British Horse Society: Safety wherever you are

The award aims to help riders keep safe in varied conditions (photo: LazorPhotography, Getty Images/

The award aims to help riders keep safe in varied conditions (photo: LazorPhotography, Getty Images/iStockphoto) - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A new scheme by the British Horse Society is encouraging all riders to get up to speed on safety in a wide variety of environments

Summer has to be the best time of year to be a horse owner, especially when the school holidays are in full swing. It is the perfect time to get outside and get riding. There are always safety risks however, especially when encountering traffic, and one of the British Horse Society’s key charitable aims is to ensure horses, riders and carriage drivers stay safe.

Last year, the society launched its Dead or Dead Slow campaign in response to the alarming number of accidents involving horses on the UK’s roads. In Hertfordshire there were nine road incidents reported to the BHS in the past year, with 36 in the east of England as a whole.

Dead Slow educates drivers on how to safely pass horses on the road, and while this message will continue, the BHS wants to ensure that horse riders are as safe as possible and have launched a new initiative – a Ride Safe Award, to help riders stay safe at all times while they are out and about. Riders are mostly concerned about the dangers of riding on the road, and rightly so with the high number of incidents happening. However, many people would be shocked to hear how many accidents happen away from traffic in warm-up arenas at competitions.

Launched last month, the scheme demonstrates how to safely ride in a range of environments. It does not just focus on riding on the road but also how to ride safely on bridleways, in arenas, and even on beaches.

Ride Safe is aimed at anyone who rides, of any ability, and provides the skills to feel confident when riding out in all conditions. Riders will get practical examples, tips and guidance on how to stay safe. The award covers subjects such as effectively using hand signals on the road, safe dismounting, and being in control of the horse. Those who sit the award are encouraged to fill in the Ride Safe book, to demonstrate that they understand the theory behind safe riding.

Riders from the age of 11 can take the new award at BHS Approved Centres across the country. For more information about the scheme, visit