Bike are silent killers – what do we think?
Just seen this on Keeper of the Peak and it seemed like pretty sensible advice.
Plenty of passes near horses for me and it always makes me anxious. Never quite know what to do.
What do we Reckon? Sensible stuff (advice) or load of ….Posted 3 years ago
Keen to see the stats.
Just how many horses have been killed by ‘silent’ bicycles?Posted 3 years ago
Isn’t it more a reference to horses perceiving quiet, fast moving things as predatory, rather than bikes directly killing horses?
I both love and distrust horses in equal measure. Wonderful animals, but amazingly unpredictable, so always making them aware of our presence on approach and talking? to them as we pass carefully is good advice.Posted 3 years ago
That poster describes more or less what I’ve been doing for years. I normally slow right down then call to the rider from about 30 metres back. Something along the lines of “Is it ok to pass?”. I figure horses will be fairly used to human voices and less likely to be freaked out and also it gives the rider a heads up and a chance to either say “yes, go through” or “give me a minute” either of which is fine by me. We’re all out trying to enjoy our day and a freaked out horse could ruin it for either of us.
Also I reckon a bit of chat, even if it’s fairly short and to the point is good between different groups in the countryside.Posted 3 years ago
I asked a horse rider some years ago what was best in terms of being noisy, staying quiet etc. She said to keep talking, which is something I find very easy to do in every facet of life. Frankly “thank you very much, lovely day for it, have a nice ride” is usually sufficient to get you past them.Posted 3 years ago
I was nervous as hell as I passed a horse last Sunday, possibly for the first time ever, on a narrow country lane. All I could think about as I rode by was if the horse gets spooked, those mighty powerful legs could take me out so easily. And I said as much to the rider as I passed, which sounds like it might have been a good thing in calming the horse a little!Posted 3 years ago
All good advice – make sure they know you’re there, slow down, normally check they’re ok with me passing at that point if I’m off-road.
Just how many horses have been killed by ‘silent’ bicycles?
It’s more likely to be the rider I imagine, but as the advice is just commonsense, I’m not sure why you’d need a raft of stats before you slow down a bit and let them know you’re coming.Posted 3 years ago
What a pile of steaming crap.Posted 3 years ago
Horses generally have good hearing, they’ll often hear you before the rider, even if it is only your free hub whirring. However, when the ride jumps this makes the horse nervous and jumpy.
In general I wouldn’t shout as I came up behind but a cheery hello will let people know you are there.
Most horses are pretty relaxed. They have limited field of vision
which is why they often seem to spook at things that have been right in front of them. If you approach from behind and startle them they will turn to see what it is that made the noise. This normally unbalances the rider and makes them nervous which sets of a chain of events where the horse wants to run and the rider doesn’t and everyone gets a bits stressed.
My tip would be to look at the horse and the rider. The horse will look at you if it has seen you. Also it will point its ears towards you to listen. If the ears are pricked and forward it is paying attention. IF they are floppy like a donkey you have nothing to worry about. IF they are flat back then I suggest you give it a wide birth.
Short summary, say hello, make a human noise, give room. Horses aren’t that scary, they are just like big dogs. It is mostly the size that gives you problems but I’ve only really ever encountered a handful that are evil – the rest are just behaving naturally.Posted 3 years ago
What a pile of steaming crap.
Bit of an ironic statement, on a thread about horses.
The advice given on the poster is generally pretty sound. The only thing that i would add is, when travelling in the opposite direction to the horse, consider stopping completely and let the horse/rider pass on their own terms.Posted 3 years ago
Always have a little chat, myself.
IME it’s been the horses with nervous riders that seem to be more of a problem.
I’ve only every had one scary moment when near horses whilst on the bike and I was left with the impression that the horse and rider didn’t much like one another.
I’m not a horse person, so could be BS, but I suspect the horse was looking for an excuse to dump the rider based on what I saw way before I was near them 🙂Posted 3 years ago
IME it’s been the horses with
nervousriders that seem to be more of a problem.
Ride by horses on every single ride and they never get spooked and just carry on with what they are doing.
Put a rider on one and it is a whole different story. Not sure the nervous/jumpy ones they should be out and about (especially on the road) and not the most sensible thing to do.Posted 3 years ago
Be like me riding a bike which steered itself and went all over the road randomly when a car or bike came past.
