HORSE riders in Purbeck will take to their saddles in protest this weekend – to raise awareness of changes to road safety rules.
Last year, updates to the Highway Code brought in a series of changes to advice to motorists, including when passing horses.
However, a group of Purbeck riders say many behind the wheel are still unaware of the new rules regarding passing horses on the road.
To highlight the issue, they are set to take part in a national horse ride on Sunday (September 17).
Riders across the country will set out, calling for better signage and more joined up bridle paths.
“Drivers know about the new Highway Code as it applies to cyclists,” said rider, Kelly Osborne, who is set to join the Purbeck demonstration.
“What many don’t know is it applies equally to horse riders.”
What does the Highway Code say about passing horses on the road?
Last year’s changes to the Highway Code put more of an emphasis on drivers being aware of horses and riders.
It warns drivers to be prepared for horse riders on country roads and take extra care on bends.
They are told to pass horses not just wide and slow, but at a maximum speed of 10mph, and to leave no less than 2m space.
They are also warned riders may be travelling double file – side by side.
Drivers are also told not to sound their horn, rev engines, or accelerate rapidly while passing.
The ride will begin at the Norden roundabout at 11am, progressing past Boar Mill, Church Knowle and into Corfe Castle square.
The group has contacted the police, Dorset Council, the parish council and Richard Drax, MP for South Dorset, asking for support for more signs.
The group is also calling on landowners to open permissive bridle paths to horses and cyclists, minimising the time they must spend on roads.