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Riding and owning horses bring much pleasure to people's lives but it is important to remember that safety around them and on them is vital. All of us probably know either a human or equine who has been seriously injured or killed in an accident. Knowledge is essential and being forewarned is definitely for-armed. Familiarise yourself with the dangers and do your best to avoid them.

Girl and pony hit by lorry on the road 

A young friend of mine lost her pony in an horrific accident whilst riding home from pony club. Despite being in high vis vests, her pony was hit by a lorry which dragged both of them under the wheels. My friend was miraculously unhurt but the pony had to be put down in the road. The horsey community in the village are currently raising money to run a safety awareness advert on national TV. In the meantime, please urge all your non horsey friends to slow down when they see horses on the road. (By Sian Lewis)

Hi Vis clothing alerts motorists and pilots
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Hi Vis is vital. Be safe, be seen! Annie Worsley

 
Don't just assume the driver will see you
Cloudy, foggy days and nights are drawing in and it’s getting harder to see horses and riders on the roads. Making you and your horse or pony as visible as possible to people and drivers couldn't be more important this winter. Many accidents can be avoided and prevented if you take a few simple steps. Putting a brightly coloured rug on your horse with a few reflective strips in it, reflective strips on the headcollar or bridle, wearing HI VIZ bands and tabards will make all the difference. Wearing HI VIZ clothing gives drivers vital seconds to react and take avoiding action if necessary. (By Barbara Moore)

There are so many colourful and practical ways to make your presence known while you are riding. Hats, martingales, jackets, helmet covers and more.

Can you risk being without these?

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Choosing the right helmet for a 2 year old child
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Annie Worsley

Starting Young - Suitable helmets for little people

Here is my son in a good bike/skate board helmet that meets standards for insurance. Thomas is two and a half here. Then he moved into the Troxel when he had grown out of this one. They are nice and light especially for little heads and weaker necks. (Annie Worsley)

The Gatehouse Airflow Hickstead fits tiny tots and is good enough for showing too. I had one for my two year old son. (Nicola Stead-Howarth)

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Caroline Almond and Maisie in Hi Viz pink

Personalised High Vis Hoodies - Add your own words for motorists or personalise with a name. Fun and practical. Click image for more info.



Equisafety Aspey Waterproof Winter Jacket - Warm and 100% waterproof and breathable. Click photo for reviews.

Check out this list of Hi Vis clothing and accessories:

More ideas here

You can help save a rider or horse's life on the road! Just tell all of your non-horsey driver friends to slow down for horses.

Any display of consideration by a motorist, such as slowing down or stopping, should be thanked with an appropriate wave and smile or you could even mouth the words 'thank you'. This will encourage them to do so in future. It's amazing how many riders don't bother to thank them and no thanks only encourages thoughtless driving in future.

Hi Viz can save your horse or your life - by Annie Worsley

Horses and cars don't mix. Most of us however have to ride on roads at some point. The bare minimum you should be wearing is leg bands and a tabard. This should be one of the fluorescent colours and include up to date certified reflective strips. It may seem silly; you can buy a cheap one from the £1 store so why spend much more? But this will make a difference in the courts should, God forbid, anything ever happen.

Remember that the accident ratios are barely different from summer to winter and the time of day doesn't seem to affect it either. You are no safer on any colour of horse, they should all be covered and people who ride out with only their tabard on must have forgotten their ponies’ boots... what happens if you fall and your horse heads home alone? Leg bands attract a driver’s eye as they move not just forward and back but up and down too. (Download rest of article by clicking below)

Hi Viz can save your life (click here)

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Hi-Viz for horses and ponies by Parsons Rump

Worcester Woman Launches Hi-Viz Biz – Parsons Rump

A Worcestershire woman who has been riding since she was 7 years old has started a cottage business producing a new safety product for horses. Jan Parsons, who lives in Hanley Castle, has given her name to the Parsons Rump, a hi-viz band to cover a horse’s rear. Jan has been a member of the British Horse Society for 25 years.

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Hi-Viz for horses and ponies by Parsons Rump

The Rump can be purchased via the web site:- www.parsonsrump.co.uk eBay, or collect in person from me by prior arrangement. (By Jan Parsons)

Click here to read history & info on Parsons Rump Hi-Viz

Always wear a riding helmet

Most riders agree that a riding helmet is vital to protect your head. Yet there are some who still won't wear them. They are compulsory in riding schools, clubs and in equestrian sports like eventing and show jumping, although the dressage and showing disciplines haven't enforced this as yet. Even if you are only hacking or doing flat work at home, why would you risk your life?

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Riding helmets and caps

  1. Always wear a riding helmet on a horse.
  2. Never wear a riding cap with a solid peak for cross country or hunting. If your horse goes under a low tree branch, you can break your neck. The soft helmet cover peak prevents this happening.
  3. Always do up the strap of your helmet or cap. If the helmet/cap falls off, you risk death or serious injury. Don't undo strap until off the horse.
  4. Wear a riding helmet when clipping horses, training young horses or lungeing.