"Horse riders and cyclists go to war over bridleways"

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  • "Horse riders and cyclists go to war over bridleways"
  • Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    I do love that the article is illustrated by a picture of a horse rider and some cyclists on a road.

    Are cyclists to be banned from there too?

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Subscriber

    So, just to make sure I don’t spook a horse, every time this scot ventures south for a bit of riding, I shall ride only footpaths from now on. Never seen a single horse on Ill bell yesterday….

    hora
    Member

    Flame me but I can see a horse riders point of view.

    More and more cyclists, ride quick and round bends etc- you can startle a horse.

    You literally have to stop on a bike and wait for a horse to slowly ride past. Crazy but we are dealing with an animal here. If a horse is startled guess what? The human being ontop could have life changing injuries.

    It only takes a few berks to dis-proportionally cause a bigger problem.

    Surrey Hills does have its element of go-get em/cut throat Londoners on expensive bikes maybe…..

    We aren’t 1 ton of metal but the effect is the same – a horse is startled/spooked by a sudden noise, close or riding past quickly.

    If I’m approaching one on my bike I’ll pull to the side and WAIT. If I’m approaching from the rear (far worse) I’ll start talking, let the horse actually turn abit to clock/see me before I reach them).

    Like a impatient driver on the road we can have the exact affect (difference in size means **** all to a horse unlike us humans).

    Jamie
    Member

    …you can startle a horse.

    Which can also be done by looking at them funny.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    Which can also be done by looking at them funny.

    This applies to baby robins too.

    Got tangled (not quite literally) up in a ‘2 horses on narrow bridleway between fences startled by bull protecting his cows in field beside it’ scenario a week or two back. I reckon the safest place locally was on top of the horses tbh. They can’t half go backwards fast when they want to.

    Premier Icon nuke
    Subscriber

    Flame me but I can see a horse riders point of view.

    I also think they have have a point, I just think they are over exaggerating the point or rather over exaggerating the level of risk caused by cyclists on the Surrey Hills to horse riders. Not saying there hasn’t been any but I can’t remember any previous examples in the Surrey Hills of a horse rider being injured due to a mountain biker and given how much use the Surrey Hills sees from mountain bikers.

    qwerty
    Member

    To summarise the article; Horse riders can’t control their horses, therefore mountain bikes shouldn’t be allowed near them.

    I can’t control my bicycle on the road, so can we please ban all the cars, motorbikes, vans, buses & lorries.

    Premier Icon MartynS
    Subscriber

    I’d argue that if a horse is that easily spooked it shouldn’t be on a public right of way.
    Might be a dog, or a baby robin taking its first flight that rounds a corner and spooks dobbin….

    The riders round my way have all seemed to be quite good, and the horses are used to bikes. Slowing down and saying hello seems to go a long way.

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    It’s as bad as the car vs bike argument. Everyone simply needs more common sense. Ride to the conditions.

    If you can’t see round a corner, then assume the worst and slow down. Applies to cars on the road and bikes on a trail (legal or otherwise)

    But equally if you can’t control the horse, get off the public right of way

    hora
    Member

    nuke I think the particular point the horse riders are making in the Surrey hills is the proximity of the new trail/where it sits etc next to where horses have always used.

    Ever ridden a horse? Not a pony on the seafront but one that is big enough for you/your height? Its hardwork on rough ground (thats not tarmac)- and feels quite high up….Great fun though πŸ™‚

    Klunk
    Member

    love the comment “Cyclist should dismount and walk past when they come up behind a horse”.

    There’s a complete lack of education on this subject and it’s not helped by the rambler led “why didn’t you ring your bell?” brigade. If you see a horse ahead of you call out “Hello!” or something similar until you see the horse has noticed you.

    If you don’t make sufficient noise then the horse may not hear you until the last minute, at which point it will be spooked. If you just ring a bell then the horse may be scared by the weird scary clattery up close but surprisingly silent vehicle with a strange bell dinging – speak to the horse like a human and it will realise you’re a human which it isn’t scared of.

    Horses have very good hearing but if there’s a strong headwind they’ll have much more trouble hearing you. Even if the horse sees you before you see it you need to speak to reassure it that you’re a human and not a scary bicycle.

