Con­sid­er­a­tion for horses on the road

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION - LOR­RAINE WAL­SHE Ad­dress sup­plied JOHN MATTHEWS Honorary chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Hilling­don Com­mu­nity Trust Barra Hall Wood End Green Road, Hayes

I WOULD like to draw at­ten­tion to an in­ci­dent which oc­curred on Ducks Hill on Tues­day, Novem­ber 4.

A friend was rid­ing her horse which was star­tled, re­sult­ing in a col­li­sion with a car which was pass­ing too closely. Thank­fully, on this oc­ca­sion, no one was se­ri­ously in­jured.

This and sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ences of rid­ers I know have prompted me to write this let­ter, to raise aware­ness and hope­fully ed­u­cate road users – driv­ers, rid­ers and cy­clists.

We have lit­tle choice but to ride on the road to ac­cess ar­eas we are per­mit­ted to ride in, such as Ruis­lip Woods. We have en­dured peo­ple driv­ing too close, too fast, over­tak­ing when not safe to do so, shout­ing abuse and mak­ing rude ges­tures.

The ob­ject of this let­ter is not to tar­get any­one spe­cific but to raise aware­ness of po­ten­tial dan­gers and haz­ards peo­ple may not ap­pre­ci­ate. Some­thing as sim­ple as a bird fly­ing out of a tree, wind, sud­den loud noises, car horns, rub­bish at the road­side, lawn mow­ers or cy­clists sud­denly ap­pear­ing be­side you, can all star­tle a horse.

Although we are al­ways cour­te­ous to driv­ers, wear high-vis­i­bil­ity cloth­ing, ride sin­gle file where pos­si­ble and thank them for slow­ing down, we ap­pre­ci­ate that oth­ers may not do the same.

Rid­ers some­times feel the need to ride two abreast when the horse is ei­ther young and ner­vous or in­ex­pe­ri­enced on the road.

Although most lo­cal res­i­dents are un­der­stand­ing of our plight, a small mi­nor­ity do not show the same con­sid­er­a­tion. We be­lieve the key to re­solv­ing th­ese is­sues is cre­at­ing aware­ness and ed­u­cat­ing the pub­lic, hope­fully be­fore a se­ri­ous ac­ci­dent oc­curs.

The Bri­tish Horse So­ci­ety has a fan­tas­tic in­for­ma­tion leaflet on its web­site – www.bhs.org.uk – called ‘Look at it from my point of view’. wrap­ping gifts for shop­pers in the intu Uxbridge mall on Fri­day, De­cem­ber 5.

Pro­fes­sor Wolff, pres­i­dent of business char­ity the Hilling­don Part­ner­ship Trust for most of the char­ity’s 34 years, said: “Thanks to the gen­eros­ity of shop­pers and matched fund­ing from lo­cally based busi­nesses, some £500 was raised for lo­cal needs dur­ing the day.” @7Honeyb: #christ­mas­cakes now on sale #hon­ey­beescakes #ruis­lip #cakeshop #fes­tive­cakes #fes­tive­treat… http://in­sta­gram. com/p/wqTubWsnd1/ @RogerSMet­calfe: Just too late at Ruis­lip Gar­dens, doors close... Doors open for me! Thank you Driver @cen­tralline @ne­ico66: Dis­ap­pointed that @Har­risAndHoole Ruis­lip and Pin­ner now closed! Is this the end for H&H and my beloved caramel cap­puc­cino? @sophi­awest_: told some tourist last night there was a show called the only way is ruis­lip and he be­lieved us that we were celebri­ties @ko­laqube: The Toast wed­ding scene was filmed in Ruis­lip OF ALL PLACES, have that lovely fac­toid. @Si­fuBog­gie: On the ice again at Uxbridge ice rink! been a while… feels like home… :-) @rk­morr: Do I bat­tle the Uxbridge crowds and lay the Christ­mas shop­ping to rest or do I lay my­self to rest in bed for the rest of the day @MPSHilling­don: #Christ­masTreePro­ject Fan­tas­tic mo­ment – open­ing presents yes­ter­day do­nated by YOU the Hilling­don Com­mu­nity&busi­nesses @Hil­l_li­braries: North­wood Hills Li­brary even have an Olaf snow­man as part of their dec­o­ra­tions! Check out a Christ­mas book to­day! ^L

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