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Trading in traffic for equine training

The Horse Trust recently ran the first two pilot courses for Highways England  which was an extreme success.

Horses loose on road networks are a dangerous prospect, both for public safety and equine welfare so these courses hope to improve the safety of Traffic Officers and in turn the welfare of horses.

This is why The Horse Trust and the British Animal Rescue and Trauma Care Association (BARTA) are developing bespoke courses, tailor made to meet the needs of anyone whose job may cause them to encounter horses in their everyday activities enabling a common approach and understanding.

The Horse Trust will be rolling out training to 1024 Highways England Traffic Officers, who look after the safety of the public, dealing with around 120 horse related incidents on motorway networks each year.

The attendees cover the essential elements of horse behaviour. They then apply these skills practically by approaching and catching loose horses, moving horses that cannot be caught and loading, taking into account the horse’s natural instincts and how they learn.

During the courses emphasis will be placed on reducing anxiety and minimising further stress by having an awareness of how horses react during dynamic and frightening situations. Responders can use this knowledge to facilitate ways of calming the situation and controlling the scene in order to resolve it using the skills they have received, coupled with resources and other agencies in place to support them.

This training is a major step forward in organisational planning to resolve the challenges animals place on their staff and safeguard the public and The Horse Trust is proud to be delivering this. This also goes hand in hand with the training already delivered to the Police and Fire and Rescue Service.

The feedback from Traffic Officer’s was extremely positive:

“Fantastic day, I am now more confident in handling horses, despite never doing anything with them before”

“Interesting day, an excellent presentation and demonstration from Charlotte”

“Excellent day, I really enjoyed it. I definitely feel more confident in dealing with animals, great practical sessions”

“A very good fundamental course on understanding animal behaviour, prior to our approach to animals on the network. Charlotte was particularly professional and taught at a clear level. The Horse Trust organisation is professional and a perfect host for this course. An excellent course and look forward to further development. Good course, thank you”

The Training Manager Charlotte Launder said “The course was extremely successful, it is extremely important that responders understand how horses behave, particularly when frightened in order to lessen their trauma and to keep those attending them, and the public, safe. It is really rewarding to see the responders grow in confidence when handling and dealing with horses”.

For more information on the training we do here at The Horse Trust, please contact

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