Why It’s So Important and When It Should Be Worn
Horse riding is a high-risk sport, and a big factor in that is the safety of both horse and rider whenever you’re leaving the yard. Whether you’re heading out on a hack down the lanes or on the bridle-paths, or heading out somewhere in the horse box – it’s important to consider your visibility wherever you’re going. The British Horse Society recommend wearing hi-vis at all times, whatever the time of day, season or weather condition, and should ‘not just be worn on the roads, but off road too’.
Wearing hi-vis gives drivers an extra 3 seconds of reaction time. That might not sound like a huge difference but in fact if the driver is doing 30mph that gives them an extra 40m to react before getting to you! Just think, that’s the whole length of your standard riding arena!
Hi-Vis For Your Horse
Your horse is a lot larger than you and so it makes sense to add hi-vis to their tack to make them more visible. This is especially important if you have a dark coloured horse who may be difficult to see. There are many ways you can add hi-vis to your horse’s hacking wardrobe:
You may want to consider an exercise sheet as this can offer a large block of colour to vehicles coming from behind and to the side and is one of the most effective way to be seen and safe when taking your horse out.
An exercise sheet are also a great way to keep your horse warm on those cooler and wet days/evenings and is a great tackroom addition for any horse owner. Keeping your horse at a warmer temperature will also reduce the chances of your horse messing around or being naughty = when a horse catches a chill this is when they are more likely to be on their toes and unpredictable!
For vehicles coming from behind you may also want a hi-vis tail guard.
Whether it’s a car, motorcyclist or pedestrian on the road or bridlepath – consider every angle of your horse and how you could optimise your visibility. A tail guard may be a good option for day-time hacking as they offer some sort oh hi-vis benefit without having to kit your horse out head to toe with bigger hi-vis items.
Just like the importance of being seen from the back, being seen from the front too is just as important! So try a hi-vis neckband, noseband or fly hood too to optimise your horse’s visibility. All of our horse hi-vis accessories are easy to apply and can be quickly added when tacking-up!
Fly veils are designed to not only prevent flies, but also muffle noise for your horse which helps them stay both calm and concentrated – perfect for those cooler days when our horse’s tend to be a little more alert and frisky!
Hi-vis boots are a fantastic way to boost your visibility but also protect your horse’s legs when riding out and about. Brushing boots can protect your horse should they knock their legs together but also protect from small twigs and branches at lower leg level. Over reach boots can also be handy, especially if your horse has a habit of catching their feet. These Charlotte Dujardin x Equisafety boots can be worn alone or wrapped around your usual brushing boots for extra protection.
Hi-Vis For Riders
Now your horse’s outfit is sorted, it’s time to organise your hi-vis wardrobe. Below are some of the fantastic products available on the market that you may want to consider:
An essential for anyone wanting to go out hacking is a decent jacket. This can keep you warm and dry in the typical British weather as well as making you easy to spot. Gone are the days of being embarrassed about looking unfashionable in your hi-vis. There are actually some really stylish designs these days!
Hi-vis jackets are not only great for hacking out, but also worn around the yard or heading out in the countryside on those low-light days or darker evenings.
Okay, so sometimes, very occasionally, on a rare day the weather actually behaves itself and you’d be too hot out riding in a jacket. That’s where gilets/waistcoats can be a great option. Or if you’ve already got a favourite coat for riding in a gilet can always be popped over the top.
Waistcoats are a great riding-wardrobe addition for all year round. Whether you’re horse-back, around the stables or heading out walking the dog – a waistcoat is a simple but effective way to ensure you stay safe in the dark.
Now let’s talk accessories! There are so many options, one of the popular ones being a hat band. You can pick from a range of bright colours and may want to opt for one with lights too. You can also get hi-vis gloves which are a fantastic idea. If you think about it, it is hugely important that your hands are visible as you use these to communicate with everyone around you when you signal. Another simple option is to buy a bright whip. It may not even reflect light or light up, but it can still help to catch people’s attention.
What is your go-to hi-vis essentials? Let us know in the comments below!