Horse Riding can be a dangerous activity.
Horses are naturally flight animals and riders as such need to minimise risk when riding. We can try and teach them that the bins and bags are not monsters getting ready to attack and it is okay to go past. It takes training, time and effort to get to a point where the horse and rider can relax slightly when on the roads and when riding out .
Riders try and reduce the time they spend on the roads they would much rather be on safer bridleways unfortunately these safe areas to ride on are becoming few and far between.
Deal Road ,Northbourne Road and even Stoneheap are the linking roads from Mongeham to the Bridleways that riders can ride comfortably on. That is why riders are often seen on these roads making their way to the bridleways. There are many horses in the surrounding areas.
If this planned Airstrip were to go ahead these roads and our access to the bridleways will become far to dangerous. A plane in the sky hundreds of feet up may make a horse look and be aware but one making a landing approach or taking off will be a different matter.If you were riding along Deal road and one was approaching for landing at a low level there are going to be injuries or even deaths of horse or /and rider.
The British Horse Society work closely with safety issues .They collect data of incidents involving horses to make riding safer. One part of the data collected is incidents involving low level flying. They have been able to work with the military involving low level flying of planes and helicopters and protocols have been put in place
Military Pilots are meant to divert if they spot a horse and rider. The question is what action will these commerical pilots take, are they going to change their approach run or is this area going to be part of the statistics colleted by The British Horse Society.
As the Maypole site stated Horses don't like low flying planes.
It's interesting to see the parallels between the horse riding community and aviation.
We're both just groups trying to enjoy a hobby safely and with consideration for others.
Some thought needs to be given to proposed flight paths and roads linking to bridleways - however, ultimately, I'd have hoped the horse riding community would understand the aviation community's situation too.
There are so many parallels between your post and aviation; Flying can be a dangerous activity, pilots need to minimise risk when flying (hence the longer runway than it technically 'required' for aircraft of this size for example) and airfields such as that proposed here allow pilots to enjoy their hobby safely - something, much like your safe areas to ride, that are becoming few and far between. I'd expect you'd support the creation of a new bridleway, equestrian centre, etc.
Light aircraft pilots approaching grass fields will also give consideration to horse riders. If I saw one on the final approach path then I would be happy to continue to circle for a while at altitude and wait until the horse and rider had passed. Indeed there's plenty of light aircraft fields where you'll find dogs, walkers, etc... part of flying is constantly adjusting to the circumstances.
The horse riding community is definitely one that should be engaged with as part of this plan but I'd hope for a mutual understanding from both groups as opposed to simply campaigning against it - after all, both are simply individuals trying to enjoy their own chosen recreational activity.