How should I overtake a horse when riding my motorcycle?

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Overtaking horse on the road

It’s a warm summer’s day, and your motorcycle is calling you. The chances are, horseriders are getting the urge to saddle up too. There is a significant chance that you will encounter a horserider while out on your motorcycle this summer. Rev and Go are here to give you some fantastic tips on staying safe when overtaking a horse on the road.

It is worth noting that unlike motorcycles, horses are not always in command of their rider. They can be easily spooked and as a result, can panic. It’s important to remember that both riders are vulnerable users on the road and need to take care when passing each other.

Horse-rider accident statistics

According to the British Horse Society, two horses are killed every week on UK roads. Since 2010 there have been 2,000 horse rider accidents in the UK, with 1,500 because of cars passing too closely. As a result of these, 180 horses and 36 riders have died. It’s essential to give horse riders enough room on the road.

How should I spot a horse and rider early on?

The vast majority of riders will frequently wear fluorescent clothing. Items of clothing such as high-vis jackets should give you a more significant opportunity to spot the horse and rider much earlier on.

When travelling around the countryside, it’s important to remember that a horse could be potentially around any tight bend. As a result, It’s important to stay vigilant.

What should I do if I am approaching a horse from behind on my motorcycle?

If you’re travelling up the road and a horse is travelling forward, it’s crucial to hold back. You should decrease your speed and wait until the rider indicates when it’s safe to approach and overtake. If the passenger doesn’t give any indication, try to stay at least three cars lengths behind the horse. Be prepared to slow down even further, or also potentially stop altogether. You should avoid sudden movements at all costs. Try to pull your clutch in when overtaking and to avoid revving your engine at all costs.

What should I do if a horse is approaching me on my side of the road?

You should immediately slow down. Following this, you should consider putting your hazard lights on for any drivers or riders behind you on the road. It may be the case that you need to stop entirely to allow the horse to pass you.

Horses on Road

How do you pass a horse and rider on a motorcycle?

When you deem it safe to overtake a horserider, you should make sure you give ample room. Ideally, you should provide at least a car’s width space. In addition to this, you should try to undertake this manoeuvre as quietly as possible. Remember to stick to 15 mph or less.

What should I do if I approach two riders side by side?

If you are approaching two riders on the roadside who are travelling side-by-side, you should try to give them as much space as possible. It may be the case that one is an inexperienced rider, or that one animal is extremely nervous. Try to bear this in mind when approaching both riders, hold back and lower your speed.

What should I do if it’s not safe to pass?

If you’re on a country lane, it may be the case that there is nowhere safe to overtake. The horserider may speed up to get ahead to find a secure location to pull over. It is vital that you hang back and do not attempt to match their speed.

How do I know when it is safe to pass a rider?

Often horseriders will give you a signal asking you to slow down, stop or overtake. However, we are aware that this isn’t always the case. Occasionally horseriders may be unaware that you are behind them. If this instant, try to hold back and wait for their signal. A riders main priority is keeping themselves and their horse safe, it’s not to delay your journey.

How do you know if my motorcycle passing will spook a horse?

Ultimately, you won’t until you encounter it. Many horses will have a lot of experience in all kinds of vehicles on the roads. Most horses tend to get spooked at silent vehicles such as bicycles and even joggers. The easiest option to take is to assume that a single horse has never encountered a motorcycle.

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