A Northland horse rider is sick of having ''frightening experiences'' while riding her mount on roads and is urging motorists to show more caution and consideration.

While riding on Maungatapere roads, Carli Butturini has had a couple of frightening experiences with motorists driving recklessly around her and her horse, Lenox.

She said "nothing angers me more" than drivers passing dangerously.

A Whangārei Pony Club Association member, Butturini said horses on the road should "be treated like school buses that are parked on the side of the road" - as though a child is going to run out from it.


Horses and their riders need to be given a wide berth and should not be passed when there is traffic travelling on the other side of the road too, she said.

''If there is traffic on both sides, the motorist should wait until the oncoming traffic has passed before they overtake the horse.''

Butturini said drivers should slow down to 20km and not make loud noises such as sounding their horn.

''Most people are usually pretty good, they will slow down, but not usually to 20km.''

When drivers are going too fast, she slowly raises her hands up and down to indicate they need to slow down. On a few occasions she has noticed they wave back in a "cheeky" manner but don't slow down.

Carli Butturini with her horse Lenox demonstrates how to manage riding on the side of the road when vehicles are passing.
Carli Butturini with her horse Lenox demonstrates how to manage riding on the side of the road when vehicles are passing.

Although normally only riding on the road for a short length of time, Butturini said she still comes across drivers who are rude to her.

She said she is usually only on the road between two driveways while riding to the farm next door.

Butturini was verbally abused by one person, who put their head out the window and yelled what she assumed was "get off the road."


She said it is legal for horses to be ridden on roads.

Another time, a truck with a boat and trailer sped past her.

"If he swerved, he could have hit me and my horse."

It is dangerous for everyone involved in the situation if a horse gets a fright, as they can be flighty animals, Butturini said.

"If they get a fright they are going to go to the open space and if that happens then the horse is going to go on to the road."

The message about considerate driving around horses was highlighted in 2017 in a national campaign, Ride for Road Safety.

Although the law calls for drivers to slow to 70 km/h and give a two-metre berth where possible when passing horses, the Ride for Road Safety campaign called for the speed to be dropped to 20km/h.