Why Do People Cover Horses Eyes?
When you’re around horses a lot, you will probably already have noticed that people cover a horse’s eyes every now and then. Well, there are a couple of different reasons as to why one would cover a horse’s eyes, it all depends on the situation. Now follows the three most pertinent types of circumstances that can prompt a person to cover their horse’s eyes. You’ll also find that each situation demands a different type of mask, so that requires a little more explanation as well.
First and foremost, you can cover a horse’s eyes by giving them a fly mask to wear. This specific type of mask is specially designed to protect a horse’s eyes against flies and other insects.
That is to say, when it’s relatively warm outside, this also means that horses have to deal with a lot of flies and flying bugs hanging around their heads. Not only is this very irritating to a horse’s eyes, seeing as they occasionally even get stung in the eye, which is uncomfortable, to say the least. But it also is detrimental to a horse’s field of view, so that’s precisely where a fly mask comes in handy.
In this aspect, a fly mask can also really be useful when a horse has had eye surgery recently. The same can be said about horses that struggle with certain eye conditions that irritate the eyes. When one of these scenarios is present, you’ll find that a fly mask is truly a necessity. Namely, in those scenarios, it’s especially crucial to shield your horse’s eyes as much as possible from various nuisances such as flying bugs. Bugs aside, when a horse has had eye surgery recently, for example, the eyes are particularly delicate. Thus, by covering your horse’s eyes with a fly mask, you’ll guarantee that their eyes are protected as much as possible, which is truly significant in such a delicate situation.
Finally, even though fly masks are essentially meant to protect a horse’s eyes against flying insects and such, it can serve another important purpose as well. Namely, some fly masks are also designed to shield a horse’s eyes and nose against UV-radiation and the bright light of the sun. Just as is the case with flies and other insects, the sun can really limit a horse’s eye of sight when it’s very bright out. Also, it’s not that uncommon for a horse to get burnt from the sun, especially when it comes to the area around their nose. So, that could be another reason why you can decide to cover your horse’s eyes with a fly mask, to protect them from the sun!
Furthermore, you can also cover a horse’s eyes with horse blinders, also known as blinkers, if you think that’s necessary. The main purpose of those blinders is to make sure that a horse doesn’t get scared as easily when you’re taking them for a walk or ride. This can be remarkably beneficial every once in a while since horses are really vulnerable to everything that happens around them.
For example, horses that are meant to pull wagons or carriages are almost always wearing these kinds of blinders when you see them. To be more concrete, these horses often need to walk in relatively busy areas where there’s generally a lot of commotion and traffic around them. It’s exactly there that the use of blinders gets its meaning. That is, when horses are wearing this equipment, they can only focus on what happens in front of them and they won’t be distracted by the noise and movements on the sidelines, so to speak. Not only will this guarantee that the horse follows the path they are supposed to, but they also will feel less threatened, which is always something to strive for!
Besides carriage horses, racehorses wear blinkers from time to time as well! Just as is the case with humans, some horses struggle with what can only be described as stage freight. So, when a racehorse is getting prepared to participate in an important race, they will sometimes need to wear blinkers to get them in “the zone”. Specifically, it could be the case that the horse at hand will experience anxiety when they see all the commotion and other horses around them on the racetrack. That’s why some people find it necessary to cover their horse’s eyes to make sure they’re focused enough to have a shot at winning the race. Even more so, some horses even keep the blinders on during the actual race, seeing as some horses actually deliver better performances this way!
Lastly and while it’s definitely not that common, sometimes it’s necessary for a horse to literally be fully blindfolded. However, this will generally only be the case in emergency situations where you really have no other option than putting a blindfold over your horse’s eyes. For example, when there’s a fire in a horse’s stables, you’ll probably need to escort them safely outside. However, because of the stress associated with fire, some horses can really struggle with anxiety in this situation. When this occurs, it could be a great idea to blindfold your horse to keep them as calm as possible and to get them outside, safe and sound! The same goes for any other type of emergency situation where it’s common for a horse to be under a lot of situational stress.
Besides emergency situations, there are other stressful situations that can prompt a person to cover their horse’s eyes using a blindfold. For example, when a horse needs medical attention or is getting prepped for surgery or so, the horse can really experience a lot of anxiety when they take a look at the hair-raising medical equipment in the room. That’s exactly why some vets make the decision to blindfold the horse at hand to make sure that the horse doesn’t get distraught or stressed as easily.
So, when you notice a horse’s eyes are covered, remember the above-mentioned reasons as to why that could be exactly. As said, most of the time, the horse at hand won’t be fully blindfolded, but in seldom cases, it could actually be necessary!