I don't have anything to add as far as visibility since everyone else has had great suggestions. But as someone who rides the road quite a bit, my biggest suggestion is to always be hypervigilent alert. Be proactive and not reactive, if someone is coming towards you, do not assume that they see you even if you are wearing a flashing neon sign.
I was riding offroad, and had a hi viz exercise sheet and leg bands on the horse, and I was wearing a hi viz hatband and a hi viz/retro reflective tabard with flashing LED lights all over it.
A hikers dog was barking and jumping up at my horse and generally being a nuisance. I stood there while the owner eventually got it under control and they told me sorry, they didn't see me there.
Laughable *shakes head*
Rackers makes reflective riding tights: http://rackers-store.com/products/womensridingpantsnavy
Just the other day I nearly nailed a bicyclist because he was riding on the sidewalk, against traffic. I was turning right, waiting for traffic to clear and while I looked to make sure there were no pedestrians, he wasn't there or anywhere near when I looked. He crossed right in front of my bumper *AS* I was moving my foot over to the gas pedal to make the turn. Nearly stopped my heart.
I'd hope with something as large (and, frankly, slow moving--at least on the road) as a horse that you're going to be at less risk, but do be sure to make it as easy as possible for people to see you by being in a place they expect.
WHile you're at Wal Mart, go to the work out clothes area - they have a a slew of shirts in neon colors right now. They're also in the technical fabrics for wicking sweat. I bought one in a gawd-awful yellow. You can see me from a mile away. I thought of buying an extra to make an ear net for my mare....lol...then I thought again ;).
I always ride against the traffic. If someone is texting and drifting my way or if there is a biker coming up on my ass that thinks they can pass within inches at 30 MPH, I want to know before they are about to hit me.
I also teach my horses to be very responsive to whatever I ask them to do on the road no matter how stupid it may seem to them and do it when I ask them - meaning that if I ask them to scramble up a banking loaded with rocks and saplings, there is a reason I am asking and they need to go. Now! Because it is likely that there is come idiot bearing down on us and we need to get out of the way.
I tried riding with the traffic after reading some debates on this forum and people talking about following the laws of the road, which I suppose are to ride with the flow of the traffic. Screw that. I want myself and my horse to see what is headed my way and have a few surprises as possible.
Boots/wraps/bandages on legs are visible because they're constantly moving about. You really want something up high (hat cover, hat band), middle (vest, quarter sheet) and low (boots/bandages.)
There is a whole line of stuff that includes vest, helmet band, pastern band, breast collar, bridle cover etc. here:
I definitely think high-vis color is the way to go, and plan to get at least a vest and some sort of horsey accessories (tail wrap? quarter sheet? homemade Parson's Rump? not sure yet). I like the running gear that Simkie pointed out simply because I have wicked sensitive skin and it doesn't look like it would chafe my arms as much as the road-construction style vests I've worn for disaster relief work.
Brushing boots in neon colors are fairly easy to find (mine are all white, but there is clearly a big enough market for bright colors that I can get those easily).
I love the "pass slow and wide" vests from the UK -- my sister first told me about those when she moved to the UK. She was kind-of amazed by the ballsy road riding that was common over there!
Sketcher, thank you for standing up for riding against traffic! I ride mostly against traffic (though I go with it in one direction across a bridge because that puts us on the side with less sketchy footing and guard rails). My philosophy is that I'd rather get a traffic violation than have some sneak-up situation lead to a terrible accident.
This site has a very nice collection of items. While I don't own any personally (too broke!), I know several people who do and they are of very nice quality.
Thank you everyone! This thread has been so useful to me! High-vis riding tights, all sorts of equine gear I never knew existed, vests with passing instructions like the ballsy British riders use to ride on the road, visibility recommendations ... this is exactly what I was looking for!
I'm actually sewing myself a new set of high viz ankle wraps tonight. I love high viz gear. I wish I had the picture saved- but there was a rider who had posed for a great picture in her high viz gear (who knows- maybe she's already posted the link) - and one of my favorite pieces of her set up was a dressage whip which she had made a blaze orange sleeve for- so it was a long neon stick-- I thought it was a great addition to make your presence that much wider in terms of how much bubble you want to enforce around your horse.
Just saw this today and thought of this thread...hi viz yellow AND saturn orange AND retro reflective AND flashing warning triangle :)