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Letter: Make way for horses

Seeing a horse and rider on the side of the road is a common occurrence in our state. As operators of motor vehicles, we are required to respect their right to use the road. The following state law deals directly with this situation:

“RSA 265:104 Approaching Horses. Every person having control or charge of a vehicle shall, whenever upon any way and approaching any horse, drive, manage, and control such vehicle in such a manner as to exercise every reasonable precaution to prevent the frightening of such horse, and to insure the safety and protection of any person riding or driving the same.”

The New Hampshire Horse Council advises, “The most important message is to slow down and pass wide, allowing as much room as feasible between the horse and the vehicle. The important part about slowing down is to allow the horse and rider enough time to realize a vehicle is approaching and make sure the horse is under full control. It is important to realize that the horse is not able to see well to the rear and the rider is also going to be less aware of approaching vehicles from the rear. Most important, a driver should never sound their horn at horses as this might cause them to spook.”

While we all need to be reminded to slow down once in a while, it is especially important to drive slowly when we encounter horses, which can be easily frightened. Horse owners appreciate the courtesy.

We should also remember that in our small towns, we are all neighbors; including the riders we pass during our travels on local roads.



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