A York stables is one of the prime movers behind a campaign to draw attention to the ‘increasingly dangerous activity’ of horse riding on the roads.
Naburn Grange is a family-run riding school, based just off the B1222 in Naburn.
That means any rider leaving the yard to enjoy the local countryside must ride on the road.
A spokesperson for the the riding school, said : “Over the last few years this has become an increasingly dangerous activity.
“Whilst most drivers are courteous and respectful, the speed limit of 60mph; the nature of the road with many bends and the varied users (horses; campsite users; tractors; motorbikes; cycles, cars, buses and HGVs) mean there are incidents involving horses on a daily basis.
“This can be passing too close; passing too fast; overtaking on a blind bend; verbal abuse and other actions that make riding out from the yard an increasingly fraught activity.
“Many riders have simple stopped hacking out and we are very wary of letting children out on their horses.
“In a recent incident 15-year-old Bethan and her horse Troy were out hacking when a motorbike came round a blind bend and crashed into a car behind her. Thankfully nobody was seriously hurt, but this is not an isolated example.”
To draw attention to the problems, Naburn Grange is organising a Pass Wide and Slow awareness ride on the 16th September at 10am.
The horses and supporters will ride and walk from the stables to Naburn village and back.
In a potential national first, City of York Council is getting some new signage fitted on the road.
The Pegasus sign will be activated when riders leave the yard and stay flashing for 15 minutes, and the same on the return trip.
Ride organiser Justine Andrew said: “My horse, April, weighs over half a ton and even though she is really good on the road – she has her own mind.
“The rules of passing wide and slow, at 2m distance and at 10mph are there for everyone’s safety.
“Most people are really respectful, but this is about raising general awareness for cyclists, drivers and motorbikes about passing horses, and other vulnerable road users, safely.
“If we can get that simple pass wide and slow message out, we may help prevent more accidents in the future.”
The ride is being supported by Wheldrake councillor Christian Vassie.
He said: “It is important the roads are safe for all road users, including vulnerable users like horses. I am really pleased to support this event on behalf of City of York Council and get our message of road safety out there.”