Blinkers are devices that are placed on the side of a racehorse’s head to limit the field of vision and reduce distractions. They are made of a lightweight material and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. They are an important tool for racehorse trainers and jockeys to help their horses focus on the task at hand and to maximize their performance on the racetrack.
Horses wear blinkers for a variety of reasons. The primary purpose of blinkers is to keep a horse focused on the task at hand and reduce the amount of distractions it may encounter while racing. Blinkers also help prevent horses from seeing other horses or objects on the track that may cause them to shy away or become distracted. They also help to prevent horses from becoming over-excited or spooked by the noise and commotion of the racetrack.
There are many benefits to using blinkers on racehorses. Here are some of the most important ones:
- Focus: Blinkers help keep a horse focused on the task at hand and reduce the amount of distractions it may encounter while racing.
- Safety: Blinkers can help prevent horses from becoming startled by other horses or objects on the track, thus reducing the risk of injury or accident.
- Performance: Blinkers can help a horse to perform at its best by preventing it from becoming over-excited or spooked by the noise and commotion of the racetrack.
- Calming Effect: Blinkers can also have a calming effect on a horse, helping it to stay focused and relaxed during a race.
Blinkers come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. The most common types are:
- Full-Cup Blinkers: Full-Cup Blinkers cover the entire sides of the head and eyes, providing maximum focus and preventing any distractions from entering the horse’s field of vision.
- Half-Cup Blinkers: Half-Cup Blinkers cover only the top half of the head and eyes, allowing some peripheral vision while still reducing distractions.
- Eclipse Blinkers: Eclipse Blinkers are similar to Half-Cup Blinkers, but they provide a more complete coverage of the eyes and head.
- Swivel Blinkers: Swivel Blinkers are designed to move with the horse’s head, allowing it to have a greater range of vision while still reducing distractions.
Blinkers should be used only when necessary and in accordance with the rules of the racetrack. Generally, they should be used when a horse is running in a large field of horses, when running in a tight corner, or when running on a track with a lot of noise and commotion. It is important to note that blinkers can make a horse more anxious and excitable, so they should be used with caution.
Blinkers should be checked regularly for any signs of wear or damage. They should be replaced if they become frayed or worn. It is also important to make sure the blinkers fit properly and are the correct size for the horse.
Fitting blinkers correctly is an important part of ensuring their effectiveness. Here are some tips for fitting blinkers:
- Check the fit: Make sure the blinkers fit snugly but comfortably on the horse’s head.
- Secure the blinkers: Make sure the blinkers are securely fastened to the bridle so they won’t slip or come loose during the race.
- Adjust the position: Make sure the blinkers are positioned correctly so they do not obstruct the horse’s vision.
- Check the straps: Make sure the straps are not too tight or too loose and that they are not rubbing against the horse’s head.
Once the race is over, it is important to remove the blinkers immediately. This will help to prevent any potential injuries or accidents that may occur due to the horse being startled or confused by the sudden absence of its blinkers.
Blinkers are an important tool for racehorse trainers and jockeys to help their horses focus on the task at hand and to maximize their performance on the racetrack. They can help to keep a horse focused and reduce the amount of distractions it may encounter while racing, as well as provide a calming effect. It is important to make sure blinkers are fitted correctly and removed after the race. With proper care and maintenance, blinkers can be an invaluable tool for racehorse trainers and jockeys.