    Most horse riders will also have noticed you in good time if you take this approach – I don’t think there’s much you can do for the gormless/deaf ones who fail to notice that the horse has spotted a bike, get surprised themselves and in the process scare the horse! But fortunately they’re in the minority.

    “SAY HELLO TO HORSES!” would be a good message to all cyclists.

    Unfortunately the horsey people who’ve kicked up this fuss have failed to make use of their platform to educate cyclists and are just trying to ban them – which will never work in practice.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    “SAY HELLO TO HORSES!” would be a good message to all cyclists.

    I talk to all the farm animals I meet.

    Really.

    Although I try to remember not to on group rides.

    Mostly they just give me a funny look and I get spooked.

    allthepies
    Member

    I find that the horse knows there’s a bike in the vicinity way earlier than the horse rider πŸ™‚

    Speaking to the horse rider helps, the horse then associates the large thing on wheels with a human.

    Premier Icon mwleeds
    Subscriber

    I’ve been riding mountain bikes on bridleways for years and have never had a problem with horses or their riders. But I have starting viewing such issues from a horse riders perspective (my girlfriend rides and has even got me out once or twice!). I never knew, for instance that people on bikes scare more horses than people or even cars…something about them not understanding that it’s a person. Some horses also struggle with kids on parents shoulders as apparently they see a person with two heads :). A spooked horse gallops! A little common sense and awareness is all that’s required. We’re all probably guilty of giving walkers ‘just enough’ space on bridleways (I know I certainly am) when we know that they can see us. It would be easy to approach passing horses in the same way. Mountain bikers and roadies just need to show a lttle more caution when they see a horse.

    Mrs Toast
    Member

    Is this really a massive problem in the New Forest? I see horse riders all the time when I’m biking over Cannock Chase and have never seen a horse spooked (or even a disgruntled rider – they’re usually quite cheery).

    Maybe they need to increase the number of cyclists over the New Forest, so that they’re not so surprising and alien! πŸ˜›

    ndthornton
    Member

    I love this country

    …”You’re all too fat and costing the NHS a fortune – Everybody start riding bikes.”

    …”You cant ride there its a footpath”
    …”You cant ride there its a bridleway”
    …”No we wont invest any money in cycle lanes”

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    People from all walks of life should understand and respect people from other walks of life shocker!!

    As with all of these very 2 way people with horses need to consider that other people use the shared spaces, people on 2 wheels do to. People building infrastructure need to understand that lots of people use the space.

    Premier Icon nuke
    Subscriber

    If you see a horse ahead of you call out “Hello!” or something similar until you see the horse has noticed you.

    Agreed. This is what I try and do after a chat with a horse rider about what would be best to do.

    nuke I think the particular point the horse riders are making in the Surrey hills is the proximity of the new trail/where it sits etc next to where horses have always used.

    Yep and there’s always been a trail (Personal Hygiene) down from the tower that intersects with the BW in question for as long as I can remember…again, not saying there has been any incidents but I can’t recall any incidents on that trail relating to horse riders, only incident I can recall on that trail was when I fell and hurt my thumb on the chute section πŸ˜₯

    Personally I can’t even remember seeing any horses on the BW in question and I use it a fair bit

    Jamie
    Member

    It seems the obvious solution, is to get horses into cycling.

    rocketman
    Member

    I see horse riders all the time when I’m biking over Cannock Chase and have never seen a horse spooked (or even a disgruntled rider – they’re usually quite cheery).

    ^^ this

    edit: having said that the other week there were a couple of them riding the wrong way on the trail towards Watch Out Trolls. They were very apologetic πŸ˜†

    Not like D-Bag:
    http://www.pinkbike.com/news/It-Pays-to-be-Courteous-video-2013.html

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    Is this really a massive problem in the New Forest?

    Depends what you mean really, MrsT: In terms of numbers, no. In terms of a few reactionary self-serving NF locals using any means possible to stop others from doing anything*, Yes
    *make no mistake, mostly these folk are retired or farmers and they don’t like tourists much either IME, on foot, cars or bikes (or breathing either).

    disgruntled rider – they’re usually quite cheery.).

