The Horse Council recently received an inquiry about what laws govern riding horses on public roads in Maryland. Thanks to MHC member, Kathleen Tabor, Esq. (www.ktaborlaw.com), here is the answer:
Basically the rider of a horse has the same rights and responsibilities as a driver of a car (minus having a license plate, turn signals, and other unapplicable provisions). See below:
MD Code Transp. 21-104 Persons riding animals or driving animal-drawn vehicles (Maryland Code (2013 Edition))
(a) In general. -- Every person riding an animal or driving an animal-drawn vehicle on a roadway has all the rights granted to and is subject to all the duties required of the driver of a vehicle by this title, except for those provisions of this title that by their very nature cannot apply.
(b) Special prohibitions. --
(1) Except in Charles, Worcester, and St. Mary's counties, or as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a person may not ride an animal or drive an animal-drawn vehicle on:
(i) Any divided highway where the posted maximum speed limit is more than 35 miles an hour; or
(ii) Any controlled access highway.
(2) In Anne Arundel County, a person may ride an animal on any part of a highway described in paragraph (1) of this subsection, other than on its roadway or shoulder.
HISTORY: An. Code 1957, art. 66 1/2, § 11-104; 1977, ch. 14, § 2; ch. 738.