I’m not a horsey person so don’t know if it’s possible but…..
Surely it’d be safer for the rider/owner of a horse to train the horse to ‘understand’ bikes?
Also the ‘don’t be a dick’ thing applies to the passing cyclist!!Posted 3 years ago
In my experience issues with horses whilst not on the road are caused by inexperienced horse riders not knowing what they are doing. My cousin is a show jumper to a pretty good standard and even she says that you cannot be 100% sure how a horse will react to a given situation on a given day.Posted 3 years ago
On Thursday I stopped and let a couple of horses past. I said a cheery ‘Morning!’ and was told off as the woman’s horse was a bit jumpy when people speak loudly.
I came up behind another later and passed wide and slow. The woman on it’s back told me off for not shouting up.
I said ‘There’s no pleasing some folk’ and she ranted on for a full 5 minutes about how dangerous I was.
When she stopped for air I pointed out that she had the words “Pass Wide and Slow” on the back of her jacket; I was only foloowing orders.
If your pet is that twitchy it’s not fit to be out in the real world it should be kept away from the public.
Or in a burger.Posted 3 years ago
I “generally” despise horse riders as “generally” they have no common sense and an overwhelming sense of entitlement. Horses are beautiful animals but incredibly silly and selfish pets – 600+kg of slightly unhinged animal ridden by muppets.
Dangerous at both ends and tricky in the middle.Posted 3 years ago
I make it a habit to talk to the animal itself – morning horse, lovely day isn’t it, do you mind if I come past, etc. Of course it’s really aimed at the rider but it shows I’m a human.
That said I also talk to other animals. Sometimes in a put on voice to suit the animal Johnny Morris style (it’s a throwback to when i used to take my kids out in carriers and rucksacks and we’d talk to the animals we saw)
One other ‘tip’ that may be useful; my sister used to ride a lot and said that some horses seemed to have an issue with sunglasses, mirror lenses particularly, and taking them off so they can see your eyes and recognise a face better helps. Might be BS but if I’ve slowed or stopped already hardly takes more effort and compared to being sat on by half a tonne of burger meat……Posted 3 years ago
Aye, pretty much that ^ what Daffy says. fortunately I never really encounter them on our local stuff.Posted 3 years ago
It’s all a bit
I live in a horseyish part of the world, as noted above the horses reactions to push bikes generally aren’t a problem, the riders and their attitude sometimes cause an issue, otherwise, passing a dobbin without freaking it out isn’t that hard, and most of us “silent killers” seem to be doing a shite job when it comes to nervous pony murder…Posted 3 years ago
I always speak as it alerts them in a friendly manner
Like others I am not that comfortable around the massive beast of twitchy barely controlled jitteriness that may take flight at any moment in any direction and when it does it will be “my fault”.Posted 3 years ago
That poster is shit IMO
“just before overtaking; shout” – really?!
“stop pedalling”, but “buzzing noise” upsets the horse
and “silent killer” is ludicrously melodramatic language
They also need to add what the horse rider will do to assist in all this – presumably they should talk to us so the horse knows there’s a human there and that the rider’s not afraid of it. Will they stop or will they keep moving? I dunno, suspect that a stationary horse is more easily spooked. Will they move to the side or even off the road briefly to allow us distance, or is this always stuff that others should do for them ?Posted 3 years ago
I ride in the new forest, so very used to passing horses. The wild ones just ignore you, they are happy to walk out in front of trucks… I’ll call out, the sound I’ve heard the verderers doing when they shoo them, often no need to slow down unless they are all across the road or a car is also around.
Horses with riders on, another matter, slow down a bit, move out wide early and call good morning.
Once been told off in all these years, after saying good morning berated for not having a bell, I asked if they’d heard me approaching….which th had as they had responded with the rant….wished them a nice day and rode on. Obviously had woken up on the wrong side of the bed or something.
Never once a startled horses or any type of incidentPosted 3 years ago
Its certainly possible for horse to be trained / become used to bikes. On a tour of the netherlands we passed a couple of Horses and riders and the horse just ignored us completely.
In the UK I simply call out – Hi rider – we will =cme past when we can.
do not use your bell – it spooks the stupid things more.
cyclists and horse riders actually have a lot in common in problems / dangers we face from car and truck drivers. Be friendly to them and keep them onside.Posted 3 years ago
I usually stop and let the horse rider come past me unless it’s a very wide trail. Either that or wait for them to stop so I can trickle past if it’s an overtake.
