As we now move into the very heart of winter, Mark Davies Injured Riders Fund offers some advice on how to stay safe when riding and handling our horses, during the shorter days.
For anyone combining work with taking care of their horses, finding time to exercise your horse at this time of year can be a challenge, meaning early morning or early evening rides in limited daylight.
Mark Davies Injured Riders Fund recommends the use of Hi-Viz clothing at this time of year for both you and your horse, especially if you have no option but to ride on the roads.
This can give drivers an extra three seconds to see you, potentially saving the life of both you and your horse.
The choice of Hi-Viz clothing on the market today offers something for everyone in a variety of colours and styles. Reflective bands with flashing lights can also be added to your tack and to your horse.
Make sure you and your horse can be seen!
Remember to be courteous to drivers who do slow down, with a thank you and a cheery smile, as this will encourage them to slow down next time they see a horse and rider.
Make sure your hat meets the current standard and fits correctly; a badly fitting hat will not provide the protection required should you suffer a fall. The new Mark Davies Injured Riders’ Fund website has all the latest BETA guidelines on hat standards and advice on body protectors.
Regardless of how bad the weather gets try to allow your horse as much turn out as possible, keeping horses confined to the stable can lead to exuberant behaviour resulting in injuries to both the handler and the horse.
Mark Davies Injured Fund is primarily a charity set up to help those that have been affected by a horse related accident, in the form of legal advice, practical help, such as providing a wheelchair or simple moral support to both the victim and their families.
As well as their fund raising efforts, Mark Davies Injured Riders’ Fund is at the forefront of education about safety, in an effort to prevent accidents from occurring in the first place.
With a few sensible steps it is possible to make the most of winter and stay safe.
For further information please visit www.mdirf.co.uk or telephone (01726) 788364.