Should you have or witness an incident involving a horse, you should report it to the British Horse Society (BHS) — even if no one is hurt or it is a ‘near miss’. The charity collects data on all horse-related incidents, whether they are ridden, driving a carriage or cart, led in-hand or loose.

What classes as an incident?

The BHS classes an incident as any unplanned event that has:

  • resulted in a rider or handler feeling concerned (e.g. verbal abuse)
  • resulted in a horse reacting in an unsettled way (e.g. excessive noise)
  • the potential to cause injury to a rider, handler or horse even though it may not have at this time (a near miss)
  • already caused injury to a rider, handler or horse (an accident)

A road incident could involve:

  • road/off-road users
  • dogs
  • slippery road surfaces
  • low-flying aircraft
  • drones
  • fireworks

If an incident does not fit into one of these categories, it can still be reported using a General Incident Report Form and emailed to the BHS.

How to report an incident

Incidents can be reported to the BHS in one of two ways: via its ‘Horse i’ app (see box below) or using an online form.

The ‘Horse i’ app can be downloaded to your smartphone and allows you to quickly submit details.

Since its launch earlier this year, the app has seen a 250% increase in the number of hacking incidents reported.

Where to find the Horse i app

Apple devices: download the app in the App store here

Android devices: download the app in the Google Play store here

Alternatively, you can submit an online incident report via the BHS website.

To submit a report, you need details of:

  • where the incident occurred
  • what the incident involved
  • the approximate date and time of the incident
  • whether the incident was a near miss or resulted in injury to the person in charge of the horse or the horse
  • whether you were a witness, in charge of the horse or other
  • the status of the horse at the time of the incident (e.g. ridden, led in-hand, long reined, loose, etc.)
  • details of your visibility
  • details of the road, rights of way and any other parties involved
  • details on whether the incident was reported elsewhere (e.g. to the police or council) and whether any action was taken
  • your personal details

It is essential that you report every incident. This is the data that the BHS uses in its work to help make the roads safer for horse riders and has led to mounted police patrols in problem areas, where drivers who pass the police horses incorrectly are pulled over and educated using the key messages of the BHS’s ‘Dead Slow’ campaign.

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