Q: MY six-month-old foal escaped from the field and was killed on an unlit road at 3am. It occurred to me that if the turnout rug she was wearing had had the benefit of some high-visibility additions, she may have stood a better chance. I have found very few rug manufacturers offering high-visibility elements to their rugs and those that do only offer it around the back of the rug. How can I make my horses more visible?
WM, West Yorks
REFLECTIVE strips on rugs are an excellent aid to finding your horse in the field on a dark evening. But, as you say, if the worst happened and your horse escaped on to the road, a reflective rug would make him more visible in a car’s headlights.
A few manufacturers produce rugs with prominent strips, but if you are looking for a smaller rug for a foal or youngster, Tanya Larrigan’s New Sensations range starts at 2ft 9in. Its heavyweight turnout has a reflective strip around the body and tail flap, making it visible from all angles.
An alternative is to send your rugs to New Forest-based Rug-ID, which will attach your postcode in 3in reflective lettering and numbers — a deterrent to any would-be thieves as well as an easy way to spot your horse.
The company claims: “The material is bonded into the fabric, is extremely durable and will withstand commercial laundering.
“We recommend that this reflective material be put on either side of the rug and a reflective strip across the tail flap so that the horse can be visible from any angle.”
Bespoke designs are also available.
If you want to add a few more strips yourself, or brighten up a headcollar, Halfords sells a selection of reflective tape in red, white and yellow, while Scotchlite 3M silver reflective tape is self-adhesive and 2in wide. It can be stuck to any fabric or clothing material and reflects at over 1,000ft.
Tanya Larrigan New Sensations Tel: 02380 890896 www.tlnewsensations.com
Rug-ID Tel: 02380 812082 www.rug-id.co.uk
Horseware Tel: 00353 42 9389000 www.horseware.com
This Q&A was first published in Horse & Hound (6 March, ’08)