A horse rider believes she had a lucky escape after her horse slipped on a resurfaced road.
Jodie Long’s horse Harry slipped at the Three Cocked Hat junction with Coleman’s Lane on July 23.
The 19-year-old care-worker says she “could have a broken pelvis” and is “really lucky” to have walked away from the incident with only cuts to her elbow.
Miss Long says Harry has road nails in his shoes to assist hacking over the Island’s roads.
She met with Island Roads safety officers on Monday (August 20) at the site of the incident to discuss the issue.
Speaking before the meeting Miss Long explained the fall from Harry, who is fully shod, has never fallen before and has road nails in his shoes.
She said: “He put his right back leg down, and it just shot straight back behind him. He did his natural leg movement and couldn’t get grip.
“I thought he was going to come backwards and land completely on top of me but he dumped me on the right, and changed his balance to the left, his body was then up against the hedge and covering me up to my pelvis.”
Harry has been left stiff after the fall, with a bad back and an ankle rotation that would suggest ligament damage explained Miss Long.
“My other horse Max is a lot heavier,” continued Miss Long. “If I had been on him he would have crushed me.
“I could have a broken pelvis with how my horse came down so I’m really lucky to have walked away how I did – I’m convinced if it had been my other horse I would have a broken pelvis.
“Bless him though, he waited for me to get up and tried to roll off me.
“Ideally, you’d want Island Roads to change the surface.”
After the meeting Miss Long said she met with two men from Island Roads, Stephen Ashman, service director and an Island Roads road safety engineer.
Both gentleman were sympathetic towards the problem of horses slipping on the road and understood the severity of injury to both horse, rider and potentially other road users.
“On the site that I had my fall on they are going to conduct a skid resistance test to see if it is within UK standards,” said Miss Long. “However, this test has no relevance to horses, as tyres are rubber and shoes are metal.”
The men then explained any relevant test would need to come from the Department for Transport.
“I did ask who would be liable if on that day my horse had fell and killed me. The response was that nobody would be liable as the roads meet all UK standards,” said Miss Long.
An Island Roads spokesman said: “We were sorry to hear about Jodie Long’s recent experience and, as part of our wish to better understand these incidents and accommodate the access needs of the equine community, we were happy to meet with Jodie to discuss the circumstances around her fall. We would like to thank her for her time and her informed and valued contribution.
“We will undertake checks on the skid resistance at this location but recognise national specifications for highway materials and their testing does not include parameters dealing specifically with the slip resistance of metal shod horses. It is important to stress that all resurfacing materials we use meet all UK safety and quality standards.
“We will continue to work with the Isle of Wight Council in investigating other ways to improve access for the equine community.”
Director of safety for the British Horse Society, Alan Hiscox said: “Riders should be aware at all times on how the surface they are riding on affects the horses grip. The British Horse Society is however, very concerned that horse riders on the Isle of Wight are continuing to experience challenges with the road surface in certain areas on the island.”