Lovely looking animals but mad as a box of frogs. My ridings dodgy enough on a bike but put me on a horse and it would be an exponential increase in unpredictability!
Last year I was unloading a bike off a boot mounted rack and that spooked a horse about 50m away throwing it’s rider!
Oh and hasty edit, I got thanked this year by a rider for using my bell so you cannot win.Posted 3 years ago
My farts are a silent killer I tell thee…..Posted 3 years ago
I stopped for a girl on a horse and she did not even look up from her phone.Posted 3 years ago
The horse had a phone?Posted 3 years ago
Most horses and riders I’ve come across are fine as long as you use common sense, did once come across two riders who popped out of a field obscured by a hedge when I was riding along the road then shouted at me for not warning them I was there! Not sure what I was supposed to do in that circumstance.Posted 3 years ago
I “generally” despise horse riders as “generally” they have no common sense and an overwhelming sense of entitlement.
Sounds like cyclists perception of horse riders is similar to car drivers perception of cyclists.Posted 3 years ago
Can’t think how long it is since I saw a
oversized teddy bear come child substitutehorse wearing blinkers on the road
Used to be standard equipment for flighty horses, back in the day.Posted 3 years ago
Call “hello!” to them. Horses are rarely scared of people but whirry clicky almost silent contraptions can be a different matter!Posted 3 years ago
I’ve met arse holes and lovely people on horses in equal measure. Pretty much like driving and cycling 🙂
There was a horse coming down the bridleway towards us the other day. we just got off the bikes and waited for him to pass. He decided to come and have a look at the bikes while we scratched his nose.
The rider said he’d never seen a bike before as he was only a young horse. Hopefully he knows that they aren’t dangerous now 🙂Posted 3 years ago
BHS need to put out an “official” version of this really, perhaps in conjunction with C-UK would be best.
(I mean the British Horse Society, not the dept store)Posted 3 years ago
I grew up with horses (more than 50 of them). Before backing a young horse we’d go out as a pair, one person leading on foot and the other on a bike. The horse grew very used to the bike and didn’t give a toss about them in future.
Horses are extremely good at sensing the mood of a rider and it’s more likely that a small twitch from the horse as the bike passes scares them sufficiently to bother the horse further.
If a rider claims their horse is bothered by bikes then it’s their responsibility, in my opinion, to find someone with a bike and get their horse used to it.Posted 3 years ago
Don’t be a dick applies to all modes of transportationPosted 3 years ago
Surely it’d be safer for the rider/owner of a horse to train the horse to ‘understand’ bikes?
I’ve seen horses get startled by things they see everyday.
It goes both ways, one horse rider raised her crop to me once (the only time I’ve been faced with the potential of violence from another adult) and I’ve had riders on heavily bridled horses shout at me because they’re barely in control of the animal they’re riding. But then I’ve also seen cyclists carelessly pass horses too close, and seen mountain bikers appear onto quiet roads from trails giving it full beans straight into the path of horse riders, and not caring that they’ve just dangerously startled them.
They’re are dicks in all walks of life. Don’t be one of them, seems to be the advice here.Posted 3 years ago
Keen to see the stats.
There were around 50,000 horses on the streets of London before the invention of the Safety Bicycle. Now there all dead.Posted 3 years ago
As njee said.
Someone told me to look at a horses ears as I approach from behind, and to speak to the rider. As one talks the ears will point backwards, so the horse knows it’s a human behind. For otherwise you could be a deadly alien crisp packet, or worse.
Something similar might apply with dogs and their owners.Posted 3 years ago
Sounds like cyclists perception of horse riders is similar to car drivers perception of cyclists.
Apart from it is not perception. Lived in New Forest for almost 20 years and there are a lot of horse riders.
Most of the ones I have met are way more often than not self entitled but that is because they are self entitled whether on a horse or not so my view is narrow to a certain area.
The simple connection is to look at what sort of person typically has the funds or the internet to own a horsePosted 3 years ago
in New Forest for almost 20 years and there are a lot of horse riders.
Most of the ones I have met are way more often than not self entitled
Possibly a New Forest thing though? Seems to be a bit of an epicentre for small-minded, entitled Tory bell ends.Posted 3 years ago
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