Hats off to the car and truck travelers on Lambert’s Cove Road for your patience and understanding of my slow down, pass wide, and wait hand signals while traffic-training my young gray horse, Rio. Yes, I am the woman whose heartily called-out thank you is most sincere. Our safety is dependent on your help. While riding on a busy road is not ideal, sometimes it is necessary to get to the trails that are open to us. Therefore, it is essential that our steeds be willing to negate their natural instinct of flight and trust in their rider to keep them safe. This can be especially challenging when large trucks towing “monsters” are going by! I really appreciate your stopping and letting us pass by you.

(Employers, please share this with your truck drivers.) And the motorcycles, well, let’s just say it’s a work in progress. Ideally, if we could have a Harley pass by each day, starting at 50 feet away, then 40, 30, and be okay at 20 feet distance, that would be a training dream. The louder the unknown, the more scary.

For the record, here’s how the law reads:

Chapter 90. Motor Vehicles and Aircraft Motor Vehicles, Precautions for Safety of Other Travelers:
Every person operating a motor vehicle shall bring the vehicle and the motor propelling it immediately to a stop when approaching a cow, horse or other draft animal being led, ridden or driven, if such animal appears to be frightened and if the person in charge thereof shall signal so to do; and, if  traveling in the opposite direction to that in which such animal is proceeding, said vehicle shall remain stationary so long as may be reasonable to allow such animal to pass; or, if traveling in the same direction, the person operating shall use reasonable caution in thereafter passing such animal.

So please slow down and pass wide whenever approaching equines or draft animals.

Most riders may not be able to signal to you, having to keep both hands on the reins, encouraging their horses to stay calm.

Again, my sincere thanks for your help in keeping us safe.

Vickie Thurber
West Tisbury