Horseback riding safety

I live in Shelburne Orchards off Orchard Rd. I have been horseback riding for over 30 years. In the last few years the traffic on Bostwick Road and Orchard Road has increased tenfold. Last year I was almost hit by a car on Orchard Road. They were going too fast rounding the corner by our driveway, and when they put on their brakes, the car began to fishtail, and stopped narrowly missing me. The car continued on as though nothing happened, and I was too stunned to get their license plate number.

I try to avoid the road as much as possible, but due to all the rain, the fields are too wet and roads are sometimes the only option. Some drivers are very courteous, while others do not slow down at all. Horses are unpredictable animals, and can spook anytime, even the calmest ones. All it would take is something to scare them, and they could jump sideways into an oncoming car. If that car was slowing down for the horse and rider, they might have time to stop. If not, it would be a terrible accident.   

It is Vermont law that horse and rider have the right of way, but I’m not sure if drivers even know that.

Cindy Cowles – Shelburne