HIGHWAY CODE HORSES: Most drivers are likely to encounter horses in the road sooner or later.
This section explains horses Highway Code and horses right of way. It also covers the codes of practice and horse riding laws UK.
Horse riders and horses on the road create vulnerable situations requiring extra care. All you need to know about riding horses on UK highways is right here.
That is why all horse owners and riders should be familiar with the latest version of the Highway Code.
In particular, the section which relates to the horse riding rules on the road. The guide explains all the horse riding rules you need to follow. There is extra information about protective clothing and safety headgear.
You can find horse riding instructions for hand signals and how to use road signs. There are special procedures for horse riders using crossings and roundabouts.
Rule 49: What is the safety equipment required for children under 14 while riding a horse on the highway? All children Must wear a properly fastened and secured safety helmet.
All riding headgear should have compliance with UK Regulations for horse riding helmets. Horse riders older than fourteen years should also follow the same safety equipment requirements.
Horse Riding Rules Exemptions The law exempts children who are wearing a turban. But the rules only exempt those who are followers of the Sikh religion.
Rule 50: Wearing other types of clothing will help other road users see you.
The UK Highway Code for horse riders recommends they wear:
- Boots or hard soled shoes with heels.
- Fluorescent light-colored clothing during the daylight hours.
- Reflective clothing for riding at night time or in poor visibility.
Rule 51: It can be dangerous to ride horseback on the road at night time. The laws provide some safety advice and tips to make horse riding rules on the road safer in poor visibility.
Riders should wear reflective clothing. You should fit reflective bands above the horse’s fetlock joints.
Using a riding light will also help you get seen on a horse at night time. Horse riding lights should show white colour to the front and red to the rear. Attach the light to the rider’s right arm, right leg, or right riding boot.
Carry a similar light in your right hand if you are leading a horse in the dark or in low visibility. Adorn the rider and the horse with highly reflective clothing. The horse should also wearing a fluorescent or reflective tail guard.
Highway Code Horses and Cars
Rule 52: What if you expect your horse to act nervously around traffic? You should ride with other calm horses whenever possible. Never ride a horse on the road without your saddle and bridle (both).
Consider these extra requirements before taking a horse on to a public road or highway:
- Be sure that all the tack fits correctly and ensure it is in good working condition.
- Make certain that you can control your horse and beware of other animals in the road.
Rule 53: Check Before Riding Off or Turning:
- Always look behind for clearance making a clear arm signal before riding off or turning.
- Keep to the left when riding on the road.
- Keep both hands on the reins (unless you are signalling).
- Keep both feet in the stirrups.
- Do not carry another person or anything which might affect your balance.
- When leading another horse, keep it to your left.
- In one-way streets move in the same direction of the traffic flow.
Highway Code Horse Riding Two Abreast
- Ride in single file on narrow roads, busy roads, and around bends or sharp curves.
- You should never ride horses more than two abreast.
Rule 54: The Highway Code for horses and riders says they should use a bridleway whenever possible. You strong>Must Not take a horse onto a footpath or a pavement.
Horse riders should use equestrian crossings to cross the road. Cross safely by dismounting at the ‘horse rider dismount‘ sign when using level crossings.
Highway Code Horses on Roundabouts
Rule 55: You should try to avoid riding horses on cycle tracks and through roundabouts. If you are planning to ride a horse at roundabouts you should:
- Keep to the left side of the road as you move around the circle.
- Watch out for vehicles crossing your path as they leave or join the roundabout.
- Signal right when you ride across a roundabout exit to show you are not leaving.
- Signal left ahead of leaving the roundabout.