Horse riders and motorists clash in Wiltshire

Horse riders and motorists clash in Wiltshire

Published by Mike Draper at 8:40am 22nd April 2019. (Updated at 4:33pm 10th May 2019)

4 minute read

Police repeat some basic advice after several reports of angry incidents.

The following advice is designed to keep YOU and YOUR HORSE safe on the roads across the county.


It follows at least 3 incidents which have been reported to Wiltshire Police during March of verbal exchanges involving horse riders and car drivers who've been using the same stretch of road.

The angry roadside disagreements have all focused on who has the right of way, not giving enough passing space between horses and cars, and the speed of traffic.


The following has been shortened from The Highway Code: Horse Riders (rules 49 to 55). It's for your awareness and to give you confidence to know your rights on the roads:

CHILDREN under 14 MUST wear a securely fastened helmet which complies with the Regulations.

Other riders should follow this requirement. [Does not apply to child, or adult, following the Sikh religion while wearing a turban].

The picture here gives an example, from The Highway Code, of a suitably dressed rider and horse.

This is the Highway Code's advice comparing an unsafe and safely dressed rider and horse
This is the Highway Code's advice comparing an unsafe and safely dressed rider and horse


  • boots or shoes with hard soles and heals
  • light-coloured or fluorescent clothing in daylight
  • reflective clothing in poor visibility or if you have to ride at night


It is safer not to ride on the road at night or in poor visibility. If you do ride:

  • Both rider and horse to wear reflective clothing.
  • Put reflective bands above fetlock joints on your horse.
  • Fit a light which shows white to front and red to rear with a band to rider's right arm and/or leg/riding boot.
  • If leading a horse at night carry a light in your right hand, showing white to front and red to rear.
  • A fluorescent/reflective tail guard worn by your horse is also strongly recommended


  • Before riding on a road ensure all tack fits well and is in good condition.
  • Make sure you can control the horse.
  • Always ride with other, less nervous horse if you think your horse will be nervous of traffic.
  • Never ride a horse without both a saddle and bridle.
  • Before riding off or turning, look behind you to make sure it is safe and give a clear arm signal. Keep to the left, both hands on reins unless signaling and both feet in the stirrups.
  • Avoid roundabouts wherever possible.
  • Do not carry another person.
  • Do not carry anything that could affect balance or become tangled up with the reins.
  • If leading a horse, keep them to your left.
  • Move in the direction of the traffic flow in a one-way street.
  • Ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends.
  • You must not take a horse onto a footpath or pavement and you should not take a horse on a cycle track.
  • Rule 56 is also helpful for Horse Riders; if you are on a pavement, road or path that can be shared with cyclists and horses then dogs should be "on a short lead".

If you want to know more or view the guidance in full please visit The Highway Code: Horse Riders

You can find advice for drivers here.

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