The Icelandic Equestrian Association has partnered with VÍS insurance company to increase rider and horse visibility and help reduce collisions with vehicles, Vísir reports. Near-collisions between vehicles and horseback riders are not uncommon in Iceland, with one fatality on record due to such an accident. The risk of collision is especially high during Iceland’s dark winter days.
The project focuses on offering reflectors for both equestrians and their horses, so that both the animal and rider can be seen if they are separated on the road. There is a considerable risk that a horse will bolt or react unpredictably when surprised by an unexpected vehicle on the road, the Equestrian Association explains on their website.
“Increased population density demands that horseback riders are particularly vigilant in regards to their visibility. Stables which were previously situated far from inhabited areas are now in or near to town centers and the traffic in these areas has increased accordingly,” says Halla Kjartansdóttir of the Equestrian Association’s safety council.
The Icelandic Equestrian Association advocates a variety of reflective gear. For riders: reflective vests, as well as reflective tape on helmets, boots and stirrups. For horses: reflective bands around the fetlocks and reflective ribbons for the tail.
You can see photos of horses and riders in their reflective wear on the reflector initiative’s Facebook page.