Firstly, I can’t thank you guys enough for all the support, love and shares that was given to my recent post, you guys have helped make a dint in a topic not spoken a lot about.
Some of the comments made brilliant points, isn’t it still law that horses have right of way? I’ve done some researching state to state and found that yes, in fact, in ALL states horses still have right of way (I’ll share my findings but state below), so why isn’t this common knowledge?
I completely understand that not every person using our roads have been lucky enough to own an equine friend, or know someone that does ride. I also understand that not everyone understands that horses are a flight animal. Yep, that plastic bag that has been hanging off the float for the last 3 weeks, might actually eat us while they’re tied up there today.
The more I have thought about the incident the more it rattles me. No, it won’t stop me from riding out on the road doing what I love. Why should it? Why should I have to stay off the road due to obnoxiousness drivers that don’t follow the road rules and try act like a hero in front of their mates.
What does scare me is what would have happened if I had been an inexperienced rider? I can tell you now, I would probably be grieving for my best friend from a hospital bed. What if we had been out riding with a child on a pony? Very lucky that we weren’t. Doesn’t mean other people had been so lucky.
Why are these incidents still happening? Yes, I completely understand you can lead a horse to water but cant make it drink. Education in these things is so important. How many lives would it save if all government authorities in transport showed a short 3 min video at the start of a learners test of a horse freaking out, the impact that horse can have not just on the riders life but also the drivers. Why not have people talking about their own personal experiences? If we do ad campaigns for speeding, drink and drug driving ( all extremely important topics).
Why are riders forgotten? Because it’s something the higher people in their offices never come across? It’s still law, so why is such an important rule so forgotten? I have no doubt that watching a video of a horse out of control and scared would (hopefully) be enough to have people at least have a second thought when approaching horses and riders in ANY circumstance.
I’ve been compared multiple times in the last week to cyclists regarding sharing the road. As you can imagine, this infuriates me. Riders and Cyclists are chalk and cheese. Not that my safety is more important than theirs by any means, it’s certainly not, we all want to go home to our loved ones. I am riding an unpredictable animal, yep, that is my choice but the difference of choices cyclists make, they occasionally have the option to ride to the left of the white line, I don’t. There isn’t always room for my horse on the other side of that line.
Even the best horse can spook at something. Imagine the damage caused from the impact of hitting a horse at 100km, not to mention the rider. I would believe that horse would rip off your roof, come straight for you and end up in your backseat.. Where is that rider and driver after this impact?
Below are my findings- It is law in ALL states (I could not find any information Re horses on the NT transport website), let’s make it known. Let’s campaign to have OUR voices heard!
NSW- Page 58- NSW Road Rules
South Australia- Towards Zero
Victoria- Road Rules- Animals
Tasmania- Page 53- Tas Road Rules
Western Australia- Page 109- WA Handbook
ACT- Page103-ACT Road Rules Handbook