Public Roads as Places of Interspecies Conflict: A Study of Horse-Human Interactions on UK Roads and Impacts on Equine Exercise

Pollard, Danica and Furtado, Tamzin ORCID: 0000-0002-1590-6417
(2021) Public Roads as Places of Interspecies Conflict: A Study of Horse-Human Interactions on UK Roads and Impacts on Equine Exercise. ANIMALS, 11 (4). 1072-.

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Real or perceived traffic risk is a significant barrier to walking and cycling. To understand whether similar barriers influence equestrians, this study obtained exercise behaviours, road use and experiences of road-related incidents from UK equestrians (<i>n</i> = 6390) via an online questionnaire. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to identify factors associated with road use and experiencing a near-miss or injury-causing incident in the previous year. Content analysis identified themes around equestrians' decisions not to use roads. Our results show that most equestrians (84%) use roads at least once weekly, and in the previous year, 67.7% had a near-miss and 6.1% an injury-causing incident. Road use differs regionally, with exercise type and off-road route availability. Road-using equestrians covered greater daily distances and were younger. However, younger equestrians were at higher risk of near-misses. Respondents' decisions not to use roads were based on individualised risk assessments arising from: the road itself, perceptions of other road users, the individual horse and the handler's own emotional management. Roads were perceived as extremely dangerous places with potentially high conflict risk. Injury-causing incidents were associated with increasing road-use anxiety or ceasing to use roads, the proximity of off-road routes, having a near-miss and type of road use. Targeted road-safety campaigns and improved off-road access would create safer equestrian spaces.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: horse riding, horse-related injuries, road use, road traffic accidents, road safety, vulnerable road users
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Population Health
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2021 15:15
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2024 03:04
DOI: 10.3390/ani11041072
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