Now that the clocks have gone back and the evenings are getting darker in the run up to Christmas, there has never been a more important time to consider the safety of yourself and your animals when out walking or riding. Whether riding/walking on or off the road we would always advise making use of high visibility clothing/accessories to keep you and your animal as safe as possible. Indeed, high visibility clothing should be worn no matter what time of day at this time of year – after all the better you can be seen by others the safer you are likely to be. Moreover, even when riding or walking away from a public highway, in the unfortunate event you were thrown from your horse or injured – rescuers are more likely to find you quickly when wearing high visibility clothing.
Costs of high visibility products vary hugely but there is something for all budgets – everywhere from an inexpensive reflective hat band to a flashing lead clip. It is entirely a matter of personal preference what you decide to wear and how much but the British Horse Society recommend a hi-viz jacket or tabard for the rider and leg bands for the horse as a minimum. We would suggest wearing clothing which highlights the width – arm bands are ideal or for the horse lights on the flanks are ideal. This will make judging your size easier for drivers in low light conditions.
When it comes to choosing your high visibility clothing there are industry standards which apply to ensure that the products you are buying are safe and fit for purpose. The standards aimed and leisure riders and the general public are BSEN1150 or EN1150 – it is worth checking that the goods you intend to purchase conform to these standards.
When it comes to the safety of your dog, particularly if they are dark coloured, there are no better options than an LED lit collar attachment or halo collar. These battery powered safety lights ensure that your dog can be seen from a much greater distance – in some cases up to 5km away. Often these useful items are combined into a single product – the flashing safety poop bag holder and torch being a good example – 3 essential dog walking items built into one handy gadget.
In any event – when out and about during the darker hours remember to be safe and be seen!