Be safe, be seen when riding your horse
Posted on 26 January 2016 by Kim
When hacking out it's very important that you and your horse wear Hi-viz. Many riders mistakenly think that they only need to wear it when it’s dark and dingy or foggy weather which is usually in the Autumn and Winter. However, it's just as important, if not more so, to wear it in Spring and Summer as often the sun obscures a driver's view. This means that it should be worn all year round. Equally it should be worn by all riders regardless of ability. Wearing it will give the horse, rider and motorist the greatest chance of preventing an accident.
Did you know?
According to research, if a driver sees Hi Viz on you or your horse, it gives him an extra 3 seconds reaction time. This means that if he’s travelling at 30mph, he’s got an extra stopping distance of 40m which is the size of a full length dressage arena. For a driver, this could be the difference between hitting you and your horse or passing safely.
Why Orange (and Pink) are the new Yellow...
The latest thinking shows that the best colour is no longer good, old fashioned yellow. This is because during the rape season it's not actually possible to see a rider against a field of rape. So pink and orange are becoming more popular for this simple reason.
When the 'Polite' range of Hi Viz was launched, there was some debate about whether riders wearing it were deliberately trying to impersonate mounted policemen. This seems now to have run its course and riders continue today to wear it and love it in spite of the controversy.
Your hi-viz equestrian wardrobe
A lot of us wear dark colours around horses as they’re great for not showing the dirt! However they’re not so great for hacking. Hi Viz clothing needs to be an integral part of your wardrobe! There’s a great selection of Hi Viz, starting with jackets for all weather conditions.
If you do a lot of hacking, you’ll benefit from investing in a full-blown Hi Viz jacket. There’s the Equisafety Aspey Winter Jacket for riders that suffer from the cold. It comes in three colours: yellow, pink and now orange!
This jacket also comes in what is known as a "Polite" version. It's "Polite" because it has "Please Slow Down" on the back and has the blue/white chequered design. The winter version, Equisafety Polite Aspey Winter Jacket, is shown below.
There has been considerable debate on the use of the blue and silver check on the grounds that riders can be mistaken for a police officer! Not surprisingly there’s an equivalent lighter weight version for the summer months or for those tougher riders that don’t feel the cold or prefer to layer in the winter.
If you feel a jacket is a bit too much Hi Viz, there’s a decent range of tabards and waistcoats available. Hy do a really affordable range which is ideal if you need to watch the pennies. The best value is the HyVIZ Adjustable Tabard - the clue's in the name of it! In the winter it'll easily go over all your layers and then in the summer, it'll fit snugly over a t-shirt, thanks to the adjustable flaps on the sides.
The simplest of these is the Lunarider Reflective Tabard. Although it doesn’t have any writing on it, you still won’t be missed when you’re wearing it!
Alternatively a Hi Viz Body Harness is a great idea if you want something that is really ‘expandable’ to cope with layers at different times of the year.
And how about something for your hat? This is an extremely affordable bit of Hi Viz and you’ll be seen above the hedge line when you’re hacking out on many of the country lanes. Take a look at Equisafety's Hi Viz Hat Band.
And finally how about the Lunarider's Reflective Whip which makes a great tool for you to use to signal to motorists that you're turning. Or even better to use as a measuring stick to indicate to motorists, the distance they need to be from you and your horse.
Get 10% off + free UK delivery on all hi-viz clothing for horse and rider. Use code HV10 in checkout to claim your saving.
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