Connect with us


Why Do Horse Wear Masks? #Hoods #Blinders #Race

In all probability, you will witness a horse wearing masks when you pass through them in summer. Made of mesh, these masks cover their entire face. Have you ever wondered as to why do horses wear masks?

You may have even found them wearing different types of masks when they are being ridden and driven. Have you ever wondered the purpose of the masks and how helpful they are?

Why do Horses Wear Masks?

The masks that the horses wear is called Fly Masks. The primary purpose of wearing a mask is to help them protect themselves from flies and insects. The mask can also be useful in providing UV protection to the face and eyes of the horse. You can also find a horse wearing blinders and blinkers, which are used for letting the horse focus on what it needs to do at the moment.

Why do Horses Wear Masks

Why do Horses wear Masks when Racing?

What you see the horses wearing when racing are not masks, but they are called Blinders or Blinkers. These are used for partially or fully cover a horse’s eyes. The racehorses wear Blinders or Blinkers during racing to stay focussed. The special type of masks or blinders can be helpful to maintain the focus of a horse during the race.

Why do Horses wear Masks when Racing

If you are confused about what do horses wear during racing, it isn’t a mask, but a blinder which prevents the habit of the horse around him so that he doe not lose speed. Blinders and blinkers help the force stay focussed without being distracted by other horses, people, and everything around. The blinkers can be helpful in letting him stay focussed on the race.

Blinkers and Blinders can be found in different sizes and formats. They are made of nylon and are fixed on the head of the horse with the plastic eyecups. Some of the common styles of blinker and blinders can include:

Standard Blinkers
They are 2/3 cup and come with a hole. This type of blinder restricts the view for the horse, but still lets it have a look at the horses approaching it. This is one of the most commonly used forms of a blinder.
Full Cup Blinder

This is a completely restricted blinder, and when compared to the standard blinder, it restricts the view of the horse to a further extent. Under normal circumstances, one side of the mask consists of a full blinder. Since the horses have a tendency of veering outside the track while racing.

Simple Mask with No Blinders

The masks without the blinders can be a great option to calm your horse. It can also be an excellent option for dampening the noise. These are also called Batman masks.

French Cup
This is a type of mask where blinders extend from the mask. It will block the view of the horse from what jockey or is doing, thereby making it impossible to notice that the jockey is holding a whip. This can be helpful in letting the horse focus during a race.

Why do Horses Wear Hoods when Racing?

The hood covers the ears and head, leaving just the eye holes. Unlike the blinders and masks, the hoods are not used for improving the concentration, but for making sure that they do not get nervous from the crowds and noises.

Why do Horses Wear Hoods when Racing

The hoods are padded around the ears and thus help you restrict the noise of the crowd or other issues from affecting the horse. This can be helpful in calming down the horse. The hoods cover the face, ears, shoulders, neck, mane, withers, and chest of a horse. They can also be an excellent option to prevent the horse from scratching the covered area.

Why do Horses wear Blinders?

Horses wear blinders to avoid seeing what is happening at their behind or on the sides. Horse blinders are firm leather squares that stay connected to the horse’s bridle or hood. This helps prevent it from seeing what is behind him or on either of his sides. Horses that pull wagons and carriages wear the blinders to help him from getting distracted or panicked.

Horses have a peripheral animal, unlike the carnivores or predators. They will have a panoramic view of the world around them. Blinders help in covering the side and rear vision of the horse and thus make them focus in a forward-pointing direction.

You can find certain types of blinders based on what purpose the horse is being used. The harness blinders are used for the horses trained for pulling carriages and wagons. This will help them stop getting distracted from the vehicle or carriage that they are carrying. In most cases, it would be practical to stop using harness blinders once they are trained.

Racing blinders are worn in combination with hoods.  This will help them stay focussed on the racetrack. This can be much helpful in avoiding distraction from the other racehorses. The race blinders are used to make sure that the horse believes that it is still behind than he is actually. They can be quite an excellent option to use when training the racehorses.

Can Horses See-Through Fly Masks?

Horses can easily see through the fly masks. The fly mask and fly caps make use of semi-transparent material and most notably using a mesh. This makes it easy for the horse to see through the mesh of the fly mask and hear through it. Fly and mosquito protection is the prime reason a fly mask is worn, while it may also be helpful in making it protect itself from the UV radiation.

A wide range of fly masks is made from black or white mesh. A few of them may also be made from colored fabric. These designs help it from the vision being affected inadequately. The fly mask used for the horses is adjusted such that the upper head and the halfway down the face is covered. The placement is such that the mask does not rub against the eye.

What do Horses Wear when Racing?

Horses wear fly masks to prevent them from getting disturbed by flies and mosquitoes. They also wear blinders and blinkers to prevent them from getting distracted by the other horses when racing. The blinders will help a horse maintain his focus during a race. The prime options that a racehorse or any other horse would need to wear include a saddle, bridle, bit, and shoes. A few critical other equipments can consist of such as blinders, wraps, specialized bits, and shadow rolls.


Bits are the metal bars placed inside a horse’s mouth. The bits are attached to reins, and these reins are used for controlling the horses through bits. The bits can be of different types, and the right type of the bits are chosen during the training of the horse. If you find the horse is difficult to control, you will need to use the severe bits.


Bridles are the headgear of the horse and are used for providing a direction to the horse. The headstall can be controlled with the help of reins and bits. They can be an excellent option to steer a horse as per your preferences.

Ear muffs

The hearing range of the horses is considerably huge, just like that of dogs and similar other animals. When they are exposed to the sounds at the race track, they can get disturbed and get nervous. The earmuffs or earplugs are used to ensure that the horses are not bothered by the noise around them. Of course, you may also use cotton balls or foam for the purpose. But, earmuffs can prove to be a great option to ensure that they are no exposed to heavy noise.


Racehorses usually wear shoes during the race. In fact, the shoes worn by the racehorses are known as Plates. Most of these shoes are made of aluminium and are thus lightweight.

There are different types of horse shoes used based on individual tracks and surface:

  • Front regular Toe aluminium racing plates – This is one of the most popular racing shoe or plate and is good on most of the racing surfaces.
  • Front Low Toe Aluminium Racing Plates – As the name indicates, they have a front low toe. These shoes are best suited to work on hard tracks. It provides better traction.
  • Level Grip or Outer Rim Aluminium Racing Plates – These plates are best suited for turf and dirt tracks. They give a better grip and balance.
  • Wedge Aluminium Racing Plates – These shoes or plates can be an excellent option for reducing strain on tendons and muscles. If your horse has any issues with its heel, it would be one of the perfect options to go with.
  • Front Inner Rim Aluminium Racing Plates – These shoes can be a great option to use on a sandy track. You can get access to good traction and stability.

The Concluding Thoughts

Racing horse or other horses need to be protected from a wide range of issues you may come across. If you have been a regular visitor to the racing events, you should perhaps be aware of the different types of gear – whether headgear or any other parts of its body.

We assume the different types of the headgears and other gears used for horseracing featured here should provide you with a fair idea into how effective and efficient these gears can be. Whether the bits, shoes, bridles, and fly masks – each of them can be what would make it one of the excellent options for improving experience whether you are using your horse for carrying the wagons or carriages or even in racing.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


YardPals does not constitute pet medical advice, please consult a licensed veterinarian in your area for pet medical advice. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other such affiliate advertising programs, which helps us earn a small commission when you buy a product from our affiliate link.


Copyright © 2020