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Riding on roads...

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  • Is it legal to ride a horse on the road in south carolina
  • Legal to ride horse in north carolina "public road"

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    06-18-2011, 07:22 AM
  #11
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiilaa    
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.
In the US, please make sure that you check with your applicable local clerks (town/city/county) and state (Department of Transportation). In NC, state vehicle laws specifically mention that horses are not vehicles. For example, it is not against the law to ride (even on the road) while you are drunk.
I have spent years riding from the country areas into suburbs, residential, and retail areas, talked to every level of government, and understand how confusing this can be. Here are some (potentially) interesting points from my journeys in this area of NC...
- Horses are considered livestock. In the NC laws, you're not a vehicle or a pedestrian, I.e. There are definitions of what a horse back rider IS NOT, but there is no definition of what a horse back rider IS.
- Outside the agriculture and equine liability laws, there are few mentions of horses at all. Most rules are based on 'common law' (i.e. Legal case history) and not statutes (written laws).
- Many of the equine related state laws are from 100 years ago when cars were new to the world and injuring or stealing a person's horse was depriving one of their transportation and/or method of earning a living (and hence a felony offense).
- The newer laws tend to be at the town/city level, especially in areas where development is pushing into the countryside. For example, many towns prohibit horse riders (like bicycles and skateboards) from the sidewalks and parks. Some towns now have horse rider helmet laws for minors.
- Law enforcement folks (police/sheriff) typically are unfamiliar with the laws. Dealing with horse/riders is just not something that comes up very often.
- In NC, there is no requirement to clean up if your horse 'soils' the road, even in residential areas (town/city laws may apply). This has come up a number of times in my area where the suburban type developments are pushing outward (we are not in a town/city, and I've made a number of 'city folk transplants' very upset).

The bottom line is that after researching your applicable laws, using 'common sense' (i.e. What a reasonable person would do) is your best bet, and being extremely cautious is a must.

I love to ride the roads and be able to ride from/to anywhere I choose, and I know many other people do too.

Be careful and safe, good luck, and enjoy your riding where ever that may take you.
     
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    06-18-2011, 09:08 AM
  #12
Foal
Here in Maine we ride on the roads all the time. While we are not allowed to ride on the highway, any other state road (like Rt 9) is free game, as are town roads. We ride on the side on the road going with traffic. In my county, it's actually the law that vehicles passing a horse on the road have to slow down or stop until they are waved forward by the rider/driver (carriages etc.) Sometimes you get people who are complete jerks about it and fly by you anyways, usually young kids, so if we notice a car is about to not slow down, we ride in the middle of the road.
     
    06-19-2011, 10:50 PM
  #13
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiilaa    
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.
I wouldn't count on that. The laws for this type of thing are usually provincial or state legislated in North America. I don't know what it is in UK or AU. Best bet is to find out for sure.

I was out with someone very experienced on the weekend and he asked us to ride on the right side (with traffic). I asked his reasoning for that, and he said that a horse is a natural flight animal, so he would rather that if the animal spooks, it is easier to move it directionally with the vehicle coming from the rear. I understand his reasoning, but I know that for the whole 5 hours that we were out there, I was in the rear and I was constantly looking over my shoulder for vehicles. Many vehicles you hear before you see them on back roads, but I have often been surprised myself by a few very quiet cars. And what about those hybrids? They are ultra quiet.
     
    06-20-2011, 03:07 AM
  #14
Green Broke
Roads scare me. One little error and you and your horse could be toast. I would rather take my chance with the bears out on the trails.
     
    06-20-2011, 08:29 AM
  #15
Yearling
I hate road riding....When riding in bear country, what about wearing a bell around your horse's neck?
     
    09-01-2011, 03:24 PM
  #16
Yearling
I love it:
" In NC, there is no requirement to clean up if your horse 'soils' the road, even in residential areas (town/city laws may apply). This has come up a number of times in my area where the suburban type developments are pushing outward (we are not in a town/city, and I've made a number of 'city folk transplants' very upset)."

If they get upset tell them (in a serious tone) to calm down. That there's no charge for the high grade furtilizer. You're a good neighbor and letting them have it for free, but they'll have to spread it themself.

It's not as if you're littering. It washes away in the rain and breaks down naturally if it doesn't rain. And if you're riding at the time it's spreads out naturally. Better than the piles my dog would leave :))

In SC we cannot ride on the Interstate, but that's about the limit. I've ridden to town on a US Hwy (over 30 miles round trip), but most of it was on the shoulder. We have some laws about riding horse on the hwy that are pretty old (before 1940). All are worded to protect the horse and rider who are deemed to have the right of way.
Calmwaters likes this.
     
    09-01-2011, 09:18 PM
  #17
Yearling
I'm forced to ride on the road if I want to leave the stable property but I hate it. Usually ride facing traffic unless there is a wider verge on the other side of the road. I could say a few words about South Lanarkshire drivers which would probably be illegal on the forum, but my horse and I have perfected the dive-into-bushes/ditches/embankment maneuver. If that were on a dressage test, we'd get a 9.

US roads have nice, friendly wide shoulders. UK roads don't. The first place I lived in the UK was Co. Durham and the stables were on the A68 (a "state highway" type road for you USians). To go anywhere, you had to ride down this with trucks and buses and other traffic flying past at 60-70mph with no intention of slowing down, as this is one of the main routes between the north of England and Scotland and people have Things To Do. I gave up trail riding the year I was at that barn as I can only take so many buses and lorries brushing past me at speed before I'm a shaking, nervous wreck. I was from a place where we had over 90 acres of mountain trails to explore. I was not impressed.

The UK driving test even has questions about what the correct response is when you see a horse and rider. Doesn't stop drivers from being asshats.
     
    09-12-2011, 11:25 AM
  #18
Weanling
I used to love riding on roads (back where I used to live, we used to take the horses through the tim hortons drive throughs to get coffee :)).
Unfortunately, we're not allowed to ride on the roads down here- we can cross them, but can't ride alongside which is a bummer.
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    09-12-2011, 08:42 PM
  #19
Trained
Really? Where is that? Is it a municipal law? A provincial or state law?
     
    09-13-2011, 10:36 PM
  #20
Banned
I wouldnt see any problem why you wouldnt be able to ride on the public road I've seen that horse riders are always to the right side when riding on public roads.hope this helps out Good Luck
     

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