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The British Horse Society is warning motorists to watch out for horses on the roads and to take care when overtaking. Because of the restrictions on riding on many bridleways, riders are being forced to use the roads to exercise their horses.

The DETR has said "Many footpaths remain closed, but the Task Force is reviewing where footpaths can be safely reopened. In the meantime you can walk, ride or cycle as usual on tarred roads and rights of way which are open".

There is no danger of horses spreading foot and mouth by using the roads, any more than walkers, cyclists or cars. Yet riders are being abused by car drivers and walkers who are themselves doing what they attack riders for - going along the road! In some cases they have been turned back by police.

* Horses do not spread foot and mouth
* Horses are allowed on the roads during the present crisis
* Car drivers should watch out for more horses on the roads
* Motorists should pass horses wide and slow - ONLY when the road ahead is clear
* Riders should wear plenty of hi-viz gear so they can beseen. The BHS stock a hi-viz rug - as used by Merseyside Police - in the BHS Bookshop 08701 20 19 18 or

The BHS is advising riders to exercise caution in riding on rural roads that are adjacent to livestock. Check with the landowner concerned to make sure he is happy about it.

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