Nav­i­gat­ing traf­fic safely

Your Horse (UK) - - Better Riding -

Tight, small and cramped spa­ces are a given when you ride in busy ar­eas, with al­ley­ways and rows of parked cars. It can seem like a huge ask to get your 16.3hh horse through a nar­row gap, but the se­cret to suc­cess here is con­fi­dence and know­ing your horse’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties. “Horse’s of­ten cope with tight spa­ces well,” Kim ex­plains, “but ev­ery horse is its own in­di­vid­ual. When we’re weav­ing in and out of the traf­fic, we re­main as­sertive. You’ve got to own the road. If the traf­fic ob­serves you be­ing un­cer­tain and dither­ing, then they’ll see what they can get away with.” It’s not un­usual for driv­ers to close up on you, so it’s up to you to man­age your space if you have a horse who doesn’t like be­ing boxed in. Be mind­ful of where the front end and the back end of your horse is, and don’t be afraid to get up on the pave­ment if you need to and po­litely ask the cars around you to give you more space if they can. “Know that driv­ers have clocked you be­fore you com­mit to a move­ment. We don’t go un­less we have eye con­tact,” says Kim. If you know your horse strug­gles when cars close in, then aim to hack out with some­one with a more con­fi­dent horse so you can sup­port each other if you need to.

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