Equisafety has launched a new campaign titled R.E.D (Riders Educating Drivers).

The company is encouraging riders to thank conscientious drivers for the efforts they make to respect horses and riders on the roads.

“Wearing high vis is extremely important, but so is thanking drivers whenever possible,” says Nicky Fletcher, managing director of Equisafety.

High vis clothing, such as tabards, exercise sheets or reflective hoof boots, help drivers to see you from further away, giving them time to slow down and pass with a wide berth.

“It’s also important to recognise these efforts made by drivers,” said a statement from Equisafety. “Making a gesture of thanks, such as a wave if safe to do so, nod of the head or smile, can help to consolidate that a driver has passed you safely.

“This means that a driver is more likely to pass the next horse and rider safely; should they be ignored if they are expecting thanks, a driver may not give the next horse and rider the same consideration.”

The statement that it’s important to remember that not every driver knows what to do when passing a horse.

“People with no experience of horses may not understand what a horse is thinking and can find the experience of passing them on the roads daunting, particularly if they have had a negative experience in the past,” it said.

“A smile and wave of thanks from a rider can help to reassure a nervous driver and give them the confidence to do the right thing next time.

“Road users have responsibility for the safety of other road users, whether they are in a car, on a horse or riding a bike.

“Horse riders sometimes gain a bad reputation, so a smile and recognition of thanks can go a long way.”

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