Last Updated on March 20, 2022
Have you ever wondered why do horses wear blinders? It is not uncommon to see horses in the field or out at exercise wearing something that covers the eyes. This might seem like an odd thing to do, but there is a good reason for it.
Let’s take a look at why do horses wear blinders, and find out all about this useful equine accessory!
What Are Blinders?
Blinders, also known as blinkers, are attachments that are placed partially over the horse’s eyes. They normally fasten onto the bridle and are used when the horse is being exercised.
The horse is not able to see through the blinders but does still have some vision – normally directly in front of him. Depending on the placement and type of blinders, the horse will not be able to see anything to the side and behind him.
Are Blinders And Face Masks The Same Thing?
You may often see horses wearing a covering over the eye, but these are not blinders. Face masks are designed to cover the eye without limiting the vision of the horse.
Face masks for horses normally look like a soft hood that goes over the horse’s head, with a mesh covering over the eye. They may also cover the ears and muzzle, depending on why they are being used.
It is common to see horses wearing face masks in the field or barn, although they are sometimes used during ridden work as well.
Why Do Horses Wear Blinders?
So, why do horses wear blinders? Horses have exceptionally good vision and can see objects located anywhere except directly behind them. In a wild horse, this is a great advantage, as it allows him to spot predators coming from any direction. Unfortunately, this means that your horse can become easily distracted during ridden exercise when he spots another horse or interesting object to one side or another!
Blinders are used to limit the field of vision of the horse, preventing him from seeing anything to the side or directly behind him. This is thought to keep him focussed on the work in hand.
Traditionally, horses used to pull plows and carriages wore blinders, to keep their attention on the field or road ahead. They are also used in racehorses to prevent them from getting distracted by horses running slightly behind them.
Does My Horse Need To Wear Blinders?
In most modern-day equestrian disciplines, blinders are not necessary. If you are planning on using your horse for trail rides, Western riding, or jumping, then blinders would not normally be used. It is common for driving horses to wear blinders, and they are normally included as part of the driving harness.
The only time you might consider using blinders is if your horse is easily distracted by his surroundings. However, it is important to be aware that your horse could be startled when he suddenly sees something which was obscured by the blinders. It can be a good idea to work with your horse on the ground wearing blinders to get him accustomed to them.
Why Do Horses Wear Face Masks?
Face masks are used to protect the horse’s eye from injury or irritants. If you live in a sunny area, a face mask can help to protect them from sunlight. This can be particularly useful in horses that suffer from a recurrent eye condition called recurrent uveitis.
Many horse owners also use a face mask to protect the eyes from flies and bugs. Flies are often attracted to the horse’s eyes, and this can increase the spread of problems such as summer sores. A face mask prevents the flies from reaching the eye.
Another reason why face masks are used on horses is to protect the eyes from dust. This can be particularly useful in the dry summer months, or if your horse is turned out on an all-weather surface. Using a face mask can help reduce the need to flush your horse’s eyes when they get dusty.
And finally, horses sometimes wear face masks to protect the eye from injury, or to help them recover from injury. This type of face mask may have a solid covering, to keep the eye shielded and safe.
When using a face mask for your horse, it is important to get one that fits correctly and meets your requirements. Some face masks are more effective at shielding from sunlight, while other are designed to stop flies and dusts.
Why Do Horses Wear Blinders Summary
So, as we have learned, horses wear blinders to protect the eyes from injury or irritants, or to limit the field of vision and reduce distractions to the horse. Face masks are often put on horses who are irritated by flies, dust, and sunlight in the eyes. Blinders, or blinkers, stop the horse seeing anything apart from directly in front of him.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on why do horses wear blinders! Have you ever tried using blinders on your horse? Or maybe you have problems getting the right face mask for your horse? Leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you!
Why Do Horses Have Eye Coverings?
Horses may be wearing eye coverings for a number of reasons. They are commonly used to protect the eyes from irritants such as flies, dust, and sunlight. Eye coverings may also be used to prevent injuries to the eye.
Do Horses Still Wear Blinders?
If you went back a couple of hundred years, you would see many horses wearing blinders! They were thought to prevent the horse from distractions, keeping him focused on the road ahead. Some horses do still wear blinders, but they are not as common these days.
Why Do Horses Wear Blinders In Pasture?
The blinders you see on horses out in the fields are designed to protect the eyes, rather than limit their vision. They are often used on horses that are sensitive to flies, dust, and sunlight.
Why Are Police Horses Blindfolded?
Police horses are not actually blindfolded, but they commonly wear a clear visor made from toughened plastic. This is to protect the eyes from injury when policing dangerous situations such as riots. The police horse can see clearly through this visor.
Kate Chalmers is a qualified veterinary nurse who has specialized in horse care for the vast majority of her career. She has been around horses since she was a child, starting out riding ponies and helping out at the local stables before going on to college to study Horse Care & Management. She has backed and trained many horses during her lifetime and competed in various equestrian sports at different levels.
After Kate qualified as a veterinary nurse, she provided nursing care to the patients of a large equine veterinary hospital for many years. She then went on to teach horse care and veterinary nursing at one of the top colleges in the country. This has led to an in-depth knowledge of the care needs of horses and their various medical ailments, as well as a life-long passion for educating horse owners on how to provide the best possible care for their four-legged friends.
Kate Chalmers BSc (Hons) CVN, Dip AVN (Equine) Dip HE CVN EVN VN A1 PGCE