If you walked past Loreli at the Desert International Horse Park in Thermal, California, and did a double-take, you wouldn’t be alone. After all, it’s not often you see a horse wearing what appears to be a pair of horse ski goggles. But the 13-year-old gelding won’t be hitting the slopes anytime soon, and the goggles are more than just a bold fashion statement—they’re protective.
The gelding suffers from chronic uveitis, so the eQuick eVysor Equine Goggles provide 360-degree coverage to help protect his eye from being further damaged by ultraviolet light. The goggles don’t obstruct his field of vision and feature a pair of wide straps that go behind the ears and buckle under the jaw.
A German veterinarian recommended the goggles to owner Lauren Kolbe, and she just started using them at the beginning of this year on the warmblood she competes in the junior jumpers.
“I was worried they would change his vision, but they haven’t,” said Kolbe’s trainer Georgy Maskrey-Segesman. “We don’t jump with them; I just worried about what that would look like to him, but when he’s warming up and out of his stall we use them.
“We do it just as a preventative,” said Maskrey-Segesman. “The eye has been fairly difficult to keep under control, so I would say with this, it definitely helps the management of the ocular pressure and the inflammation.”
The goggles are definitely eye-catching, and Kolbe and Maskrey-Segesman are constantly stopped and peppered with questions.
“ ‘Is he wearing ski goggles?’ ‘Is that for the wind?’ Oh yeah, I’ve had every different [question],” Maskrey-Segesman said.
“I think it’s a really good option for anyone that has any issues with UV light,” she continued. “Even if it’s one that gets bothered by sunlight for head shaking and stuff like that, I think it’s a good option. It’s definitely something that everybody looks when you’re going by. They’re like, ‘Oh my God, it’s so cool; what is that?’ ”