With the early spring this year, horseback riders are enjoying getting out and about, conditioning their horses for the summer riding season. My wife and I ride along unpaved roads near our home in the Northeast Kingdom. Through our membership in the Vermont Horse Council, we know many other riders throughout the state who also ride on roads.
We have found that most drivers are instinctively careful around horses, but some do not understand why they should use caution when approaching a horse and rider. Please remember that horses are not bicycles or cars - they're living, breathing animals with minds of their own. We can't always predict how our horses will react to different sights, sounds and other stimuli. So it's important that drivers make sure they don't startle any horse that they may encounter.
Here's what the Vermont Driver's License Manual says under the heading "Sharing the Road with Domestic Animals":
"Be very cautious any time that animals are on the roadway. When coming up to a horse, cow, or other animal on the road the driver shall drive slowly so as not to scare the animal. Some animals may be startled or scared more easily than others.
"It is especially important to use extreme caution when approaching a horse and rider. Avoid any action that might scare the animal and put the rider at risk of injury. Slow down, move away from the horse, and do not honk your horn or accelerate in a manner that might startle it."
Thank you, neighbors and friends, for following the law and giving horses and riders the respect and courtesy that they deserve.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.