. And stirrup lights. And hi viz bandages.

Eve · 11/01/2009 18:35

always always ride in one.

Under the tree's in daylight you just can't be seen. My view is that if there happens to be an accident I will be in the right with a Hi Viz on.

Also... I ride in a very quiet area of the new forest, if I came of, at least there would be 1/2 chance someseeing me in the dark clothes, in the chance.


Mine says:

CAREFUL: Lady Rider with PMT!!

(always gets a smile!)

pss.... HEIGHT OF STUPIDITY TODAY...PASSED a neighbour out on her new horse.. 5yr and a bit flitty... and she had NO HAT ON!!!!!!!

mysterymoniker · 11/01/2009 18:42

which hi-vis products for the horse do you lot particularly recommend? are they all much of a muchness or do you get what you pay for?

SwedesInACape · 11/01/2009 18:44

Yes, cyclists too.

LadyOfWaffle · 11/01/2009 18:48

Much of a much, best products are leg bands for the horse and little hi-viz velcro things for around your stirrups. Very cheap but effective. Any simple tabbard will do, even those cycling ones that have a strip round your waist and over your shoulder. Some outdoor jackets (specifically riding jackets) have hi-viz panels built in, or you open a flap at the back etc. A strip on the noseband too is good for oncoming traffic. Oh, and a strip around your hat.

Loshad · 11/01/2009 21:58

ok will admit i hate them - always think they are associated with the i learnt to ride at 35 and am very brave doing a trot on my cob brigade. don't think i'm alone tbh. however i do use them when hacking on the roads in the winter.

mysterymoniker · 12/01/2009 08:41
Ebb · 12/01/2009 11:53

Loshad you prove my point about the whole 'snobbery' issue. Why do people have an issue with safety? And for that matter about people learning to ride in later life who are happy to pootle round the lanes on steady neddies? Not everyone has the fortune to learn to ride as a child or be able to afford a warmblooded animal which needs a lot more maintenance than your average hairy cob! By the way I had a little 15hh cob who would out jump the Masters horses out hunting. There was nothing he wouldn't jump and what he couldn't physically get over, he would go through........

OP posts:
SwedesInACape · 12/01/2009 14:12

Ebb - I don't feel like that at all and I learnt to ride young.

Pixel · 12/01/2009 14:13

Besides, I did all the jumping, gymkhanaring and general charging about as a teenager, and very few people ever wore hi-vis, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't wear it now. I had my yellow waistcoat on this morning when I was trying to get up the nerve to trot my hairy cob.

Ebb · 12/01/2009 14:58

Glad to hear it swedes . I learnt to ride at 15 but have always been a weedy rider. I say all credit to anyone learning to ride and owning their own horse. If all anyone wants to do is potter round the lanes then that's just fine. Owning a horse is all about the relationship between horse and rider not about how fast you can go or how high you can jump.

I found Loshads comment 'always think they are associated with the i learnt to ride at 35 and am very brave doing a trot on my cob brigade' quite harsh. Why should anyone be mocked for not wanting to blast round the countryside or be riding with the perfect position etc? As long as horse and rider are happy, that is the main thing. There rant over!

OP posts:
Loshad · 13/01/2009 22:39

I'm not mocking Ebbs, just part of different area of horsewomanship - FWIW I often find the new to riding people the most cliquey - round here - they are mostly into parelli or similar, and if you don't swallow the whole caboodle then they are very superior in their "our way is better" attitude (FWIW I am happy to take bits of parelli's philosophy along with monty's and everyone elses and add then into the classical riding mix to constantly try and improve but that rarely seems to cut any ice).

LuckySalem · 13/01/2009 22:41

I've not read it and I'm really sorry but from just the OP.

YES!! All riders (including bike riders ) should have to wear something that makes it easy to see you otherwise dont get naggy with me if I don't slow down enough in time to pass you.

Ebb · 13/01/2009 23:40

I saw Pat Parelli do a demo in Australia. Never quite sure how 'unbroken' the horses they use actually are?! Did want to go home and play the friendly game with my cob though!

I do agree that riding can be very cliquey and people can be very judgey. (Bit like MN! ) Everyone used to call my cob Joe the plod because he could be a lazy bugger little laid back then I lent him to the livery owners daughter to go hunting on and he came back as Turbo Cob and was elevated to yard super star. Shameless bragging I know but people weren't so quick to judge him then.

Anyway back to fluorescents. I can see why they might not appeal to everyone. Me I kind of like physcadellic (sp?) pink and the Caution lady rider with pmt amused me and generally raised a smile from the grumpy drivers round us!

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