Protesters on horseback cause traffic jam in Feilding in call for better safety and access to roads

Feilding's streets had to deal with a different kind of traffic jam on Friday.

Around 30 protestors on horses rode through the Manawatu town calling for better safety and access to our roads and public spaces.

The small town was brought to a standstill, owners with their four-hoofed friends sending a clear message.

"Horse riders in New Zealand are over losing places to ride," said Arthur Yeo of the Equestrian Advocacy Network.

Protestors are calling for better safety and access for horses and their riders on our roads and other public places.

"We want to be on the same footings as cyclists and walkers. We can co-exist - we're more than happy to share with who wants to use pathways."

They also want to be consulted in future infrastructure planning and raise awareness about the economic impact of the equestrian industry.

"We're not asking for the world, we're just wanting to be recognised and to know there's 100,000 of us in New Zealand," said Yeo.

The march has been a long time coming. It was originally planned to take place at Parliament but had to be cancelled several times due to COVID-19 and the anti-mandate protest.

Rangitikei MP Ian Mckelvie was on the receiving end of a 6000-strong signature petition calling for the changes.

"If you think about the pathways we're putting through New Zealand now and the cycleways and things like that, what's the difference between a bicycle and a horse? Same opportunity and I think where we can, we should be providing for it."

It's not the first time horses have taken to the streets. In 2017, 1000 took over roads calling for better safety.

Today's group met with Transport Minister Michael Wood about its demands. Newshub approached him for a comment but received no reply.

A call to action that's hoping to make as little disruption as possible.