It strikes me that for every highly responsible horse rider, sharer or owner there must be a high number of irresponsible ones who toy with danger every time they ride out!
Being insured is not just about having your vet bills paid when colic surgery is needed. The insurance you get for rider and horse can protect you and others around you so why take the risk.
I live in an area with tiny lanes and tight corners, which often restricts the view as you drive along. Even on a good day with high vis gear it is not uncommon to see a horse getting spooked by something in a bush or plodding along around a blind corner oblivious to the fact that this is a very dangerous and precarious place to be.
I know this article is going to cause a stir with riders all over the country throwing rocks at the pc as they read this but let’s reverse the reasoning for a moment.
Let’s imagine you are driving along, with awareness of your surroundings and you come across a horse and rider. As a good driver you slow right down and back off. It is then that the rider flags you past and turns to confirm their intentions. As you pass, slow and wide the horse becomes agitated and then jumps away from something in the bush which results in the horse kicking the car and leaving the rider on your bonnet. The horse is now quite freaked by the event and canters off up the road to meet another vehicle head on and without any time or space to deviate the horse crashes into the van and is killed.
So whose fault is it?
- As the driver they took all precautions and acted in a responsible manner to make sure they did not upset or scare the horse.
- The rider took all measures to make sure the passing point was safe and was under the impression that their horse was ready to be passed.
- The van driver who was driving safely, within the speed limits had no time to alter course before the collision.
Police arrive on the scene and the emergency services respond to deal with the mop up and all persons are taken to the hospital.
Turns out the horse rider was uninsured!
All the best will in the world, the horse was the beginning of the whole event and by spooking it kicked off a chain of events that caused injury, damage and death.
The owner is now screaming blue murder accusing everyone for negligence and all their horsey friends are yelling, but this doesn’t change the fact that a horse was a public road with no insurance in the case of an accident.