Rules of the Road for Horses

As a rider, you are entitled to follow the same laws as a motorized vehicle. This
includes riding with the flow of traffic and performing the correct signals for when
crossing the street. If you are a novice rider, you should consider bringing a more
experienced rider with you as a safety precaution. When there are more than one riders
in a group, horses should be in a single file line when traveling on a street, however, if it
is necessary to ride next to one another, the more experienced rider should be the one
closest to the middle of the street. All riders are encouraged not to ride between dusk
and dawn so that there is visibility for riders, horses, and drivers on the road. If your
horse becomes agitated while on the road, then the rider should dismount and walk the

When you are a driver on the road, always make sure to slow down when
approaching a horse and rider. Before passing, watch for any signals that could mean for
a change in direction. Also, ensure that the rider is in control of the horse before
passing. This will allow for the rider to know that you are aware of the situation and
anything that could happen while you are passing. When actually passing a horse and
rider, give the team a wide berth and pass slowly so that you don’t spook the horse and
cause unnecessary chaos. Also to be noted when driving is to not honk or scream at a
horse when passing. This spooks the horse and can cause the rider to momentarily loose
control of the horse which can lead to serious problems for all parties involved. There
are several ways a horse can move when they are spooked. They have an instinct to run
away from danger, but that could mean they come through your windshield. Next time
you think of honking at a horse for amusement, just think how awful it would be to have
a horse and rider inside your car. The same goes for stepping on the gas pedal right as
you pass a horse and speeding off. The unexpected sound can also cause the horse to

While there are many trails for riders to enjoy, there are some paths that make is
necessary to ride on the streets. Instead of speeding by, it is easier to slow down and
safely pass by a horse and rider. Anything can happen in an instant when dealing with a
1,200 pound animal and it is important for all parties involved to remember that.  This
means drivers should always take the precaution to slow down while approaching and
passing a horse and as always, riders should always wear a helmet when riding, no
matter how experienced or trusting you are in your horse and a helmet may be the
difference between life and death.  

-Youth Team President
Sheridan Pipkin