The safest way to avoid mixing horses with automobile traffic is to stay away from paved roads. This isn’t always possible, so keep in mind the following safety rules where there are cars.
- Keep to the right. Pedestrians are told to keep to the left, facing the traffic, but a horse may be frightened by vehicles coming toward him.
- When riding, keep well off to the side of the road, as far to the right as you can get without walking on someone’s property.
- Stop at every crossroad, and look for any oncoming vehicles from either direction. Cross only when there are none.
- Avoid parked cars if possible. If you have to pass one, don’t get too close. Try to keep the horse’s hind end away from the car to reduce the chance that he will kick it.
- If you are at a blind corner, where your view of the road ahead is blocked, either cross to the other side of the road in order to see around the corner, or dismount and lead the horse around the corner.
- On a paved road, travel no faster than a walk. This will prevent injury to the legs and feet of the horse caused by the pounding on the hard surface. A horse going at a gallop is difficult to control in traffic.
- If you are riding at night, wear reflective or white material so that motorists can see you.
- Obey the rules of the road, including all traffic lights, signs, and policemen.