Gareth Davies MP paid a visit to local constituent Hannah Westropp to meet with her wonderful horse, Flash, and to talk about safety discusses for horse-riders on our roads.
Horses are well-loved members of rural communities. The Government is acting to ensure that riders and horses are treated with respect by other road users. Over 2.5 million people ride a horse at least once each year in Great Britain, many of whom ride on the road. Riders often have no choice but to ride on the roads because they need to reach bridleways and other off-road facilities.
The Department for Transport has been working with interested groups to conduct a review of The Highway Code focused on improving safety for horse-riders as well as cyclists and pedestrians. The results are set to be published shortly and I hope they will provide reassurance to horse-riders that roads are safe and usable spaces for all.
The THINK! campaign, which is run by the Department of Transport, provides motorists with advice on how to be considerate. This is based on the Highway Code:
- Slow down and be ready to stop if necessary
- Look out for riders' signals to slow down or stop
- Watch out for sudden movements, horses can be easily frightened and unpredictable
- Don't sound your horn or rev your engine
- Pass wide and slow when overtaking; giving the horse plenty of room. Don’t accelerate rapidly once you have passed them.
Gareth was also fortunate to meet local Farrier, James, who was fitting a new set of shoes. James is one of just 2,900 qualified Farrier’s listed by the Farriers Registration Council. It’s a highly skilled job, where these equine specialists must have knowledge of both the anatomy of horses and blacksmiths’ skills.