Horseback riding in Springfield: Is it safe, and is it legal? - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Horseback riding in Springfield: Is it safe, and is it legal?

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The city of Springfield has no shortage of transportation from cars, to buses, and even horses.

Now, some people are questioning the safety and rules of using a horse as a mode of transportation.

Springfield Police Spokesperson Ryan Walsh told Western Mass New it's completely legal.

Western Mass News cameras spotted people riding horses Friday afternoon in the area of St. James Avenue. 

Walsh said you can ride a horse through city streets, and the rules are similar to a bicycle where you need to obey traffic lights and stop signs.

According to Walsh, you should keep both hands on the reigns but be able to signal with your hand when turning.

Springfield resident Cristina Ferrera said she also saw the horses on Friday riding down Plainfield Street.

Ferrera said she worries that this might be a safety issue.

"People who love and respect their animals are not having them gallop down main roads through construction sites. There's just too many variables that exist in this situation. If you cared you wouldn't put them in a high stress situation like that," she added. 

Walsh noted that they do have rules in place to protect horses. For instance, drivers are not allowed to honk at the horse to startle it, and drivers also can't rev their engines.

Walsh added that cars should stay behind the horse until its safe to pass, and to make it easier, horseback riders should stay to the right of traffic in a single file.

If you ever notice an animal being mistreated, Walsh said to contact police.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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