Be safe, be seen: our top 10 reasons why you should wear Hi-Viz when riding
Posted on 10 September 2015 by Kim
When hacking out it's very important that you and your horse both wear Hi Viz as you need to warn motorists of your presence! Here’s our top ten reasons why you need Hi Viz…
1) So you are visible to road users.
This one’s pretty obvious (doh!). Research shows that for a driver travelling at 30mph, if he sees Hi Viz on you or your horse, it gives him an extra 3 seconds reaction time. This means that the driver has an extra stopping distance of 40m - the size of a full length dressage arena- which could be the difference between hitting you and your horse or passing safely.
2) You can convey messages to your fellow road users by the choice of Hi Viz that you wear.
If you’re hacking out a youngster or an inexperienced older horse, a tabard with the messaging ‘Horse In Training Please Slow Down’ will indicate to all drivers that they need to be even more careful when they pass than usual. Alternatively you might want to appeal to your fellow road users via the Polite range from Equisafety which simply asks drivers to slow down. The Polite range from Equisafety does seem to get the desired results on the road as many drivers do seem to think wearers of it are police personnel!
3) If you had a fall out hacking you will be instantly visible.
Another self-explanatory one and hopefully it won’t happen! If you ride in the countryside and fall, you may require the emergency services. You will be MUCH easier to find if you’re wearing Hi Viz.
4) Dog walkers will have a better chance of seeing you and taking appropriate action.
Many dog walkers use bridleways, and may want to hold their dog, or put them on a lead. This could potentially save everyone from a dangerous situation.
5) You are more visible to game shoots.
Many people ride in areas where shoots are held. Wearing Hi Viz will help any guns see you so that they can avoid you and avoid causing any unnecessary distress to your horse. No one wants to get shot or for their horse to be shot!
6) If you and you horse part company.
Sadly it happens sometimes, doesn’t it? Your horse spooks, you hit the deck, and they bomb off! PANIC! If your horse does take off but has some Hi Viz on, they’re much easier to spot when you’re anxiously looking for them but more importantly, if they get on to the road, any Hi Viz could potentially reduce the possibility of a nasty incident.
7) If you get split up whilst riding with friends, you can find each other quicker.
Again pretty self-explanatory but the extra visibility means that if someone gets lost from your hacking party (or perhaps a fun ride) finding them becomes much easier!
8) Conditions change and sometimes very quickly!
This has happened to us all! It’s a glorious day and you decide to go out for a hack. You’re a good part of the way round, bright sunshine is replaced by dark clouds and the heavens open. If you’ve got your Hi Viz on, you’ll be seen and stand a much greater chance of getting home safely. Make sure you always put it on regardless of the conditions as there’s nothing more worrying than be caught out, miles from home without the right gear.
9) It takes seconds to put on.
Most Hi Viz takes next-to-no-time to put on yourself or your horse whilst you are tacking up. It has all been designed to be easy to use, for example most of my Hi Viz has Velcro tabs, and quick so as to encourage riders to use it.
10) Hi Viz is cheap and easy to buy…
Visit the EQUUS hi-viz equestrian clothing collection to see what great value it is!