What is the correct way to pass people on horseback?

Like cyclists (and ultimately every road user) horses and their riders are ‘vulnerable traffic’.

Some traffic is more vulnerable than other traffic and horses and their riders (along with cyclists, pedestrians and a few other groups) are at considerably greater risk than most motorised vehicles and their drivers. As such it is vital we treat horses and their riders with respect and consideration. Please take the following steps to do just that.

Approaching a horse and rider head on: Slow down if required/requested and give the horse plenty of space. While most horses on roads are generally calm and will do what their rider instructs, they are living breathing animals which can be startled and may react in a slightly erratic manner. Do not make any sudden movements or loud noises when approaching a horse.

Passing a horse and rider from behind: Horses (apparently) have poor peripheral vision and may not know you are there until you are practically in line with them. To make the horse (and rider) aware you are approaching, please announce yourself and keep talking as you pass. Don’t worry if you can’t think of anything interesting to say – the horse won’t mind bland conversation. As with approaching head on, please keep your speed low, give the horse a wide berth and don’t make any sudden movements or loud noises.

Behave in a thoughtful considerate manner and you should find horses, riders and cyclists can share the roads in a happy harmonious way.

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