A Variety of Horse Jump Colors Can Help Horses

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Horse Jump ColorsResearch into equine vision has led to a recommendation to change the colors of jumps on racecourses in Britain. Recently, the color used on hurdle frames and fence take-off boards and guard-rails was orange, based on human vision capability. However, horses see fewer colors compared to humans, and can only differentiate objects in a palette of blues and yellows. The University of Exeter conducted new research that shows that other horse jump colors will offer greater visibility to horses.

Horse Vision: More Than Meets The Eye

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and Racing Foundation funded the study to help develop new ways to make hurdles and fence design safer. Their objective was to improve obstacle visibility for horses, thereby reducing the risk of falls and injuries.

With regard to horse jump colors, they have recommended using fluorescent yellow for all hurdles and guard-rails, and fluorescent white for take-off boards at fences. These colors have been determined to maximize visibility under a wide range of conditions for both humans and horses.

The research has been applauded by the Racecourse Association and the National Trainers Federation. Understanding how different animals see the world informs us in guiding the safety and welfare of animals and humans, especially that of horse and rider.