Browse through our blog posts to find out what life is like at Hoe Grange Holidays along with some great ideas for days out in the Peak District.
High-viz clothing is now an essential part of your wardrobe if you are a horse rider. When I was younger hi-viz clothing wasn’t a thing, but now I never ride out on Oliver without either a fluorescent bib or a long sleeved high-vis jacket.
Most of us riders tend to wear dark clothing when mucking about with our horses as the dust and dirt doesn’t show up so much! However we do need to be clearly visible to other traffic users on today’s busy roads, especially when you have a dark horse like mine.
Research has shown that if a driver sees hi-vis on you or your horse, it gives them an extra 3 seconds reaction time. Now that might not sound like much, but if travelling at 30mph, a driver would have an extra stopping distance of 40m – that’s the size of a full-length dressage arena! This could mean the difference between hitting you and your horse or passing you safely.
This photo from The British Horse Society shows just what a dramatic difference wearing high-viz can make, especially in dull conditions.
Some of our circular riding routes from Hoe Grange use minor roads, so the earlier a motorist can see you, the more time they will have to slow down. It just makes sense to make yourself and your horse as visible as possible.
Wearing high visibility fluorescent clothing can also help pilots of low flying aircraft to spot you sooner and take evasive action.
Many riders mistakenly think you only need to wear high-viz when it’s dark and dingy or foggy weather, which is usually in the autumn and winter months. However, it's just as important to wear reflective clothing and accessories in spring and summer as often the sun obscures a driver's view.
Ideally High-viz should be worn all year round. Adding a fluorescent hat band to your riding hat is a cheap effective way to be seen above the hedge or wall when hacking out on our country lanes. You can also add high-viz accessories to your horse such as tail guards, horse ear covers and exercise sheets. These all catch the eye and makes other road users aware you are there.
Wearing high-vis is even more important when riding in areas you are not familiar with. When on holiday with your horse or just riding a new route, you may not be aware that the open country lane has a crossroads, or goes through a wooded valley. Or you may find yourself on a forest path that is also frequently used by mountain bikers, so being seen is key to staying safe!
Even on a bright day you may blend into the background - here I am riding Oliver at a cross country event and we are quite difficult to see against the dark hedge despite the sunshine.
Don't forget to bring your high-viz wear when you bring your horse on holiday to explore our stunning Peak District countryside. We have some fabulous horse riding routes from short treks along the trail to medium circular routes and longer distance endurance rides. Take a look at our favourite riding routes on our horse holidays page.
Choosing the right colour isn't just a fashion statement! It's important to think about the background you will be riding against. At certain times of the year, you could blend into the background or hedgerow wearing certain colours.
For example if you are in an area with fields of ripe oil seed rape if you wear traditional yellow you won’t show up. That’s why Orange and Pink are the new Yellow! A lot of the new clothing has a mix of colours which can be a good idea.
Even if riding off-road high-viz is strongly recommended. If you are unfortunate enough to fall off your horse in open countryside, you may be seen much sooner by the emergency services if wearing hi-viz. This could prevent minor injuries becoming much more serious.
There is an abundance of hi-viz on the market for all budgets. The BHS recommends as a minimum, a hi-vis jacket or tabard for the rider and leg bands on the horse. A hat band or hat cover is a useful addition. Look for garments that conform to BSI approved standards BSEN1150 or EN1150, aimed at use by leisure riders.
BHS also recommends riders wear LED lights wherever possible, ideally in a pattern that highlights their width (lights on their shoulders and the flanks of their horse, for example) as recommended in their report
Happy hacking - go with the glow, be seen and stay safe!
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