How to be seen when horse riding

how to be seen while horse riding hi-viz

When hacking out it's very important that both you and your horse each wear at least 1-2 pieces of Hi-viz, as you need to warn motorists of your presence! Why? Read on to find out...

So you are visible to road users

This one’s pretty obvious (doh!).  Studies show that Hi Viz can give a vehicle an extra 3 seconds reaction time, which means that at 30mph that’s an extra stopping distance of 40m, 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.

You can convey messages to other road users quickly

For example:

  • Young horse
  • Please pass wide and slow
  • Thank you
  • Horse in training.

If you had a fall out hacking you will be instantly visible

Another self-explanatory one! If you ride in the countryside and fall, you may require the emergency services. You will be MUCH easier to be seen and found if you’re wearing Hi Viz.

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.

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 take appropriate action. No one wants to get shot or for their horse to be shot!

If you were to lose your horse out riding, you could find them quicker!

It happens – your horse spooks, you hit the deck, and they bomb off! PANIC! If your horse has some Hi Viz on you can spot them much easier, even in forests (speaking from experience! lol.).

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!

If you get caught in the dark, the traffic will be able to see you

If you go out hacking and time flies by, most good Hi Viz also has reflective bands. If you accidentally get caught on the road in the dark, its MUCH safer to be seen in the distance because of the reflective strips.

When to wear it

There's a common misconception that Hi Viz only needs to be worn in the winter as the days are generally dull and darker. This is NOT the case. It needs to be worn all year round. In fact every time you go out hacking.

If you do not wear it, you're not giving drivers, for example, a fair chance of seeing you and slowing down. Riders who don't wear Hi Viz can give horse riders a bad name and can fuel driver's frustration with riders on the road.

It takes seconds to put on

Most Hi Viz will take 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.

Finally, Hi Viz is cheap and easy to buy

Visit our Hi-Viz collections below:

Women's Hi-Viz Clothing Men's Hi-Viz Clothing
Children's Hi-Viz Clothing Hi-Viz Clothing for Horses

And remember, you get free UK delivery on ALL orders at EQUUS, regardless of how much you spend!

shop women's horse riding hi-viz collection


Kim Horton

Co-Founder of EQUUS and a keen equestrian, when Kim's not at her desk she's with her horse, Waldo.


  • Kathy Roberts posted on January 02 2018 at 06:01 AM

    Hi Kim, the incident I’m going to relate occurred when I was driving. It was a very sunny winters day & I was driving through a local village, approaching a small crossroad. I had right of way. I heard a car coming from my right hand side. That side of the junction has high beech hedges on both sides obscuring a clear view of the crossroad. I was just about to blare my horn to alert the driver to my presence when I noticed movement on the tarmac on the approaching drivers side of the road. The movement turned out to be a horse rider wearing dark clothing, riding a dark bay horse. It gave me a horrible fright as I could have been the cause of a nasty accident.
    Another incident occurred on an urban road not far from our livery. My friend & I were riding around our local estate & traveling down hill, when an elderly driver, driving as speed approached us. She came to an emergency stop & apologised to my friend, who was in the lead, for not seeing her due to the low winter sun. This was very commendable. However both my friend & I were wearing Hi Viz. And my friend rides a black & white cob who is about 15hh & my mare is 16hh & a dark bay. She hadn’t seen me at all despite the Hi Viz I had on & my mare looking like an illuminated Christmas tree. This is also an area where the residents are used to seeing horse riders. I hope these incidents help. Kathy

  • Lyn Lewis posted on December 17 2018 at 04:12 PM

    It also stops insurance companies saying that you are partly liable for the accident by not wearing hi-viz, meaning insurance cover remains intact and there is no room for arguments. As we all know insurance companies whether horse or driver will use every excuse not to pay out so taking this potential opt-out from then can only benefit us horse riders. It’s cheap it’s easy to do and saves lives by increasing other road users reaction times so is illy not to do!

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