Glow Means Slow
What is Glow Means Slow?
Glow Means Slow was launched in February 2017, to not only highlight the importance of ‘BEING SEEN’ when riding out on the roads and rural lanes, but also help educate motorists in approaching with ease and courtesy.
I am and many others are passionate horse owners/ and lovers. All we want is for our equines and family members to be safe when hacking out. Glow Means Slow is about shouting that we wear Hi Viz on ourselves and our horses. So that motorists and other road users SLOW down. I started the campaign due to witnessing a black horse and rider on a country lane at dusk with NO Hi Viz on. If it wasn’t for me going slow, I could’ve easily have hit them and that was something I didn’t want on my conscience, so that night the campaign was born.
Horses are naturally a flight animal and cannot speak for themselves when they’re in pain, don’t want to be ridden or subjected to an stressful situation. The campaign is about speaking for them, telling motorists that YES we may look ridiculous when wearing Hi Viz clothing. But what else can we do to buy us time for a motorist to SLOW DOWN on approach. Horses cannot see directly in front of them nor can they see directly behind, so as a driver can you really penalise them for reacting when you race up behind them or approach them?
The images illustrate an equines field of vision, from being a ridden horses perspective to a driving horse (horse in a cart) perspective.
As you can see when ridden they have no blinkers covering their eyes. They have a greater field of vision to assess what’s going on around them. From what’s in a bush to a big white road sign painted in the road. They see everything around them as a threat and that’s where it’s the owner’s responsibility to educate them and desensitise them from the word go.
When a horse is placed into a harness and pulling a wagon behind them, their field of vision becomes reduced. The horses rely more on their handlers, by trusting them and also listening to their voice when they are out on the road. The person holding those reins has got to be someone the horse’s trust, someone they know in their minds is going to keep them safe, so why are there still collisions with horses are motorists?
Speed Kills:- As the years are progressing there has been a sharp increase in incidents involving equines and vehicles. Currently, it’s only in the Highway Code advising how to drive around animals and horses on the roads. There’s a part in there about advising equestrians how to dress when using the roads, so why are riders still putting their lives, their horses and even others around them at risk?
Motorists and other road users have said there is no place for horses on our roads anymore! But we as riders have no choice, with bridleways often intersecting with roads. This means we have to use the roads, especially when farmers to do not permit access with their tracks at certain times of the year and also bridleways being closed to make way for development. If motorists can share the roads with cyclists why are horses any different?
Is it because they may take a poo on the road? Is it because they are a ton worth of animal that has the factor of doing a lot of damage when frightened? They could kill someone? Or is it because people purely have no patience any-more to take their time behind a horse and rider until it safe to overtake?
Answer- All of the above! Somehow horses have lost their place in society, somehow people have the perspective of horses belong in a field for someone to look at.
Glow Means Slow is a supplier where you can find Hi Viz readily available in a wide range of colours. If you want to get noticed then you’ll make sure that you Glow. The season’s change and so can your Hi Viz wear, or even better when speaking to other equestrians they now mix their colours up and wear 2 colours combined.
But also for horses, you can get a variety of colours. Here is a group of riders who follow the campaign and assisted with showing that horses can have a full wardrobe of colours too.
Where and When to wear Hi Viz?
Here at Glow Means Slow, we recommend that when riding your horse unless your competing, it should be everywhere. So if you’re doing road work or riding around farmland and woodland then Hi Viz is essential.
Road work is essential for motorists to see us, SLOW DOWN and Pass Wide, usually at least 2m between the horse and vehicle is sufficient. The reason for this is due to allowing the rider space, should an incident arise, be it the horse spooks and the horse veers off towards the middle of the road or a ditch. The rider can then calm them down, bringing the horse to a stop and continue on with their ride. A road user speeding past them can not only spook the horse but also could cause potential injury! Even in my experience, I’ve had abuse hurled at me from other road users, including “Horses shouldn’t be on the roads!”. Other aggressive unpleasant remarks from motorists have included “They belong in a field, are you going to clear up after your horse after he takes a poo!”. But from a horses perspective if the rider begins to tense up and fell fearful you’ll find the horse’s attitude will change too.
As many people have seen recently horses are in the news quite a lot, they’re involved in accidents, riders injured or worse death. We don’t ask for this to happen, all we do is share the roads and want to hack to the nearest bridle path so we can carry on as normal and not be an inconvenience to anyone.
Even riding on country tracks we also recommend that you should also wear Hi Viz clothing garments to remain safe. This is due to becoming hard to see if you are to become separated from your horse. If injured and a medical team called in, the air ambulance and rescue teams can find you but also if your horse bolts they are visible. When riding in the woods and on tracks be sure to wear the right colour Hi Viz that DOESN’T blend in with the environment.
Glow Means Slow - Why horses should wear Hi Viz
Finally, make sure on all occasions that YOUR HORSE wears some form of Hi Viz. Even if it’s hot then there are still martingales, boots, leg wraps and fly veils that your horse can wear. When a road user is using the roads the first thing they see of a horse is their tail and their back legs, or if they’re approaching them it’ll be their head, chest and legs. They won’t be looking up to see the rider they will be seeing the horse.
Glow Means Slow is about being safe, glowing so you are both visible and also educating others on the safest manner to approach and overtake you when you’re on the road.
Follow Glow Means Slow on social media
Glow Means Slow has a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram page so you can keep up-to-date with us, what we are doing or for basic information if you are unsure about overtaking horses on the roads. Also for riders it gives you an idea what can be worn and also what your horse can wear.