Riding on roads... - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 27 Old 06-11-2011, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Red face Riding on roads...

Our road is pretty far out in the country so there isn't a whole lot of traffic... I was just wondering what side of the road is legal to ride on and how far off the road I have to be???


Thanks
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post #2 of 27 Old 06-11-2011, 05:06 PM
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I ride on the road a LOT, especially when the bears get bad up the mountain and on the trails. I haven't got any quiet back roads to ride on, so I find myself riding on the highways along the side of the road.
Good thing Pro isn't at all bothered by the traffic.

Usually I ride so we can see the traffic coming, however if the other side of the road has a larger amount of space I sometimes switch so I have more room.

Sometimes people can be REALLY rude... I've been riding with friends and my instructor and have had people make there trucks go really loud and fast, others have throws things out the window or shouted out, etc. to scare the horses. And the semi drivers that fly by are really bad as well.

A lady who I rode with before said some people in a truck threw a firecracker out the window at them.

It's at the point where sometimes we have to go on the road to MAKE the cars slow down. Everyone who has to ride on the bridges here will go straight down the center, or else cars will come onto the bridge with the horses. Once we even had a cop behind us as we were doing this and he never said a thing.

Not Fun. But it's better than not riding at all.

I have NEVER been told not to ride on the roads or to move to the correct side, and we have even been up town on the horses. I just kinda do my own thing and if everyone on the road is being respectable I will be as well.

I wouldn't worry about riding on back roads too much though. I'm interested to hear what the actual rules are though!
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post #3 of 27 Old 06-11-2011, 05:28 PM
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You should check your local/state laws, but in NC you have a right to ride on any public road, and you should ride with traffic (just like a bicycle). We ride down the middle of the lane (at the recommendation of the NC DOT) because it forces cars to slow down and pass rather than just zipping by. Around her, most drivers are very courteous, but you do need to watch out for the inconsiderate ones.

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post #4 of 27 Old 06-11-2011, 05:57 PM
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I checked in Ontario and there doesn't appear to be any law at all about it here. My preference is to ride facing traffic. Most of the people here ride on the right side of the road. Their reasoning is that is the side that carts have to be one. Well, my reasonings are: 1. I want to see what's coming and 2. Foot traffic (pedestrians) by law are to be on the left.

I'm right -- they're wrong. Is it ever any other way? LOL!!!
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post #5 of 27 Old 06-11-2011, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the advice :) I'll try to check and see what our local laws are... I've seen people ride on our rode before and the seemed to prefer the right... btu I still wasn't sure... it makes more sense to ride facing the cars...
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post #6 of 27 Old 06-12-2011, 03:47 AM
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Over here in the UK, unless you live right out in the middle of nowhere, you have no choice - we pretty much always have to ride on the roads. There are tracks for horses but you still have to ride on the roads to get to them.

In the Uk you are treated as just another vehicle. You travel in the same direction as the traffic and there are laws which tell drivers to pass with care, slow and wide. This doesn't always work! I was out riding 2 years ago on a narrow road. A truck came up behind me so I pulled over to let him pass but he got way too close and caught my horse on her hind quarters causing a really bad injury. Fortunately she recovered in time and I was unhurt. I took him to court and won but I really get nervous on the roads now. Most drivers are great but there's always some idiot who thinks it's fine to scare horses!
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post #7 of 27 Old 06-12-2011, 05:46 AM
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Let me add that if you feel more comfortable riding off the pavement on the side of the road, you generally have that right also. Most roads (at least in the US) have at least a 10 foot public right of way on the private land on each side where you find telephone/electric poles, street signs, buried utilities, ditches, etc.

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post #8 of 27 Old 06-13-2011, 12:35 AM
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I ride on the road. I live by a 4 way stop, so we have to cross it. The people in my area are usually very respectful a horse crossing the road. Only once did someone yell out there window "Horses aren't allowed on the highway." Just because they had to slow down. O.O

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post #9 of 27 Old 06-13-2011, 02:48 AM
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I'm subscribing. Good thread. I'm in Canada and loathe riding on roads, but where I keep my boy has very nice pasture but no arena so I have to ride down a lovely back road (gravel) which I like, but then cross a four-way and go about a 100 ft to use a neighbouring arena. I detest riding on cement. But thought I'd include a small pic of my windy gravel road I have to travel (winter photo-it's now all green and beautiful). I had to walk my gelding down the road first (hence walking photo) to feel safe (me, not him necessarily as I have to ride alone).
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post #10 of 27 Old 06-18-2011, 04:07 AM
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If you are ON the road, you are considered a vehicle in pretty much any place, UK, US or AU. So you must follow the road rules as if you were a vehicle - and that includes riding on the side that you would drive a car on.

If you are riding on the shoulder/nature strip, and not on the actual road, then it is up to you. I prefer to ride on the side of on-coming traffic, so that the cars coming closest to me and my horse I can see without having to turn or anything, and my horse can see them coming too.

If you are leading your horse, you should be leading from the side closest to the road - you should be between your horse and the traffic. Even if this places you on the horse's off side, it is pretty important. The idea is that if the horse spooks, he will likely be running away from the car that spooks him, and since you are not on the other side of him, he isn't going to trample you.

Mods, grant me the serenity to see the opinions I cannot change, courage to change the ones that should change, and the wisdom to spot the trolls.
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