The nights are drawing in and early mornings are taking time to get light, this means autumn is here with winter knocking on the stable door. Many riders only have a certain time of the day to ride and winter makes this hard with failing light reducing available hours to exercise your horse.
Wearing hi-viz when hacking out is absolutely essential and should be worn at all times, but especially at this time of year. Hacking out a dark bay, through tree lines lanes is asking for an incident with many cars using rural roads as cut throughs. It has been statistically proven that wearing hi-viz on yourself and your horse will make you stand out to any driver three seconds more than wearer none. Those three seconds can be a lifesaver not only for you but your horse too. To put that into context, those three seconds are equivalent to a car, driven at 30 mph, travelling the length of a standard size dressage arena!
If you are lucky enough to have complete off road riding and again do not feel you need to wear hi-viz, light aircraft and helicopters again see hi-viz from much quicker from the air almost half a mile sooner! This gives them some time to divert away from the horse and avoid flying directly over them.
Sadly many riders do ride out just in dark colours and some never feel the need to pop some hi-viz on….but is it really worth it? Is it because the colour is too much and it does not match your stylish jods or hi fashion gilet – who knows?
There is no law to make a horse rider wear hi-viz which perhaps would make a rider think twice if there was a chance of being reported or fined.
So please if you are lacking in the hi-viz department, a fluorescent tabard is only a few pounds. That little outlay could save you and your horse’s life….
For more information please visit: British Horse Society