Reporter BETHANY SEARBY is a keen horsewoman. She regularly exercises her horses on roads close to her home village in the heart of the Lincolnshire Wolds. However, a recent near miss with a passing lorry left her shaken and in floods of tears. She - and her horse Pie - were lucky...unlike others.
It was a bright and beautiful morning, and my horse, Pie, jogged down the lane at the side of me, eager for a morning’s exercise.
I was sure that I’d remember this ride fondly.
And, indeed, I do look back on it - but not for the reasons I had hoped for.
Even when I first got Pie as a very young horse, I’ve always felt safe on her out on the roads.
By nature, she’s a not a nervous animal - but when drivers consider their speed and distance, she’s perfectly quiet, which keeps her, me, and the driver safe.
That feeling changed in a heartbeat as we were ambling back into my village.
I could see a truck steaming towards us but I wasn’t concerned.
The driver had plenty of time to see us,
I thought...don’t worry, he’ll slow down.
But when I realised this driver had no intention of slowing, I gave Pie a gentle nudge - my way of asking: ‘Do you trust me to keep you safe when this car comes past?’
Pie’s answer came in an explosion of terrified motion: ‘No’ was the answer.
When horses are startled, their movement is fast and unpredictable.
A jolt forward threw me out of the saddle and onto the base of Pie’s neck in a split second.
I knew that if I fell off, Pie could bolt in any direction - perhaps into the path of a car or the lorry.
And then she swung round, knocking me even further off balance.
I still can’t believe I managed to stay on but the driver, despite having seen what had just happened, ‘revved’ away as fast as he could.
I was left feeling frightened and shaken.
There was nothing else for me to do but burst into tears.
I thought I’d never hack again, but with support and reassurance, Pie and I have gradually shaken off our fear and are starting to enjoy rides in the countryside once more.
It could have been a different story.