Riding on the road can be worrying on a nervous horse. Here’s some advice on how to keep your horse calm while out hacking.

Q: My horse is terrified of passing cars when we hack out. Sometimes I stop on a verge or rush into a gateway to stand and let the car pass – is this the right thing to do?

A: The potential danger to you and your horse should he react defensively around cars is huge, so you should ask yourself whether it’s safe to be out riding on the road while he acts like this.

My advice to start with would be not to ride out on the road until his fear has been removed.

In the short term, if you do decide to ride out then safety has to be your number one priority.

If stopping on a verge or rushing into a gateway to stand and let the car pass or even getting off and walking with him keeps you safe, this is the best course of action.

In the longer term, this requires retraining and you have to establish what it is your horse finds most terrifying about cars, movement, noise, close proximity causing claustrophobic feelings.

If you can, try and get him used to spooky objects around the yard first.