Should horses be allowed on the road?

Sould horses be allowed on the road

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Middle of the pack...
S Yorks
Seems another threads got sidelined with this argument. Opinions are being voiced, but no real sense of proportion.


Lets have a poll

(BTW. So long as you appreciate the potential for 'skittishness' I've got no problem with them and never had a problem with a rider)

The polls running for 2 days and will show your vote.

The thread that prompted this is:

This argument starts at post #39


I go past a field of horses on my commute, here at the jnct of Little Glen Rd and Leicester Rd (those stick things in the field are actually jumping fences). Sometimes the owners have to take them along the roads to get them to the fields. They're alright, those horses n riders. I like it when I see a horse on the road. It's so refreshingly different.


New Member
Beside the road
I can see no reason why horses in general can't use the roads. If they're an inconvenience to other road users then that just tough luck.IMO they've got just as much right to use the road as anyone else. However, if the horse is likely to be danger to other road users then no.


I think they should be allowed to continue to use the roads and it's barking mad to suggest otherwise.

There are the usual caveats about them being ridden by a competent or capable person and them being treat with respect by other road users. Much like anyone who takes any animal or vehicle on or near roads.
Being born & bred in a rural part of Devon i encounter Horses on the road on a daily basis and if you give them the respect and courtesy that they deserve then you will rarely see a problem ... when people pass horses too close or too fast then the horse may get a little nervous but i can assure you i've seen plenty of cyclist wobbling around the road in the same situation



Cycling in Scotland
Auld Reekie
Why shouldn't horses be allowed on the roads? There where horses using the road network before the car or even the bike were invented. Start trying to ban one class of road user is the thin edge of the wedge. What is really needed in more respect of other from the motorised road using lobby, those petty bullies shouldn't be tolerated...


New Member
Perhaps a more accurate question should be "should horses be banned from the roads?" - they're allowed on 'em already.


New Member
Of course horses should be allowed on the road.

They've been using the roads for millennia!

And that's quite a long time before the first car coughed into life.

And they'll still be there long after the last car's spluttered to a halt.

Fine by me.

John the Monkey

Frivolous Cyclist
Yes from me - seeing them cheers me up. The riders will normally give you a wave, and sometimes pass the time of day. There should be more forms of transport where people can chat from them, I think.


Über Member
I really don't like horses at all.

But other people do so it's not my business if they want to waste their time on one when they could be riding a bike.

And as I said, I don't find them a bother at all on the road. Just slow down and show a bit of courtesey. Ain't so difficult.


With a horse riders hat on, I will offer courtesy to everyone who does the same to me. It costs nothing, and goes a long way ;)


I think the argument that horses have been using the roads for centuries, they were the main mode of transport in the middle ages yadda yadda yadda, is a valid one - you can't exactly just kick them off as they were there first.
However, most horse people drive 4x4s, even those that don't drive anything get groceries and other goods that have been delivered by motor vehicles, so basically all horse riders in the modern age are beneficiaries of the motor vehicle in some way, so they are just going to have to accept that motor vehicles and cyclists are a feature of our society in this day and age, so they have a modicum of duty to make sure their steed is safe around them, i.e. is trained (and trained WELL) not to throw a strop and rear up when it sees one, rather the putting the onus of blame onto the other vehicle driver or cyclist simply for being there. I would be more amenable to horses if their riders and owners didn't display such arrogant attitudes as those that think it's everyone ELSE's responsibility but theirs to ensure THEIR horse doesn't get spooked. Even the youngsters get trained to do it from a young age. I was once cycling past some, probably about 13 year old, girls on horses, and I rode past them at about 10mph, and gave them a wide berth of about 2 metres, they shouted after me quite indignantly and rehearsedly 'don't ride fast past horses!' I shouted back 'fast? you haven't seen fast!' their horses were fine, they didn't get spooked at all, they just wanted to be a bit bolshy as they're obviously psyched up to do by their posh parents.


Bonj, hit the return button occasionally eh?

I didn't expect that response from you to be honest. You're right, horse owners do use the roads with motorised vehicles also and this gives them a good understanding of the intricacies of the problems on our roads. Most are excellent, considerate and thoughtfull drivers in my experience because that is the courtesy they would like shown to them.

It is people with little patience, understanding and perception and a high degree of selfishness who make things unpleasant.


New Member
I haven't seen a horse on the roads in about 20 years (I think).

Anyone who sees lots of horses needs to relocate because the whole area sounds dangerous and unkempt.


linfordlunchbox said:
Horses are allowed on the road because they are under the control of the riders.
Not all the time they're not!
I've seen a horse in a large group of horses rearing up and the rider was struggling to control it, it wouldn't stop rearing its front legs up and waving them about.
This was on a canal towpath, and it was doing this before I approached, so it wasn't me that caused it. I pulled in the side and held myh bike on the verge as close in to the hedge as I could while they passed, and they still frowned at me as they passed.
This although anecdotal is not atypical of the attitudes, and just this one little thing can make you angry as you continue your journey and take away faith in humanity's propensity to be nice to one another, and removes all respect horses.

linfordlunchbox said:
If a cyclist were to act in a way to deliberately frighten the horse, then both the horse and its rider could be put in extreme danger. They are fight or flight animals, and 99 times out of 100, they would run from people on cycles acting in an aggressive manner.
But it's perfectly reasonable to expect a cyclist to "be there". Simply being there, or even moving along slowly, quietly and considerately, doesn't constitute 'behaving in an aggressive manner', and if this is deemed too aggressive for the horse, then there's not really much else the cyclist can do about that, short of not 'being there', and if this is the case then it's the horse that has got the problem, not the other way round, and therefore in my opinion it's the horse that shouldn't be there.

I'm not wanting to have a go at you linf, and I'm trying not to make this an ad hominem argument, so if you're a considerate horse rider who trains your horse well, is tolerant of other road/bridlepath users and appreciates courtesy rather than frowns when it is afforded to you, then I've no problem with you whatsoever. My beef is just with the fact that if you are those things, then unfortunately according to my experience you're in a minority, and your fellow equestrianists are letting you down as they're doing your side no favours with their bad attitudes..
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