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High visibility gear for "commuting" down the road

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  • High visibility gear for "commuting" down the road

    Hi everyone,

    I have my horse stabled about a mile down the road from my trainer and plan to start riding down the road for weekly lessons. Horse is a champ and has been exposed to all sorts of traffic and other human nonsense and I'm comfortable going out alone, esp. during daylight with a great trainer on the other end who would come looking for me if I didn't show up on time (or if I didn't let her know I got home safe).

    However, I'm not the sort to trust fortune or other users of the road, particularly because although this road has several barns on it, it is also an artery for a range of residential communities whose drivers may or may not know how to safely pass a horse.

    I'd like to get some good high-vis gear to help drivers see us early and respond appropriately. Anyone have recommendations w.r.t. what types of high-vis gear are most effective and what brands are particularly comfortable/well-designed?

  • #2
    I have some of this for running: http://www.brooksrunning.com/womens-...efault,sc.html and the green and yellow stuff is SUPER VISIBLE. So bright my friends laugh at me when I wear my green jacket for other things. I find it very well made and comfortable.

    Maybe a quarter sheet in the same sort of color for the horse, plus a flashing light (like you see on a bike) braided into the tail?


    • #3
      there is also blaze orange gear available, popular in fall during hunting season.

      you can go as cheap as the 10 dollar safety vest you can buy at walmart, not a bad thing, BTW to have in the car for emergencies....


      • Original Poster

        Simkie, that is exactly what I was looking for! The yellow vest might be just the ticket for me.

        I do have various flashy lights (my other horse is a road bike), so I'll see if any of their various fasteners can be securely braided into her tail.

        In the miserably humid New England summers a quarter sheet is probably too hot. I imagine I'm the only one in the market for a safety-yellow fly scrim quarter sheet -- maybe I can get my hands on some appropriate material and sew my own... otherwise maybe vest + lights will be enough.

        Alagirl, thanks for the Walmart hint. I may go see what they have to offer.


        • #5
          you can get reflective stuff in all over the place, tape to put on boots, reflectors in the trailer section.

          Check the camping aisle, there are glowstick like flashlights available now, I think they also blink, for about 4 bucks, not too bad!


          • #6
            As i driver, i love love LOVE it when i see a runner or biker at night with reflective stuff on them.

            Look at matson's clip of the police horses in orlando--looks like they have reflective leg wraps.
            Today I will be happier than a bird with a french fry.


            • #7
              They say this is lightweight mesh. Maybe call them to find out if it would be appropriate? They also have tail wraps, vests, and some other gear.
              Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique


              • Original Poster

                Thank you, charismaryllis, Wonders12 and rulex!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Wonders12 View Post
                  They say this is lightweight mesh. Maybe call them to find out if it would be appropriate? They also have tail wraps, vests, and some other gear.

                  This material is appropriate for warm weather riding. Its an open weave mesh that breathes like an anti sweat sheet...And also acts like a bug shield. The Protectavest company will send you a brochure and fabric sample by request.
                  the NOT!! Spoiled!! Arabian Protectavest poster pony lives on in my heart


                  • #10
                    If you are riding during daylight hours, a reflective vest and possibly a blaze
                    orange helmet cover should be enough. The reflective stuff won't matter
                    as much.

                    Here in NJ, there is a state law on the books about motorists slowing to 25 mph
                    when they are passing a horse & rider. I went on a letter-writing campaign a
                    few years ago to get the local police to put signs up along the road that a
                    lot of people cross to get to the state-owned wildlife management area to
                    ride. It's made a big difference.


                    • #11
                      I have one of these with the reflective stripe http://www.pleasantridge.ca/index.ph...et-orange.html


                      • #12
                        I'd wear the cheap high-viz safety vests you can get at any farm store or walmart. You can get some reflective tape to dress up a pair of tendon boots and/or neoprene tail wrap.

                        Based on my experience as a runner (and a driver, when I've come across runners or cyclists on the road at night), you want your reflective and flashing surfaces to be simple and BIG. A dinky little flashing light and the stylized little reflective pinstripes on my running gear are cute, but honestly they just seem to draw drivers closer to me. It's natural-- we tend to steer towards what we are looking at. So the driver sees a little bit of shiny something on the side of the road, and it's moving around, and their brain is saying what-the-deveil-IS-that? And the entire time, the steering wheel inexorably tilts in my direction until they get close enough to figure out what I am and dart back away from the shoulder. Whereas when I wear my highway-workers vest, I don't look nearly as cute but drivers' responses are immediate--they steer a wide berth around me--because they can make quick visual sense of what kind of object I am. There's a huge benefit to standardized marking schemes, because your brain is well-conditioned by now to recognize the highway safety vests. Even if it cuts just a second or two off the driver's reaction time, that's a big margin of safety.


                        • #13
                          Things that flash, glow, and/or reflect will not do much good if you're riding during the day, or even in early twilight. For daytime, you want things in bright colors, like blaze orange or hi-viz yellow. Lots of good suggestions above. Hopefully you don't have to ride down the road at night, but if you do, that's when you want flashy blinky reflector things
                          RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dayglowmaple View Post

                            In the miserably humid New England summers a quarter sheet is probably too hot.
                            How about a Parson's Rump? http://www.parsonsrump.co.uk/customers-Rump-Photos


                            • #15

                              For daytime, you want things in bright colors, like blaze orange or hi-viz yellow.
                              agree- I think hi-viz yellow is the most eye-catching; Here's a bright yellow tail wrap:


                              go to a local biking store for human clothing- they have lightweight mesh vests that you can wear in summer's heat but are incredibly visible in both sunlight and dark.


                              • #16
                                I like this one because it tells drivers what they're supposed to do. So few drivers seem to know how to safely pass a horse anymore. Or maybe they don't care.

                                I had a friend in the UK send me one of these years ago. But later I gave up riding beside roads because I had too many bad experiences with drivers who were either clueless or just plain malicious.

                                I hope you have a safe experience though. It would be wonderful to be able to ride to lessons and back.
                                I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show


                                • #17
                                  Dammit PAin't, why post something that makes me go, ooh I want that one, and then have it be out of stock?? With a Sharpie I bet I could make that on my WalMart special though, great idea.
                                  Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                                  Incredible Invisible


                                  • #18
                                    A while ago, GoesLikeStink was making and selling reflective headgear for horses, from the UK. (Wonder where she has gone to?)
                                    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                                    • #19
                                      Reflective horse boots:

                                      And also rug, though it sounds like that would be too hot for you:





                                      Helmet Band:

                                      There's a 20% off code available now
                                      "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by ReSomething View Post
                                        Dammit PAin't, why post something that makes me go, ooh I want that one, and then have it be out of stock?? With a Sharpie I bet I could make that on my WalMart special though, great idea.
                                        From the uk, but cheap enough!