Two young riders were subjected to a “shocking” ordeal when hacking earlier this month.
Eight-year-old Lottie and her sister Millie, 10, were riding their ponies through a village in Norfolk when a driver approached them from behind.
The motorist revved their engine and spooked Lottie’s pony, Jake. He shot forward and Lottie fell, then he bolted, followed by Millie’s pony, Molly.
The girls’ mother, Elizabeth Goodliffe, said the driver did not check her daughters were ok, and turned his car around and drove away in the other direction.
Lottie was not injured in the fall and got back to her feet quickly, but Jake galloped home accompanied by Millie and Molly.
“It was a parent’s worst nightmare,” said Elizabeth, who ran after Millie and the two ponies when she knew Lottie was ok.
She was relieved to discover they had reached the yard unscathed and now wants to raise awareness among drivers.
“To cause something like that and to choose to turn around and drive off is very shocking,” she told Your Horse.
Elizabeth said she was grateful her youngest daughter, Pippa, five, was not out with her Shetland Banjo on the day of the incident.
Thankfully the girls have not been put off and are back in the saddle enjoying hacking again.
“What has been really amazing is how supportive the community has been,” she said. “So many people have spoken to the girls and said they were horrified by what happened.”
“Most drivers are really brilliant it really is just thoughtlessness of a few. Sometimes I think it is just pure ignorance and people don’t know how to behave sensibly.”
Elizabeth was unable to identify the driver or vehicle, so did not inform police of the incident, but she has logged details of the incident on the British Horse Society (BHS) website.
The BHS advises drivers to follow four simple steps when passing horses:
- Slow down to a maximum of 15mph
- Be patient and don’t sound your horn or rev your engine
- Pass the horse wide and slow, (if safe to do so) at least a car’s width if possible
- Drive slowly away