Whenever I tell people I’m a horse rider I always get a look of shock and: “Are you really?” like it’s a foreign hobby.
I’m so used to growing up around animals that I’m used to their size and power and forget many people haven’t had the same experiences as I have.
For over 21 years I’ve competed in show jumping and dressage, meaning my parents had to find somewhere to showcase my array of ribbons (safe to say I was very competitive) and they’re now all in the loft gathering dust!
Recently here at IAM RoadSmart we’ve produced some tips about how to pass horses safely on the road, particularly in the summer months where more riders and their horses are on the road.
Each week or fortnight I’d turn up to my riding school in hopes we were doing a lesson and not going out on the road - I wanted to learn as much as possible in a safe environment rather than walking along a road. However, the other people in my group loved taking their horse out so I was always the odd one out.
On the rare occasions this would happen I’d be dragged out along the road or in one of our back fields. All the horses at my riding school were sound in traffic, and luckily, we never had any incidents while out on the road. But, out in field we did.
I was made to jump over a tree that had fallen down, going over was fine but the horse landed his foot on a twig and freaked out. So, he decided to gallop away with me clinging on and 500 metres into the field resulted in me eventually falling off. I’m just lucky this didn’t happen on the road or this could have been a lot worse.
For more information, visit the British Horse Society.
By Jaimi McIlravey, IAM RoadSmart digital content executive