A Far South Coast horse owner is disgusted and horrified following a tirade of abuse levelled at her by a motorist seemingly unaware of Australia's road rules.
Melanie Schmidt was "parked" on her horse, Sha-Kahn, near Eden IGA on Friday morning, August 9, whenshe said a male driver "let rip" with a torrent of foul-mouthed abuse, as well as allegedly trying to hit her with his vehicle and trailer.
Ms Schmidt said she regularly rides her horse between her home and a paddock on the other side of town.
On Friday morning she even dropped her daughter off to school via horseback. Then, as the animal didn't want to travel the usual back street, they walked along Imlay St, stopping off for a chat with friends and a treat of Crunchies - "she loves them, it's like giving a horse a sugar cube".
A couple in a 4WD towing a trailer pulled up behind her and apparently beeped their horn at her and her horse before they started swearing loudly.
"They called me everything under the sun, so loudly, in the main street of Eden," Ms Schmidt said.
"He really let rip.
"Then he drove all the way around the block and tried to hit me and run over my horse, with his car and then tried to hit me with his trailer.
"I'm disgusted that an adult could do that. And it was a reminder to me that people don't always know the road rules.
"Horses have as much right to be on the road as vehicles," she said.
Ms Schmidt called the police with details of the driver and the incident, and hoped to press charges once the driver was found.
Horses on our roads
According to the NRMA, horses have the same rights as motor vehicles on Australian roads, with classification of a "rider" incorporating those in control of motorcycles, bicycles, animals and animal-drawn vehicles.
NSW road rules state that horse riders must not ride two abreast and must stay within 1.5metres of each other. Horses and riders are permitted to travel on footpaths and nature strips unless specifically prohibited and provided they give way to pedestrians at all times.
Riders are also subject to the same road rules as drivers - and must therefore abide by all speed limits, must remain below the 0.5 blood alcohol limit, and can not use a mobile phone while on horse back.
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