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Be Seen This Winter Says BETA

THE British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) has put out a call for riders to be more safety conscious in the run up to and during the winter.

Riding on the road can be dangerous but at times unavoidable and in winter it is more important than ever to make sure both you and your horse are visible to drivers.

"Many people do not maximise their visibility when they're out on the roads" says Claire Williams of BETA.

"High visibility clothing is not just baggy, green tabards anymore. There's a whole new range of stylish gear available on the market, so there's no excuse for not being safe on the roads this winter."

The most important area to highlight is the riders' head as this can be seen above car height in built up areas and also above fences and hedgerows on country roads so make sure you invest in a fluorescent hat cover.

Highlighting points on your horse can also make a big difference. Tail guards with reflective strips are perfect for increasing visibility from behind while a bridle kit, with strips for the browband, noseband and both reins will make a big difference to oncoming traffic.

Features such as reflective leg bands and fluorescent exercise sheets help drivers judge your size when they are passing you and there are all sorts of alternatives to the standard tabard such as waistcoats in a variety of colours including pink, purple and classic black and even reversible jackets that can be worn as a fleece around the yard and a fluorescent jacket when out riding.

"The range of high visibility wear is constantly improving and many companies have spotted the need for a more fashionable approach to reflective gear," says Claire. "This is great news as it is encouraging more and more riders to put safety first when they are out on the roads."



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Updated: October 2005.