Share The Road — With A Horse

If you think riding a horse along a road in New England harkens back to the distant past with horse and buggies, think again. On Saturday, June 10, horse riders will take to the roads for the 6th Annual “Share The Road – Horses Paved The Way” event in the communities of East Longmeadow, Hadley, Northampton, Palmer, and Belchertown.

Jose Rubero, an event organizer, said many people believe that riding horses on public roadways is illegal, but that’s far from the case in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts laws support horse riders on the road. One provision — Chapter 90 Section 14 — even requires that if a rider signals a vehicle to stop, the person driving the vehicle needs to shut off their engine or pass the horse rider when it’s safe to do so.

“We have issues where we’re riding in the streets, even in rural towns, we have people speed by. And there have been incidents reported across the state of people getting hurt,” Rubero said.

Why ride your horse on the road with cars on it? Mostly because it’s fun, Rubero said.

“People ride every weekend across rural towns in Massachusetts all over the place,” he said. “In those isolated roads and these isolated pockets they are riding in the streets … This is a blast — riding in the city and getting to an intersection and coming up to the red light just like the bicycle rider and the other car. And everyone is staring at you and taking pictures. Your horse is nice and calm and trained to be able to do this.”

The event is supported by the Blue Star Equiculture Farm in Palmer and the Granby Regional Horse Council. For more information visit the event Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/Share-The-Road-Horses-Paved-The-Way-833459480079190.

Chris Goudreau can be reached at cgoudreau@valleyadvocate.com.

Author: Chris Goudreau

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