    Most are but there’s a “militant” core who’ll moan at you even if they think you might be going off a path, let alone meet you on one.

    Maybe they need to increase the number of cyclists over the New Forest, so that they’re not so surprising and alien!

    We do our bit 😳
    (the loose horses in the NF don’t fear people on bikes and they actually like traffic, ‘cos many of those people give them sweets/apples etc I think – I swear to god, they actively “hijack” cars in the hope of snacks. It’s the ones with people on ’em that are less predictable)

    Much of the NF is boggy and unsuitable for bikes and seeing a trench dug by someone’s wheels is bad PR but the same observer takes no offence at all at massive hoof-churned quagmires in the same location

    MrNice
    Member

    Most horse riders I meet are pretty friendly so long as you’re not acting like a cock. Slowing down, saying hello and smiling seem to be very effective (surprise, surprise). Talking to the horse can work too – some of them get freaked by bikes but calm down once they realize the spinny whirry thing is just another human. Mind you, they’re not exactly rational. When I overtook a horse last weekend I said hello to the rider before I caught up and she said it was OK to pass, the reason the horse was acting jumpy was because it was scared of the two shetland ponies in the field πŸ˜†

    Premier Icon unklehomered
    Subscriber

    War? awwwww… fair enough.

    Just in the new forest or do I need to attack horsists I encounter in Yorkshire as well? Can anyone provide me with a copy of the articles of war to which we should abiding. Are any forms of weaponry considered not cricket?

    I should probably get some new body armour…

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    People from all walks of life should understand and respect people from other walks of life shocker!!

    As with all of these very 2 way people with horses need to consider that other people use the shared spaces, people on 2 wheels do to. People building infrastructure need to understand that lots of people use the space.

    Hush that voice of reason you!

    There’s talk of War War! WAR!!!

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    The most useful bit of advice was from a LBS owner in the lakes before a large number of us set off on a demo ride.
    “Be offensively polite out there, it’s really hard to get annoyed at really polite nice people”

    It works and for those still grumpy and angry it makes them look worse.

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    Flame me but

    Nope, point well made. Like it or not we all have a responsibility around others and enthusiasm for riding fast doesn’t over-rule that. Cars/bikes/people/horses, all the same.

    But equally if you can’t control the horse, get off the public right of way

    How about riders who crash or go off-line due to speed or lack of skillz? : )

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    How about riders who crash or go off-line due to speed or lack of skillz? : )

    Back off, slow down, wait till it’s empty or go elsewhere?

    According to the Guardian, anyway.

    To summarise the article;
    Horse riders can’t control their horses, therefore mountain bikes shouldn’t be allowed near them.

    Premier Icon pictonroad
    Subscriber

    Strange animals, I’ve seen a horse that used to take people out day after day paralysed in fear by a crisp packet on the other side of the yard. Also seen horses wade into crowds of rioting Chelsea fans.

    bikebouy
    Member

    Awe fek this again.. πŸ™„

    If you are ridin out, meet a horse rider, give em’ the right of way.
    Ask the horse rider if it’s ok to pass, they will offer thanks and say Yes or No, if No wait until they say Yes.

    I meet thousands of horsey types on my routes, the lanes and bridleways are covered in them, and quite right too..

    It’s all our countryside, just give a bit of a shite and help everyone else out there have a good time yeah..

    Dear God πŸ™„

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Have to say, this is a problem we have less of because our land access laws aren’t designed to funnel all the traffic into a too-small network of trails. But I still get 2 things fairly often…

    One is, groups of horses where they don’t know what they want you to do. One person complains because you go too fast, another because you go too slow. One because you rang a bell or called out, startling the horses, the other because you approached quietly, startling the horses. That sort of thing. There’s no concensus from the horsyclists as to what they want me to do, so how can I do it? I try and act courteously but it’s like rolling a dice

    The other is unskilled riders out on public paths- instructors taking novices out when they’re barely in any control, so any distraction or event at all causes problems. That one probably speaks for itself.

