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Best hi-viz
One of our most frequently asked questions on the Facebook group and page is “what colour of hi-viz is best” followed by “What items of hi-viz are best for me and my horse to wear” The simple answer is, any is better than none. However, to maximise your visibility and reduce the risks consider all of the following: Wear several colours In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the weather is notorious for changing suddenly. You can start out on a sunny hack, only to run home in a snow storm. Another factor to keep in mind is that many hacking routes have variable environmental differences such as dark overhanging trees, yellow rape/straw fields, autumnal colours in the hedges etc. Because of this, we always recommend that riders and their horses wear several colours for hacking or riding on bridleways as horses (especially dark horses) blend into the background, making it very hard for a driver or other road user to see them. Combo colours are now available in most hiviz brands, including our own, but you can simply wear a tabard of one colour, a hat cover of another and some different gloves. Your horse can wear a martingale/headwear of one colour with a different sheet or parsons rump (available in combo colours) and alternating colours on the legs. This mash of colours while not only looking fabulous can help ensure you are seen in different situations and conditions. However, if you only want to wear one colour, the following will help choose what outfit you need to wear: Spring - The leaves are still sometimes orangey, the rape starts to grow and the trees and hedges begin to grow. With so many colours around, it can be difficult to see one block of “natural” colour. In this season it is possible PINK may stand out more. Summer - The skies are blue, the trees and hedges green and full (creating dark shadows on the roads) and the sun shines. Most of the fields have been cut now, so tend to look dry and yellow. In this season it is possible ORANGE may stand out more. Autumn - The leaves are turning, the hedges are brown and the fields are begining to look bare and the skies are darkening. In this season it is possible YELLOW may stand out more, until the sun starts to get too low. Winter - The skies are dark and the sun is low, meaning visibility is vastly reduced. There may be snow on the ground, which reflects upwards again blinding drivers. This season, you may need to consider several more things before picking out your outfit:   Yellow will be lost in the snow and hard frost, as it is pale - on snow days consider ORANGE or PINK Orange may be harder to see on very dark/wet overcast days as there is less contrast against the background, on these days consider YELLOW The above information has been gathered from various sources and should never be taken as solid evidence that these colours will protect you. What hiviz should i wear on myself? What hiviz or how much you wear is entirely up to you. Evidence suggests even just a tabard can alert a driver to your presence, however things to consider are the height of hedges, how visible your extremities are and the colour of your riding wear against the background or your horse. The more you stand out from these factors, the more likely you are to be seen. Minimal - A vest only. This should help vehicles approaching, coming from behind or that have good visibility through fences and over wide spaces see you sooner. Medium - A vest and a hat band or cover. A hat band/cover will hopefully be visible over hedges, alerting drivers to you from around corners or over hills. Most - A vest, hat band/cover, gloves and leg wear (bands or bright jodhpurs). This will help drivers see your signals better, and make you stand out against your horse and environment alerting drivers to your presence sooner. What hiviz should my horse wear? Being seen as soon as possible is going to help drivers spot the hazard up ahead is a horse so they can assess their speed and driving (bikes, walkers and workers wear hiviz too and they are not as likely to spook into a window!) so while the amount of gear your horse wears is ultimately up to you, you also have a duty of care to other road users by alerting them to potential hazards. If you become parted from your horse, it is vital they can be seen and found. Be sure the colour stands out on your  horse. Minimal - A martingale. This will help drivers approaching see you are on a horse, but be sure to pick a colour that stands out the best on your colour of animal. Medium - A martingale, leg wraps, head band cover/ear cover and a tail wrap. Evidence suggests that the movement of a horses legs alerts drivers to the fact they are up ahead. A tail wrap or head gear will sit a bit higher, letting them see its a horse over hedges, fences or verges. Most - A martingale, leg wraps, tail wrap,  head band cover/ear cover, mesh, waterproof sheet or parsons rump. You’ll probably be seen from outer space, but that’s good for avoiding collisions with NASA! Flashing lights can be added to enhance your visibility but be aware they can be distracting to drivers during the day. They should be worn at night or in darker conditions, with RED to the back and WHITE to the front. Carriages should always have red lights or reflectives to the back and white to the front. The above information has been gathered from various sources and should never be taken as solid evidence that these items will protect your horse from harm. Whatever you choose to wear, ensure it fits correctly and is fit for purpose and where possible has the current standard EN coding EN471 or EN1150. It is also  important to assess the condition of your items, as over time and through washing they can lose some potency. Worn items may not reflect as well (or at all) or be as bright and noticeable.