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Horses, Safety and Riding on the Roads

Improving safety on the roads and pathways for horse riders

Safety on the roads and pathways for horse riders

Supported by Commonwealth government funding Horse SA is educating horse riders and road and path users so that everyone may stay as safe as possible. At some point horse owners will need to ride or carriage drive on the road, whether it’s to reach an off-road path, or to connect one path to another.


As society becomes more and more urban and our population increases, it’s important to know how to be safe on our roads with horses.


All horse riders and handlers on roads are legitimate, yet they are ‘vulnerable’ users, meaning there is no crash protection in the case of an accident compared to a motorised vehicle. In 2015 published findings from a survey found that over half of all riders (52%) reported having experienced at least one accident or near miss in the prior 12 months[1].


Vehicles, like horses, can be unpredictable on our roads, which is why it’s so important to follow the rules when riding or leading a horse on the road. A guide has been released to educate horse riders and other road users to significantly reduce the chances of collisions or casualties on roads so everyone enjoys a safe and fun experiences with horses.


“Horses help to build self-esteem and self-confidence, and they inspire people to pursue their goals and aspirations”


Horse safety on the roads in Australia


In conjunction with understanding the Australian Road Rules, it’s important to understand how to prepare for riding on the roads and make informed decisions that will contribute to the safety of all road users.


A guide has been released for horse riders Horse Safety on the Roads in Australia and a short guide for road and trail users How to safely share roads and paths with horse riders.


Digital copies can be found on the Horse SA website.

[1] Thompson K, Matthews C. Inroads into Equestrian Safety: Rider-Reported Factors Contributing to Horse-Related Accidents and Near Misses on Australian Roads. Animals (Basel). 2015 Jul 22;5(3):592-609. doi: 10.3390/ani5030374. PMID: 26479376; PMCID: PMC4598696.