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Rider Safety while on the road..message to drivers

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    Rider Safety while on the road..message to drivers

    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

    #2
    Excellent! Bravo! Our trail association had one a few years back that we used to run in the local paper every spring. The point about bicycles is an excellent one seldom mentioned, yet it happened to me (again!) just last week.

    As an aside, one thing I do is ride with a long (dressage) whip, or, in the summer, a big fly whisk and stick it straight out into the traffic lane so the drivers have to leave us some room or else run into the whip. People just don't know . . . but the physical cue can be highly effective.

    Comment

      Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by SwampYankee View Post
      Excellent! Bravo! Our trail association had one a few years back that we used to run in the local paper every spring. The point about bicycles is an excellent one seldom mentioned, yet it happened to me (again!) just last week.

      As an aside, one thing I do is ride with a long (dressage) whip, or, in the summer, a big fly whisk and stick it straight out into the traffic lane so the drivers have to leave us some room or else run into the whip. People just don't know . . . but the physical cue can be highly effective.
      The bike thing always gets my gelding. We live in a small town, so usually I know who I meet on a bike. Just last weekend I had a guy that I know coming up behind us. I saw him before my gelding. I turned him to see the bike, and then just said "Hey Mr. Bike Rider, I turned him to see you so he wouldn't spook. A good idea when approaching a horse is to announce that you're there because they can't hear you coming and it scares them." and his response was "oh, good to know! It's not loud so I didn't think they would mind." And i just said "well, it's the fact that they can't hear them that scares them...it's like they think they're beign attacked all of a sudden." and the man said "oh, okay, thanks for letting me know! I'll do that from now on!"

      One educated bike rider down...1 million to go!
      "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

      Comment


        #4
        Very good letter.

        How would I find a law like that (if one exists) for the state of Indiana? I had a stupid sheriff tell me that it was our problem that a guy tried to run us off the road and drove straight in to us on OUR side of the road. His exact words: "You shouldn't be riding horses who spook at cars."....the horses didn't spook until they thought they were going to be run down by a truck. Grrrrr.

        Comment


          #5
          I, too, deal with cyclists regularly (all sorts of bikes) since I regularly ride The Silver Comet Trail in my county. After 2 harrowing moments, I created a flyer to help educate and sent it to a large bike rental/sale shop, as well as several cyclist clubs in the metro-Atlanta area. I also laminated it and posted it at the bridges along the trail and at a major watering hole/potty stop. It was well received.

          Now that you've posted this, tho, I may send it on to the local papers.

          Feel free to borrow anything from mine if it adds to/helps yours

          Cyclists & Equestrians: How To Be Safe Together on The Silver Comet Trail

          A Public Service Announcement/Educational Note About Horses…

          Horses are "prey" animals and have a natural, uncontrollable instinct to react fearfully to something coming up behind them. This is their natural Flight reaction. This reaction may include spinning, rearing, side-stepping or even kicking out....all of which can be dangerous to the horse, the rider and/or you & your bike! So firstly, please be aware that horses are out on the SCT. Next, the moment you see a horse and rider, immediately let the rider know you are coming up behind them with a clear "On Your Left!"....loud enough for the rider to hear and respond. Then slow down as you pass the rider. Whenever possible and safe, please pass with a wide margin.

          Note: For the most part, equestrians can safely ride on the dirt side of the SCT’s paved concrete path or ride within the tree-lined trails running parallel. However, some parts are just too narrow for the horse to safely negotiate, have a severe drop off, a mile-marker sign or may have water/mud that a horse will not go through. Therefore, there may be times when you will come upon a horse/rider on the concrete itself. Again, just let the rider know you are there and pass slowly.

          If you are stopped on the side to take a break and a horse/rider passes you, please do not approach to pet the horse without asking permission first. The rider may be training their horse and cannot stop or would prefer to keep a safe distance from you for their personal safety if riding alone....especially in light of unfortunate incidents of the past. If you are biking with your child(ren), instruct your children to immediately stop their bike and wait as the horse passes. Children often become enamored at the sight of a horse and forget to watch where they're going! Same rules for kids petting horses: Just Ask First! (and please do not be offended if the rider says "no." - It's not personal nor does it mean the horse bites/kicks. We're just being safe.

          When Approaching Any Of The Bridges: Horses and Pedestrians have right of way over any wheeled vehicle, including bicycles. When you see a horse/rider crossing a bridge (whether mounted or not), please.....just take the 20 or 30 seconds necessary to wait until the horse and rider have crossed to the other side.

          Coming straight on at a horse & rider or, worse yet, coming up behind a horse on a bridge is an accident waiting to happen for all parties. Should that horse spook and wheel around, you and your bike could go over the side. Should that horse spook and rear, the rider may be dismounted and the horse take off.
          <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

          Comment

            Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by hundredacres View Post
            Very good letter.