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    One person complains because you go too fast, another because you go too slow. One because you rang a bell or called out, startling the horses, the other because you approached quietly, startling the horses.

    ? I’ve never had a complaint from riders because I slowed right down and said hello a few times from a way back and say hello, nice day etc as I passed, without actually stopping. It’s the right thing to do. Bells aren’t the right thing to use at all – horses need to know you’re a human and not ‘something’ they don’t understand.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    grauniad desperate for a story? dropping ot bbc levels there.

    probably the most cheerful people I meet on the trails.

    dog walkers with extended leads (or no leads in the nature reserve areas πŸ‘Ώ ), nordic walkist troops, and families going for a sunday afternoon stroll with granddma and the grandkids on the #13 cycle path thru the forest are probably those I have most issue with.

    gazc
    Member

    i’d say most horse riders/horses i meet are absolutely fine, however i’ve seen what can happen when they loose control and it’s seriously not worth it for the rider (i’ve worked with people who had to give up horses due to being thrown off badly, one had a broken back πŸ™ ) also after the only and ever time i’ve ridden a full size horse i would not want to be on a spooked one!

    over at chopwell a few months ago i was riding up one of the fireroads that link between trails, there was a lad riding a horse on another fireroad coming up a junction with the one i was one. he saw me at distance, i slowed to walking pace and shouted ‘alright’ to him as i approached the junction and he shouted ‘alreet’ back, then the horse clocked me, reared up with the lad going off the back, horse turned and stood on the poor lads stomach with a front leg πŸ˜• 😯 made my stomach wretch! he still had hold of the reins and managed to jump up and control the horse, i dumped the bike, ran over and checked he was ok and he was pretty startled. turned out it was the first time the horse had been out of a field and it didn’t even have a saddle on! up close with the horse it was cool, so we reckoned it just doesn’t like bikes and went off our own ways

    however a couple of times i’ve seen utter dicks (actually women/girls in small groups) riding horses on the Derwent Walk and Tanfield Railway multi use paths, galloping at speed round blind corners and past walkers/cyclists (including me!). yeah going fast and not giving people space on a bike is one thing, but doing that on a horse is beyond stupid!!! does anyone know what the law is with galloping/speed of horses on bridleways? do they have STRAW-VA?

    Premier Icon FOG
    Subscriber

    One thing I have noticed in my area is the number of middle aged women riding fancy horses with every known accessory. Rather like us middle aged cyclists! My sister in law is one such. She says she always wanted to do this when a kid but couldn’t afford it and now she can. However if one’s fancy bicycle gets frisky you can just get off and leave it, a frisky horse needs controlling.

    Premier Icon Yak
    Subscriber

    tbh- you can’t go far wrong with announcing that you are there in a polite and friendly way, and if it’s tight ask the rider to let you know when to pass. I see the same riders fairly regularly, so I want to get on in a friendly manner.

    winston
    Member

    I rather agree with this chap in the comments:

    A first world issue if ever I saw it but beyond that I’ve always wondered why people in the modern age ride horses. Ok well I get why but it’s kind of like those people who jump off really high shit and glide down….each to their own but when something inevitably goes wrong there should be no complaints. You a 70kg and let’s face it, physically vulnerable human are riding a giant 500kg animal that has the ability to crush your tiny bones in one brief moment. And the horse certainly isn’t to blame its a feeling animal capable of fight or flight and being scared by noises or fast movement etc.

    The rest of the world is obviously aware of this and try’s to accommodate the people who still choose to ride horses but how far can others be responsible for the risk of someone who chooses to ride the animal knowing their propensity for reactionary movement when frightened?

    I wonder how many of these people would get in a vehicle if they knew maybe once in a few hundred hours it might just decide to stop responding or dart left or right across lanes?

    I’d much rather see horses not used for transport or sport, they are beautiful creatures that man has callously exploited for thousands of years but the world we live in means this is unlikely to ever cease. That being said I think those who still continue to ride them need to accept the responsibility of their own actions a bit more and accept the risk without seeking to lay that burden at others door so often.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    They’re just maintaining a stock of hosses, plus the basic skills to utilise them for when the oil runs out πŸ˜‰

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