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Talk to me about mirrors!

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  • Talk to me about mirrors!

    I am hoping to surprise our BM with mirrors for the indoor arena as a Christmas present. I know she really wants some. Most of the other boarders have agreed to contribute already ( depending on cost). I have found a good source who can install them as well.

    One boarder has expressed concern that her horse won’t be able to be turned out in the arena in the case of icy paddocks in the Winter if there are mirrors in there.

    I broached the subject with our in-house coach. Apparently in Germany most arenas have mirrors and do free-lunge or free-jump, but have something to cover the mirrors (pull-down shade or shutters). In our area, I have never seen any covers on mirrors.

    I’m trying to figure out if I can build (or buy) something to cover the mirrors that would be relatively inexpensive, easy to install, clean and use. Anyone have experience with this? It is a small barn and we don’t have a large budget.


  • #2
    I've seen mirrors installed high enough they are out of reach of the horses but angled down so you can see yourself. Horses usually get used to them quickly in any case. I remember watching a young stallion loose in an arena for the first time puffing up and then repeatedly trying to shove his head behind the mirror to get at that horse. But no harm done to horse or mirror. If you needed covers I don't see why plain old roller blinds with a string wouldn't work?

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    • #3
      Or maybe curtains, on a cable, that can be drawn across the mirrors?

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      • #4
        To me letting the horses run a little bit while being present: yes. Using the arena as paddock: no. I know some really bad accidents with mirrors. Covering up may work - or playful horses will destroy the curtains. Maybe it is possible to install the mirrors high enough the horses can't reach them or outside of the fencing.

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        • #5
          I honestly never even thought about this when I put up mirrors on our outdoor arena. I talked to lots of people and knew to put them high enough so a loose stirrup iron can't crack it going into the corner, but that's it. I do put horses in the arena if I need to, but they totally do not care about them now at all. They looked when we first put them up, now they will happily eat the bushes next to mirrors if they decide they want to. I have one horse who shies every single time he sees himself in any mirror; at home, at arenas for clinics and lessons where he has been a million times. He's a weird horse anyway . . . good thing we love him!

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          • #6
            One barn I boarded at had shutters that closed over the mirrors. They hinged open like window shutters and had a hook that held them open. Then they could be closed if needed when a horse was loose in the arena. They were definitely home made and would have cost as much as the lumber required and the hinges. Wouldn’t have broken the bank.

            I’ve heard you can also get shatterproof mirrors though I believe the image reflection is less clear since they are plastic like instead of glass.

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            • #7
              3M and others make a plastic film that can be applied to glass to contain a shattered glass mirror

              https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/home-win...fety-security/


              from having seen horses that have thrown shoes, I would want to include this or a similar product on Any Glass in an arena that was not tempered

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