Monthly Group Meet - April 19
RoSPA Advanced Drivers & Riders East Yorkshire (E-YARD) monthly group meet was, as usual held at Beverley Golf Club.
The group welcomed guest speakers, Rachel Glossop and Astrid Padgett from the British Horse Society
Rachel and Astrid are avid horse riders, and are heavily involved in trying to improve safety for the equine community and to develop an understanding between themselves and other road users.
Their talk looked into the psyche of horses, and their unpredictability.
Rachel explained that the horse is a prey animal and believes everything is out to get them!
They have a 270 degree field of vision, and can get spooked from something virtually behind them! Things such as an upturned leaf in a hedgerow, because of it's contrast or a rustling of a bird in a hedge can frighten or make them excited.
Astrid went on to say how, as a herd animal, one horse, if spooked, can 'set' any others off.
By riding in pairs, they explained how a nervous animal was best placed away from traffic, with the more calm horse on the outside - hence why some riders remain two abreast.
Horses are easily confused by something they can't understand which quickly can turn into fear, resulting in fight or flight response.
They encourage road users, where possible, to approach steadily, and if possible speak, a simple "Hello" or similar so the horse realises it is a human (imagine what a helmeted rider looks like to a horse!)
A fascinating look into the equine mind and how to deal with them, Astrid and Rachel kept the group enthralled throughout, answering questions at the end of the session.