Cyclists passing horses

Please read the following excellent advice on how to ride your bicycle safely past horse riders. (Guidance from our friends at the British Horse Society). 


Let the horse and rider know you are there.

A horse is unlikely to see or hear you, especially if you are approaching quietly from behind. Calling out ‘hello’ is welcome and important in alerting horses and riders that you are there. Try not to get too close before you call out or you will startle both horse and rider. If possible, ask the horse rider if it is safe to pass before attempting to go by and call again if they haven’t heard you. 


Slow down. 

If you are taking part in a cycling event, your concern will be to get by as quickly as possible, but please pass slowly with consideration and let riders know you are coming through. A speeding cyclist coming out of the blue may startle some horses and a group of speeding cyclists is even more likely to do so – take great care and if it is obvious you need to stop, then please do so; it may save a serious incident. 


Pass wide and on the right. 

Most horses are used to traffic passing them on the right so pass them as you would anyone else; don’t cut inside, and allow plenty of room in case the horse is surprised or startled. Riders may need to ride two abreast for safety, particularly when escorting a young or inexperienced horse or rider – please give them a chance to sort themselves out before you go by. 


Pass in small groups. 

Large groups of cyclists are very scary for horses. Passing in small groups of no more than four or five will really help.