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Welsh government advises horse riders on road safety

Theresa McCaffrey

Horse riding lane - geograph.org.uk - 585144

The Welsh government has declared that horse riders are to be classified as vulnerable road users in its new road safety guidelines.

Inside the document it lays out the government's approach to road safety until 2020 and along with motorists, young people, pedestrians and cyclists, horse riders have now been added to the vulnerable category, Horsetalk reports.

This is to help it to better explore the needs and safety concerns of horse riders who take their animals on to roads.

The document claims that horses, their riders and carriage drivers can be vulnerable on the roads, especially in rural areas where they are a more common occurrence.

In order to improve safety and wellbeing it outlined how the government plans to work with representatives of the horse riding community to better understand any concerns of travelling on roads and to see whether anything could be done to improve this.

The publication reports transport minister in Wales Edwina Hart as saying that in order to better road safety all partners who are concerned ought to help one another.

"Working together, I believe we can improve upon the progress made and ensure that everyone else is safe on Welsh roads," she explained.

Riders are advised to always display fluorescent or reflective clothing on both themselves and their horses when they travel along roads. This is something which should be done at all times of the day and in all weathers.

It is best not to ride at night or in harsh weather conditions such as ice, snow, heavy rain or fog, as this can disorientate your horse and make it more difficult for other road users to see you.

If your horse isn't used to roads it can be best to bring a rider with a more experienced and calmer animal to accompany you and if you are riding two abreast make sure to move into single file when it is safe for motorists to overtake.

Should your horse become stressed or uncomfortable try to remove it from the road, take an alternative route or ring for someone to pick you up.