Safety for Horse Riders on Bridleways
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In 2014, a local farmer tried to have the bridlepaths (numbers 152 and 153) that run through Caer Llwyn Bach Farm shut down and downgraded to a footpath. Caerphilly Borough County Council denied his request. These bridlepaths have been open to horseriders, cyclists and walkers for at least 60 years and are still open today.
Earlier today (1st August 2017), my mother and I were hacking our horses through this bridlepath as we have done once before without incident (no loose horses). But this time, as we reached half way, two cob type stallions around 14 hands charged towards us and were aggressively circling us. Despite trying to stay calm and manage the situation, (we did not know they were stallions at this point) things quickly escalated with all four horses kicking out at each other. One of the stallions began trying to mount one of our mares. Luckily, my mum managed to get to the gate and get out the field, but my horse was in a complete panic surrounded by both of the stallions trying to mount her. I had no choice but to jump off and drop my reins. I let my horse loose in the hope that she would run to the gate to get out of the field too. She galloped to the gate with both stallions in pursuit. My mum quickly opened the gate to let my mare through and thank god, she managed to shut the gate before both stallions barged past.
We and our horses were literally shaking with shock. The stallions were pacing along the fence line, one of them very aggressively, and looking as if he were gearing to jump the fence.
Because this is a bridlepath and a footpath, the public have a right to safe access through the field. So, we went to speak to the landowner to explain what had happened and asked him whether he would move his two stallions somewhere else to avoid a nasty, perhaps fatal, accident from happening to us or someone else. Through the conversation, it became evident that the stallions serve his purpose in that they deter any horse riders and walkers from passing through. He confirmed that he would not be moving them unless forced to do so by the authorities. We have spoken to the police (who said it was not a matter for them as no one was hurt … this time) and they advised us to contact the council. We did this and it seems that they are looking into it.
We would like to know how many feel as we do, in that bridlepaths should be kept open and safe and should not have stallions running loose to terrorise those who wish to use them. Already, there are few bridlepaths for horse riders to use in this area and we believe this kind of selfishness by land owners is unacceptable since he is quite happy for an injury or even fatality to occur to innocent members of the public to protect his own interests.
Please sign this petition (especially if you ride around Mynydd Islwyn) to make a change towards safer footpaths and bridlepaths.
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Marina Yamamoto needs your help with “Countryside and Landscape Service: Safety for Horse Riders on Bridleways”. Join Marina and 1,979 supporters today.