Hubby and I love a Sunday (or Saturday) afternoon drive or an off-interstate experience on a long road trip. I’m usually hanging out the window with my IPhone talking scenic pics, yelling “pull over!!!” One of my favorite scenes is horses and beautiful pastures and long, endless white fences. There is something about the picture, something peaceful, tranquil.
Recently, on one of our random drives, actually not all that far from our home, we traveled a journey we had not yet been. I just say, “Turn here, turn here, turn here. . .” We rarely know where we are going and never know where we will end up. That’s the beauty of it! Of course, when we are ready to head for home, I need to pull out the GPS as I usually have no idea where we are or where we have been. The only downside is when we are taking our leisurely drive and folks come up behind us with a goal – a destination – a mood. Frequently we have to pull over to let these folks speed around, wishing they too would “stop and smell the flowers”, as “they” say.
Anyway, recently on one of our jaunts, I was remarking about how one always knows it’s a horse pasture because of the white fences. When I asked my hubby if he had noticed that, well, he had not. Sigh. It did get me to thinking and wondering why horses were always (or at least mostly) surrounded by white fences.
I googled it. 🙂
The first article I came across explained it this way:
(I have spent my entire life around animals and am currently a certified veterinarian assistant.)White painted horse fencing typically made of wood or PVC is used to create a visible barrier that the horse can see. This allows a galloping horse to see the fence and stop long before running into it and hurting itself. In the past a white painted fence was a sign of wealth and/or prestige on a horse farm as it took lots of money to paint the fences white and keep them looking good. Contribution by Shannon Horsey
Huh. Interesting. Educational.
I googled further and came across this:
Horseguard Fencing talks about a farm that researched fence colors in England. Supposedly horses can see green and brown better than white. I’m assuming that if they can see brown better than white they should be able to see black better than white as well. Contributor: Miss-O
Okay, that upset my apple cart! I checked further:
Q.What is the most visible color of fencing to horses ?A: Long term tests by British Forestry Commission Laboratories established that all animals who use flight as their prime defense can see only natural colors when frightened.
A well respected major British Thoroughbred stud farm tested green, brown, orange, white and blue tapes on their visiting mares (600+ a year).
Their irrefutable evidence was that ALL the mares saw brown and green tapes before they saw any other colors.
Orange, yellow, black, white or blue seems to appear as different shades of Grey to horses. The tests of both the stud farm and the laboratories established that horses see brown and green 1 1/2 inches tape from about 30-40 meters away. Other colors from 15-20 meters and even closer for white tape.
All hunters, wearing orange jackets and caps know that most mammals do not see the red / orange spectrum of colors. Any company trying to sell fencing tape in that spectrum of color…do not know what they are talking about. They imagine that because these colors are highly visible to humans they must also be visible to animals!
Well, all this kind of burst my bubble. Horse pastures are supposed to be surrounded by white fences. Period. Ok, to be honest, I have seen a few brown fences corralling horses. I just chose to ignore them. 🙂
I guess it’s the contrast I love, the setting-apart-from-the-world thing. It’s like an outline.
I also, deep down in my heart, of course want what’s best for the horses, and as research goes forth – as in absolutely anything – there will be changes.
But I’ll always love the fields of white fences with a smattering of these beautiful creatures – God’s creation – sprinkled inside as I spot them across our fine countryside.