            How would I find a law like that (if one exists) for the state of Indiana? I had a stupid sheriff tell me that it was our problem that a guy tried to run us off the road and drove straight in to us on OUR side of the road. His exact words: "You shouldn't be riding horses who spook at cars."....the horses didn't spook until they thought they were going to be run down by a truck. Grrrrr.
            http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/code/

            Those are your state codes, but I don't know where to find the specific one relating to horses on the roads, if one exists. Perhaps a point of contact for the state government could help you?
            "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

            Comment

              Original Poster

              #7
              Chocomare - feel free to also print my letter, in part or in whole. I don't mind.

              I am also going to type up something specific to bicycles and post locally - great idea!
              "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
                http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/code/

                Those are your state codes, but I don't know where to find the specific one relating to horses on the roads, if one exists. Perhaps a point of contact for the state government could help you?
                Thanks for the starting point! I'll look in to it.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I found this great site that compiled laws for each state:http://asci.uvm.edu/equine/law/roads/roads.htm

                  Wouldn't ya know it? No laws were found for the great state of Indiana. No wonder so many Amish die on the roads at the hands of motorists....grrrrr.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    You may want to mention something about hybrid vehicles.

                    I invited my Mom to come see the beginning of a fox hunt I was attending near her home. When it was time for her to leave several horses were spooked by her car. She was moving VERY slowly, creeping along down the drive. These were proven hunters who had many interactions with cars on the road with no spooks. I believe the spooks were because the car was silently moving along.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by hundredacres View Post
                      I found this great site that compiled laws for each state:http://asci.uvm.edu/equine/law/roads/roads.htm

                      Wouldn't ya know it? No laws were found for the great state of Indiana.
                      Alas, same for Georgia.
                      <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        GREAT IDEA OP!

                        OP - you've inspired me to do one myself for my community. Thank you so much!

                        I've used some of your wording, I hope you don't mind.

                        I made a shorter version and will probably make it into a flyer hoping it will be part of our newsletter. Here is what I have so far. Anyone else want to add to it?

                        For Drivers:
                        When passing horses along the road, please pass SLOW and WIDE. A horse can spook at any number of things. What you may not know is they can jump 10-15 feet sideways in a matter of a seconds. You don't want to be moving a high rate of speed if that jump is in your direction.

                        Please do not honk your horn. Even if it is to say "hello". This rule should be applied to approaching bike riders also. A loud "honk" can startle a human too.

                        For Bike Riders:
                        When approaching horses from behind or from an area where a horse might not be able to see you coming, please SPEAK. If a horse can hear your voice, he knows you are coming and he knows you are human. If you appear out of nowhere, a horse is more likely to spook.

                        For Equestrian Riders:
                        Please be considerate of others on the roads and trails. We must share the road and trails like everyone else. And always WEAR YOUR HELMET.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I did this a few years ago and while it worked great right after the article it didn't last long I hope you get better luck with yours!

                          I ride down the road with a big wooden dowel with a flag on it so if I have a car approaching and it seems to close I fling it out to the side so they have to give me more space. It works!
                          Missouri Fox Trotters-To ride one is to own one

                          Standardbreds, so much more then a harness racing horse.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Great thread, great letter.

                            You also might want to try to get your local officials to consider something like this:

                            http://www.equiculture.org/Data/Site...aretheroad.jpg
                            VP Horse & Carriage Association of NYC

                            https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-F...ref=ts&fref=ts

                            Comment

                              Original Poster

                              #15
                              Anyone can certainly use my wording, in part or in whole. I do not mind, the message helps us all (hopefully!)

                              Blue&Blond - Great job summarizing! If the local paper says mine is too long, I'll probably "borrow" your write up! Thanks!
                              "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                              Comment

                                Original Poster

                                #16
                                My local paper has already published the letter! WOO HOO!
                                "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
                                  My local paper has already published the letter! WOO HOO!
                                  That's GREAT! You've inspired me. I really should do the same here, we've had some close calls on the roads. One particular woman who lives not far from the barn is actually a real danger to us. Doesn't move over or slow down, but STEPS ON THE GAS and sprays dirt/gravel onto the horses. We'd like to report her to the police but it might be counter-productive...Neighbors say she is crazy...

                                  The idea of a long whip with flag attached is a very good one. Note to self: prior to using, desensitize Silly Mare to the flag...lol
                                  Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    The original letter is too way long for publication. Edit it down into something shorter like what B&B did. You'll get more readers.

                                    As a kid, a classmate's sister was killed on the road when an overtaking vehicle honked his horn and spooked her horse. So, I know how important it is to educate anyone you can on this topic.
                                    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
                                    http://www.ironwood-farm.com

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