Goggles for horses!
About a month ago, I happened across a really strange looking — yet kind of ingenious — product called FOXPRO Equine Eye Protection. At first glance, the goggles look like something out of a sci-fi dystopian western … just imagine the Cosplay opportunities.
But after digging a little deeper, I found that FOXPRO has manufactured this product to the highest safety standards possible.
They are remarkably easy to put on and have either two or three adjustable points depending on the exact model you purchase. I tested the two-point version and it remained stable during my stick and ball sessions, though I would still prefer the three-point for any “just in case” moments on the field during tournament play.
So the product works, but is it worth the small expense and inconvenience of applying one more piece of tack?
Just one week ago during a match, a polo ball — being hit from behind us — ricocheted off one of my teammate’s elbows, flew sideways about twenty feet, and hit my mare in the face. It struck her on the side of her nose, was a complete accident, and was also completely unavoidable. After checking her out — and my teammate — to make sure they were okay, the first thing that went through my mind was … why didn’t I have the FOXPRO goggles on my horse?
Eye injuries are not uncommon in polo — nor are they uncommon in flat racing or trailering.
If the trauma sustained results in the loss of the eye, in some disciplines the horse can no longer compete in sanctioned events. According to the USPA Equine Welfare Guidelines, “A mount blind in one eye may not be played.”
For a bare bones, two horse, adult amateur operation — like myself — the loss of a horse would be insurmountable and I wouldn’t be able to compete for a long time.
But you don’t play polo, so why does this product matter?
Because horses are the epitome of Murphy’s Law, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”
FOXPRO offers a range of products to protect during trailering, flat racing, polo, and for horses prone to “head shaking.” I didn’t test the UV goggles, but must admit … they look pretty awesome. I have a few friends that regularly ride in fly masks that might prefer this sleek eye protection.
Where can you buy them?
FOXPRO has limited distribution in the United States right now, but the product can be ordered online via several European retailers. Check out the company website to locate a dealer.
Also, be sure and head over to the Facebook page to watch videos of the goggles in action and read customer testimonials.