There’s no denying that high-vis is an essential bit of kit – in fact whether hacking on or off-road, you shouldn’t leave home without it. When you’re on the road it makes you easier to see, giving other road users an amazing three extra seconds to see you and react. However, it’s also important to increase your visibility in case of an unfortunate event that sees you and your horse separated, to reduce the time it takes for emergency services and others to locate you.
What colour high-vis should I wear?
Fluorescent fabrics have traditionally been the most popular form of high-vis clothing because they react to UV rays from the sun, making them glow. They come in a variety of colours, including...
The most popular colour, which stands out on the road
May blend into autumn hedgerows and leaves but stands out against crops
The least natural colour of fluorescent clothing, it stands out well alone or combined with others
Wear a combination of colours to make you stand out in the changing seasons.
Time to reflect
Another technical quality used to boost horse and rider visibility is reflectivity. Traditionally used in the form of tape or piping combined with fluorescent materials, more companies are introducing products made almost solely of retro-reflective materials. This material reflects whatever direct light is shone onto it and, while it has a shine during the day, at night it absolutely glows when hit by headlights. This material incorporates millions of tiny glass beads that shine brightly and make the wearer more visible.
Did you know?
In 2019, 845 incidents involving horses and vehicles were reported to the British Horse Society (BHS).
Up to standard
To ensure your high-vis wardrobe is effective, look out for BSI approved standards BSEN1150 or EN1150. This is the main standard that ensures you’ll be clearly visible to motorists and other road users whatever the weather and lighting conditions – bright daylight as well as rain, mist, dusk and night-time. To achieve this, clothing must have a combination of fluorescent and reflective material – the best of both worlds.
Did you know?
There’s currently no law stating that riders must wear high-vis on the road, but it’s essential for you and your horse’s safety and visibility. As a minimum, BHS recommends that riders wear a high-vis jacket or tabard and their horse has high-vis leg bands.