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which hi vis to use when riding

Be Safe & Be Seen This Autumn & Winter

With the nights drawing in, it’s time to dust off your hi-vis for another season of use.

Whilst it’s important to wear hi-vis out hacking & dog walking all year round, it’s especially important in the winter months when visibility is at its lowest. Horse and rider hi-vis clothing and equipment are essential for ensuring visibility and safety when riding on roads or in low-light conditions. Hi-vis clothing and equipment include items such as fluorescent jackets, vests, leg bands, and reflective strips on tack and helmets. Wearing a Hi-Vis makes it easier for other road users to see you, giving them more time to react and slow down as they approach. Also, if you were to have an accident and part ways with your horse, wearing Hi-Vis can make you easier to find too!

Horses themselves can be made more visible by attaching hi-vis leg bands or boots, tail guards or attaching a reflective sheet to the saddle. These measures can increase the chances that drivers will see the horse and rider from a distance, which reduces the risk of accidents.

It is important to note that hi-vis clothing and equipment do not guarantee safety, but they do help to increase visibility and reduce the risk of accidents. It is also important to remember that wearing hi-vis clothing doesn't replace the need for safe riding practices, such as riding in traffic, using proper hand signals, and following the rules of the road.

The best colour of hi-vis to use can greatly depend on the season, and which colours are present in the ‘backdrop’ that you are riding in. To really stand out you can wear several colours, e.g. wearing an orange vest, pink hat band and yellow brushing boots will really help you to be more visible.

Living in the British countryside also brings British weather- just because it’s sunny when you set off, doesn’t mean it will be sunny on the way home!

In the spring, oranges and greens are present in hedgerows and trees, therefore the best colour of choice may be pink, as it’s a different contrast from the environment.

In the summer, the skies are blue (mostly!), and the hedges and trees are thick with green growth. A contrasting colour to this would be oranges and pinks.

In the autumn the trees are turning, and browns and oranges tend to become more prominent, hence your yellow hi-vis will stand out the most.

Finally, in the winter months when the natural tones are browns, greys and whites, this is where any of the 3 colours would be a good choice.

All in all, any Hi-Vis is better than no Hi-Vis! This keeps not only you and your horse safe, but also other road users too.

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