All natural horse care in the west of Ireland

Inconsiderate Motorists
Saturday, 28 February 2009
Horses have trotted along our roads longer than cars but ignorant drivers actually speed up or beep when they spot horse riders using the road. Whilst in our area the biggest majority of motorists are considerate there are one or two who are going to be responsible for killing someone. When this happens will they be charged with 'manslaughter' or will it just be considered another accident?

We encountered the most inconsiderate motorist today whilst out on a hack. This is not the first time we have encountered this driver. The first time was a couple of years ago when we were trotting along a road in our village. We heard a car coming up behind us and although my horses are bombproof and well used to traffic we always try to get well in off the road to allow cars to pass.

We started trotting towards a layby. As we were trotting away the motorist, driving a silver jeep, sped up behind us. As he got close up behind us he leaned on his horn and waved to us as he sped past! I was fuming. Whilst my horses did not react I was still annoyed thinking about what could have happened had one of the horses got a fright. He could have killed or seriously injured someone and/or himself, or everyone concerned.

Today we were out on a hack and Magpie (my horse) was a bit edgy. She had already had a bit of a spook earlier at a couple of donkeys in a field we were passing.

At the same time as we were passing the donkeys, who were partially hidden by bushes, a "boy racer" was passing us on the opposite side of the road. Just as we came up to the field and his car was parallel to us on the right he put the foot to the metal and sped past us. Magpie lost it at this stage and done a 360 degree turn and started for home.

She stopped eventually and I took her to a pull in off the road. We waited while her heart returned to normal and her adreneline dropped. It took about 5 minutes for her to calm down and regain her composure.

Once she was calm we continued our ride and passed the donkeys without any further incident. Things were going well and we were enjoying the ride out.

We were heading home when I heard a car coming up behind us at speed. As Magpie was being a little unpredictable, and the car coming up behind us didn't seem to be slowing, I decided to move out into the centre of the road. More so he could see us and hopefully slow down.

Just as he was about 50 yards behind us the driver decided to lean on his horn. I looked round and saw a Black jeep and the driver gesturing to me to get over at the same time as constantly beeping his horn!! I was gob-smacked. This was the same driver we had encountered a couple of years ago, driving the silver jeep, who had raced up behind us leaning on his horn!!

Me and Magpie jumped out of the way as he swerved aound us and sped off. He just missed us by inches!!

We do not live in a town but in the heart of countryside where more than 90% of the population are involved in farming. You would have thought that living in this environment, drivers locally to the area would have a bit more consideration?

We always try to be considerate when we are out riding and where possible always get out of the way of passing traffic.

Luckily I have horses which are used to traffic but I want to let drivers know that respect is still necessary for horse riders.

A 600kg horse through a driver’s windscreen is fatal for driver, rider and horse. The public needs to understand that horses are not robots or machines but living, thinking beings and it only takes an instant for something to go wrong.

It’s not just me I’m worried about, some day a youngster, novice rider or in-experience horse could be out riding in our village and come across this man. If he behaves like this someone could be killed or seriously injured because of his stupidity.

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