Gloucestershire Horsewatch is a voluntary organisation run by the equestrian community and supported by Gloucestershire Constabulary.
Its aim is to prevent, reduce and detect equine related crime - this official site gives general guidance on a whole range of security measures covering horses, tack, trailers, horseboxes and stables.

Gloucestershire Horsewatch





Rider Safety


 POLICE LIAISON: PC Melanie Campbell 0845 0901234 x4182




Always leave a copy of your route at the stables or with a friend and keep to it. Leave a note of your time of departure and approximate time of return, even when out on exercise. If possible take a mobile phone with you and ensure that the stable has your number. Always wear high visibility/fluorescent clothing and try and always ride with someone else. Take extra care when riding through wooded areas. Please stress to your children not to speak to strangers. Do not ride after dark unless it is absolutely necessary. Carry a torch in addition to your safety equipment. Report all accidents to a responsible adult.

Road Sense

  • Motorists and riders both have a right to use Britain's roads. Riders would prefer not to use the road, but it is often necessary to reach bridleways and other facilities.
  • Riders are advised to ride in single file where the road narrows and when approaching bends. They are also advised to keep to the left of the road even when turning right - it is unsafe to position a horse between lines of traffic where they can panic.
  • There are good reasons for riding double file including the need for young and nervous horses or young, inexperienced riders to be on the inside with the security of another nearest the traffic.
  • Riders are often able to see and hear further ahead and may request a motorist to slow down or stop when they are aware of a potential danger or if they sense an impending action or reaction from their horse. Horses are powerful animals but they are vulnerable, easily frightened and can panic around fast-moving cars. When you see horses on the road ...

Please slow down!

Safer Motoring Around Horses

  • Watch out for horses being led or ridden on the road, taking extra care at left hand bends and on narrow country roads.
  • Drive slowly past horses.
  • Give them plenty of room and be ready to stop.
  • Do not scare animals by sounding your horn or revving your engine.
  • Look out for horse-riders’ signal and be aware that they may not move to the centre of the road prior to turning right.
  • Riders of horses and ponies are often children – so take extra care.
  • Treat horses as a potential hazard and expect the unexpected!

Mutual courtesy and care between motorists and riders is important to prevent intolerance and improve safety – acknowledging courtesy does make a difference.

To help riders improve their safety skills, the British Horse Society runs national Riding and Road Safety training and testing. A free leaflet titled ‘How to be a safe rider’ is also available from the British Horse Society, British Equestrian Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire CV8 2LR.

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